Thursday, December 18, 2014

Prepare for the Best

A photo posted by @photoquist on

"Expect the best. Prepare for the worst," the saying goes. Prepare for the best, too. You'd hate not to be ready if it happened.

Oh, and follow me on Instagram: @PhotoQuist.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Flying Drones

First thing: This is not journalism, I know. This is a marketing video, and it's a lot of what I do now. The cool thing for me*, as you'll see in this video, is that I get my hands on some really cool gadgets and get to try them out.

*Also, they pay me.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Anchor of the Year? Update: Not Quite

Looking back at previous posts, I see that I mentioned that I was a finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists Florida Anchor of the Year. And I left you hanging.

Now I have this to hang. The award ceremony happened in Miami last month, and I finished runner-up. Second place for the second year in a row. I obviously would have preferred to finish first, but second place in the whole state is not bad for a weekend guy at a small market station. It will have to do. I have likely anchored my last TV newscast. If so, I feel proud of the work I did, and glad to see it recognized as good.

Even if not quite as good as I'd hoped!

Here is the entry I submitted:

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Hello Again!

Hello faithful readers, from your far less than faithful correspondent. I cannot explain my absence, though not having anything interesting to say could explain some of it.

(Good rule of thumb: when you have nothing to say, don't say it!)

But I saw on Facebook, that vast wasteland of status updates thumbed on phones and viral animal videos, that a friend of mine had earned an award nomination for her blog.

But first, because I know this might be a long time away from Facebook, here's a viral animal video:

Now back to our programming. Here's the link to the blog award finalists: Back in the day, I would have made a hyperlink so you wouldn't have to see the URL. Of course, back then, I could remember what URL stood for.

Turns out I should have spent more time typing in this space more often. My friend's name is Des Miller and her blog (again with the lack of hyperlink, sorry: actually makes her money. This is a wonderful but alien concept to me since my online scribblings have only made me trouble.

And she's not the only one. One of the other finalists, Carter Gaddis, is a former sportswriter for the Tampa Tribune who interviewed me when I got my job at WFLA-TV in Tampa. Forgive him if he does not remember me, for the occasion stood out far more to me than to him. I was so thrilled to get a mention in the newspaper without having to get arrested! Plus, it was in 1997, which at last count was 17 years ago.

Not that I do count these things, but I was much younger then. I'm not saying I'm old, but when asked my age, not only do I not like to reveal it, it takes me a while even to remember the number.

Old being relative. A former colleague of mine at WWSB-TV named Linda Carson was 75 when she signed a new contract with the station earlier this year. When (though at that age you must allow for the possibility of an "if") she finishes it, she will be one month shy of 79. And, knowing her, ready to sign another contract.

I'm nowhere near that age. I just feel like it sometimes when my knee sounds like Rice Crispies popping in freshly poured milk as I hobble up the stairs.

But where was I? Oh, yes. People making money from blogging. Pretty cool. They do have to put disclaimers on many of the posts about the free stuff, or free trips, or other payment or consideration for writing about them, while the only disclaimer I put here is that nobody would possibly pay for this mess of caffeine-fueled stream of consciousness.

I should probably mention for that one person who actually does follow this blog that I have found gainful employment again, in addition to my personal documentary business (at, though I better check the definition of gainful, because if it means making a lot of money, well...

Yeah, so it's like a lot of my jobs in TV news were.  This one is not in TV news but is a job that involves writing and appearing on camera. It's not secret, but if I say no more about it, maybe I won't cause myself any trouble!

You know what that means if I start to write more often here: lots of cat stories!

You can't wait, can you?

Don't answer that. I was just beginning to feel good about this.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Song in Progress

I have some lyrics that I wrote a long time ago that might fit with this one, but I'm not sure yet. It will take some re-working, both for the words and the music, for them to go together well. And the music itself is not finished, but it's a different kind of sound than I usually do.

"No Words":

Here are some other recent recordings:



"Better Day":

Friday, May 30, 2014

No Arms, No Problem for Table Tennis Player

How do you play ping pong without hands to hold a paddle? This is how:

Video from ITTF Channel.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Anchor of the Year?

The Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has released the list of finalists for its annual Sunshine State Awards. I am one of two up for its "Anchor of the Year" award for my work with WWSB in Sarasota. In the whole state of Florida! See the list here.

Here is the entry I submitted:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Penn and Teller on Vaccinations

I am not a doctor. Or an epidemiologist. Or a health professional of any other kind. But I have interviewed them, and they worry about the increasing number of people who don't get their kids vaccinated. Warnings stirred up and spread online have erroneously blamed vaccines for causing problems, most notably autism. No study has ever shown such a tie.

What health professionals have told me as that people fear the vaccine when they need to fear the disease. Some, which vaccines had virtually wiped out in the U.S., have made a comeback thanks to parents failing to get their children their shots.

None of my stories on the topic explained it as well as the first 90 seconds of this video from Penn & Teller. As you can tell from its title, it includes adult language, but it's language that apparently more adults need to hear.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

NBA Team Owner: Don't Bring Black People to Games

The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers tells his girlfriend not to bring black people to his team's games in a phone call caught on tape. Donald Sterling's Clippers have a roster comprised mostly of African American players, a black coach, and — as his unnamed possibly soon to be ex-girlfriend points out — she's half black herself.

TMZ acquired a recording of the call. This can't possibly cause any problems for Sterling, his team, or the NBA, can it?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Superhero in Gray T-Shirt

A 65-year-old man faces armed robbery charges after a witness took him down and held him until police arrived.

Sarasota Police say Freddie F. Johnson walked into a CVS store planning to rob it of prescription drugs Sunday. He thought to cover his head to avoid showing his face to the drugstore's security camera, but he failed to account for the man who foiled his crime. Watch:

Police did not name the superhero in the gray T-shirt. Video provided by Sarasota Police.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bulldog Argues over Bedtime

A little cuteness to end the week. You have seen similar exchanges between parents and young children. Here's one between a "mommy" and her French bulldog puppy.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

New Song: "Wanted"

I had started to write a an explanation of my recording process, but since I don't know what I'm doing, it would not only bore you, it wouldn't offer any real insight into music recording.

I will tell you that these songs begin with me singing along as I strum or pick my acoustic guitar, and from there I try to figure out how to arrange them. That is, what the song should sound like, and what instruments to use to get that sound, subject as always to the limits of my singing and playing.

Here is "Wanted":

Here are two other recent recordings:


"Better Day":

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Back on Instagram

I have returned to Instagram. Find me at "photoquist." I had deleted all my photos from the service after it had announced in 2012, I think, that it would let commercial advertisers use people's photos, presumably for a fee that it would not share with the user. It backed off that idea in the face of a massive backlash, but I had enough concerns to stop using it then.

With no new horror stories lately, I dip my toe back in the water, if only sharing web-sized photos for now.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


I wrote this last year playing my acoustic guitar, and have played electric versions of it jamming with friends. This is my first stab at recording it. The drums are loops. I played the rest: guitars, bass on my synthesizer, and a synth string. Oh, and I sing again. I should have warned you about that sooner. Sorry.

In case you missed my other recent recording effort, here is "Better Day."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Better Day

This is a song I recorded recently at home. It gives me a chance to test some (caution: web geek jargon ahead) new HTML5 code that will play music and video on websites like this one without Adobe Flash, which won't work on my phone, and apparently many devices, including Apple products. Owning no Apple products, I can't say that last part for sure.

Anyway, here's the tune, on which I sing (you have been warned), play lead and rhythm guitar, and bass on my 25-year-old, 8-note polyphonic synthesizer, add drums using loops, and mix the whole mess together with a free program called Sony Acid Express. (Get your free copy at

Let's hope it works, especially after all that preamble.

Update: It works! I got the code from, in case you seek an free and easy way to embed MP3 (audio) and MP4 (video) files into web pages and blog posts.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bulldog Puppy Rolls Down Hill

We all find our own ways to amuse ourselves. You wonder if the puppy gets dizzy doing this and, if so, does she like it?

Monday, March 03, 2014

Bruce Springsteen plays Lorde's "Royals"

Bruce Springsteen opened a concert in New Zealand Saturday with a cover of Kiwi teen sensation Lorde's hit "Royals." He did change the lyric, "you can call me queen be" to "king bee." Never mind that there's no such thing. When you're the Boss, you can take such poetic license.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

I Will Not Watch the Sochi Olympics

Russia apparently hates gay people. This makes it more funny that the Russians paid money to host the winter Olympics, which includes a competition in which two men, in skin-tight suits, lie one on top of the other as they sled down the ice.

Oh, but they're just good friends.

The two-man luge is a real Olympic event. But Russia's homophobia did not turn me off of the Olympics by itself. If Billie Jean King and Elton John will go to Sochi, I can't feel too much guilt for watching its games on TV.

But add this: The Russian government hired a pest control company to kill stray dogs on Sochi streets ahead of the Olympics, many by poisoning. They are poisoned humanely, the exterminator's manager says.

I won't support that, or an Olympics that happens in such a barbaric place. 

I've heard people say that we should watch our athletes regardless of the politics. They don't need our support now. At the games, they live in a bubble. If I don't watch the U.S. women's hockey team on NBC, the players will never know.

Don't mistake unwillingness to watch for lack of support for the athletes. I want the U.S. to win gold in every event in which it competes honorably. They will still get their medals, and the endorsement gold that follows. I will happily buy the cereal on whose box their golden smiles appear. But if we just nod our heads and cheer and chant as injustice and cruelty surround the games, we make it possible for them to continue.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

So What if the Red Hot Chili Peppers mimed at the Super Bowl?

I don't care that the Red Hot Chili Peppers faked playing their instruments during the Super Bowl halftime show. As long as they've played, does anyone doubt that they know how to play their instruments, and can play their songs live?

I don't.

It's the Ashlee Simpsons, Ke$has, and other autotuned divas of the pop music world who bother me, because I don't know if they have ever sung their songs, even when they, or someone, recorded them.

I have no problem with the RHCP's explanation that, for this one extraordinary event, they gave in to the NFL's demand that they mime over a backing track.

When you remember the 43-8 final score, you can't even call the band the biggest fakes on the field that day.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Searches Continue

The searches continue.

What happened to john mcquiston on wwsb

did john mcquiston leave abc in sarasota

john McQuiston Channel 7 Sarasota

where is john mcquiston as weekend anchor abc

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Search engine queries leading people to my website ( all concern my departure last month from WWSB-TV in Sarasota, where I had anchored the news and sports on weekends. The interest has floored me, as have the numerous emails from people asking where I have gone. The correspondents have uniformly praised my work on the air, and expressed disappointment at its absence from their televisions.

It feels good to be missed!

I have replied to every one of them, and explained that I have devoted myself to freelance work and my own video production company, including a plug for its Facebook page. I spare them complaints about the stress of my former job and the boss who greatly contributed unnecessarily to said stress. That doesn't matter. I decided to leave, and now I look forward to what comes next.

Meantime, I have more time to blog!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Canadian Offended by Association with Cold Weather

This did not come to my station, but to one where a friend works, and it is the kind if thing people write to TV stations all the time.
Sir/Madam: There is nothing that annoys Canadians more when they tune in to see the weather in the morning and plan their day than your weather reporters telling us about the Cold Winds From Canada thus blaming us and annoying us totally.
If they new their weather, the cold comes from Siberia and passes over Canada. Why don't you blame the Russians ??? Why can't you say winds from the north which are sometimes comes from your own Rockies ??? 
You are annoying Canadians who are contributing Millions of Dollars to your economy ---- which you badly need. We will tune in to a different station and support the products they are advertising should you continue to blame Canada ---- your biggest contributors to your economy. Ask your advertisers how that sits with them. 
We do not need to be annoyed to start our day. F.Y.I. --- I am one of the people who you interviewed about the International Drivers License Fiasco. I speak for many, many Canadians. May I have a response ???
You read that right. The person is apparently a Canadian angry to see his or her country associated with cold weather.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Eventually, someone will ask Google, "Why John McQuiston left WWSB in Sarasota?" So I'll try to explain, if only because you know that the absence of facts never stops someone from telling a story.

I resigned. In an email to station management I wrote, "I appreciate the opportunity to serve the station and its viewers. I tried to do work with which everyone there could feel proud to be associated."

All true. I don't know if my now former colleagues felt proud or not, but I did snag two Emmy nominations in the last two years for a station that had not even mustered an entry for the better part of a decade, according to the administrator for the NATAS Suncoast Region. When I called needing help with my submission in 2012, she could not remember the last time someone from WWSB had entered.

Why resign? In short, I felt overworked, underappreciated, and underpaid; and I ran out of gas. There's a longer answer, but it exhausts me just thinking about trying to write it, and I'm sure it would come off as whiny. Maybe later.

I have some plans already, including devoting myself again to my too-long-ignored video production business. (If you know someone who needs a story told in video, please send them to! If you care to, you can support it by liking its Facebook page.

Here is what turned out to be my last moments on the WWSB anchor desk, a week ago Sunday.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

ARod: Don't Tell Me It Was Mistake

An arbiter basically sided with Major League Baseball and reduced Alex Rodriguez's drug suspension from 211 to a one full season of 162 games.

So far A-Rod's team still seems in denial, with vows to challenge the ruling. But, someday, it will happen. Just like other baseball cheats like Ryan Braun, maybe on Oprah's couch, Rodriguez will admit to "mistakes" and apologize.

Is he really sorry? Are any of them? You know the apology I'd like to hear? The honest one:

"I'm sorry I got caught, but that's it. Why did I take performance-enhancing drugs? Because they helped me become far better than I could ever have gotten otherwise, and because they helped me sign TWO contracts  worth more than $200 million. Yeah, my stats are tainted, but the numbers that matter are the dollars. They're still real, and I can still spend them. So, excuse me. I have to fly my private jet back to my South Beach mansion, where I will have to decide which of my 27 exotic cars I want to drive today, and which of the 26 exotic dancers I want to ride in it with me."