Month: July 2016

Commentary | Star Trek: Beyond

STAR TREK: BEYOND. It was a highly fun and entertaining movie, right in line with the previous two of this J.J. Abrams reboot. We left feeling like it was really good, and I still have that thought a few days later. Coincidentally, there was a theme that ran through the story, a timely theme of diversity, togetherness and teamwork. Staying together for mutual purpose in order to achieve harmony and to prosper – the common Star Trek theme, of course. But also this: no matter what our sins are in the past or present, in order to make a better tomorrow we need to unify, overcome and forge ahead together. Upon reflection a couple of days later, something about this movie has me questioning whether or not I was as emotionally engaged in it as I was with the previous two installments. I don’t think it’s the actors’ fault that maybe I’m getting a sense that it lacked a certain amount of depth. Chris Pine as Cpt. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Comm. Spock seemed …

Thinkbook 3 | Together Is the Way

This is a #thinkbook log on #ruckology by Brandon L. Rucker in which he presents a weekly upload of brain matter from the past week. I’ve squeezed out a lot of brain juice this past week, and in this coming week and beyond it’s only going to get more voluminous and creative. More on that tomorrow in the Workbook log for July as I look back at the last month’s activity and forward to the coming month’s projected productivity. So this week much of my thinking was dominated by the socio-political, given that we as a nation and world are still recovering from various calamitous events. And also this week was the Democratic National Convention, which did its best to calm the burning fires of the American socio-political fabric. There seemed to be a clear and prevailing message of unification, working together in concert with one another and a certain “we can do it” in the face of insurmountable challenges if we simply work together toward our mutual goals. In other words, there’s no need for division, …

Commentary | AMC’S Preacher: Season 1

After the excellent and humorous 6th episode “Sundowner” from a couple of weeks back, PREACHER and I have finally reached an accord with each other, I suppose. I’m starting to judge it less in comparison to its comic book/graphic novel source material, finally. Last week’s episode, “He Gone” was fairly good. Still, I have issues with Cassidy and Tulip hooking up so early in the overall scheme of things. And while Tulip’s TV portrayal has been a tour-de-force by Ruth Negga, her likability compared to comic book Tulip has been compromised, thus far, IMHO. Yet, overall, I’m still entertained and intrigued at this point, so I’m in for the long haul. Now, weeks later as we are on the verge of the season one finale, another thought on the show occurred to me. I’ve been on record elsewhere with a number of criticisms about this particular adaptation. Nothing too harsh, I don’t think. My latest thought is in regards to the show’s slow-burn, a criticism I’ve seen levied against it recently. The thing is, there’s …

Lifebook 8 | Cosmos, Caverns, Lasers and Karts, Oh My!

#ruckology #lifebook Time spent inside the Earth after time spent studying above and beyond it. So last weekend was a kind of a mini-family vacation with less mileage than the previous two summers when we went to stay in Wisconsin (last year) and Tennessee (2014). This year we kept the travel around three hours of one-way drive time, staying in our native Indiana and and barely crossing the liquid border of the Ohio River into the northern tip of Kentucky. Friday, July 22nd – Charles W. Brown Planetarium, Ball State University, Muncie, IN We kicked off with rest and relaxation at home. Kids slept in until noonish. The entire region, if not the whole continental U.S. was under the scourge of a heatwave. If you’ve ever been in the MidWest in the dead of summer, then I don’t have to tell you about the severe humidity. So the braniac idea of going to a planetarium hit me during my activity search for some free, air-conditioned fun. Plus, it’s educational (gotta educate the kids, right?). The …

Thinkbook 2 | Read? Write? Rock?

#ruckology #thinkbook #read #write #rock Last week the first Thinkbook tackled art, this week’s keeps it in the neighborhood of the arts. This past week I battled my usual conflict of wanting to do multiple things all at the same time: read, write and rock out. Anyone reading this obviously knows I’m a writer. And by natural extension of that I am an avid reader. Perhaps not-so obvious, unless you’ve thoroughly perused this particular blog, I am also a musician. That’s something I started aspiring toward, in 1988, well before getting bitten by the writing bug in 1993. I’ve written/co-written hundreds of songs alone or with bandmates, I’ve played several dozen shows onstage as a guitarist, a bassists and a vocalist. I’ve recorded and released music to the public over the years (plenty still unreleased as well). I’ve written an untold amount of stories, articles and poems and published scores of them both in physical and virtual publications. Of course what led to wanting to write was my being an avid reader of fiction, mostly in …

Thinkbook 1 | Art Can Make Your Day

#ruckology #artjunkie First in a series of weekly brainjuice leakages, an upload from my cerebral mainframe to yours. Art. Man, it really can make your day. Be it visual, audio, audio-visual, practical or virtual. Art just has that uncanny ability to touch the soul, spark the imagination and be a general catalyst to positive things in our lives. I’m a sucker for the stuff and spend an inordinate amount of time mentally immersed in it on a daily basis, whether it’s my own or that of others. Over a decade ago I used to go by the handle artjunkie online. In fact that was the name of my first ever blog (on Livejournal) some eons ago. I am certainly an art junkie for life, no doubt. We’re certainly in some dark times these days, socially and politically. Do yourself a favor and try to make time to consume your favorite kind or art, better yet, discover some new art. Btw, hello and g’day, my friends. I am going to attempt to do this on a weekly …

Notebook 6 | Write-or-Flight, the Phone Awaits Also

#ruckology #writeorflight Image: screenshot from my phone. So in yesterday’s Notebook the theme was about a writer (moi) finding himself in the compromised position of having to write on-the-go, out of office and out of his comfort zone using pen and paper rather than his trusty PC. Y’know, something normal people do all the time without quibble. Well, today’s entry is the sequel. Because … If you (I) have to, you (I) can also be productive writing … on your (my) phone??? Say whuuuut? IKR? Trust me, it’s not something I’ve ever wanted to have to do, but today I found myself doing just that out of desperation. While initially writing with the old school method of pen to paper today, I happened to remember a couple of things as I scribbled up a page with my chicken scratch: I have Microsoft Office on my phone, featuring first and foremost MS Word. My phone is also connected to my Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage account. So whatever I write on the phone can be retrieved on the PC later. …