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Story last updated at 4:48 PM on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Homer's Best Bets


Homer News file photo

Heave ho! Athletes in the 2003 Scottish Highland Games compete in a tug of war. The games return starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Karen Hornaday Park.

We come now to the point in our summer when we want to get everything done, and get it done now. The Betster, for example, has a gallon of paint sitting by the door ready to go on the greenhouse as soon as a) nothing exciting happens and b) the sun shines. Longtime observers of Homer's social and meteorological scene know that the chances of that greenhouse getting painted in August decline with every day.

Visitors to Kachemak Bay may notice that by August the dedicated workers in our tourism industry sometimes slip into grumpiness. The Betster was chatting about this the other day with a water taxi driver who noted how sometimes it becomes necessary to enforce his boat's no-smoking rule by turning around and abandoning smokers at the Saddle Trail. "Of course, I'm more likely to do this in August," he said.

Work 12-hour days, seven days straight, and one's social skills tend to get a bit rusty. That's assuming you don't wind up with an enforced visit to the emergency room, which happened to a friend of the Betster after 15 days straight without a day off. If you're one of those regular working schmoes with a 9-5, five day week job, count your blessings. Of course, working schmoes get just as exhausted trying to fit in house projects with dipnetting, fishing and going to family barbecues.

Holy Blackberry! We're so overscheduled it feels like middle school. Well, as they say, "You can sleep in the winter." Meanwhile, there's so much to do the Betster needs a Cray supercomputer to keep track of it all. Fortunately, you have the Homer News online and print calendar. Take a gander and try out some of the Best Bets:

BEST FREE TUNES BET: As part of its annual Summer Music Festival, the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra sponsors free noon concerts at venues around town. Today Sunrise Sjoeberg and Tim Quinn play at Don Jose's. Friday it's the popular To Be Announced at Two Sister's Bakery. On Monday at Fat Olive's it's Michael and Jessica Schallock, Tuesday it's Mark Wolbers at Bunnell Street Arts Center and Wednesday it's Jack Will and Sue Biggs at Duncan House.

BEST BACK HOME BET: We'll be polite and not mention that time in study hall back in 1985 when little Lincoln Brewster took out his mandolin and ... OK, what happens at Homer High stays at Homer High. Brewster is all grown up and has made a name for himself as one of America's top Christian music performers. Catch him in concert at 7 p.m. today when he brings his soul savin' and toe tappin' music to the Homer Mariner Theatre. Tickets are $25 at the Homer Bookstore or $30 at the door.

BEST MEN IN KILTS BET: Aye, you'll be yelling "Freedom!" and taunting the English at the Homer Scottish Highland Games. Think you have the muscle to toss the caber farther than some Scots alleged to be participating? Want to celebrate America's Scottish heritage? Just like to see men in kilts? Head to the games starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Karen Hornaday Park. Admission is $25 to participate and $10 to watch. Just follow the highland bands walking from the Farmers' Market to the park on Saturday.

BEST OLD NEW CIRCUS BET: The Betster isn't sure if it's the New Old or Old New Chautauqua Circus. By any name it sounds like a hoot, when a band of performers descend on Homer starting today. On Friday at 5 p.m. the troupe parades on the Spit followed by another parade at 6 p.m. on Friday, right in the middle of First Friday. Saturday the circus holds free workshops from 2-4 p.m. at Homer Middle School followed by a performance at 7:30 p.m. at the Homer High School Gym.

BEST LIVING ART BET: Painters use pigment, but gardeners create their masterpieces with plants and flowers. We're in high summer now when everything seems to be in bloom. See the magic at local gardens when the Homer Garden Club holds its annual garden tour. For details, see story, page 2.