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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Not such a Black Friday after all

Posted on November 30, 2010 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (1)

While Black Friday is the end-all, be-all shopping day for nearly every major retailer in the Western world, it is a total non-event for us at Custom Theater. The idea of selling things at or below cost to bring people into the door on the hopes that they might also pick up a cable or a remote or even just have a loose $5 bill accidentally fall out of their wallet while they paying is not a selling strategy that works for us.  I’d also venture to guess that this isn&...

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Power Selling Strategy: "This is what I own"

Posted on November 29, 2010 at 5:52 PM Comments comments (0)

Back before I boarded this leg of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and became a custom installer, I was a golf professional. (There is definitely a correlation here beyond just a tra-la-la stroll down memory lane...stick with it!) I worked at a couple of public courses before landing at a very private club in the Bay Area for about five years, and that’s where I learned about the selling power of, “Well, this is what I own...”


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I've got the power! (Pure Blue energy...)

Posted on November 28, 2010 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (1)

A few weeks ago I reviewed Panamax’s new BlueBOLT enabled surge protector for Jeremy G at Resi. (Here’s a link to my review so you can read the whole thing if you like. Go ahead; I’ll be here when you get back. That’s how I do.)


Now surge protec...

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Food, glorious food!

Posted on November 27, 2010 at 4:28 PM Comments comments (2)

Food is on a lot of people’s minds this time of year. Nearly every TV show or commercial or billboard seems to feature some image of a giant, golden, crackly-skinned turkey carcass heaped onto a table overloaded beyond capacity; straining under the weight of fixins enough to feed 20, but consumed by a family of 6. This eats-all-you-can-stands-til-you-can’t-stands-no-more gluttony amnesty has brought us a world where the “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe he...

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Blu Friday

Posted on November 27, 2010 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Occasionally manufacturers will run promotions where they give you some extra money – called a “spiff” – if you sell one of their products. Maybe there are too many in the warehouse, maybe they need a loss for their year-end returns, maybe they are just concerned that with their crazy, Ponzi-pricing schemes that all of us TV sale...

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FM Radio: What have you done to me?!

Posted on November 23, 2010 at 4:19 PM Comments comments (2)

I’m driving down the road the other day in our work van which means that I’m isolated from my-Pod and forced to listen to the Caravan’s terrestrial FM tuner. Now, in Myrtle Beach this is a special kind of hell reserved for only the lowest forms of weeping and open-sored miscreants.


Since it seems that every other station is either telling me to store up my canned goods and potted meats and hunker ...

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Posted on November 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

“So, John, how was your weekend?” you ask. Well, brother, if you think you’re gonna get a simple “Oh, fine. It was just fine,” then you’ve come to the wrong blog!


I spent my weekend hunched down behind my A/V equipment rack, playing that game that all A/V enthusiasts know and love so well called “Out with the old and in with the new.” I have received some sweet oh-so-s...

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Getting Net-Flixed Off!

Posted on November 22, 2010 at 7:42 PM Comments comments (2)

As Netflix subscribers go, I think I am about as loyal as possible. When I moved to Myrtle Beach from the Bay Area back in march of 1998, DVDs were just starting to come of age. I remember when I bought my player, it was one of like 4 models available and there were 10 titles out. When we moved to Myrtle, there were no stores renting Laser Discs (the primary videophile format at the time) let alone DVDs. So when I discovered Netflix, I think within about a month of them opening...

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It's 3:00 AM. Do you know how your DVR is?

Posted on November 22, 2010 at 5:42 PM Comments comments (1)

The phones at our store seem to have two modes: constant, incessant, line one-two tag-team ringing where both lines compete for the title of “First to make John go insane!” and dead silent. To keep the insanity at bay for as long as possible, I let our salesperson grab the phone and handle any calls that don’t require John-level attention. But there are certain keywords that come up in a conversation that trigger me into action and that get immediately ro...

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Rewarded for being the Nice Guy

Posted on November 20, 2010 at 2:54 PM Comments comments (0)

Granted, "Nice Guy" is not generally a phrase that is employed when speaking about The Sciacca. I mean, I *try* to be nice, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Because after you’ve spent an entire day/week/month of having your soul rubbed mercilessly against a washboard and then repeatedly beaten against a creek rock like an Amish woman trying to clean Jebediah’s stained field under pants from repeating the SAME questions on the phone over and o...

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Sooloos walks up to Kaleidescape in a bar...

Posted on November 19, 2010 at 2:57 PM Comments comments (0)

A Meridian Sooloos music server walks into a bar. He’s wearing an exquisitely constructed, bespoke Savile Row suit and John Lobb oxfords. He strolls up to the bar with a jaunty gait and plops down next to a Kaleidescape wearing Roberto Cavalli jeans and a Ralph Lauren Purple Label sweater sipping an elit Stoli martini served viciously dry with a trio of skewered bleu-cheese stuffed olives.


“Hello, K. Goo...

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Instant Author...Just add money!

Posted on November 17, 2010 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Traded some e-mails with my high school English/journalism teacher recently. (I must halt the narrative for a moment here to inject that when you read the title “high school journalism teacher” you are likely thinking of an older, powdery-haired, bespectacled woman that sits regally at a desk sipping herbal tea, while quietly making notes on papers with a red pen and smelling like pressed flowers. That’s YOUR high school teacher. Mine was different. Jod...

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Be you. Just more...Glasseser

Posted on November 17, 2010 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (2)

It’s not every day that you get to be called someone’s “writer hero.” (I’ve not even managed to pull down that kind of a compliment from Lauryn; though I think I am her hero whenever I resolve any kind of non-TV-working situation. Especially if there is an imminent Dino Dan or Wubbzy involved.) It happens even less frequently that you find yourself placed in the same sentence alongside Papa Hemingway. (And, perhaps more importantly, not a sentence ...

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Give thanks to Sciacca-nidas and the brave 300! TO BLOGGERY!

Posted on November 14, 2010 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (2)

This post – this ONE; the one you’re reading right here -- is my 300th. Which I figured was milestone enough to, well, at least mention. And then make a blog of it.

And since several of you – principally my dad who never misses an opportunity to comment about my stories being long, WAY too long; some guy named Ted who wrote that I write “an oftentimes long-winded blog"; Jeremy G,...

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Patience, my young Padawan. Patience!

Posted on November 14, 2010 at 10:46 AM Comments comments (1)

Festivus-Chrisma-Chanu-Kwanz-tacular day came early this year, at least to the Sciacca house. When we came home from a day of out-and-abouting last week, there was a little care package sitting on my front porch. Well, one little care package and two not-so-little ones. And instead of care they were filled with Kaleidescape system arrived! With them getting ready to release some new hardware, (Disc Vaults in the Modular and Integrated variety) I’ve managed to...

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Paging Dr. Dick! Dr. Dick to billing, please!

Posted on November 13, 2010 at 2:02 PM Comments comments (0)

You know what irks me? Well, if you’ve been reading this for any amount of time you know that there are actually lots of things that irk me. But want to know what *really* irks me? Like some kind of nuclear powered irking machine, somehow capable of cranking out irk at 110% levels for a 100-year duty cycle until the irking rods are so corroded with angst, vitriol and bile that they have to be buried deep inside of a solid granite mountain for the next 100,000 years...

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Polo raises awesome to the 4th D!

Posted on November 13, 2010 at 11:51 AM Comments comments (0)

I’ll admit... I’m a Polo Ralph Lauren fan boy. Like big time. And if you thought that it was just a happy irony that Lauryn is named Lauryn, well, sorry to spoil it for you. (Also, the inspiration for her middle name was a Mont Blanc pen slogan.)  It’s also not an exaggeration to say that like 75% of my clothing (if not more) is Polo Ralph Lauren. When I was a golf professional, I had a personal contact at Polo Golf named Karen that I would call to...

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Networks to Google TV: We will destroy you!

Posted on November 12, 2010 at 1:51 PM Comments comments (0)

So, I just finished my review of the Sony Google TV device. My story has been written, it has been edited and then re-edited and returned and the hardware has been repacked into its nice white box, a

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He shall be flogged with his own cable!

Posted on November 12, 2010 at 9:58 AM Comments comments (1)

If you’re like me – and, well, if you are, then I can truly empathize with the difficulty which has been your life; we’re a tortured, often misunderstood genius, but hang in there, little kitten! – and you work at a custom install company, then your install company has a “Wall of Shame;" a wall that houses some of the nightmare work that you’ve pulled out of projects when you go in behind another “expert.”

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Mr. John! I needs mo power!

Posted on November 10, 2010 at 12:52 PM Comments comments (0)

OK. Maybe they need to convene an ecumenical council or something, but I am DONE trying to convince Mr. Cooper not to buy things. So when he called yesterday and said that it was time, I knew what he meant. It was time to buy *another* $1000 power cable. And you know what? The only thing I asked was how long (1 meter) and whether he wanted it next-day delivery or regular. (Next day, of course.)


Yes, I will fully co...

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