Story last updated at 4:54 p.m. Thursday, October 17, 2002

Homer's Best Bets
I don't know about you, but the Betster keeps waiting for That Big Cosmic Shoe to drop -- you know, the first big snowfall, the first big dump of white stuff. Up at the Betster Family Manse at elevation 1,200 feet, we don't scoff at snow. The first big snowfall could mean hours of shoveling just to get to work. Heck, the Betster might even have to sleep in!

So far, though, no snow, which means dark mornings and dark nights. On the Betster's walks with the Betster Beast before and after sunrise, we've been basking in the glories of this Cosmic Planet. If you're lucky enough to have an outhouse and have to pop outside in the middle of the night, you might have noticed that amazing aurora show last Monday morning. The stars and constellations have been particularly bright, too: Orion and his belt hanging in the south and of course the Big Dipper pointing the way to the north star. Sunrise and sunset have been especially glorious these days, too.

Given the Betster's celebrated weather prescience, you could wake up tomorrow to a lot of the white stuff. The Betster bets that this clear weather will hold through the weekend, giving us one last chance to celebrate fall days free of snow. So seize the night and get out and try to catch the elusive aurora (even if you have indoor plumbing). If you want to keep more regular hours, there's plenty else to do, too.

Best Way Talented National Acts in Homer Again Bet: So back during the musical wasteland of the late 1970s, among the rays of hope (you know, the Ramones, Talking Heads, Pere Ubu) appeared the Roches, a trio of sisters who got their start singing a-cappella on the streets of New York City. Two of them, Suzzy and Maggie Roche, perform at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Bunnell Street Gallery. Tickets are $16 for KBBI members, $18 for nonmembers, and going fast. If that's not enough, at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday night John Prine and trio play at the Mariner Theatre. Tickets are $36 for KBBI members, $39 for nonmembers.

Best Support a Vet Bet: Larry Clendenen's recent passing reminds us that "The greatest generation" of World War II veterans loses members of the ranks too quickly. Over at the American Legion Post 16 out East End Road, the veterans there have been supporting each other and new generations of veterans through their many programs. You can help them out and get a good meal, too, by going to their monthly steak night starting at 6 p.m. Friday. The cooks will be serving oysters on the half shell, too.

Best Just a Wee Bit Different Band: The Betser's friend Rich just doesn't understand all this folk music in Homer. "You probably even have folkercise aerobics," he says. If you're getting tired sick of folk music, you'll love Tchkung! Described as "a neopaganistic dance-music" band, they shake up the house starting 10 p.m. Saturday at Alice's Champagne Palace. Tickets are $17 at the door.

Best Benefit Events: Several good causes hold benefits this weekend. "Les Chansons De Nuit," with various acoustic artists and singers, raises money for the new Homer Skateboard Park at 7 p.m. Saturday at Bunnell Street Gallery; admission. Kachemak Heritage Land Trust holds a fund-raiser at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Homestead Restaurant. Tickets are $50 for dinner and wine, plus a chance to win door prizes. Over at Bishop's Beach, the talented and beautiful Ms. Senior Alaska, Jimmie Grace Van Vacter, autographs photographs and sings starting at 9 p.m. Saturday at Duggan's Waterfront Pub. The Rockwells also perform.

Best She Fishes, She Writes Best: There must be something about the dangerous passion of fishing that creates writers. Are writers drawn to fishing or fishermen to writing? You might have heard Kodiak fisherman Leslie Leyland Fields read last year when she and a collection of other fishermen-writers (Joel Gay and Nancy Lord, among others) read. Fields returns to Homer to sign and read from her new memoir, "Surviving the Island of Grace," at 6:30 p.m. at the Homer Bookstore.