Ear to the ground:

“I flew a helicopter in Vietnam, but I still can’t open this lock.”
– Local discussing the unfair incongruity between mechanical and everyday skills

Watch and learn

With mud season here, there’s no better time to nestle into a comfy seat inside a dry, warm theater. There are two opportunities to do just that this week – and better yourself, and possibly the planet, in the process.

First up is a screening of Sweetgrass Production’s “Jumbo Wild,” at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Sun., Oct. 25, at the Animas City Theatre. Made in conjunction with outdoor clothing juggernaut Patagonia, the documentary explores the battle being waged in British Columbia’s iconic and, as of now, still-wild Jumbo Valley, located in the purcell Mountains. For the last 24 years, First Nations, conservationists, and backcountry skiers have fought a large-scale resort in the area, held sacred to indigenous peoples, backcountry skiers and grizzly bears alike.

Patagonia ambassadors Vince Anderson, a mountaineer and writer from Ridgway,  and Jackson Hole-based snowboarder Alex Yoder will be on hand. Tickets are $5 and available at Pine Needle.

Next up is Durango Natural Foods’ screening of “Food for Change,” which will be shown at 7 p.m. Tues., Oct. 27, also at the ACT. The documentary is being shown in honor of National Co-op Month.

The feature-length (84 min.) film tells the story of the co-op movement in the United States through interviews with co-op leaders and historians as well as rare archival footage. It examines the role consumer-led food co-ops have played over the years, from their start during the Great Depression to the modern-day battle between local David and corporate Goliath.

Tickets are $3 and sold at the door.

Stocking stuffer

The stores already have their Christmas decorations out, which can only mean one thing. Well two: it’s almost Halloween; and it’s never too early to start crossing names off your holiday shopping list.

This year, why not avoid the mall crush and do your shopping from the safety and convenience of your own home – all while giving a gift that is uniquely Durango.

Local fine art photographer Gunnar Conrad – almost as famous for his annual holiday party – is offering, for the first time ever, a collection of his best wilderness prints all in a handy 2016 calendar format. “Great,” you may say, “Where do I get one?”

Here’s the kicker, or Kickstarter, to be exact. Conrad’s calendar is only available online via the popular crowd-sourcing site. To donate, or see a personal video from Gunnar telling you why you should buy it, lest you need convincing, go to: www.kick starter.com and type “Gunnar” in the search bar. A mere $20 will get you one 12x12 calendar, but for less than the cost of yet another Christmas sweater with matching Isotoner slippers ($100), you can get six calendars, enough for the entire extended family, including those hard-to-impress in-laws.