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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Beer Tasting Episode VIII: And it Stoned Me

Posted on July 31, 2012 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (30)

We visited Columbia recently – the South Carolina one, not the home of Medellin drug cartel and headless bodies hanging from bridges one – and our hotel was like 2 blocks from Green’s Beverages, one of the bigger/better beer suppliers in our area. Wanting to check out the local wares, I strolled down and spent some quality time perusing the beer aisles.

When I discovered several new Stone offerings, I knew that it ...

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Going for the Gold

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (1)

Leap Year. Presidential Elections. The Olympic Summer Games.

These items all roll around the same time each four years, and I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for the Olympic Games. (The Summer ones. Besides ski jump and curling, I don’t have much use for the Winter Games. If ONLY they’d show some Biathlon! Skiing AND shooting?! You throw in Drinking and you’ve got the greatest event in the history of EVER!)...

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Floats like a Butterfly, Stings like a Face-full of Metal Pipe

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (5)

There comes a point in every person’s life when they are forced to do some real self-examining, soul searching. Where you say, “Just what sort of person am I? How would I respond to getting hit in the face with a highly polished piece of strengthened aluminum?”

As I told you before, I don’t often go into my day job thinking, “Hmm.

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Almost Famous: The Celebrity Install

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

For most of us, celebrities travel about in a rarefied air that we barely have the opportunity to breathe. They are something to be viewed on screens big and small and on pages real and digital. But only so rarely to be glimpsed in the flesh.

When I worked at the country club in my former life, we had our occasional brushes with celebrity. Joe Montana visited – quite tall – as well as Clint Eastwood – quite thin and oh-s...

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Change Is Hard

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

As a general rule, I am not one that likes change. I like to float along in the same sea of comfortable, warm and cozy consistency of status quo. Slowly gliding down peaceful, familiar waters, doing similar, well-known, patterned things. If left to my own devices, I imagine there is at least an even odds chance that I would still be a golf pro, still living in the small apartment above the pro shop, still working six days a week. Miserable, and yet, somehow content in the numbi...

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The Art of the Perfect Demo

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (2)

Demonstration (noun) - An explanation, display, illustration, or experiment showing how something works

A well-crafted demo delivers an incredibly powerful, emotional experience that can stay with someone for years. In fact, I can still clearly remember the first time I experienced a home theater system. It was not a formal demo per se, but was at my friend Travis's house. His father had just purchased a new surround system and we ...

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The Other Side of the Jerk Phone Call

Posted on July 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (1)

My Padawan-learner, Heather Sidorowicz, put up her first blog this week at Resi Systems on the topic of Earning ‘Extra Mile’ Respect in Custom Installation. (I suggest that you read it and acquaint yourself with Heather; something tells me that we'll be reading more from her in the future.) (In fact, please to read

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Beer Tasting Episode VII: Eclectic Serendipity

Posted on July 12, 2012 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

An itch had been brewing. It started as a low, irritating tingle but slowly grew to a steady throbbing that couldn’t be forgotten and wouldn’t be ignored. I had a hankering that only the incredibly piney aromas and long, bitter hopped finish of a 6-pack of Pyramid Outburst IPA could quench. (It's really the best beer I've found for the money. Would love to hear some other feedback from anyone else that has taken this girl out for a whirl...)

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D-BOX MFX Theater Seating System

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (32)

I’m going to start this review by stepping back in time a bit...

Back to the days of the epic CEDIA booth. Back to times when Runco reigned like a conquering king and would pair with giants like Krell and Stewart and California Audio Technology (CAT) to build virtual cities that would then show the most amazing 15 minute demos at the CEDIA Expo. People would line-up like it was a ride at Disneyland and then wait hours to get a shot ...

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Installation Nightmares - 9 Professional Horror Stories

Posted on July 8, 2012 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (351)

A couple of weeks ago, I was called out to look at a job. The house had already been pre-wired and now that the customer had moved in, he was ready to have some audio installed to – to borrow an over-used phrase – “make the house a home.” (A nice housewide audio system has a way of doing that though, don’t ya think?)

So I’m going through the home with him and he is explaining what he’d like me to...

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HiPhi at Bonnaroo: All the Fun, None of the Funk

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Walk the floor at a tradeshow like the CEDIA EXPO – held this September in Indianapolis and if you click here to register and use code CT07 at check-out you can attend the show for FREE! – and you will quickly notice that the A/V world is filled with what many outsiders would consider “unique&#...

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The One Trick Pony vs The Trojan Horse

Posted on July 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

For years, our company – like so many other custom installation firms out there – has specified smart, universal remote controls into nearly every system that we sell. As the remote is the principal point of contact for an end-user when using their system, it is an invaluable tool to being able to actually enjoy system operation.

You can sell the best looking TV in the world, pair it with the best sound system in the w...

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