Ric Bretschneider

My thoughts in your brain…

Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Take the Blue Pill…

leave a comment »

Just a reminder that this blog (at https://ricbret.wordpress.com) is no longer active and new content is appearing at http://blog.ricbret.com.

Please adjust your links and subscriptions as necessary to keep in touch.

You can subscribe to the active blog by going to http://blog.ricbret.com and using the subscribe control at the top of the page on the right.

And there’s a new entry there today! Kind of fun, maybe leading into something scary. I’m excited and hope you’ll check it out.

Oh, here’s a direct link! http://blog.ricbret.com/books/take-the-red-pill/



Written by ricbret

July 26, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Rotten Bitter Apple

with 2 comments


Word from comiXology now after many hand-wringing updates overnight is that Apple didn’t prevent comiXology from pushing to iOS apps, but comiXology made the call.  In a letter on their blog page, comiXology CEO David Steinberger noted:

After hearing from Apple this morning, we can say that our interpretation of its policies was mistaken. You’ll be glad to know that Saga #12 will be available on our App Store app soon.

It would be very interesting to know which policies, their actual nomenclature, comiXology was concerned about violating. Expect they were spot-on in their interpretation.  This smells of Apple making an exception after the fact to avoid bad press, and a small company falling on its own sword to keep in the fruit monopoly’s good graces.
Apple is a blatant censor, they just don’t want to be known as one.  Their role as a publisher who censors other publishers is a net-negative, regardless of the details.

20130410:12:45PM PST

Ric’ Originally Wrote on April 9th:

Apple Computer’s been pretty absurd about trying to prevent mature individuals from enjoying mature content on their mobile devices.

What’s so special about mobile devices? Nothing, except that Apple has implemented a file system and application system that they can control, they can prevent the user from using for any content. There is only content Apple approves of, on apps Apple approves of. And they’ve been your nanny since day one.

But now they’ve gone a little nuts.

a1Tomorrow, one of the finest comics available, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, will not be available in digital form on iOS devices. This is due to two “postage stamp sized gay sex scenes” that appear in the magazine. They’re kind of background images, literally like someone left a TV on in a scene, context is ambiguous and not flamboyant.

Still Apple takes umbrage, and is shutting down all iOS apps that might try to down the comic. No iPad, no iPhone, no. Because they’re trying to protect you from an image you can walk into any comic store tomorrow and buy without showing your driver’s license. And it’s not the first nudity or sexuality in the magazine. It’s undoubtedly because of the gay context that they get out their big censor stick.

This is a crime against art.

I’m not exaggerating, Saga is one of the best comic books available today. Smart, inventive, human, witty, lovely, and unique.

All things Apple used to be.

And now they’re just disappointing.

Written by ricbret

April 10, 2013 at 7:03 am

Savino Wine Preservation System Unboxing

leave a comment »

Sometimes we have to put the tech, and the presenting and the other stuff geeky aside and just enjoy a glass of wine.

But maybe we can combine a few of these. The latest tech in wine storage. The geeky flavor of an impromptu unboxing and demo. All on a Friday afternoon.


Written by ricbret

March 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Love of Books – An Unboxing of “The Fifty Year Sword”

with one comment

I’m a big fan of books. Not just the stories, but the book construction as well. From bindings, paper choice, typeset, typography, layout, it’s all interesting to me.

Mark Z. Danielewski is most famous for House of Leaves, an inventive experimental work of layered stories and typographic morphing of most everything we think of as the printed page.

In this video I do a short review of House of Leaves for those who are not familiar with the work (and to allow those familiar with it to berate and chastise me for “getting it wrong” I suspect) and then do an unboxing of his latest work The Fifty Year Sword, which comes in a unique box and exhibits some of the same traits found in House of Leaves.

I hope you enjoy, and I hope those trying to make a purchase decision on this book are aided in their decision making.


Written by ricbret

December 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

The value of writing reuse…

leave a comment »

Every now and then I start off a blog entry with “I really don’t write often enough…”

But that’s not really true.  I write a ton of stuff, it just doesn’t always end up here.  The articles I write very rarely have to do with things I’ve written elsewhere.  (Irony, on reflection I see that the post just prior to this touts a review I wrote elsewhere.  I’m simply not paying attention. But I’ll write on as if I hadn’t noticed that.)

What I need to do is rechannel efforts, make blog entries about or completely repeating writing I’ve done for other sources – that is when it’s not against some standing prior agreement.  This does seem to be a factor in blogging success – let’s see if I can remember it.

Boring yet?  Let’s move on. 

So with that in mind, I invite you to view a series of articles composed of my pictures from Comic Con 2011.  Some of you may know of my association with the website Fanboy Planet.  I produce a weekly podcast and occasionally have prose pieces that appear there.  And every now and then, there’s a fun set of photos. 

So without further ado, some links for you to peruse. Can there ever be too many...

Comic-Con 2011: Celebrities, Creators and More!

There are likely a few more to come.

If you’re interested, you can follow me or Fanboy Planet on Facebook, or check back here to see when I update.

Now some of you may note that there are far more women in far less clothing in these pictures than there are men. 

There are two reasons for that:

1. There simply are more women in costume at comic con, and they do it so much better.  It’s a sewing thing I expect.

2. I’m a guy.


Ric Bretschneider
August 12, 2011

Written by ricbret

August 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm

And about that moon…

leave a comment »

Sometimes you just do things for fun.

For the last four years I’ve produced a weekly podcast and occasionally written articles for a web site called Fanboy Planet. There’s no money in this, but usually it gets you into conventions, occasionally it gets you into great parties, and quite often it delivers great swag.  The cost of most swag is that you must review it, and this week my review of the first season of the 70’s science fiction show Space:1999 is up for your reading pleasure.  I’d repeat it here, but I’d much rather send you off to Fanboy Planet where you might read and listen to a great many other fun things.


Written by ricbret

January 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm


leave a comment »

Big Fun Yesterday.
San Francisco is becoming the place for muscials to do their pre-Broadway opening night runs – tuning the show, adding and deleting songs, all the things that need to be done before a live audience to get things right.  We first took advantage of this when Wicked made it’s run there May of 2004 – getting to hear songs that never made it to broadway and see Robert Morse in his only run as the Wizard of Oz (got replaced by Joel Gray for the NY run). 
Anyway, I pounced on tickets for Lestat,  the musical adaptation of Anne Rice’s vampire stories, and the San Jose Bretschneiders were halfway back in orchestra center last night.  This was only the third actual presentation of the show and there were some rough points.  They’ve got a bit of work to do before they leave SF.  Still we had a great time.  If you want to learn more: click here.
Anyway, we got to SF really early and spent some time walking around Union Square in the holiday decorations.  Macys had a snow machine going and Debbie went in and bought some really funky sneakers.  Dinner at Max’s on Geary and then off to the show.  
The music for Lestat is done by Elton John, who’s already earned his chops on successes like Lion King and Aida, but for the first time in collaboration wht Bernie Taupin.  While I think the music could have been a bit more biting (lame pun unintended but unexcised) we did enjoy the evening.

Written by ricbret

December 21, 2005 at 11:37 am

Posted in Entertainment


with one comment

Justin and I are home alone this weekend.  Deb headed off to take pictures of tombstones in Oklahoma with her cousins. We’re pretty much at our leisure.
Similar "boys only" weekends have been occasions for marathon movie sessions:
– Morning to midnight *expanded* Lord of the Rings movie marathon
– Terminator Movie Marathon
– Alien Trilogy, Predator, Predator II, Alien vs. Predator
So we’ve got a lot to live up to.  It may be time to graduate to The Godfather trilogy, or perhaps all the Sean Connery Bond films…
Oh yeah, we’ll be eating good too!
UPDATE: What we actually did: First two DVDs of the Firefly TV show. Good eating.  Marthon COH sessions.

Written by ricbret

October 21, 2005 at 9:34 am

Posted in Entertainment


leave a comment »

Yeah, I’m a sucker for a good parody.  At first sight this book had me fearing it was an actual sequel, and then upon closer examination laughing at the cover.  By the time I’d read the inside flaps, I knew it was going home with me.  And like the original, it looks like it’s a two hour read at best. 
Front flap:
Heaven can wait.

In the meantime…why not go to Hell?

Every once in a while a little book comes along that sheds light on our desire for intimacy, our determination to grow spiritually, and our collective yearning to define the boundaries of the soul.

The Five People You Meet in Hell is not that little book.

A sensitive everyman, Edgy works a meaning-less job at a seaside tourist trap. When a freak accident sends him to "the other side," he encounters a series of strangers compelled to explain the meaning of life. Running the gamut from annoying and incoherent to irritating and hard to follow, these individuals all share a basic desire with virtually every other soul in the universe: to make quick money from a made-for-television movie.

The Five People You Meet in Hell is as illuminating as a short-circuited night light and contains all the insight of a chocolate-dipped fortune cookie (with none of the fat). If you’ve ever died, expect to die, know someone who has died, raise alpacas, collect Hummel figurines, breathe air, or enjoy line dancing, you must buy this book. You will never think about thirteen bucks the same way again.

If you experience erections lasting more than four hours, please consult your physician.


Back Flap:

Rich Pablum lives in Idaho, where he covers competitive yawning for the Edison County Courier.  He is researching his next book, Ventriloquism for Dummies.


Written by ricbret

August 6, 2005 at 10:09 pm

Posted in Entertainment