Sunday, December 31, 2006


We're ticking down the final moments of 2006 and I'm taking time out of my New Year's Eve revelry to report to you. Don't worry -- the Bears-Packers game has little intrigue. You're not keeping me from anything important.

I know this is the time when people, loosened by libations, safely make promises they likely won't remember tomorrow morning anyway. Why the simple act of turning a calendar's page is supposed to turn our lives around, I have no idea. I don't usually go for the whole "New Year's Resolutions" thing.

If asked, I usually tell people that I resolve to quit smoking. I actually used that one on television once when someone thought they would engage in that witty TV anchor banter by asking me what my resolution was. He stared at me for a second, made the realization and finally said, "But you don't smoke."

"No," I told him. "But I'd thought I'd start with an easy one and go from there."

Not this year: I have decided that after a December of overindulgence, next month will be "No Junk January." I like my sweets and I'm going to miss them. But this must be done. I knew that when a colleague at work brought in a tray of holiday cookies and I munched one after another all day. And I'm going out in a blaze of sugar and fat filled glory. So far today I've had two Pop Tarts, one-and-a-half biscuits, a doughnut, a Tasty-Kake cupcake and a heaping bowl of chocolate fudge brownie Edy's ice cream topped with a bag of M&Ms. And it's not even 9 p.m.

I did this once before. In 1993 or 94. I can't remember which year. I do remember that by mid-month, cookies, cakes and ice cream were appearing in my dreams. It was weird. I also remember that I made it, even though my birthday happens in January. I made a cake Febuary 1.

Last year, I decided that I would work out every day in January. I did that too. Once I didn't start the workout until 11:50 p.m. and it didn't last long but it counted. I'm going to try the workout-a-day thing again, too. That's not a huge challenge since I work out 5-7 times most weeks anyway.

There's no particular urgency to get fitter. I'm in good shape now but that upcoming birthday will be my 41st. This might be my last shot at getting a genuine beach body before I go over the hill.

Who's Who?

I got an application to be listed in something called the Cambridge Who's Who ( I've heard of Who's Who but didn't know there were different competing ones. At the bottom of my letter it reads: Cambridge Who's Who is proudly not associated or affiliated with any other Who's Who Publication or Organization.

I'd like to feel flattered, I really would. After all, according to the letter, "Recognition of this kind is an honor shared by thousands of executives and professionals throughout America each year. Inclusion is considered by many as the single highest mark of achievement." Yes, forget about the year-end bonus or those stock options, it's being listed in the Cambridge Who's Who that has made my year!

But my cynical side tells me that the whole thing is designed to collect information about me for mailing and calling lists, including calls to sell me the Cambridge Who's Who publication I should feel so honored to grace.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Don't Mention It

A friend of mine who lives near Washington, D.C. sent me a photo of herself posing with a radio talk show host. Seems the talk show host also hosted a holiday cocktail party and my friend wrangled an invitation.

I didn't recognize her -- the talk show host. I only knew that she was a talk show host because my friend told me she was, though Google confirms it. I've never heard her show, nor have I seen any of the columns or books that my trusty Google research tells me she has written. (Google owns Blogger so it's always good to give the home office a plug.)

I'm not going to mention Ms. (apparently) Famousperson's name because then I'd have to omit the funny part of the story. I will tell you that it's not Ann Coulter. It's not Laura Schlessinger. Nor is it that other noted female talk show host... Alan Colmes.

I reply to my friend with some wisecrack about Ms. Famousperson's wardrobe since she appears to have hosted a cocktail party wearing a T-shirt. Maybe she lost some major market affiliates from her syndication deal and she's had to cut back on the clothes shopping. Or maybe my friend was overdressed for the occasion, wearing a cocktail dress as she was.

My friend and I trade a couple more e-mails until she suggests, after a segue I completely miss, that I should try and that Ms. Famousperson is considering it. BUT, she adds, "Please don't put that on your blog. Thx."

This is funny for any number of reasons. The first being how vastly she overrates the reach of my blog. What a scandal it would be if my whole handful of regular readers would stumble across the fact that an allegedly famous person might resort to using an online dating service!

Second, if I were to reveal that Ms. Famousperson might be looking for love in online places, I'd first have to explain to my throng (if as few as three can constitute a throng) exactly who the renowned person is because you, like me, might not otherwise know that we were dealing with a celebrity here.

Don't you know who I am!

Finally, in order for this story to embarrass Ms. Famousperson, which I presume is my friend's fear, people would have to find it credible. That means I'd have to explain how lowly ole me would have friends pow-wowing with the powerful in Washington, D.C.

What would you think if I wrote here that a friend of mine went to a famous person's house for cocktails -- though not a person so famous that I had actually heard of her, and that during the evening the apparently celebrity hostess divulged to my friend that she was so man-starved that she might stoop to using an online dating site looking for a love match?

You would, obviously and completely understandably, think I was full of crap. But that would be overridden by another thought. Who cares? So, don't worry J, your acquaintance's identity will stay secret here.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sunday Silence

A new blue guitar song not silent and recorded on a Thursday. It would sound much better if I could play more precisely. Then again, if I could play more precisely, I might not be putting my songs up on the Internet for free.

Click here to test audio streaming link for Sunday Silence.

Sunday Silence © 2006 by John McQuiston
(Not that I expect a problem with that!)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Vol. 3, Track 20

This one features different sounding lead and rhythm guitars. I played the bass on my synthesizer. The drums are from my Ape Breaks CD, Volume 3, Track 20. That's where the titles of the tunes come from until I decide to name them something else.

256kb Version:

64kb Version:

Untitled 3Track20_2g ©2006 John McQuiston

Friday, December 01, 2006

Been Busy

It happens. Strange how it works, though. The more I have to write about the less time I have to write it.

Let's see... Got a call from the TV station for which I do the occasional A.M. traffic anchoring. Almost out of the blue. I had dropped off a tape months ago, didn't hear back and forgot about it. Then last Monday I get a voice mail from the station's news director. They have a new position opening for something called a "backpack journalist." This person will shoot his own stories with a camera similar to the one I have and edit them on a laptop computer. He'll be a self contained news gathering crew. Sounds cool if exhausting. The stories I do for the high school sports show I've mentioned I shoot myself and edit on my own computer so the work would not be foreign. Doing it every day would be tough and if the station wants a two-for-the-price-of-one crew I'd only do it if the price were right. I called the ND and we talked for about 25 minutes. He said he'd forward my tape to his chief photographer, under whose aegis I'd also fall, and that the CP would call me. He hasn't. That could mean he's busy or that the station is not interested. Note to self: Work on phone manners.

Got an unusual e-mail from my next door neighbor that read, "This my friend (so-and-so)'s e-mail address. I keep getting messages to hook you two up." I e-mailed the friend and we met at a Borders book store in Tampa Wednesday. It was a mutually safe place to meet either one of us found the other butt-ugly or otherwise repulsive. She wanted to look at some travel books about Italy and the walk through the store got us started in easy conversation. "Do you like this?" "Have you read this author?" "What kind of movies do you watch?" I didn't feel a romantic spark with the young lady (actually 37) but she was pleasant company and I found a the movie Serenity on sale for $7.99 during our stroll. Its writer and director Joss Whedon also created the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show, of which I am a fan. Note to self: Borders (or Barnes and Noble) for a first date. Full of conversation starters.

Got to another story for that high school sports show. A soccer game in St. Pete last night featured two teams that, according to the St. Petersburg Times, featured 24 players from 16 different countries. The coaches gave me smaller numbers when I interviewed them. I should have delved further into what the discrepancy was but the bottom line that there were lots of kids from lots of different places still held up. It was the first time I had interviewed three kids originally from Bosnia. That's a sure-fire fact. Both coaches talked about how the kids from countries where soccer is king had never played organized soccer. In other places, kids play in the street with whatever they can fashion into a ball. All the kids told me their families moved here either for better jobs, to escape political problems or both. Note to self: Devote more thought to interviews before doing them.

Got an e-mail from a long ago TV colleague about the possibility of producing a video documentary for an London-based lobby group trying to raise its profile here in the U.S. This could prove as lucrative as it is interesting. I have since spoken to the head of the U.S. arm of the organization. He watched video clips on my web site and liked them enough to consider me for a job that could take me literally around the world and pay me like a jet-setter. I'd be doing it all -- shooting, writing, editing, narrating, DVD authoring, graphic design and more things I forgot to mention -- so it wouldn't be easy money but it would be worth the effort to earn. Note to self: Find out how to get a passport.

Other than that, I haven't done much. You?