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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Now! That is the right time

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

My mom gave me a gift subscription to Wine Spectator a few months ago, and while it would be lying to say that I read every word on every page, I do try I flip through and keep up with the latest, greatest super-cab finds under $10 or the wine futures coming out of Bordeaux or those heated discussions on terroir. This issue has a ton of pages dedicated to single malt scotch, a new area of potent potables I’m starting to discover. (I fear a giant tangent coming up here. Ye...

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Despicable Tech

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 2:46 PM Comments comments (3)

I’ve mentioned before my fascination with A/V product placement in movies and TV shows. Generally some kind of A/V gear makes up the set dressing and can help to flesh out the lifestyle of a character. For instance, the movie “Dinner for Schmucks” had several shots of a Meridian speaker and audio system in the lux townh...

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My secret to find the perfect employee

Posted on January 29, 2011 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Not you. Not you.’re hired!

Employees. I’ve got ‘em, you’ve got ‘em. And while you may sometimes feel like you can’t live with ‘em, a successful company definitely can’t live without ‘em. (At least until the day that Cyberdyne Systems finally delivers on the cyborg promise. Of course, then you may have some wrongful termination suits of a differen...

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Yeah, I'll, uh, shut up now.

Posted on January 27, 2011 at 5:44 PM Comments comments (1)

Minutes after opening the store today, I get a phone call. It is the helper/lackey/errand boy for this wealthy older gentleman. (I’m not implying any kind of “The Special Relationship” thing going on here. And not “Special” in the Tony Blair, GW Bush kind of “Special” either; What I'm not talking about is the OTHER kind of “Special.” But, no, I’m not implying that...nothing special. Special-special or regular sp...

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Il Sciacca, gli Gran Quotidorre!

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I was on a job spec’ing, proposal generating, and system quoting terror today! Bang, bang and ka-bang! Three jobs visited, three proposals generated and – hopefully – three more jobs locked down and queued up.


Job 1: Guy bought a house from the bank in a distressed sale and his message on the answersing machine said he wanted to have his home theater finished. Apparently the bu...

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Got no turntables and a microphone. A SWEET Audyssey microphone.

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 6:17 PM Comments comments (0)

I think we are genetically hardwired to react strongly to certain things. For instance, it is virtually impossible for any city dweller to travel to any elevation 25% or more greater than what they are accustomed and then not make several broad and all encompassing statements and rhetorical solicitations akin to, “Man! The air up here! Right? Do you smell that air?” Also, you can be in the deepest, most wonderful REM sleep, dreaming of sailing down chocolate rivers ...

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3D: I STILL pretty much hate you!

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM Comments comments (5)

 One of my first posts here was titled “3D: I kind of already hate you.” Disenchanted by the overwhelming marketing hype that was cramming this new technology down our throats with a giant, splinterey, 3D battering ram – even though 3D sets hadn’t even ...

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You want me to ask them...WHAT?!

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (3)

First off, let me say that Jeremy Burkhardt is insanely successful. He’s been a custom installer, risen to the ranks of President of SpeakerCraft, one of the largest and most successful audio distribution companies around, sits on all kinds of CEDIA boards, has incredibly business sense, and has an amazing sense and vision for this industry. Also, he puts on the hands-down best press events at CEDIA. Whether that is free iPod giveaways, retro Command and Conquer stylized ...

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Subject: Help !!!

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 11:19 AM Comments comments (0)

Most people would view AOL’s spam filter as a cruel, cruel joke whose sole mission in life is to expose them to all manner of Internet phishery and digital flotsam and jetsam. It’s a filter in the way that a poplin jacket is bullet proof. Or in the way that diet soda really tastes like regular soda. Or in the way that when someone says, "Oh no! It's totally NOT a pyramid scheme! Not at all!" its really not pyramid scheme. Or when a telemarketer says they are ...

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Top 10 List : Best Albums Edition

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM Comments comments (4)

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s well-known quote – well, well-known to anyone who has ever seen an episode of Iron Chef -- "Show me what you eat and I will tell you who you are" might be true. But I think the more modern version of this is, “Show me what’s on your iPod, and I’ll tell you what you’re like.”


Getting a glimpse into someone’s iTunes library is kind of like...

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Blue Cross, Black Heart!

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

My hatred, disdain and general wish-they-would-all-die-in-some-horrible, painful, hopefully some kind of burning/skin melting and blistering pustule is involved, lingering and not covered by their own insurance-disease feelings towards Blue Cross are not new. I’ve written a previous post on the topic, pondering whether my coverage...

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Welcome back! Now...Get to work!

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 11:19 AM Comments comments (1)

Due to a family funeral, I was unexpectedly away from work for an entire week. And after traversing all 600-plus miles of the I-20 death march on Saturday, followed by a day of relative quiet, rest and refrain on Sunday – culminating in a “Daddy, I’ve planned a special day for us! You took us out to lunch, and now we can watch a movie...Despicable Me! With popcorn! It’ll be our special day! And mommy too!” – I’d like to say that Monday ...

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Born around 1970? Here's stuff I know about you...

Posted on January 16, 2011 at 7:27 PM Comments comments (32)

Yesterday was our return trip from Alabama which meant another 10 hour grueler in the car. Thank the Jobs for my iPod, which provided a nonstop supply of music for our travels. When you’ve got nearly 9000 songs to randomize from, there is always something new and interesting to listen to. (Though I’ve started noticing some strain from the driver side tweeter which, now heard, is impossible for me to unhear. Grrr!) So, about 2 hours into the ride, a song by ...

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The Big White Elephant of Inspiration

Posted on January 13, 2011 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (2)

For the second straight day, I’m assuming the role of babysitter. I’ve got a 9 year old, picked up early from school for supposed sickness, Kinsley, upstairs watching some Amanda Bynes movie on VHS and eating through a package of Saltines and a 4-year old, Lauryn, sitting next to me on the couch watching Open Season on DVD on

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"Hide your kids, hide your wife..."

Posted on January 12, 2011 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (3)

One of the real benefits of living in a home with no cable TV -- like my sister-in-law, Keely and her husband Miah -- is that you have a lot of extra time for other things. Sure these could be things like gathering together around the fire, roasting chestnuts and telling stories of pioneer times, or reading all those free books available on Kindle, or pausing to reflect on life's deeper mysteries and searching for personal discovery, or journaling, or making every night family ...

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The best part of waking up...

Posted on January 12, 2011 at 1:49 PM Comments comments (1) totally NOT Folger’s in your cup. At home, we have an awesome, super-wonderful, borderline magic fairy and elves powered Saeco Royal Professional super-automatic espresso machine. It grinds, tamps, brews and disposes of beans one delicious cup at a time.


In Alabama, Dana’s sister and her husband drink coffee not so much. So, when we arrived their coffee cupboards were desolate and bare. Miah volun...

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Discovering a slice of The Sciacca history

Posted on January 12, 2011 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (1)

Today finds me in Alabama, staying with Dana’s sister’s family as we await funeral arrangements for Dana’s uncle, who sadly passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday.


So, we’re here and the weather has been an awful, snowy nightmare. The weather has been hovering in the upper 20s/lower 30s and they got about a foot of snow and ice and frozen rain that all came down in a horrible “...

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Lauryn's Razor Perceptions

Posted on January 8, 2011 at 5:57 PM Comments comments (6)

Kid’s are honest. Like *brutally* honest. Want to know the truth – like the REAL, go on, it’s OK, you can hurt my feelings, I really want to know truth? Then ask a young child something. But be *sure* you want to know. Because you might actually find out that that dress DOES make your butt look big. That your new hair cut is WAY too Bieber. Or that your make-up makes you look like Chuckles the Clown from Toy Story 3.


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Blu-ray Blues -- it's broken, man! BROKEN!

Posted on January 8, 2011 at 1:57 PM Comments comments (2)

This one client has called like the store – specifically ME – about a half-dozen times recently sweating problems over his Blu-ray player.


“I can see it but not hear it.”


“Now I can hear it but I can’t see it.”


“It won’t play CDs....

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This day is trying my last, damn nerve!

Posted on January 7, 2011 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (1)

It’s been a while since we’ve had a nice good rant – the digital equivalent of a loud, barbaric “YAWP!” as the sweaty-toothed madman chokes you with a stare that pounds your brain -- so let’s dive right in, shall we?

This day. THIS day. So you’ll recall a while back I had a m...

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