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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

The Force: The Darker, the better!

Posted on March 31, 2010 at 6:03 PM Comments comments (2)

I'm working on a story for occasional-visitor, frequent-commentor, Rob Medich, where he wants me to interview someone in the video gaming industry about how to get a job as a gamer. So, I reached out to my friends (that's how I like to consider them; they would probably refer to me as "that guy that keeps bugging us to come out for another visit. I mean, really! Isn't four times to Lucas Ranch enough?!" And no, it isn't!) at Lucas Arts, the gaming, still somewhat powerful and cool arm of Geor...

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24: Spoiler Alert--You've gotten lame!

Posted on March 31, 2010 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (5)

For some reason, we have been watching this season of 24. (I use the term “we” very loosely, because whenever I say, “Hey, let’s watch a 24," Dana responds with a dejected sigh like if I’d said, “Hey, I’m gonna go to the driving range for a while.") Actually, it's not surprising that we started watching it; the surprising thing is that we've been sticking with it.

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Green packaging that makes the planet smile

Posted on March 30, 2010 at 5:03 PM Comments comments (1)

The one thing that *might* be hotter than 3D right now is. . .wait. That’s just not true. Nothing is hotter than 3D right now. (A Google search of 3D TV returns 71,000,000 hits in .36 seconds, and to listen to the hype, you people are reading every single one of them!) So, to put it a different, more accurate way, another thing that is very popular in CE right now is anything that can be even remotely tied to green.


The long and the short of green is th...

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Can you do me a little favor?

Posted on March 29, 2010 at 3:52 PM Comments comments (6)

Gentleman, beware these seven little words!


Let me just share a bit o' wisdom that I've accumulated in lo these 15 years of marriage: When your wife asks you for "a little favor" you can be sure that it will NOT be one of these three things:

1) It won't be that she wants to try out something new that she read about in Cosmo. You even thinking that it might be this will probably result in some kind of retribution, because she'll sense that...

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Things that go Diana Krall in the night

Posted on March 29, 2010 at 10:39 AM Comments comments (2)

I'm currently reviewing a new product from Russound called Collage (scheduled ot run in the September issue of S+V). I've been following Collage for a couple of years, and think it is a really cool idea. Basically, Collage is what they call a no-new-wires audio system. Instead of running speaker and control wire throughout your home, it utilizes the electrical wiring already within the home to distribute both control, metadata (that information like artist and album name) and audio signa...

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The sweet deliciousness of the up sale

Posted on March 27, 2010 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (2)

I’ve ranted about negative customer experiences in the past, and -- don't worry -- I'll surely do so again in the future. (I have a *third* meeting with Baldini coming up this week. He was actually quite a bit less confrontational on our second meeting or perhaps it was just that the I-used-your-foul-smelling-BO-as-my-deodorant guy hadn’t come in to salt my game.)

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My "free" haircut and a challenge to you

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 3:54 PM Comments comments (8)

Often times, when writing for a new publication, they request a bio from the author. Some quick, catchy little snippet that sums up who you are and your expertise in like 75 words or less. And I have to tell you, that is often one of the hardest things for me to write. It is surprisingly difficult to describe yourself (generally in the third person) simultaneously saying how great you are without coming across as a totally conceited ass-hat.

Sound + Vision rec...

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Laugh Track, were you ever funny?

Posted on March 25, 2010 at 2:14 PM Comments comments (1)

(Before starting, I feel compelled to preface this post by saying that I am a huge fan of Patrick Warburton. I realize that he basically only plays *one* character, but that character is just an ever evolving version of Puddy from Seinfeld  (“Talk to the 8 ball”), and I happen to find that one character continually engaging and HI-larious.)


Having said *that*, Dana and I were watching Rules of Engagement  the other night (which sta...

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Blu-Pon: Get paid (practically) to buy Toy Story Blu-ray!

Posted on March 24, 2010 at 12:54 PM Comments comments (8)

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Dana has been on a coupon tear lately, only temporarily slowed down by our computer going on a fleeting cease-and-desist. Normally the coupons she seeks out are mega-lo fiber bars, feminine hygiene and make-up items, and, well, basically anything that has an option to “click to send to printer.” However, yesterday she scored us an awesome dea...

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3D TV For Dummies: 10 questions answered about 3D TV

Posted on March 24, 2010 at 10:58 AM Comments comments (9)

Whatever the reason – marketing hysteria, living on technology’s bleeding edge, you need a new TV so why-the-hell-not? or the overwhelming desire to sell everything and move to Pandora – you’ve decided that life can’t go on without owning a 3D TV. Now what?  What do you need? What do you do? Here are 10 things you need to know about making the switch to 3D.


1)    Do I need a new TV?

To view 3D progra...

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Your tax dollars hard at waste

Posted on March 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

You don't have to be an economist to see that the government is spending money at a pace rivaling the water flow of Niagara falls. Except instead of wherever all that Niagara water is coming from, you and I are the not-so endless revenue stream. And whether you agree with the bank, housing and auto bail-outs or the trillions of dollars for whatever the new health care reform bill means (my insurance rates will go down, right? Right?!?), it's obvious that if anyone ran their own business the w...

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The (Big) One That Got Away...

Posted on March 22, 2010 at 9:26 PM Comments comments (1)

We've been working on getting this job for awhile, and  I don't need  to tell anyone how slow the construction industry is, so when a large project comes along, it is that much more crucial that you really do everything that you can to try and nail down the job.  And it isn't like Myrtle Beach is just rolling in 6-figure jobs even in the best of times, so, this was a job that we really went after. Well, we found out today that we did not get the job. And I'm not going to...

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One Month Old....

Posted on March 20, 2010 at 2:34 PM Comments comments (1)

This weekend, my Website will turn one month old. (It likes to celebrate with vintage port and creamy cheeses.) In that time it has gone from totally non-existent, to having 36 members (including a few people that I don't even know.....thanks for reading and liking enough to sign up!) and a daily visitor total that hovers around 20. Not too shabby for this first month!

I thought some of you might enjoy this graphic of where the visitors have come from so far; literally a...

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A Tale of Two Clients

Posted on March 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM Comments comments (2)

Yesterday, our showroom was visited by two radically different clients, both of which left me feeling slightly out of sorts.


The first guy, I’ll call Rancid Crabtree (in homage to the terrific Patrick McManus character.) He comes into the store and Andrew, our salesman, goes out to greet him. Andy is out with him for a while and then he slips back into the office and whispers, “Dude, this guy *really* smells bad. Like I think I’m going to vomit.” I l...

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How long do I "owe" you? *UPDATED*

Posted on March 19, 2010 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (0)

During those glorious, high-rolling days of the early and mid-2000s, before the economy blew up like the Death Star (and I mean the cool, digitally re-edited version of the Death Star, with that giant, fiery ring), one of the things that customers were willing to pay for was service. You could tell someone, “Sir, I’m not trying to be the cheapest in town; I’m trying to be the best.” And they would get a gleam of appreciation in their eye, slip that piece of straw into ...

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My Computer: Freedom through oppression

Posted on March 18, 2010 at 5:13 PM Comments comments (2)

We have two computers in our house. A laptop which is used almost exclusively by me for my writing and which I consider “mine" and a desktop in our bedroom which used to also be “mine” but is now primarily used by Dana to read and print every blog on couponing and thrifty shopping and Lauryn to play games at Nick Jr. My laptop runs Vista, the much maligned operating system which has never given me even the slightest hiccup of trouble. It has traveled the country with me to t...

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Kindle: Technology's Robin

Posted on March 17, 2010 at 3:37 PM Comments comments (0)

My cousin, whom I used to fondly call Big Walking Jim,and I used to hang out with these two girls. Time and my stellar memory have erased their names, but for the sake of my story we’ll call them Batgirl and Robin. Now, we both really liked Batgirl. She was cute and fun and smart and generally the kind of girl that you wanted to hang out with. Robin, however, was kind of moody and sullen. (But not in a cool/artistic Fiona Apple kind of way.) She was the kind of girl that would look at a...

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The Masters: Are you jumping the shark?

Posted on March 16, 2010 at 1:56 PM Comments comments (1)

To my knowledge I am the only A/V reviewer who used to bea golf professional, so I think that makes me uniquely qualified to comment on Tiger Woods and the upcoming Masters. So, here goes….


First, my prediction is that Tiger will suck at the Masters. Suck diddily-uck. In fact,  I say he won’t even make the cut, a first in his professional career. He is used to golfing in a tightly controlled bubble where he is treated like a Demigod and given a wide berth o...

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Dasvidaniya, komrade technology!

Posted on March 16, 2010 at 1:17 PM Comments comments (1)

As an equipment reviewer, I embrace new technology with the same gusto of that hot Russian mail order bride you send away for. You see her picture on the Internet, the one where she’s looking all clear, porcelain skinned with delicate freckles and ice-blue eyes, a fragile Siberian snow flower. Then you read her bio about how she runs the nuclear power plant at the local collective and creates culinary masterpieces using little more than beets, some tree bark and a knife left over from h...

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Eat here? Automatic!

Posted on March 14, 2010 at 4:14 PM Comments comments (4)

If there’s two things I love, it’s southern food and good, ole-fashioned home cookin’…


I kid. In fact, there’s few things I dislike more than either of those things. In fact, if you know me at all, you know that I’m kind of weird about eating other people’s cooking at all. With few exceptions (Colleen, Malia, Lori) I really don’t want to eat things cooked by other people. (It’s not you; it’s me. Let’...

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