Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 3:49 PM on Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

On Tuesday an Anchorage TV station called the Homer News asking if we'd be taking any photos of the big storm roaring our way. We get so many storms in the fall and winter that taking another photo is like another spot on the leopard. Been there, done that, took the snapshot of waves crashing on the Spit.

Well, OK, that was like so last Wednesday. The Betster went out on a photo safari in search of oil rigs in Kachemak Bay but got turned back at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena. Just past the arena toward the end of the Spit the waves come crashing in on a 21-foot high tide. Intrepid souls with beater trucks might brave spray and rocks, but not yours truly. As Reuben Call said, "Slow down. What's the hurry?"


Photographer: Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Making a list and checking it twice The Sundheim family poses for a photo with Santa Claus at the Pratt Museum's Harrington Cabin last Saturday. From left to right are Santa, Amy Sundheim, holding Elias, and Eric Sundheim, holding Rainey.

You can punch it through waves on a rising tide or just turn around and wait for the tide to go out. Grab a cup of coffee. Read our paper. That's the funny thing about tides: You get two high and two low tides a day, and what with modern science and all, you can calculate the time and height of the tides. Even though there's an app for that, you don't need your iPhone to know which way the tide is flowing. Pick up a free tide book. The new ones ought to be coming out any day now, just in time for stocking stuffers.

Not that Tuesday's storm turned out to be anything photogenic. Sorry Mr. Anchorage Television Person, but by the time we had some real drama, it was oh dark hundred, and all you would have gotten in a photograph was a flash of lots of white blobs falling from the sky. You should have called us last week.

But that's the way it goes here in Alaska's banana belt. One week we're shivering in single digits, or as Fairbanks calls it, "Hawaiian weather." The next week a pineapple express roars in from the South Pacific and we're wearing shorts. Well, not the Betster, but some brave teenager who thinks we've never seen knobby knees before. We always seem to get a Chinook just in time for Christmas.

Yup, it's that time of year when we fall into the holiday season. It's wild, it's fun, it can be an excess of consumerism, but there's lots to do this month, like some of these Best Bets:

BEST RED RYDER BET: All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun, but you know what parents say ... You don't? Then see the classic Christmas movie, "A Christmas Story," at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. Presented by the Homer High School Natural Helpers, it's a benefit for Share the Spirit. Bring three canned goods or pay regular admission.

BEST SLICK WHITE STUFF BET: Let's hope the Lookout Mountain ski trails hold up with this Chinook, because there's an awesome cross-country ski race happening Friday and Saturday. See the Mariners zip by so fast you'll think it was a snowshoe hare being chased by a lynx. Races start 1 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. Oh, and while you're there, pick up a Christmas tree for a $25 donation to benefit the team.

BEST GOGGLES AND VELVET BET: It's a new version of the classic Homer Nutcracker Ballet, with a lot of the old dances and a cool new plot, all with a steampunk theme. Now in its 23rd year, the ballet opens at 3 p.m. Saturday. See story, page 10.

BEST PILE 'EM UP BET: Urp. Get ready for the Nutcracker Faire on Sunday with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at AJ's OldTown Steakhouse from 9 a.m.-noon. Bring your camera to snap a photo of Santa Claus with your favorite good kid. All donations benefit the Homer Boys & Girls Club.

BEST GET CRAFTY BET: Need some gift tags? How about a cool light switchplate? Check out the special Craft Night for Grown-Ups from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Homer Council on the Arts, part of the Tuesday Salon series. Don't worry if you don't fiinish, because the craft night continues the following Tuesday. Free.

BEST FEATHERED FRIENDS BET: There have been some cools birds around lately, like that hawk that zipped through the Homer News parking lot the other day. Someone said he'd seen a snowy oil. Those emperor geese might still be around. You'll never know what you'll find on the Kachemak Birder's First Saturday Bird Trip. This Saturday the birders head out to the Anchor River. Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center to carpool or at the Anchor River boat launch at 11 a.m. Dress warmly.