Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 5:39 PM on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Homer's Best Bets


Photographer: McKibben Jackinsky, Homer News

Swimming in color Vera Bates, 18-months, plays in a tub of balls at the Sprout open house last Friday. Sprout, formerly known as Birth 2 Three, celebrated its name change and expanded programs.

Remember the good old nights when you'd walk to the outhouse at oh dark hundred and see northern lights dancing in the sky? Remember northern lights? Remember outhouses? OK, maybe you're one of the privileged few who sprinkles dirt and doesn't flush. You never have to worry about the pipes freezing or the septic backing up.

Lately the Betster's email inbox has been filled with optimistic predictions of northern lights. Honest, really, we're coming up on a big solar cycle so ginormous it's guaranteed to give us great lights. Lacking the privilege of an outhouse, the Betster nonetheless somehow manages to wake up at 3 a.m. So far, no aurorae, at least on a clear night.

The solar cycle wanes and the solar cycle ebbs. Our sun seems to be getting angry, too, spitting out flares and exotic particles. Quicker than you can say "holy cannoli plasma Jones," those particles slam into earth's big cushy magnetosphere. Particles hit the magnetosphere and get chemicals in the upper atmosphere all excited, kinda how when you tickle other people. The next thing you know the sky glows green, blue, purple and red and you can hear your neighbors oohing and ahhing. They must have outhouses, too.

Watch the skies, Betsteroids. Even if the northern lights don't shine, on these clear, cold winter nights there's plenty of magic in the heavens: Orion looking stern with his club, Venus twinkling at dusk, Jupiter reminding us who's the top planet in the system and the Big Dipper pointing the way north.

Even though it feels like everyone has gone to Hawaii, they haven't, not the really cool people. The really cool people are here, getting colder by the moment, but they have star tans and that vampire glow. Follow them, for they know what's happening in this town, like these Best Bets:

BEST PERFECT POWDER BET: If you need a reminder it's winter — OK, if you do, you must have been in a cave since October — there's nothing better than the annual Warren Miller ski film, "Like There's No Tomorrow." Check it out today at 7 p.m. at the Homer Theatre and prepare to be stoked. Tickets are $10 for kids and $15 for adults and benefit the Kachemak Ski Club, the great volunteers who run the Ohlson Mountain Rope Tow.

BEST LINE BY LINE BET: If you've wondered how people sketch those beautiful drawings of birds and bones, pick up some pointers from local experts and scientific illustrators Catie Bursch and Lee Post n a workshop from 6:30-9:30 p.m. today at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Call 226-4659 to register.

BEST SOON ENOUGH BET: Another rite of winter is the arrival in your mailbox real soon now of the deluge of seed catalogs. You know what that means. Yes, it's time to start thinking about spring gardens. If you're part of the growing clan of local farmers, check out the annual Homer Farmers' Market meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kachemak Community Center. It's a potluck meeting, so bring some of your local-grown and caught goodies.

BEST NO SHORTAGE OF YUCKS BET: The biggest fear of the Capitol Steps is that politicians will become competent and no longer provide fodder for their gentle, good humored song parodies. Right, like that's going to happen. From Newt to Mitt to Ron to Barack, there's plenty of subject matter. As the CapSteps say, they put the mock in democracy. Hear them live at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Mariner Theatre. See story, page 12.