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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Bond's Beer of Choice #6 - Agent Provocateur

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

With the recent news that Bond will be drinking a (ugh!) Heineken in the upcoming film,  and since I’ve been on a beer terror lately, I've come up with a list of 10 beers that I could imagine Bond actually drinking.

Not always ordering, mind you, because I can’t really picture too many moments wher...

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Warranities...what's in a word?

Posted on April 30, 2011 at 6:46 PM Comments comments (1)

Warranties are generally one of those things that you cram into the back of a random drawer and then totally forget about until that day comes when something finally breaks. Then you frantically struggle to remember where you put the paperwork, anxiously opening and closing cabinets and drawers while shouting, “DANA! Where is that warranty thing for that thing that broke!”

And she says, “You can NEVER find anything! Hav...

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Why is understanding a luxury A/V lifestyle harder?

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 5:57 PM Comments comments (4)

I had an unexpected phone call from someone in the industry the other day. And we chatted (for like EVER!) about this and that and it quickly became apparent that this person has a way, WAY, like SUPER-WAY more high-end lifestyle than I do. (I was going to write “than I ever will” but, well, that just made me feel sad and like there was no hope for future Sciacca.) He was talking about fancy cars, and his celebrity neighbors, and high-end this, and private country c...

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Get to Know Me! Again!

Posted on April 27, 2011 at 12:16 PM Comments comments (7)

Undoubtedly, you’ll all recall with perfect clarity that Universal Remote Control – aka URC, aka the Universal Remote Control company that *makes* universal remote controls – did a “Know your industry journalist!” thingy on me back in January. (It might not have had an exclamation point, but I feel it adds a certain kind of stature and dignity to the gravitas of the whole affair.)

They wanted to kick their i...

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The "Lucky Winner" is...Retarded!

Posted on April 26, 2011 at 3:33 PM Comments comments (2)

(Though, I guess I should say is "Special!" in line with new network censorship guidelines...)

It was a wee-bit slow yesterday around the old Custom Theater and Audio shoppe so we decided to do a bit of back room housecleaning. (By “we,” I mean I decided and my installer did the clean-up.  After my initial, “Why don’t you go clean the backroom?” my involvement was fairly limited to sitting at my desk and...

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Oh, no! Oh, no! OHHH NOOOOO!!!

Posted on April 24, 2011 at 5:59 PM Comments comments (3)

Yesterday started out normal enough, but by 11:00 AM it had spiraled into a searingly painful, one-act, tragi-drama starring myself and my HP laptop entitled, L'ordinateur et le café: c'est tragique! (Clearly an event so heart-wrenching it can only be fully expressed en Francais.)

Dana and Lauryn had been out of town in Alabama visiting Dana’s family, and finally returned home Friday night. ...

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The Sciacca name stands for Quality!

Posted on April 22, 2011 at 5:52 PM Comments comments (1)

Two completely disparate things collided to make me come up with this post; a commercial heard on the radio on my car ride in to work (Dana took my iPod FM modulator thingy, subjecting me to two weeks of terrestrial radio, nearly unbearable) and then a song served up from Rhapsody on the Meridian system.

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Thank you, Mrs. Russi!

Posted on April 21, 2011 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (1)

It’s almost midnight as I start this. I've plowed my way through the majority of a bottle of Cabernet, Dana is out of town with Lauryn leaving me alone to my own devices and I’ve spent the better part of the evening listening to music that is achingly depressing. (My current drug of choice is Avril Lavigne’s, Goodbye. “Goodbye my love. I can’t hide what has come. I have to go. And leave you alone. But always know, that I love you so. I love you so....

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This is the end. Oh, beautiful friend, finally, the end.

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 2:19 PM Comments comments (5)

I just got off the phone, and I think I just got fired by a client, and, all I can say is...”HALLELUJAH! Finally! Oh, thank you, sweet Jesus, thank you, thank you!"

I’m going to call this guy Mr. Brain, and well, he has been an awful prickly, painful in-grown-hair-filled-pus-boil on my ass since 2002. The guy used to be in computers or software or something where he likely had a ton of stress and p...

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Once again, I gotta be the jerk

Posted on April 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM Comments comments (4)

Several weeks ago, we received a phone call from someone needing a service call. Not too unusual; we get calls for, “Please! Help me! I’m begging you! The (insert emotionally charged TV event here, ie: finale of American Idol, alma mater or just wanna-be college football game, Presidential State of the Union, re-run of Robot Chicken Blue Harvest episode, etc.) is coming on and I HAVE to watch it! PLEEEEEEZE!” And these kinds of service calls are the tri...

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AV Porn: Meridian Core 200 and DSP3200

Posted on April 17, 2011 at 12:24 PM Comments comments (5)

The Internet is home to all manner of bizarre fetish subset groups. You like to see midgets swinging from a trapeze while smoking French cigarettes? Great. You just need to decide if you’re in the mood for your midgets to be with or without full body tattoos and piercings. Or perhaps you prefer to watch obese elderly ladies washing motorcycles while wearing camouflage or just stare at a webcam pointed to warehouses filled with cardboard boxes filled with old medical recor...

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Calculating Offset in Mathmagic Land

Posted on April 16, 2011 at 8:28 PM Comments comments (4)

While I was always a good student, math was never my strong suit. I liked to say that words just made more sense to me and creative writing was just ever-so-much more fun, and, uh, creative. But the truth is, I just never had the stick-to-it-ive-ness needed to master anything beyond geometry. Memorizing formulas and understaning tangents and cosines and TI graphing calculators and and whatnot. And unlike many things that I blurt out in a heat, I’m still not regretting my,...

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Music is ugly. Put a mask on it!

Posted on April 14, 2011 at 11:07 PM Comments comments (298)

If you’ve been stealing darkness for all of these years, just closing your eyes and basking and focusing in that cool, refreshing blackness, there’s a new company that wants to put a stop – and a price – to that. First, you’ve been doing it all wrong. Second, you just show me where it says that “darkness” is one of your inalienable rights, and I’ll show you a company that says, “We’re from the Netherlands! We don’...

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This meeting's a Buster!

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 5:21 PM Comments comments (0)

One of my real peeves is when our showroom is closed down in the middle of the day. I hate it, hate it, HATE it. I know that time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all, and sometimes there is no avoiding those, "My wife went into labor! The baby came two weeks early! Seriously! This was totally unexpected! I'm SO sorry!" I have this weird sense of honor and duty that when your business hours are posted, you should BE OPEN DURING THOSE HOURS!

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Everything you've worked on...poof! Gone!

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 1:04 AM Comments comments (2)

There are some things that you just *know* are stupid. Curling up for a quick little nap under a running steam roller? Obvious stupid. Thrusting your hand into that bag of discarded sharps in the hospital and groping around trying to find that piece of paper you threw away by mistake? Asking for it stupid. Offering sweet, hand-fruits to that Ebola-riddled Rhesus monkey you found in the jungles of Africa? Have what’s coming to you stoopid. Storming up to the big group of d...

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Savings: Money or Stress? I chose poorly...

Posted on April 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM Comments comments (2)

When contemplating hiring a service professional, people are often faced with choosing between two evils: they can save money and go with a cheaper bid or they can save stress and go with an established but more expensive company. When the economy was stronger and it seemed like custom installation firms were popping up literally as fast as people could get magnets made and stuck onto their pickups, this was something that we faced quite a bit.

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Another travel day

Posted on April 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (1)

As I write this I’m sitting on my little private patio enjoying a cup of Earl Grey tea. My patio is overlooking a fountain thing as the a gentle breeze is trying to flip the pages of my notebook sitting on the table next to me and the sun is dipping low into the Scottsdale, Arizona sky. A couple thousand miles to the east, Tiger has just completed a pretty amazing back nine at Augusta putting himself into serious contention, ensuring an exciting bit of weekend golf watchi...

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Bad Ads

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 3:42 PM Comments comments (2)

Deep down, I think I wanted to be an ad man. I’d like to be a modern day Don Draper, wearing cool suits, heading up creative and coming up with concepts that move you people to break out your wallets and buy into the Sciacca lifestyle image. (OK, perhaps Don Draper with less womanizing and a more judicious approach to the three martini lunch.)

I can remember watching TV with my grandfather and he would grouse about how awful a give...

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Subject: projection screen

Posted on April 4, 2011 at 4:11 PM Comments comments (0)

My previous post was from a PR rep asking me to help him do his job. And one of his questions was to describe some of my pet peeves you have about PR people and their pitches. One of the things I didn’t mention was receiving a PR pitch that is full of typos. Brent Butterworth shared a brilliant typo a few months ago where a high-end amplifier manufacturer was touting their “Mono Amplifi...

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Subject: Help a reporter do his job

Posted on April 4, 2011 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (5)

I often regale you with the tales of spam related items that appear in my AOL inbox. The offers to help struggling Nigerian heirs move millions from their country or to save supposed long-lost friends from street-side muggings in London. But I occasionally get REAL offers as well. And I’m not talking about “real” offers to enhance performance in bed, or magically add both length AND girth or other pharmaceuticals from that 21st Century Wild West Apothecary kno...

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