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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

First Class Coach (mostly)

Posted on February 28, 2011 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (2)

Since I’ve been Gold-i-fied on US Air late last year, my upgrade percentagestatus has been significantly improved. Like I’m *always* getting at least one bumpity-bump per travel trip segment. On my recent trip to Washington DC, I was rockin’ 100% upgrades; 2 up and 2 back. And, there’s no question that the front of the plane beats the back of the plane. In fact, it pulls down its pants and spanks its bottom in front of the whole class and then makes it s...

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Dinner at Clyde, not at all Common

Posted on February 27, 2011 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Alternate Title: Things to do in Portland before you’re dead

Occasionally my travels take me to some pretty cool places. Of course I was just in DC where I hit a ton of museums, and there’s been

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Jumping on Lutron's Opportunities Tour

Posted on February 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM Comments comments (35)

Remember when I told you that I've been on the road lately? And I told you that I was in Washington DC? The one where I talk about appreciating art? (It's like two blogs ago if you haven't.) And I was attending Lutron training? Well, you can read WAY more about that training here... And if you haven't seen Lutron's Sivoia shading system in action, you should; it is SUPER cool!

The days of steady, consistent jobs lining up...

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Mr. Cooper makes it Rain!

Posted on February 25, 2011 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (3)

It has been a while since I’ve spoken about my encounters with Mr. Cooper. If you recall, I’ve done three posts on my encounters with him so far; the first called the customer’s always right even when he’s crazy where I introdu...

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This Golden Life

Posted on February 23, 2011 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (0)

I mentioned yesterday that I have a *crazy* amount of travel in my future. And this night begins a 24-hour period which probably has more travel in it than at any other point in my life. Well, maybe not as much as my crazy, mad-dash to go from Silver to Gold, but still...a LOT. And that trip was all pretty much self-inflicted and made for – what I think is – a great story. Relive the journey, shall we?

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The one where I talk about appreciating art

Posted on February 22, 2011 at 5:46 PM Comments comments (1)

So, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been putting out as much recently. Well, I am on a crazy road, Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show, trip. Except with no Brother Love. Or salvation. I’m in DC right now getting trained up from Lutron and within a 24 hour span I will leave DC and return home, then leave home and head to Portland. I need a punch card for visits through the CLT airport. If I played Foursquare (though I don...

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Our Paper Family

Posted on February 21, 2011 at 10:07 PM Comments comments (2)

My mom sent Lauryn a package the other day and inside was this whole kit of materials for making paper dolls. There were tons of papers and cutouts and glue sticks and pens and kid-proof scissors and sheets of accessories that popped out and basically made a giant mess everywhere.


So, Lauryn took all of these materials and dumped them out all over our dining room table. And she started working; cutting, color...

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Not so fast, Elite-osabe!

Posted on February 18, 2011 at 3:03 PM Comments comments (0)

My Plasma TV, the 9G swan-song Kuro – “Deep, Black, and Penetrating” a tag-phrase that is just BEGGING to have a lewd joke made about it. However, I caution that even*suggesting* that it lends itself to a lewd joke to Pioneer’s female PR rep while at CEDIA might just return you a really awkward and uncomfortable silence followed by several moments when you wish that you’d just saved your little comment for yourself or for someone who would really a...

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Best of: The Spring 2010 Version

Posted on February 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM Comments comments (0)

Been a long hiatus since I’ve hit-em Shy Ronnie with a Best of recap. So...HIATUS OVER!


Here’s some of my member e-mails and favorite posts from May and June of 2010. And remember, if you haven’t read them, they’re new to you! (Though, I must say, even if you HAVE read them, some are worth a re-read.) And, if you missed your chance on commenting then, well, that’s a paddlin’! But...

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What cost a free Redbox?

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 6:16 PM Comments comments (2)

You all know I love movies. And you likely know about my love for Netflix – though they are straining the bonds of our singularity with continued price increases and surcharges and the like; seriously you are ON notice Netflix; I don’t know that I can stand by my man through yet another rate hike! – and my equal distaste and general “I hope I live long enough to dance on your grave! I DANCE ON YOUR GRAVE!!!”-ness of feelings towards Blockbuster. (T...

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Survivor: I vote you BACK on the island!

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 2:01 PM Comments comments (0)

 Confession: I love Survivor. You don’t’ need to make any comments about how lame it is or how reality TV is contributing to the downward spiral of our generation. I don’t care. To date, I have missed a SINGLE episode...Season 1, Ep 1. From Ep 2 on, I have been there for every immunity challenge, tribal council, lie, backstab and player meltdown. Even during that strange and cruel season

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You broke my TV! Now fix it or give me a new one!

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 10:47 AM Comments comments (5)

At the risk of handing over the billows to help stoke what seems to be a near eternal, roaring flame war topic, I will start by saying that I am both THX and ISF video calibration certified. And regardless of what you may think about these services – with lines pretty clearly formed on the sides of “Your TV is unwatchable without it!” and “Biggest waste of money ever!” – there are many people that feel a calibrated display produces a much mor...

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Accept 3D and be saved!

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 10:26 AM Comments comments (0)

The particular part of the country that I live in is often referred to as “The Bible Belt.” And living in the Bible Belt, there are no shortage of churches. I haven’t kept an exact count – plus new ones are being added all the time – but I pass literally *dozens* on my to and from work. In fact, I pretty much pass dozens on my way to and from anywhere. While we have couple of large ones – though none of them are the mega-opolis types w...

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Open up and say, "Awesome!"

Posted on February 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (24)

Guessing who will potentially be a good client by looking at someone can be tough if not near impossible. Think someone is going to want to drop a bucket-load on a killer system because they’re rich? Maybe. Or, maybe they suffer from a severe case of perpetual tinnitus and they hate any sound above a gentle whisper or they are color blind and the thought of watching a movie only angers up their blood. Or maybe they’re of the mindset that, “Sonny! Let me tell y...

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Twelve Pretty Beers, All in a Row

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (3)

As I mentioned previously, one of my Super Bowl guilty pleasures is grabbing some French Onion dip, a bag of Ruffles and some beer. And since the whole game, commercials, half-time, wrap-up routine is a long endeavor that means a lot of beer. So, prior to the game I headed over to Lowe’s Food where they have a generous selection of singles that you can purchase for $8.99 per mixed 6-pack. This is actually quite a deal since all of these beers cost at least $8.99 when purc...

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Technological White Wizardry

Posted on February 11, 2011 at 12:50 PM Comments comments (2)

Blog reader/member/PR Tour de Force, Amanda (aka “PR Buddha”), took on the associate publisher role over at Rhode Island Home & Design a few months ago where she handles "all things related to sales, marketing, editorial, layout and design, trade shows in New England." And from the start she was dangling the carrot of writing possibilities, assuring that there would...

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Lauryn Presents the Kaleidescape Kid's Remote Experience

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 10:58 AM Comments comments (1)

I’ve talked at length about my love for the Kaleidescape Movie Server system, and really, what’s NOT to love. It has taken ALL of my movies – Blu-ray and DVD – and transformed them into digital space and then presents them in a beautiful GUI for easily selection and instant playback. Every time I turn it on, I discover some new cool aspect of the system or just reconnect with a movie in my collection that I had forgotten about. (“Oh, The Italian...

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Beware Strangers Bearing Gift Cards

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 5:52 PM Comments comments (25)

Despite the “NO SOLICITING” text prominently affixed to our front door, we get people that randomly come by wanting to solicit things to us. Over the years we have had tons of people wanting to sell us health insurance or see if we need a small business loan (really? Like I’m going to sign up for a business loan from some guy that just comes in off the street? What? You just want to hand me some money? Well, OK, tell me more..."), how much are we paying for ou...

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Best Buy Back: Not Such a Best Buy

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 4:48 PM Comments comments (4)

You probably watched the Super Bowl. And you probably watched the ads. (I don’t know what Spielberg’s new movie Super 8 is about, but I already know that I LOVE IT!) And you probably remember the ad with Ozzy Osbourne and – did he really just say he looked like a girl? – Justin Bieber. What you might not remember was that that commercial – all $3 million worth of air time of it – was for Best Buy promoting a new program called Buy Back.

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Avatar curse-free for kids? What the BLEEP?!

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 3:54 PM Comments comments (6)

Lauryn had it into her stubborn-stubborn head brain that we needed to go and buy something called a Zsu-Zsu Pet Baby. (It’s so ridiculous that I won’t even try and describe it to you, save to say that they are smaller than an egg, feel kind of fuzzy like a peach and cost $10.) So, this become something of a mission for her, and at some point in the week she decided that Saturday would be the Zsu-Zsu Pet Baby buying day. We were reminded of this promptly at 7:30 when...

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