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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

You're a Magician; Perform like one!

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 10:33 AM Comments comments (0)

“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called ‘The Pledge.’ The magician shows you something ordinary. The second act is called ‘The Turn.’ The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it into something extraordinary. But you wouldn't clap yet. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call ‘The Prestige.’” (The Prestige)

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The memories are temporary; the pain lasts forever!

Posted on March 30, 2011 at 10:48 AM Comments comments (0)

Several years ago, back in the heady mid-2000s when investment property real estate loans and 130% mortgages were flowing like sweet wine, and terms like “toxic mortgage” and “asset devaluation” and “imploding financial sector” and “your loan has been denied! And, ps, we're foreclosing!” were still just distant, shadowy figments on the horizon; when the phrase “blood in the streets!” meant that you had probably taken a...

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Sky Mall 4.0 : The Mall with it All!

Posted on March 27, 2011 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

You’ll recall my recent travel exploits from DC to Myrtle and Myrtle to Portland within a span of about 12 hours back in late Feb. Well, you could have surmised that with 5 plane flights in such a hyper-concentrated time period – bolstered with an equal amount of The Glen Livet served with a smile in the front of the plane – that there was bound to be some serious...

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Mess with the crazy bear, get the crazier lion!

Posted on March 25, 2011 at 3:18 PM Comments comments (0)

(I understand that some of you don’t watch Survivor and you are probably tempted to skip right over this. To that I say...give the post a try. Even if you AREN’T a Survivor fan, it’s funny. So, put those glasses back on and read on, dear reader...)

It takes a special, unique and way-off-the-reservation brand of insane in the membrane crazy to even *think* about going for the title of “craziest...

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Give me a heaping bowl of Survivor Sundae!

Posted on March 24, 2011 at 4:42 PM Comments comments (0)

As you all know, I love me some Survivor. Even after 21 Seasons – we’re midway into number 22 right now – it seems to stay fresh, new and original. And if there was an All-Survivor, all-the-time cable channel, I would probably find a way to fuze my cable box to it. It would have behind the scenes at the Ponderosa, crazy deleted scenes from confessional footage, and come with a personalized buff smelling of Probst's unique musk and wit. And after all of this ti...

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The pleasing, dreamy, lotus-eating distortion of vinyl

Posted on March 22, 2011 at 8:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Saturday at CTA was a pretty slow day, making it a perfect magazine catch-up day. I grabbed the first magazine atop the once again growing pile – the March Resi – and it immediately served up a couple of delicious dishes of bloggery inspiration. First was the big, back cover ad of Crestron’s new Sonnex system.

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Up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane...

Posted on March 20, 2011 at 6:01 PM Comments comments (1)’s Supermoon!


If you weren’t too busy watching the news of nuclear meltdowns (and, seriously, with absolutely NO disrespect or insensitivity intended -- though I realize that whenever you have to preface a comment with that disclaimar, that you are likely walking the razor's edge of both disrespect AND insensitivity -- I have to ask...we’re talking about Japan here. The very h...

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John Sciacca Writes Gets a Facelift!

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 11:46 PM Comments comments (0)

OK. So unless you have been enjoying my blog on a 1980s Green blinking cursor Apple IIc or via a slightly more modern 1990s era black-and-white-and-50-billion-shades-of-gray Macintosh computer – in which case I say, “Welcome to the future! We have color now! At first it was scary and expensive, but now pretty much everyone has embraced it! Even Apple! And I think you’re REALLY gonna love the new iPad!” – or you are literally complete...

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Untruth in A/V Picture-tising

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM Comments comments (0)

Much like the little digital nips-and-tucks (or sometimes the digital tucks OF nips...Oh, John, you so funny!) or smoothening and de-cellulite-ing and un-bumpening and de-lumpening and Photo-Shoppening touch-ups made to cover girls to make women all the world over feel bad about themselves, magazine ads featuring audio/video systems are notoriously – and equally – untruthful.

Oh, to be sure, the gear is a...

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One of our submarines is missing...

Posted on March 18, 2011 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

“Missing...missing...missing... One of our submarines is missing, tonight. Seems she ran aground on maneuvers…Bye-bye empire, empire bye-bye... Shallow water, channel and tide...” – Thomas Dolby

I’ve mentioned before what a tight-knit little group the microcosm of A/V writers is.

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First Look! Runco D-73D 3D Video Projector

Posted on March 17, 2011 at 4:42 PM Comments comments (2)

I first experienced Runco’s new D-73d 3D projector at the CEDIA Expo last September and was pretty impressed. By “pretty impressed” I mean that it was the best display of 3D technology I witnessed at the show. I find myself prone to headaches and discomfort when viewing many 3D demonstrations, and the D-73d was the easiest-on-the-eyes solution I’d seen. But there is a big difference between being wowed by a 10-minute demo and evaluating something critica...

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Why I don't ever-never go hunting

Posted on March 16, 2011 at 4:49 PM Comments comments (83)

Now, I’m not a vegetarian or any special animal rights activist. I like to eat meat. You want to take me to a Ruth’s Chris, I’m gonna order a medium-rare steak. And I’m gonna love it. But that doesn’t mean I want to know how the meat gets to my sizzling 500-degree plate. I don’t want to visit a slaughterhouse or a rendering factory. I don’t want to watch some horrible Food, Inc. video where they show animals being sledgehammered in the ...

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Subject: I am Mr.Peter David

Posted on March 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Oh, AOL spam folder! YOU are like a box of chocolates! First it was a deathbed offer from ass-cancer sufferer Mrs. Ghayth Faiza who singled out my uncharacteristic generosity and strength of character to help charitably dispose of her husband's millions. Then there was

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Jovi to Jobs: iTunes Gives Music a Bad Name!

Posted on March 15, 2011 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Bon Jovi feels like the music industry has been shot through the heart, and the person to blame is none other than Apple’s supreme-commander-leader-number-one, El Jobso. And while his Steveness probably never on a steel horse he rides – don’t you just picture him floating around in a hoverchair lined with gleaming skulls or maybe cruising around silently in some kind of gloss black Prius with fuel cells powered by 5G technology – that hasn’t soften...

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What if...

Posted on March 14, 2011 at 10:42 AM Comments comments (0)

When looking back on life’s decisions, it’s easy to picture all of those seemingly little choices as dominoes that all managed to end up lining-up in the grand master plan that has slowly toppled down one after another to end up at wherever you are right now.  And it’s hard NOT to play the “What if...?” game, wondering how your life might be now if you had made some seemingly minor or different decision earlier. What if one of those dominoes w...

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Mr. Cooper Drops Information Bombs

Posted on March 12, 2011 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (1)

You probably figured that we were in for a brief hiatus from Mr. Cooper tales since he just came in and made it rain not too long ago. Usually there is a semi-predictable ebb and flow to my dealings with him; his money slowly ebbs in, it builds to a point where he can’t stand, then it flows out to me and I satisfy his current techno-Jones....

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The delicate, fragiley Web and the angry, riled-up Webs

Posted on March 11, 2011 at 5:57 PM Comments comments (0)

Last night, from 6:45 until 10:40 I got about 225 e-mails. And nearly every one of them was “Unable to see your Site or reach Read first!

Turns out that – the provider of this little blog hobby of mine – opens many, MANY new accounts each and every day. Like somewhere around 10,000. And not all of those 10,000 people are blogging-Sciaccas. Some of them are prayer ci...

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Bad Rep'in: 101

Posted on March 11, 2011 at 4:43 PM Comments comments (1)

Yesterday, a guy walks into our store and introduces himself as the new rep for one of the major lines we sell. I had just gotten back from my Lutron/Runco trainings and was at the store by myself trying to work through all the old paperworks and messages and whathasits and I totally wasn’t expecting a rep visit. So I say, “Oh, man. I’m sorry. Did I know you were coming? I totally wasn’t expecting a rep visit...”


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Should You Really Avoid Stacking Projectors for Passive 3D?

Posted on March 10, 2011 at 3:02 PM Comments comments (1)

There was a blog post a few weeks ago titled “Four Reasons to Avoid Stacking Projectors for Passive 3D Installs.” I read it. Chances are you read it too. (Come on, you know you can't get enough about 3D!) And after reading the post I thought, “Yeah, those are all good reasons why you wouldn’t want to stack projectors. Heck, I don’t even real...

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Battle: Training! Lutron vs Runco

Posted on March 8, 2011 at 5:33 PM Comments comments (3)

I’ve been on a bit of a whirlwind training bender recently. First it was 3 days at Lutron followed *immediately* (as in get home at midnight, jump a plane the next morning) by 4 days at Runco. So, of course, the natural thing to do is to pit these two training regimes against one another, letting them battle it out to the inevitable death! Or at least until I semi-arbitrarily declare a winner.

So, Lutron, Runco...Ready...Set....FIGHT! Or in th...

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