Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Don't fence me in

Living in this house the last couple of years, we've avoided monsoon storm damage.... until today.

A little fence that separates this property from the one to the west blew over during a thunderstorm. It isn't a very sturdy fence so the fact that it's stayed upright all this time is amazing.

I was able to bend the little posts upright with little effort and have to get some kind of wire, straps or screws to reattach the pieces of wood to the poles. It won't be an expensive or difficult repair.

If this is the worst damage we ever get from a monsoon thunderstorm, I'll take it.

Fence blown over during a monsoon thunderstorm

Blown over fence, one of the overly trimmed juniper trees,
and the stone thing (on the right) that had the
bee hive in it.
2016 hasn't been kind to the front yard.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

An erect fry and forks on the floor

Another weekend has come to an end. I got a little bit of stuff accomplished around the house that needed to be including much needed yard work.

If there's any doubt that I'm getting older, a few hours sweating my ass off in the heat was a reminder. Holy crap, that's getting more difficult to do.

I was saddened by the news that iconic street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died at the age of 87 from the effects of a stroke. I ran across Bill's work by accident on the internet and became quite fascinated by him. He is a good example of what I've learned about the most successful people (in their careers or work): Having a clear singular unwavering focus on what you do, and sacrificing nearly everything else in the process, ends up creating the most extreme and wildly successful results. Most people are not capable or willing to take it to that level and that's why they don't have the biggest successes that they can. I'm not suggesting that it's the right thing for most people but it is a fascinating look at what happens when someone takes it to that level.

You can see a fascinating documentary about Bill's life and his work that is available for Amazon Prime members called "Bill Cunningham New York". It used to be on Netflix as well but that title is not available as of this writing. But it is on Amazon (I watched it again last night).

We wrapped up the weekend with dinner at Culver's (a storm broke out while we ate and while it just rained hard for about five minutes in the area where the restaurant is, it did a lot of damage to the central part of Tucson) and then grocery shopping afterward.

Anthony got two Concrete Mixers at Culver's
because he had a coupon.
Six was our order number as well as the
number of hours two Concrete Mixers gave
him a stomach ache.

I made our order number a 9 instead of a 6.
The consequence I suffered from messing
around with our order number:
I ended up with a photo
that appears to look
like I have the world's fattest hand.

That fry was really happy to see me

A cool picture of the rain storm
moving across Tucson as seen
from the Walmart Neighborhood Market
parking lot at Broadway and Camino Seco
looking west

When you're too lazy to spend five minutes boiling eggs
someone came up with a solution for that.

48 ounces of Califia Farms latte and espresso.
Drink one of these bad boys and you'll
be able to clean a house in less than
sixty seconds and still have jitters left over.

Limited Edition Triscuit Sriracha.
They're extra wonderful when you
put a leaf on top as shown in the
serving suggestion on the box.

Mop handle on the floor.

A box of forks has fallen and they can't get up.

Yeah, I'm almost this old.
The only thing that makes that slightly less depressing
is the candles are covered in glitter.

I don't need one of these...
just in case you wondered.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Take a little off the top

Anthony's mom, who owns the house we live in, offered to have someone come over and trim the two large evergreen / juniper trees in the front. I don't know much about the process of trimming trees properly so I was grateful she volunteered to arrange for the task to be completed.

I got a surprise when I came home yesterday. The trimming was more of a 90 percent removal of the trees. I have a feeling that's not what she had in mind (it certainly isn't what I had in mind) but the branches can't be glued back on. So, we're stuck with the result.

I am trying to look on the bright side. If we put Christmas lights on them this year, we won't need a ladder.

Flashback to October 2014 when we got the keys
to the house and what one of the trees looked like until
a few days ago...
Here's what the same tree looks like now.
If I want to enjoy shade from it I'll have to lie down
really really close to the bottom.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

They say it's a dry heat

I've always disliked being cold. But there's a point where even I, cold blooded as I am, feel it's pretty darned hot. Today was one of those days.

We hit 115 degrees in Tucson which ranked as one of the three hottest days ever recorded. A couple of people died hiking in this heat (a completely preventable death if someone has an ounce of intelligence and knows it's going to kill you hiking when it's 115 degrees). I wanted to get some yard work done this weekend but I decided I didn't have a death wish.

One of the items that Anthony's mom left here when she moved out and we moved in was a vintage outdoor thermometer. (I just looked it up on e-bay and it's worth over a hundred bucks!) It also registered the ridiculously warm day we had. Of course, it's a dry heat.

It also gave us a lovely sunset -- the heat in combination with drifting smoke from a wildfire burning in northern Arizona.

The Bubble Up thermometer keeping track
of how hot it got on Sunday June 19th.

When I shot this photo in the early afternoon
it had only reached 113 degrees.
That already had broken a record for this date.

Hot weather and smoke in the air
gave us a beautiful sunset
in Southern Arizona tonight.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Eyes Wide Shut

A video shoot for the TV show this week at an eye care center was successful as far as the shoot itself, but I took some crappy photos when I was there.

I was also timing the segment and field producing, and shooting a few photos when I had a free few seconds. Not one of my better moments as a photographer though because some of the photos I shot had the subjects with their eyes closed.

It was definitely an eye closing experience. (as opposed to eye opening... ahem)

Behind Paul who was running the camera while the eye doctor
explains the anatomy of the eye to host Tina

"If you put your finger in an eye here,
the person who owns the eye will say "ow!"

The other eye doctor and Tina as seen
from behind Paul the photograper

"Close your eyes and repeat after me:
Ken Carr is awesome. Ken Carr is awesome."

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A hanging pool noodle and Prenatal vitamins

We're returned to our regular uneventful lives now that we're back from Las Vegas. I finished the work week on Thursday and Friday after our trip, then enjoyed some sleep catch up time this weekend.

Today had a somber note as I was saddened by the mass shooting incident in Orlando, Florida at the gay nightclub Pulse in the early morning hours today. 50 people killed, another 53 injured. Gay nightclubs are one of the few places that gay people can congregate to be their authentic selves. I guess we live in a world now where there are fewer of those safe places to be. It seems to be the work of a lone wolf terrorist. Ironically, I saw the photo of the guy who is responsible earlier today and he's a pretty good looking guy. He probably fit right in as a pretty boy when he went to the club even though he had a deadly hatred for the gay community.

As for tonight, Anthony and I took our usual Sunday trip to eat and to the grocery store. We dined at Culver's and shopped at Walmart Neighborhood Market.

On a side note, next weekend is projected to have historic heat in this area with temperatures from 111 on Saturday to 115 on Sunday. We have a swamp cooler (evaporative cooling) in our house and when it gets that hot it will be cooler in the house than outside but won't have the same comfort level that air conditioning provides. Anthony will hate it, I kind of like it warm. Extreme heat often causes power outages so hopefully we won't have to deal with that.

Anthony at Culver's.
Our order number is my IQ.

Anthony's custard which had Reese's peanut butter cups
and extra peanut butter syrup

I had a crispy chicken sandwich and fries

All gone!

Skippy now makes Graham Cracker P.B. Bites.
Anthony loves these things.

While we were in Vegas, Brandon told me that he can't find
Taco Bell bottled sauces in any of the stores.
They seem to have plenty in Tucson.

Muffins left with the Crunch 'n Munch.

A Poof football left with the charcoal.

A pool noodle hanging from the rafters of Walmart Market.
This will come in handy if the store has a major flood.

Zout Zout let it all out.
These are the things that I dream about.
Or maybe this was named after another song...
You make me wanna Zout kick your heels up and Zout


If you squeeze a lot of joints
this is what you get.

Yoooooo Anthony!
I found something for you.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Vegas Vacation: Fremont Street Experience

The Mob Museum is located two blocks from the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. So, after we had our fill of organized crime's fascinating history, we walked over to check out Fremont Street.

That area is an interesting mix of old school, fascinating characters, music entertainment, and even a zip line that goes over the crowd.

Walking from the Mob Museum to the Fremont Street Experience.
That's Anthony, Lily and Brandon in front of me.

This giant slot machine didn't pay giant money.
Sad face.

Walking through the Fremont Street Experience

Elvis impersonator singing on Fremont Street.
Obviously impersonating the fat Elvis.

In the middle of this photo is a woman who was topless (behind the woman with
the blue top) who had taped X's over her nipples and a thong on.
I tried four times to get a photo without someone standing in the way
and I was unsuccessful.
She's probably a school teacher or librarian by day.

Look carefully and you'll see the two people who are ziplining
above the crowd at the Fremont Street Experience.

These two barely clothed people on the left were
offering free spankings.
The two ladies on the right were wrestling over
who was going to get spanked.

Anthony really wanted one of these tall frozen drinks.
Apparently it causes your left hand to be misshapen
when you hold it.

Anthony also got a jello shot.
Suck suck suck suck suck suck

Ten times pay on a quarter machine.
Of course I put it all back into another one because
that's what you do when you're in Vegas.

Lily really wanted to eat at Tony Roma's because they
were offering steak and lobster for $11.99.
We had to wait quite a while for a table in there.
All these drunk people tried to get tables but were
turned away.... the restaurant was very busy.

The blonde woman on the right was horrible.
She actually claimed one of the people with her was having
diabetic issues to try and get ahead of other people waiting for tables.
I overheard her saying that she was lying.
I hope you enjoy the heat of hell you poor excuse for a human.

The $11.99 steak and lobster at Tony Roma's.
This is what Brandon and Lily ordered.

Anthony and I had chicken tenderloins.

Vegas Vacation: The Mob Museum

During our Las Vegas vacation, the four of us piled into the poomobile and made a trip downtown to the Mob Museum. You know.. mob, as in organized crime.

This was one of the highlights of our visit to Vegas. It was Anthony's idea to go (he read about it online I believe) and it was a great idea.

The Mob Museum opened in 2012 and it features history of organized crime in America from the early 1900's mobsters and their activities up to present day including the capture of drug kingpin El Chapo. There are video displays and even a chunk of the wall that was struck by bullets during the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago.

We were there a couple of hours and went through all three floors of the museum.

Ken, Brandon, Lily outside of the Mob Museum in Las Vegas

Ken and Anthony outside of the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.

Brandon and Lily at the Mob Museum

I tried to claim I was 10 & under at the ticket window
to try and get in free.
No dice.

Brandon tried to convince the ticket woman to let us take her photo.
She was having none of it.

Everyone but me went to go pee

"How did it come to this?"
The perp lineup wall at the Mob Museum.

Anthony, Brandon and Lily in front of the perp lineup wall.
They all look guilty to me.

Still guilty.

Mobsters across America

Tools used by officers decades ago

St. Valentine's Day Massacre Wall

Anthony checks out the St. Valentine's Day Massacre Wall

Plenty of bullet holes in the bricks


Brandon tries out the machine gun simulation

Anthony gives the machine gun a go.

I'm in the electric chair, Brandon throws the switch

Do you smell something burning?

Sizzle sizzle sizzle

Mobsters on display

Ticket from the 1919 World Series game that
involved gamblers who conspired with baseball players
to throw the game.

Anthony sticks things into holes at the Mob Museum

Dinner plates representing mobsters from around the country
meeting to discuss their "businesses" including
a plate representing Tucson

Hey, baby.

Early menu from the Flamingo Hotel when it was owned
and/or run by an organized crime syndicate.
Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky were involved in it's construction.
I think our room hadn't been renovated since then.

Somebody's excited to see her.

No it doesn't.

Oh wait, there's more to the sign.
Cheating can ruin a casino's reputation.
I guess it does pay to be straight after all.

Someone put my bank account on the wall.

How they disposed of used casino chips back in the day
to discourage someone from digging them up and
reusing them without paying for them.

Bullet that was shot from the revolver that Jack Ruby used
to shoot Lee Harvey Oswald.
Oswald shot John F. Kennedy.

I need underwear that says this.

"We only kill each other".
Oops, that was a lie.

Chair from the Nevada Gas Chamber.
Anthony wanted to take it home.

Brandon tries out an interactive shooting display

They museum even had a present day display
featuring the escape of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman

The display shows how the tunnel was built under the prison
and how he escaped in Mexico

Anthony checks out the suit from the TV show "Breaking Bad".
He asked the suit to pull his finger.
I don't know what was going on with that.