Story last updated at 2:49 p.m. Thursday, September 26, 2002

Homer's best bets
Years ago, when the Betster first set up camp in a quaint little Visqueen palace on the Spit, Dad passed on the old family Aquacar. "Kid," Dad said, "this car has been through the Fairbanks flood and more than a few late-winter ice crossings. If you keep misjudging the tides when you go coal pickin', you might need it." Little did the Betser know that that rusty pink Aquacar might come in handy for The Deluge.

No, we're not talking about the flood of campaign signs or flyers cluttering up our tiny post boxes. We mean capital "T" capital "D," as in the Bible. Maybe it's time to get right with God, Buddha or Whomever. Or maybe it's time to seek out indoor events, snuggle up with our sweeties and endure the usual late September storms.

Best Get Right With The Deity of Your Choice Bet, Part II: Ah, how well the Betser remembers a good ol' fashioned revival, with lots of preachin' and praisin' and singin' glory to Jesus. Need to refill your soul with the Holy Spirit? Pastor Gary Neal of Harriman, Tenn. -- we're talking the buckle of the Bible Belt here -- speaks during the fall revival today through Sunday at Homer Independent Baptist Church on the Sterling Highway, the white church with the new steeple. Thursday-Saturday services are at 7 p.m. and Sunday services are at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. But if you're looking for something a bit less Southern and more Eastern, come share in the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhist Lama Pema Dhorje as he presents "Integrating Spiritual Practice into Everyday Life," 7-9 p.m. Friday, and "Clarified Butter: A Concise Teaching for the Moment of Death," 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Lama Dhorje also discusses the Dharma. Both talks are at The Dance Studio, Bunnell Street. Donations requested.

Best Support Your Local School Bet:,/b> On Saturday, McNeil Canyon Elementary School holds a garage and bake sale 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the school. Proceeds benefit the fifth- and sixth-grade class trip to the Kachemak Bay Learning Center.

Best You Say Whimsy, I Say Art Bet: Hmm, this might explain that woman with the telephoto lens lurking about in the Betster's garden last summer, although, really, the flashy steel mermaid we got at a garage sale isn't all that unusual, is it? Anne Nevaldine talks about and shows her slides on "Alaska Yard and Garden Art and Whimsy" at 2 p.m. Sunday for the annual Harvest Dinner of the Homer Garden Club at the United Methodist Church. A potluck dinner, the garden club invites you to bring "a dish to share made with something you have grown, gathered or harvested."

Best Stay Home and Read Your Election Pamphlet, Then Vote Early, Vote Wisely Bet: Yeah, yeah, last month you voted in the state and federal primary elections -- you did, didn't you? Tuesday is when the rubber hits the road and you get to vote on the stuff that really matters: sales taxes, school bonds, school board reorganization and the city and borough representatives who figure out how to spend your money. And you don't have to declare your primary affiliation! So study up on the ballot, then haul your rubber boots down to your local precinct. Don't know a thing about the election? Do the Betster a favor and stay home, and leave democracy to the citizens who care.

Best Get Out and See the Sea Ducks on the Sea Bet: The Aleutian Chain run of the season on the state ferry M/V Tustumena leaves Homer at 9 p.m. Tuesday. If you've always wanted to see the chain all the way out to Dutch Harbor, now's your chance. I hear tell the birding across the Gulf is to die for (or in the Betster's case, hang over the rail for). If you want to stay a little closer to port, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies offers a guided sea field trip 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The trip is $60.