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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Mouthdeep in Hops - Four IPAs With a Brother

Posted on December 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (26)

My brother, Adam, is a triple-threat, perfect storm when it comes to helping-a-brother-out and providing beer. 1) He’s incredibly generous, 2) He loves huge, crazy-hopped IPAs, and 3) He lives just outside the San Francisco Bay Area which is home to some of the greatest microbrewers on the planet, giving him regular access to some of the finest beers on the planet. (How’d you like to just stroll into the store any day and pick up Pliny the Elde...

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Are you advertising to the right people?

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

What do Budweiser, Coke, Omaha Steaks, Indochino, and Rolex have in common?

Well, friend, I’m gonna tell you.

These are all companies that advertise, somewhat frequently. And between them, they represent the five basic consumer responses to advertising.

Let's explore the companies and their basic advertising strategies and see how it affects me, the gu...

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Be the Mariano Rivera of Black Friday

Posted on November 26, 2012 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Mariano Rivera is considered by some* to be the greatest relief pitcher – or “closer” – the game of baseball has ever known.

(* I’m sure this will infuriate some non-Yankees fans who will readily offer all the reasons why someone else is better, so I offer this and

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Exclusive First Look! Marantz AV-8801/MM-8077

Posted on November 24, 2012 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (43)

I’ve been a fan of Marantz products for a while now for two big reasons.

One: The stuff has great sound and build quality and hits that sweet spot between middling receiver performance and the truly insane gear found at the high-end. (I’m looking at you, Meridian, Krell, Lexicon, ADA and Theta!)

Two: Kevin Zarow – VP of sales at D&M (Marantz, Denon and B...

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Are You Selling Duck Fat Fries?

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (2)

“Don’t Sell the Steak — Sell the Sizzle!” Tested Sentences That Sell, Elmer Wheeler (1937)

True story: Several years ago I was in Vegas attending CES and was out to dinner at a fancy steakhouse. When the waiter came around to take our order he asked if anyone at the table would care to try an appetizer. “Perhaps our duck fat fries?”

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Dirac: The Best Free Audio App You've Never Heard

Posted on November 18, 2012 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (2)

Typically I would say that if you’ve purchased an iOS device – Pod, Phone, or Pad – the first thing you should do to improve your music listening experience should be this: Take the free, white, pack-in headphones and carefully unwrap them from their packaging. Admire them for a moment – so white and gleaming! – and say a quick word of thanks to Jobs and gang for including a complete, ready-to-listen, user experience right out of the box. And then&...

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Kaleidescape App: Re-Rediscover your movie collection!

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (2)

How many times has this happened to you…

You’re over at someone’s house, say, babysitting their kids. You start browsing through their movie collection looking for something to entertain the little youngins. As you are flipping through the titles you spot an interesting sounding film. You think to yourself, “Hmm. This is the fourth movie in the series; that must mean that the first three were also good, so chances...

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Bless me Father, for I have beered!

Posted on November 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Without a doubt, big, fresh, juicy, hop-filled IPAs are my beer of choice. The zing of the fresh pine and citrus juice that nearly puckers your mouth followed the lingering finish of bitterness… When done right, it is difficult to surpass the flavors of a great (Double/Imperial) IPA in my book.

But there are a lot of other beer styles out there, and for this tasting I rounded-up five different Trappist and Bel...

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Scammed?! Not on my watch!

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Long time readers may recall our rather unceremonious parting of the ways with They Who Shall Not Be Named. Well, part of the fall-out of said ways parting was that we were left with quite a bit of inventory for which we were no longer a dealer. We’ve decided to get proactive in trying to clear out this old gear and have been advertising it on ...

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How jacked-up is your back-up?

Posted on November 5, 2012 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

There are always lessons that can be learned from any disaster. Things like making sure that the drawer full of flashlight and radio batteries isn’t filled with batteries that have long-since been dead. Or that the “emergency candles” were replaced after that maybe-not-such-an-emergency-in-retrospect romantic candlelit bathtub session...

But after the immediate danger from the disaster has passed an...

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