Wednesday, November 07, 2012

2012 Election Post-Mortem

For all the progress this nation has made, there is clearly still more to go. While we can elect an African-American man with a Muslim-sounding name to be president, we are not yet ready for a white Mormon named after a baseball glove.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who Owns Whom?

“I once had a girl,” John Lennon sang in the Beatles classic Norwegian Wood, “or, should I say, she once had me,” thus expressing kinship with anyone who has ever owned a cat.

But you own the cat, don’t you?  You pay to adopt the cat.  You pay for the vet exam and the shots.  You buy food and the cute dish the food goes in as well as the litter box the digested cat food goes in.  You buy toys the cat will ignore because it will prefer to chew your favorite shoes.  You buy a pet bed the cat will ignore because your bed is much more comfortable.  You buy a scratching post the cat will use because you’ll give her a treat before doing her real claw sharpening on your couch.

So, being the superior species that you are, you adapt.  You buy a shoe rack so you can keep those tempting tassels out of the cat’s reach.  You buy small cloth rugs to hang over the sides of the couch to keep the cat from clawing it.  “Cat prevention devices,” you call them.  You accept that the moment you fall into sound sleep, the cat will jump on the bed and crawl across your now wakened body, glad you’re conscious enough to align yourself for her maximum comfort as she settles down for her fourth nap of the day.

And after adopting the cat then adapting your life to the cat you finally realize it.  You don’t own the cat.  She owns you.

What do you get out of the deal?  The cat won’t slather you with loving attention, drooling giddily at the sight of you.  But if you wanted to get up to walk a dog every morning, you would have gotten a golden retriever.  You didn’t want that much trouble.  You’re single and busy and live in a one bedroom apartment that’s plenty roomy for you and your cat but would depress any self-respecting canine as well as the human who had to clean up after it.

It’s not like the cat can’t live without you.  How do you feel guilty about leaving the cat alone in the house when from all indications that’s all the cat wants?  How else can she explore the tops of all the furniture and appliances that you don’t let her climb on when you’re home?  The cat not only doesn’t mind that you go off to work and don’t come home for 12 hours; she actively looks forward to it.  She’s got her own life to live, one that doesn’t involve you, and one that is easier to go about if you’re not there to get in the way.

Then you come home from work and a surprising thing happens.  The cat seems glad to see you.  You pick her up and she purrs and purrs as you hold her.  What do you know?  The cat sees you as more than the guy who fills the food bowl.  You feel needed and useful and loved.  And you don’t have to take her out for a walk in the rain.

Yes, I once had a cat.  Or, should I say, she once had me.

Monday, October 08, 2012

I don't think this will give me a big head

Someone called the station today to ask if this was the weekend we were supposed to turn back our clocks to end Daylight Saving Time. After getting his answer ("no"), the caller changed the subject and told our newscast producer that I was too good for this market and should move on to someplace bigger.

When the producer passed the message on to me, I of course felt flattered. But I could not resist pointing out that the glowing assessment of my talent came from someone who had called a television station because he apparently could not read a calendar.

You can assess my talent yourself, if you wish. Here's an excerpt of one of tonight's newscasts.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Baby Born at Baseball Stadium

Hardly hard news here, but I liked this story, and its telling. Yes, I am biased.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Remember When E-Mail Had a Hyphen?

I checked my hotmail account tonight thinking back when I once logged in with anticipation that someone had sent me a letter. But e-mail is so late 20th century. No one does that any more. Even I don't pollute peoples' in-boxes with missives the way I once did. Now I type a few sentences on Facebook and consider it done. Sad.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I'll bury me in envy.
I'll sow the silly seeds.
They'll spring a thing of beauty.
And I'll not know what it means.
It'll be loud inside my head.
I'll shake as chaos clings.
I'll be almost free.
And I'll wake as echoes ring.

Or maybe I'll just set my alarm.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

From the Archives

In my first job, for WMDT-TV in Salisbury, Maryland, we covered the NASCAR races in Dover, Delaware. You know this is from early in my career because you can still hear my "announcer's voice" in the narration. Oh, and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. won the race long before anyone had to distinguish between father and son.

Friday, June 08, 2012

I might have to wax my knuckles

I have not evolved as much as I thought if changing my car's air filter myself makes me feel so male. I went to get my car's oil changed yesterday, where they can't content themselves with that. The oil change place doesn't make money from changing oil for $18.99.

It makes money from pulling out your air filter, showing you how filthy it is, telling how much fuel mileage it costs you, and offering to install a new one for $29.99*. I declined.

I've changed air filters before. Not on this car but it can't be that complicated. So I go to an auto parts store, buy one for $14.99, and install it myself. Had I remembered that it would feel so satisying, I would not have waited 94,000 miles to do it.

Now, to the gym, where much grunting will ensue, then home to eat a raw steak with my bare hands and watch the Bourne trilogy.

*It also makes money from adding a dubious "shop fee" that makes the $18.99 oil change cost $23.51.

Blu-Ray Blues

I like my Blu-Ray player, I really do. It has Wi-Fi, Netflix, Pandora, YouTube and produces fantastic 1080p HD images with more detailed resolution than my eyes can see. But one thing I miss about my old DVD player was that it knew its job. I put a disc in it and it said, "I'm gonna play a DVD." Now I put a Blu-Ray in and the player asks if I want to go on the Internet.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Jackson Guitar For Sale - $299

Beautiful guitar that sounds as great as it looks. I'm selling only because it suits styles that I don't play much. This Jackson gives you speed, sound and high performance in a model that plays smooth and easy. It features two high-output Jackson humbucking pickups, reverse headstock, jumbo frets, and licensed Floyd Rose double locking tremolo system.

Here is a tune I recorded when I first got the guitar:

I simply haven't played it since then. It's in mint condition and includes brand new strings.

The tremolo system combined with the way the fingerboard flattens out as you climb the neck makes it perfect for effortless warp-speed shredding and super-wide string bends. The high-output Jackson pickups give you a full, rich tone while providing maximum overdrive and sustain. They also clean up nicely when rolled back, which isn't always true of high-output pickups.

The price is firm. Email me at if you're interested.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

John Strums Again

For more than a month the brace to hold my surgically-repaired arm in place impeded many activities, including normal guitar playing. When I improved to the point I could play at all, I still could strum only by waving my thumb across the strings.

In small doses, my arm could tolerate finger picking.

This week, the brace finally came off. Strumming still stresses my arm, but I can hold a pick and do it for short durations. As an added bonus for you, playing using a pick makes the guitar much louder than when strumming with the thumb. This helps drown out the vocals on this song still incomplete.

Photos by Melissa Matisko using Pancho's camera.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dear Kitty

We will agree that it's OK for you to lick water out of the toilet, provided that we also agree that it's NOT OK for you to lick food off of my plate.

I realize that cats don't agree to things. They don't negotiate. So let's call this a declaration.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Yet Cans of Tuna Get Smaller

CDC The New (Ab)normal

In case that's hard to read, it says that the average restaurant meal is four times larger now than it was in the 1950s. And, adults are, on average 26 pounds heavier.

You wanna supersize that?

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Overheard Inside My Head

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me five or six times and I will start to catch on.

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.

Sunday, May 06, 2012


My stat counter tells me that someone found this blog by Google searching "sarasota abc 7 whats wrong with john mcquiston's right arm." So I should tell you what happened that led to me having to wear this contraption on the aforementioned appendage.

I was mauled by a bear while saving a small child from its clutches.

You're right: not really. But it's much more exciting than what really happened, which is a chronic injury to a biceps tendon that gave way one day and required surgery to fix.

But if anyone asks, do me a favor, will you? Tell them the bear story. I always wanted to be a hero.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Overheard Inside My Head

If you followed me on Twitter, you'd get stuff like this in smaller doses.

Time goes faster yet the weeks still grow longer.

If you're going to be stereotyped because of looks, better it be because you're beautiful rather than because you're ugly.

Friend: "If I were on Twitter I would have tweeted that."

Whew. House guest gone. It's safe to drink straight from the milk carton.

Most things aren't meant to be, they're made to be.

Cautious optimism: Buying condoms, but keeping the receipt.

Another, er, benefit of cat ownership: You learn how to clean carpets of all varieties of messes.

Stick out your chin. It will look like you have fewer of them.

Every few months I eat a cheeseburger and fries just to remind myself why it's a bad idea.

Wow. It must be a special occasion. I washed my feet. But not too much. I didn't want to look like I was trying.

I am trying to decide which is worse: That people write "OMG!" to express surprise. Or that now they actually say "O-M-G!" out loud.

That's true. You don't know me well. And as long as it stays that way, you might still like me.

There is no way to explain the purpose of push-ups to a cat.

If no reply is written, that is an answer by itself.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

You can't what?

This girl plays piano pretty well for someone who has only played for three years. Oh, and she doesn't have any fingers on her right hand.

Interestingly, my piano playing often sounds like the work of someone with no fingers.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thought of the Day

Nearly twenty years has passed since I last drank alcohol. I didn't have a problem with it. I just decided that I was going to find more inventive ways to screw up my life.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

Out of Context Comment to a Friend

If you can't live up to the dreams you had when you were young, dream new ones. Worrying about what coulda or shoulda been can do nothing but bring you down. My life hasn't turned out as I'd planned, either. But I'm not finished yet. Neither are you. Maybe we can't be what we once wanted. But we can still decide to be what we want now.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


At the doctor's office the other day, his assistant is going down a list of maladies asking if I have ever had them. "Depression?" She asks.

Just for fun, I almost said, "Depression? No more than anyone else whose life stinks." But I had a day at the DMV ahead of me and I didn't want to have to talk myself out of a psych ward to get there.

Speaking of the DMV, the reason drivers licence photos look so terrible is not the web-cam-quality lens, the terrible lighting, or that they have you stand nearly flush against the background. It's that the DMV experience sucks the life out of you, and the hollow shell that remains is what they immortalize on the document that most identifies you to the world.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Job

A friend saw me doing a live shot yesterday and posted on my Facebook page that I had an interesting job. I liked my reply, so I share it here.

"The job is rarely the same day twice and I love that it is a license to learn. I often feel like I'm walking into the unknown, with the stresses and frights that come with it, and the rewards that come when I can find my way out of the dark."