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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Sony Press Dinner

Posted on July 1, 2010 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

This will be my last post for the month of June, and will complete a hat-trick of posts for today. As a bit of a disclaimer, I must say that I am  fully wined-up right now, enjoying a most pleasant red wine buzz from the fully open bar at tonight's dinner, and I am basically waiting for the next 25 minutes so I can on-line check-in for my US Air flight tomorrow. I am returning to SC on the red eye, and I desperately want to NOT be sitting in a cramped middle row ...

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Posted on June 30, 2010 at 8:58 PM Comments comments (4)

Well, Sony, you've sure impressed the hell out of me so far! I was met at the airport coming off my flight by a be-suited woman holding a placard that said "Sony - Sciacca." Seriously, haven't you always wanted to have one of those people there waiting for you? Well, today was my turn, and, yes, it IS every bit as sweet as you thought it would be. She escorted me outside to my waiting Lincoln Towncar where, after a 40 minute drive we left somewhat scuzzy LA behind and pulled into Beverly Hill...

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Back (S)on(y) the road

Posted on June 30, 2010 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A couple of weeks ago, Jeremy G forwarded me an e-mail of an invite he received to a Sony press junket. While I feigned happiness for him -- Wow! That's so great for you! Really! Just....great. For you. -- really I was seething with jealousy. While press trips are always kind of fun -- the nice hotel, the wining, the dining -- this one sounded especially great. So, I of course offered to go in his stead, but he declined, saying he'd gladly take the bullet on this one. (He's a right selfi...

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The first time is the sweetest

Posted on June 29, 2010 at 4:53 PM Comments comments (0)

The other day we saw Toy Story in 3D. This seemed like the perfect storm to be Lauryn’s first commercial theater experience – a movie we all wanted to see, a move she loved, Toy Story 1 was the *first* movie she ever watched – but we ended up going without her because she was too panicked to try on the glasses.  Yes, we could have gone to the non-3D show, but I r...

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Errrr, ummm, awkward...

Posted on June 28, 2010 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Bad mouthing another trade’s work is never good. I saw this in action firsthand when a previous (as in “no longer with us") installer told a customer that his electrical wiring was a mess. In fact I believe his exact quote was, “Man! Your house is wired up like an old Christmas tree!” That’s when the customer shared -- rather tersely -- that his father, an electrician, had wired the house. Ooops!


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Toy Story in Free-D

Posted on June 27, 2010 at 8:08 PM Comments comments (0)

Roughly three months ago I wrote how you could get the new Toy Story Blu-ray discs for free. (I thought I was being oh-so clever by calling it Blupon, like "coupon" but now I think I just get people finding the story when they Google and misspell "Blu porn" but I'll take the hits where I can get them....)


So, part of that Blu-ray disc deal ...

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You've got to hear this, err, Schiit

Posted on June 26, 2010 at 7:38 PM Comments comments (2)

What's in a name? Not much, unless your name is Dick, and then, try all you want, but no one is really calling you "Richard" when you're not around. When you're a new company, selecting a name can be a daunting task, something that can be with you for years to come. (I ran across some lame ones on my trip to Alabama like "Gator Head Kennels" or "Hyman Viney...

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Posted on June 25, 2010 at 2:59 PM Comments comments (0)

I spend a fair bit of my day on the phone giving tech support to others. And while many (MANY) calls make me long for an F9 Button, I try my best to be civil and offer a solution. I say *try* because sometimes I can just feel that my patience is slipping away. Sometimes I put people on hold and just get up and walk around for a minute. Taking a personal moment.  As Tuco would say, “...

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Careful! The Net is Watching!

Posted on June 24, 2010 at 5:41 PM Comments comments (1)

Despite every company carpet bombing you with their rigorous, “Hey, we care about your privacy. No, really! We do! We’re not like all those other guys. We’d never sell your information to some spammer in the Far East for 15 cents. Nor will we use woefully out of date security to protect your Top Secret personal info. That’s not how we roll.”

So, despite ALL of those assurances, you routinely see things like “Google caught gathering info&#...

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Monster Vision: Sadly, Not What You Would Hope

Posted on June 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM Comments comments (0)

You would think that it just wouldn’t be possible for something called “Monster Vision” to not be among the coolest inventions ever. I mean, the possibilities that the name conjures up are just so geek-boy awesome that how could it possibly be a letdown?

Monster Vision could allow you to immediately determine once-and-for-all which of your friends was well and truly undead, liberating you from those difficult should I/shouldn’t I shotgun decisions we...

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Song of Johnomon

Posted on June 23, 2010 at 6:18 PM Comments comments (3)

If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know that I set a goal of reading the Bible from cover to cover this year. I try and carve out about 30 minutes each evening after Lauryn goes to bed where I can read 4-5 pages (and possibly find a needle-in-a-haystack misspelling.) And I’ve been diligently making steady but slow progress. (Those micro-thin pages and 8 p...

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Gettin' my Biersch on!

Posted on June 23, 2010 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (5)

One of my favorite spots to hang out and grab a beer is Gordon Biersch. I have a ton of history with GB – Craig and I once got nailed trying to “borrow” one of their cool glasses from the SF brewery, I gave golf lessons to Dean Biersch, the guy who was “The Money” behind their startup gave me one of the first cases of bottled Marzen off the line, and Dana and I ate dinner their on our first date and the night we got engaged -- and I genuinely love ...

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Wal-Mart: Killing America with a smile

Posted on June 22, 2010 at 4:44 PM Comments comments (3)

Generally, talking about where you buy your groceries isn't the kind of conversation topic that is going to produce polarizing opinions. "You shop at Kroger, huh? Hmmm, interesting." But tell someone that you shop at Wal-Mart and you're likely to get an earful of piss and vinegar with phrases like "hate," "destroy," "boycot," and "unholy spawn of Lucifer" bandied about.

Since we live almost exactly 2 miles from a Super Wal-Mart, it has become our grocery of choice due m...

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Celebrity Death Match: Gulf Oil Spill

Posted on June 21, 2010 at 4:26 PM Comments comments (0)

This weekend when I saw a blurb on MSN news I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. (I chose neither and instead worked this up.) That the government is now turning to Kevin Costner to help with the oil spill just seems so surreal that I can’t even really put it into words. Seriously, I think that some actors get so wound up in the God complex of playing these bigger than life characters that they forget they are just regular people who don’t *really* have any special skills ...

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iPad: I Love You. Just don't put me out of business

Posted on June 21, 2010 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (2)

Last week, my pal Jeremy G over at Residential Systems asked if I would be interested in contributing to his site's blog. Of course, I said yes! (I must say, the best thing to come out of my trip to Rhode Island for the Caster "Green Life, Smart Life" story was really connecting with Jeremy. Besides being a really good guy, we've struck up a symbiotic (I hope!) relationship where he needed some writing and I needed some paying! So far, it's worked out famously!)

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I backwash into the World Cup!

Posted on June 20, 2010 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (9)

Am I the only one who is resistant to the mad cow-like virulent strain of insanity that is plaguing the country right now? Shall I be forced to wander this continent alone, sipping rain water out of old, rusty peach cans and ducking into cover just before dusk as I hunt down all of you suddenly rabid World Cup soccer zombies with a gnarly pistol grip equipped sawed-off shotgun? Cause I’ll do it. And, I’m not proud to say it, but I’ll probably enjoy it a little.


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Site is down! Urge to sue is rising!

Posted on June 19, 2010 at 1:43 PM Comments comments (0)

If you tried to log on to the site yesterday (June 18 ) between like 3:30 and 7:30 PM you were told that it was taking too long to load, the server might be too busy, or that it just wasn't working out between us and that maybe it was time that we parted company, but as friends.


I got a couple of e-mails (and a call from my dad) asking what gives. So I did some checking and it turns out that the server was conducting some "unexpected maintenance" and that...

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NORTON! Pow! Straight to the kisser!

Posted on June 17, 2010 at 2:13 PM Comments comments (6)

After my computer’s little virus meltdown, hard drive tear down/rebuild a few months ago, I have been playing with different anti-virus software. The goal is to find something robust enough to keep all of the SAVE NOW!!! CLICK HERE!!! coupon blog viruses away and yet allow me (I say “me” I mean “Dana”) to actually use the computer. I’ve tr...

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Not (yet) fat, but definitely lazy

Posted on June 16, 2010 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (3)

I can now say – without any stomach churning queasiness or tears of self pity – that I turned 40 in January. I thought it was going to bother me -- Oh! and it did! -- but like all great pains, this too has eventually passed. Now, I only scratch occasionally at the phantom limb which are the memories of my 30s. (Looks off into the distance, a whistful smile, and a sigh...Itch scratched.)


But two events recently have me really examining my lifestyle and hopin...

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Quick Take: The last 10 films we've watched

Posted on June 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM Comments comments (1)

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my home theater? Yes? Good. Because of all of the things that I’ve purchased, that is one that never fails to please me whenever we use it and it asks for virtually nothing from me in return (unlike my pool which lurks in the shadows waiting to break at THE most inopportune moment...).

So, we’re a big...

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