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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

A busy John is a happy John

Posted on December 13, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Giant megadonopolis amount of stuff going on in the micro-cosmos which is John-world today. All of which kept John crazy busy, and as you know, a crazy busy John is often a happy busy John. Plus, we all know that the Devil finds works for idle hands, and John had NO room to be doing any extra work for anyone else today. (Thus concludes the third person dialog...)

First, before going in to work at ten, I unpacked a Niles ICS system and loaded it up with audio cards in preparation for my next review. Then got into work and got an installer started and looked in my e-mail in box and rooted amongst the spam offers and miscellany I found a message titled, “Interview for URC newsletter?” Curious, thinks I. Seems a little too pointed and personal to be an offer to help a Nigerian prince move millions of dollars out of one of the many, *many* secret, lost bank accounts that Nigerian princes seem to keep their money in and then forget about and then need help moving out of the country to the tune of like a 70/30 money-mover's/finder’s fee split.

So I opened the message and saw that URC – which stands for Universal Remote Control, which is actually a much more confusing name than you might think, especially when you are describing the name to people. In fact it can quickly spiral into a “Who’s on First?” kind of routine.

“It’s a Universal Remote Control.”

“Yeah, I know it’s a universal remote control, but who makes it?”

“Universal Remote Control.”

“Yes. I know it’s a universal remote control. What I want to know is, WHO makes the universal remote control?!”

“Universal remote...”

“When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?”

“I’m sorry? Who? What? I don't know?”

“The name. Of the manufacturer. That makes the remote.”

“Universal. Remote. Control. That IS their name. Yes, they also make products that ARE universal remote controls. But the name of the company that makes THIS universal remote control is IN FACT Universal...Remote...Control. Just call them URC.”

– wants to interview me! The message said, “URC would like to include an interview with you in its January e-newsletter as part of our recurring ‘Know Your Industry Journalist’ series. Basically, I’d email you a bunch of questions and we’d run it in Q&A format. We’d need the answers by Friday. We’d also need a photo of you (high res would be great). Would you be interested?”


Would I be interested? Pa-SHAW! Of course! And if there is one subject that I’m an absolute, unquestioned authority on, it’s me. (Though, for a darker more honest, hard-hitting profile, they probably should have sent the e-mail directly to Dana. I’m sure her interview would have been less, umm, flowery and far more real.) And if you want to get to know your Sciacca any better than you already do, you’ll want to read the interview. It asks the hard hitting, Geraldo-esque, Al Capone’s Vault-like questions such as, “What motivated you to become a journalist?” (see that Jeremy G! Some people think I’m a journalist! And, no! I’m not ever, never, ever gonna let that go!) “What’s the best feedback you’ve ever received for one of your articles?” and “Describe, if you can, the average day of John Sciacca.” I’ll, of course, let you know when the story posts and where you can all find it. Try and at least maintain the illusion of normalcy in your lives until I can break that news...

So, I leave the store at about 1:15 PM and head home and make myself a giant Boar’s Head peppered-ham sandwich while preparing for a Web-Ex dry-run practice session call-in where I am a panelist on a Kaleidescape presentation on the topic, “Tapping the potential of digital movie collection.” (At some point I mention to Dana how much I would really love my job if I could leave and come home every day by 1:30. If you haven’t done it for a while, you really should. It’s strangely liberating and awesome.) So I do my part, talking for about ten minutes on the subject of demonstrating the Kaleidescape experience and get to work in the line, “Ferrari salesmen don’t apologize that their Ferraris are expensive.”

The actual LIVE FREE WEBINAR (the bold and red is how they advertise it; it does give it a certain bit of gravitas, doesn’t it?) is on Wednesday at 2 PM Eastern. Here is a link to register to the event. You can all log in and listen to me along with K’scape’s Director of Marketing, Linus Wong, K’scape’s Director of Product Management, Tom Barnett, and another K’scape dealer/integrator, Eric Schmidt. Here is the link to sign-up. And don’t’s LIVE and FREE.

No sooner does the Web-Ex thing finish and my doorbell rings. I answer the door to find standing on my freezing cold, when did I decide to move to the Rebel ice planet, Hoth? front porch Gary Blouse from Niles. He’s come up from Miami to get my ICS review system dialed-in. I’m going to be looking at their new IM-NET cards for Jeremy at Resi, and so far, I’m pretty impressed. When the chassis weighs like 55 pounds, I am giving it a full 5-belt hernia-star rating for build quality and power supply. Most other 6 zone/6 source systems weigh in at like 25 pounds, with their light-weight, digital amplifier lady business producing audio that often has the vocal range of a castrato. So right out of the box you can just tell this thing is the real deal. Also, it streams my 96/24 FLAC files, which is the awesome. Plus, it is like a full 5 weeks before I even have to think about picking it up and repacking it, so by then I’ll have forgotten how brutally heavy it is! (Or perhaps I’ll just pull a page from the Darryl Wilkinson “Guide to Reviewing Audio/Video Systems” and wait until they ask for the system back on three separate, non-contiguous occasions. According to Darryl, if they aren’t willing to bother asking for it back three times, it means they don’t *really* want it back. He truly is the Jedi Master. Dark Jedi, to be sure, but definitely Master.)

Then, once Gary had everything hooked up and working, we headed out to Gordon Biersch for dinner as a family. Apparently the offer to “spend $10 and get a free order of garlic fries” is titillating enough of an incentive for us to bear nuclear winter and head outside, with all of us wearing scarves and jackets to brave the elements and claim our free $5 worth of fries. Lauryn did manage to produce a couple of awesome drawings at dinner, which I’ll share later... Hope your day was equally packed with music, action and Marzen.

Categories: December 2010, Reviews, CTA

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