Homer's Best Bets

  • Gulliver Norton, 5, shows a gingerbread house he made last Saturday at the Pratt Museum’s Stocking Stuffer Party.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

The Betster has this neat little iPhone app called SunGraph that can calculate hours of daylight anywhere on the planet. Punch in a few buttons and it shows, for example, that in Tierra del Fuego the sun rises at 5:44 a.m. and sets at 10:53 p.m. If you think our puny 6.5 hours of daylight is depressing, enjoy a cup of schaudenfreude. In Barrow, the chart for sunrise says “no sun today.” 

You know, apps like that are how smart phones accidentally wind up falling out of pockets and into the Homer Harbor. Do we really need technology to tell us something we already know? Baby, not only is it cold outside, it’s a bit dim, too.

But you knew that. If you’re a working schmoe who finds it hard to get out in the middle of the day, what does it matter when the sun rises and sets? Go to work at 8:30 a.m. and it’s dark. Go home at 5 p.m. and it’s dark. That’s a sure fire way to work yourself into a deep winter funk.

Smart Alaskans venture out at mid-day. Even a brief grasp of sunlight can bring a smile to the gloomiest day. How can you stay grumpy when the sun shines over the Kenai Mountains and otters play in the surf?

Besides, the holiday season starts in earnest this week. Bring it on, the Betster says. Jolly it up. We’re roaring into full throttle fun, with something amazing happening each weekend, like these Best Bets:


BEST TO THE RIVER BET: Homer writer Rich Chiappone could write a book about all his fishing adventures — wait, he did that, with his “Opening Days.” Chiappone is to the Anchor River what Ernest Hemingway is to the Big Two Hearted River. At 6 p.m. today at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitors Center he shares stories of the Anchor at Kachemak Heritage Land Trust’s annual meeting.


BEST GOOD DEED BET: A good meal and you get to help out local charities? Sweet. Start out First Friday with a meal by chef Harrison McHenry from 4-8 p.m. at the Homer United Methodist Church. Sponsored by the University of Alaska Anchorage Student Nurses, a $10 donation helps the Homer Community Food Pantry.

Then from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, it’s the annual Share the Spirit Spaghetti Feed at the Homer Elks Lodge. Eat there or get a meal to go. Proceeds benefit Share the Spirit, of course.


BEST GO NUTS BET: It will be all Nutcracker, all the time this weekend with not just the Nutcracker Ballet opening, but the Homer Council on the Arts annual Nutcracker Faire. Homer’s version of the ballet opens Saturday at the Mariner Theatre. Go early and check out the Nutcracker Faire with arts and crafts and food booths from 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday, also at the high school. 


BEST ARTSY BET: First Friday features a lot of cool local art this month, including a show of Carolyn Seymour’s prints at new venue Redfish Custom Framing across from Bunnell Street Arts Center and a collaborative art show with Patrick Bradley at Alice’s Champagne Palace. 


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