i woke up at 10am this morning, figuring i'd get a head start to the week. i like getting up early but i don't do it very often because i enjoy sleeping just a bit more. today was cold but sunny, with all that snow from this past weekend pretty much frozen solid. for lunch i had the usual: french toast and kielbasa sausages. this time around i added some sauerkraut, for the ultimate flavor medley of sweet, salty, and sour. all i needed was something spicy to really kickstart the party in my mouth (get some spicy kielbasa next time). my father came by briefly in the afternoon with a food delivery.
in the evening i went to a lecture at the harvard museum. alan rabinowitz was the guest speaker, here to talk about his part in the creation of the world's largest tiger preserve in burma. i didn't know who he was but the man has impressive credentials. an unassuming fellow in his mid-50's with a slight stutter, you'd never think he's responsible for the creation of nature reserves all across the world. it's not often i come face to face with an adventurer and get to hear his stories but this guy's the real deal. through his slideshow, we got to learn how he originally just wanted to create a generously-sized preserve in northern burma, but was recalled by the burmese officials for not making it even bigger. when asked by one of the heads of the military junta why he liked tigers so much, rabinowitz answered, "because they're not people," which got a chuckle out of the leader. prior to the establishment of the preserve, rabinowitz had to lay down the groundwork, getting the rebel insurgents to agree, as well as the various ethnic minority tribes. throughout it all there were poachers, gold prospectors, and malaria. he also had to train the staff that would be needed to manage the preserve. having worked on this for close to a decade now, it was surprising to hear him reveal that he's never actually seen a wild tiger before: all the ones he's seen were from camera traps. by the end of his talk, i was so moved by this man and his work that i almost burst out in tears. perhaps one of the best lectures i've ever attended!
back at home, i put up the LED christmas lights that finally arrived today. with christmas about a week away, i wanted to throw my hat into the ring and lay down some holiday cheers! the bulbs were bigger than i realized, but still pretty in their glowing festive colors. i decided to go with LEDs because they use less electricity and they're also cool to the touch so i don't have to worry about accidently setting something on fire. i only got enough lights to do one window treatment (did realize they were so short). i set it on a timer so i wouldn't have to do anything, just sit back and enjoy. i'll take some outdoor photos tomorrow night. along with the lights came a canon remote for my camera as well as a copy of sibley's birding basics, a spur of the moment purchase just so i could exceed the $25 limit to get free shipping from amazon.com. for dinner i had the food my father had brought over earlier during the day.