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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

And the award for Best Tech Support goes to...

Posted on September 1, 2010 at 3:06 PM Comments comments (4)

Usually dealing with customer service is a heinous proposition. Because by the time you actually NEED customer support, you are usually at a level of aggravation whereby a call to customer support is only going to elevate your irritation. (I’ve already written about the good, bad and ugliness of three different customer support calls I had. You can read that here. )

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Confession: Good for the soul, not the handbag

Posted on August 31, 2010 at 4:19 PM Comments comments (0)

I’m a little tapped out right now. First the whole they-who-shall-not-be-named saga, which, quite frankly really took a bit out of me emotionally. I actually had to get up twice last night and take Ny-Quill. Except it was Day-Quill, which tastes quite a bit more tolerable. And does little to actually to help you sleep. And was really for a nagging cough. But still, I had to get up. Also, I’m still trying to weigh the extent of the possible fall-out. I’m concerned that perhap...

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Love the smell of napalm in the morning! (UPDATED)

Posted on August 30, 2010 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (7)

(Scroll to bottom for update... )

Alternate title 1 : OK. I guess that’s REALLY how you want to play it.

Alternate title 2 : The bridge, the bridge, the bridge is on FIRE!


Well, it’s been over a week since I posted my littl...

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Michael Franti: How you FEELIN??!

Posted on August 29, 2010 at 8:28 PM Comments comments (2)

Usually when you see a concert, the opening act is just a step above a street performer. And often not even as entertaining as one of those robot-guy street performers that stands completely still until someone gives him some change and then he’ll do some trick accompanied by a bzzzz-whirrrr-click sound. But occasionally, you’ll stumble across an opening act that isn’t chosen by the headliner to be SO bad that they’ll look extra awesome by comparison. Sometimes the hea...

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I love my Saturday delivery!

Posted on August 29, 2010 at 11:58 AM Comments comments (0)

Besides awesome wordsmithing and a tendency towards being sulky and broody I do share something else in common with John Mayer. (And no, that isn’t dating supermodels or double-douching on two Bluetooth headpieces simultaneously or smoking weed in no-smoking President’s Suites at the Marriott or basically having any musical ability at all short of listening.) That thing that we have in common is our love for Fed-Ex Saturday delivery. (Read

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The Becky Frodsham Effect

Posted on August 27, 2010 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (10)

This story is about how I got into writing.


But first, it’s about Becky Frodsham. Because, well, for a girl that I never even said a single word to, she changed my life and has a role in this story.


Travel back in time with me, will you, to the late ‘80s. I’m going to high school in Northern California. I think of myself as a pretty typical high schooler, possibly with mid-to-strong nerdlinger tendencies. I’m not A/V club material ...

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Tired of eating it

Posted on August 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (2)

You might be surprised to find out that a large portion of my job at CTA is surprisingly UN blogging related. Oh, it’s true! I actually have a whole host of other things that I do here “at work” that don’t involve me blogging at all. There’s payroll, there’s entering bills and paying them, there’s scheduling, there’s ordering, there’s meeting with clients, there’s the times when I’m actually being a custom installer and install...

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Niles + Problem = Wow! Really?

Posted on August 26, 2010 at 12:18 PM Comments comments (2)

Things break. It happens. As long as imperfect people are involved, at some point something can fail. And it doesn’t matter how much you paid for it or how built-like-a-tank it’s supposed to be, sometimes things just break. And sometimes company’s respond to this in a lame manner like “What problem? Here! Have a free phone cozy and stop touching the phone in that spot, you moron! But whatever you say, get this through your bone-dense head:

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National Talk About Your Life Day?

Posted on August 25, 2010 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (1)

Seriously. Did someone declare today the day to come in and randomly start talking about your life? Sheesh! Today has been one filled with people coming into the store to just…talk. Now, I get it. You want to build a relationship, and I’m down with a little jibber-jabber so I can get you all loosened up. I don’t expect you to just waltz in here, all shiny and new and let me immediately have a grope-and-feel on your wallet and then get all up in your checkbook’s biznass...

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Finally Earn That THX Tattoo You Gave Yourself

Posted on August 25, 2010 at 1:58 PM Comments comments (3)

I recently changed my cell phone’s incoming message alert to a sonar ping. (“Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please…” And, yes, it has already become as irritating as you might think.) So, last night I received a “Piiiing!” at about 11:00 p.m., with some information that was just too good not to share…


Back in 2008 THX started certifying video calibrators with their Professional Video Calibrator Training Program. Call ...

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Welcome to Tecca (copyright pending)

Posted on August 24, 2010 at 1:24 PM Comments comments (0)

The other day when describing the installation of a new Panasonic 65-inch 3DTV, I accidentally totally on purpose created a new term. Now, it’s not unusual for me to come up with little rhymes and songs for things. (Just ask Dana whose anatomy has had a starring role in many lyrical adaptations over these 15 years. Also, my I’ve created an incredibly commercial rap beat e...

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I've had all I can stands and I can't stands no more!

Posted on August 23, 2010 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (2)

You might think that on a day that started off with the FedEx man bringing me a new iPad – oh, that’s right, Best Buy! You can strike me down, but I’m only gonna return more powerful than you can ever imagine! –  that not much could throw me off my game. That just seeing that gleaming, black iPad sitting there on my desk, resting so peacefully in its cradle, ...

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Blackmail is such an ugly word...

Posted on August 22, 2010 at 11:27 AM Comments comments (4)

I don't often like to mix the relationships between my writing career and my Custom Theater and Audio career. I've found that they are best kept separate, like Church and State (or more accurately like fun/cool job and day job, or job I do while sitting on the couch drinking a martini and other job.) But sometimes they are so closely related that they become inexorably intertwined. On many occasions, I've reviewed something that we have then decided to become a dealer...

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Free at last! Oh, Lord!!

Posted on August 20, 2010 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (2)

For nearly all of my adult life, I have been shackled to the Great American Burden which is…debt. I remember the day I turned 18, I applied for a credit card. (Side note: it *totally* helps when applying for credit cards if you have the exact name as your well-credit-established father.) I wanted to buy a Radar Detector. My dad was not interested in me buying a Radar Detector. So, I got a credit card. And I bought a Radar Detector. And the great wheel of consumer debt was set into motio...

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What manner of Ass Jackery is this?!

Posted on August 19, 2010 at 5:17 PM Comments comments (3)

A few days ago, I got a call at the store from a builder that we have done *a lot* of work for. Back when the economy’s big wheel was really turning, shooting out wads of money like a hacked ATM, this builder would routinely send us several near 6-figure jobs a year; so this guy calls, I’m makin’ like E F Hutton. This call, sadly, was not about some new great job that was going to pull us Luke-from-carbon-freezing-chamber style out of the recession. Rather it was asking me t...

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What a Daddy-Daughter Day that was!

Posted on August 18, 2010 at 9:59 PM Comments comments (3)

I'm almost embarassed to admit that Lauryn is approaching 4 and I have yet to spend a full day alone with her. I believe that prior to today, my longest time alone with her has been about 3 hours when Dana has reached max gross load and just had to have a completely Sciacca-free afternoon.


But with the summertime free cinema coming to a close, I decided that ...

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The Reverse Psychology of Billing

Posted on August 18, 2010 at 5:01 PM Comments comments (1)

We all have those clients that are That Guy. And you know who That Guy is. They’re the ones that think that they are the ONLY clients that you have. That your entire company is teetering on the brink of extinction save for their singular largess of keeping you in business.


These are the people that expect you to just be sitting by the phone waiting for them to call when any need or whim arises. In fact, since you have a smart phone – you do have a smart phone d...

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Panasonic Support Sucks in 3D

Posted on August 17, 2010 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (2)

If you recall, I mentioned receiving a new 65-inch Panasonic (I’ll not use the term Panny here. In fact, it makes me hate you a little-bit when I hear you use it. Also, if I find that you used the term “Panny” in an on-line forum post, I’m going to just assume that you are a sweaty, pale-skinned shut-in who lives in your parent’s basement and spends a...

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Bible Update - 11/15 done!

Posted on August 15, 2010 at 10:18 PM Comments comments (0)

It's been almost two months since the last bible-reading update. (That included the terrific pick-up line advice found in the book of Song of Solomon. Seriously, if you haven't dropped "Baby, you got breasts like two young ones" on some beautiful young baby while in the Rainman suite, then you can't truly say that you've lived. ) So, with the year 5/8 over, I am way ahead of schedule to complete ...

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OK. We're all done here.

Posted on August 15, 2010 at 10:59 AM Comments comments (0)

Perhaps there should be a course on the proper etiquette of how to interact with someone at a high-end audio store. Perhaps the someone to prepare the syllabus for that course should be me. And in that course would definitely be the two people that came into our store on Friday under sections titled "When to shut the hell up."


First person calls and asks directions. Says they are looking for a projector and want to come and take a look. Now, at THIS point in the call w...

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