Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 4:55 PM on Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Homer's Best Bets

The Betster will not remind you of all the things you swore to get done this summer, but that's only because the Betster is staring at the mother of all punch lists and is feeling a bit embarrassed about it. You know how it goes. In March you map out your summer strategy. There will be some fishing, of course, and perhaps a bit of touch-up painting to make you feel less guilty about fishing. Visiting friends and relatives will drop in, say, a cherished uncle here for a few days. You'll get the garden in and maybe even finish that high tunnel.

You'll start the summer out right with a full weekend of the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, enter the Spit Run and the Run for Women, go to both Concert on the Lawn and Salmonstock, take in at least three Pier One plays, decorate a bike for the Fourth of July parade, all of them, in Seldovia, Anchor Point and Homer.

But wait! There's more. You'll hike the Saddle Trail, kayak around Yukon Island, dipnet for reds in China Poot and the Kenai River and, of course, get up to Anchorage for a weekend, maybe for that colonoscopy you've been putting off. On the way you'll knock off a few more trails in "55 Ways To the Wilderness" and go back to Denali National Park.

You see how quickly the list gets longer? Here it is the second week of August, there already are back-to-school articles in the Homer News, omigosh there's a primary election coming up and how did you spend the last week? Watching the Olympics and staying up late for the Curiosity Mars landing.

You know what happens when you check off every item on the Great Alaska Punchlist? You die. You know what happens if you don't check off every item on the Great Alaska Punchlist? You die anyway. There are records of dying sourdoughs who on their death bed said, "Dang. I never did resod the roof on the ol' cabin." We live in such a huge state with so much to see and do, and with weather that roughs up our stuff in the process, that we never can see and do it all. Even if you could, someone will invent something new to do and then you'll have to do that. You just can't win.

But who cares? The joy is in the doing and not the completing. If you saw one cool thing on a sunny day that brought a smile to your winter-ravaged face, well, by gum, you've spent the summer well. So don't worry. Keep trying, and just to torment you some more, the Betster will add more to your list, like these Best Bets:

BEST UH-OH BET: Even here with our pristine Alaska waters, bad stuff can happen, like paralytic shellfish poisoning. How can you avoid PSP? What are the risks when eating delicious bivalves? Learn about it with today's brown bag lecture at noon at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.

BEST VIRTUAL LIFE BET: Who wouldn't want to go see brown bears live in Katmai National Park? Well, floatplane trips aren't cheap, but you can see bears live and on screen at the Pratt Museum's BearCam. From noon-3 p.m. daily (except Sunday) watch the live video broadcast and get help from a museum interpreter about what's going on.

BEST HIGH SEA ADVENTURE: OK, you didn't make that trip out on the Tusty to the Aleutian Chain. That's on the Betster's bucket list, too. Hear about summer adventures on the Tiglax out to the far reaches of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge in a talk, slide show and video presentation at 10 a.m. Friday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.

BEST SPIRIT OF ALASKA BET: If you haven't figured it out by now, Alaska's women are wonderfully different than the Lower 48 variety. Learn why Alaska women came here and why they stayed in "Spirit of Alaska Women" from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Wynn Nature Center. Rosie Burgess shares stories of Alaska women's unforgettable experiences.

BEST SHOT WITH CANNONS BET: How can you go wrong with music that features cannons fired in the last movement? The Betster doesn't know if the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra will use actual cannons in its performance of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," but you can bet it will be a thrilling performance. They also play Dvorak's "New World Symphony." The concert is 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Mariner Theatre.

BEST BRIGHT BET: Heading to Seldovia? Inspire your brain with a talk by philosopher Eduardo Wilner on "Science, Religion and Their Wonderful Incompatability" at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Seldovia Public Library, part of the Seldovia Summer Lecture Series.