Weekend Stories

This weekend was a whirlwind of activity. A large event at the wildlife conservation organization I volunteer at on Saturday, followed by staff meetings and a massive Halloween party, consumed most of my waking hours. Jake has been traveling to see his family and wish his Grandfather a happy birthday this weekend, so I am left to my own devices. A terrifying thought. (Fear not, he is returning this evening!)

This all happened after a pretty terrible Friday, the details of which I won’t get into. But I will tell you that it ended with the alarm system at the house going off for no reason at 1:30 in the morning only to miss the security phone call shortly thereafter. And, you guessed it, that means the cops came. At 2 o’clock in the morning. Three of them. Now, you’re probably asking yourself why it took them so long to get here. I can’t answer that question, I honestly have no clue. But I can tell you that after fifteen minutes of waiting I figured they weren’t coming, so I went back to bed. So I was rudely awoken twice that night morning. Once by a screeching siren and once by aggressive pounding on my front door. And then I got up at 7am and worked all day on my feet, lugging heavy objects around. Talk about a relaxing weekend!

Chasing IceIn other, less awful news, I watched two amazing documentaries on Sunday that I must take this opportunity to share with you. The first was Chasing Ice. It details the mission of the Extreme Ice Survey and its founder James Balog. What EIS does, in simple terms, is to put a definitive visual on the global climate change issue. Note that I didn’t say debate. There is no debate. The scientific community isn’t at odds on this one. James Balog and his team have stationed 27 time lapse cameras at different glaciers around the world and have been monitoring the images for several years. The results are absolutely stunning and heart breaking. I encourage you to watch the documentary and then follow up by checking out his 2009 TED Talk.

The National ParksThe other documentary I watched this weekend was Ken Burn‘s The National Parks. It’s a monumental undertaking detailing the history of the United States national parks, the National Park Service, and the numerous individuals (naturalists, presidents, enthusiasts, businessmen, philanthropists, etc) who were essential to the creation of these national treasures. I could swoon about Ken Burn’s cinematic and storytelling style for days, but I’ll spare you the hero worship. What is most fascinating about this six part, eleven hour film is the picture it paints of the people who were behind the creation and development of the National Park system here in the United States and the motives and ambitions that drove them. I love the park system, it is one of my goals in life to visit as many of the parks, monuments, and refuges as possible before I die. The insight into their creation, the dramatic and engaging visuals, and the passion showcased in this film really get me, right in the feels. I encourage you to check out both of these films. And if you do, please let me know what you think of them!