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Story last updated at 4:14 PM on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homer's Best Bets


Homer News file photo by Lindsay Johnson

Brrring it on Racers in last year's Beluga Lake B-icicle Race pose before the race. The event is held again this year at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, one of many Homer Winter Carnival events.

A few years ago the Betster met a guy in Boston contemplating how to pay for yet another daughter's wedding. Donnie ran a snow plow business, and as it turned out, nature provided with a winter of heavy snows. Every time he cleared a strip-mall parking lot, Donnie said he'd think, "That's another table at the reception paid for."

Somewhere in this town there's a snow plow operator who could buy a lovely bride one princess of a wedding.

Let's be philosophical about this winter, Betsteroids. More than a few heavy equipment operators will be living well next summer. Of course, they might be losing a bit of that hard-earned cash — very hard-earned cash — on massages and physical therapy sessions, but hey, that's why you call it work.

The Betster stands in awe of the snow removal art — snow displacement, really. Holy K-2! The mound of displacement snow at Chez Betsteroid has grown to more than 40 feet tall. Little men in lederhosen and climbing axes will be making assaults on those mounds and putting little tiny flags on top of them.

Come July when tourists visit, instead of the fallen bald eagle tree by the stoplight, they will look at that still melting pile of snow. We will point to it and say, "You want to know what kind of winter we had? That kind."

Even grizzled old homesteaders here before statehood have been impressed by this winter. Of course it was harder then when they had to shovel with 2-by-4s strapped to gee poles and none of this new fangled plastic stuff. They didn't have turbo-charged snowblowers that, huh, come to think of it would give ya a real tactical advantage in a snowball fight. In the grizzled old homesteader days they moved snow with muscle, horses and primitive tools.

Or they just let it melt. That's the Betster's current strategy for stuff beyond digging out. Forget shoveling paths for less-important stuff and just snowshoe your way to the shed. Fortunately, it appears we still do have sunshine and warm days here at Latitude 59 degrees. If you heard hysterical laughter this week, that was from people discovering the sun still existed and temperatures could rise into the mid 30s. Huh. When did that last happen?

Well, there's always something happening in this cool little town, like some of these Best Bets:

BEST PLAY IT FORWARD BET: We're in the thick of Mardi Gras season, and you know what that means? That's right. The Krewe of Gambrinus Social Aid and Pleasure Club will be rockin' the purple, green and gold in the Homer Winter Carnival Parade. That's only one of the highlights this weekend for Winter Carnival, our own little version of laissez les bon temps roulez to shake off the winter blues. This year's theme is "Play, play, the Homer way," and boy howdy, do we need to play. The parade is noon Saturday on Pioneer Avenue. For a full schedule of events, see pages 12-13.

BEST KEEP IT SIMPLE BET: Bodies moving to music. That's the essence of modern dance. It doesn't get any simpler — or better — than that with the annual Jazz-line show. The Betster snuck into rehearsals this week, and guys, are those women awesome. The male dancers are pretty hot, too, and the kids are just gosh darn cute. Jazzline is at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre and makes a perfect Valentine's Day date. See story, page 14, for details.

BEST TIE ONE ON BET: Tired of this snow? Get intoxicated by dreams of fat salmon splashing up streams at a free Fly Tying Class from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. It's the fly fisherman's version of seed catalogs.

BEST YOU HAD ME AT BRIE BET: OK, cheese might not be the most heart-healthy snack, but for one day you can indulge and compensate with a good cardio workout. It's the annual Kachemak Nordic Ski Club Wine and Cheese Tour, starting at noon at McNeil Canyon Elementary School. Skiing and snacking, snacking and skiing. It could be the plot of a YouTube video. Admission is $35 nonmembers, $25 ski club members and $10 youth.

BEST GET SMART BET: Agent 99, here's your mission. You know you love that bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart, so help him start eating right lest he falls victim to the evil KAOS. That big blizzard last Wednesday (as opposed to the ones on Thursday and Friday) canceled last week's Heart Smart Eating forum, and it's been rescheduled to 1-2 p.m. Friday at the Homer Senior Center. Learn from Bette Seaman, South Peninsula Hospital dietitain, how to make great meals that keep your heart tickin' for a long time.