Best Bets

OK, what the heck is up with this weather? Yet again we had another cloudy, cool day. If it seems like it’s been forever since we’ve seen sunshine, you’re not alone — or wait. Maybe you’re living in that paralell world Homer where summers have been like that.

On Wednesday you actually could wear normal summer clothes (jeans, a hoody, and XtraTufs) and not what we’ve been wearing the past few weeks, i.e., as little as you dare and sandals. The other day the Betster actually saw someone wearing felt-lined, faux-fur topped Sorel winter boots, but that was just a tourist from Arizona whose idea of cold is “less than 90 degrees.” Most of us have been wearing shoes that expose our toes.

Have you lost count of how many straight days of sunshine we’ve survived? Have you rediscovered clothing you last used on that trip to Maui six years ago? Have you forgotten that across Kachemak Bay there might be snow covered mountains? Have you avoided driving past Soldotna for fear of getting caught in wildfire smoke?

Yep. We cynical, tough Alaskans who complain about miserable summer weather actually got a taste of sunshine. We had to figure out how the rest of America south of 55 degrees north lives. We had to discover the challenges of sweating constantly. We had to take to heart these helpful tips:

• Drink lots of water. Lots. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

• Wear big ugly hats.

• Wear shades.

• Wear loose, light clothing, like Aloha shirts.

This may be why the Betster saw a guy in a kilt, knee socks and wild tropical shirt at the Kachemak Highland Games. It’s been hot, Betsteroids.

The weather forecast calls for cloudy with a chance of rain, with highs in the 50s. Woohoo! Our crops might be saved.

So enjoy cooler times to come with these Best Bets:

BEST HUDDLED MASSES BET: How can we help refugees at our Southern border seeking to fulfill the dream in Emma Lazarus’ poem, “The New Colossus?” Learn how to help and raise funds for refugee relief efforts at the You-Can-Make-A-Difference-At-The-Border fundraiser from 5:30-6:30 p.m. today at Grace Ridge Brewery at B Street and Ocean Drive. The event will provide information on how to help, such as learning how to make hygiene kits. Buy a taco or drink a beer, or both, with $1 for every taco sold and $1 for every pint sold going to help organizations providing aid to those detained at the border.

BEST GOT THE BLUES SO BAD BET: Wipe off that permanent frown with an evening of blues tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Local Blues genius Michael Walsh’s trio, Blue Belly, opens with their Delta style Blues — you know, the real thing. Joining Walsh are Morgan Gray on harmonica and Asia Freeman on washboard. Also playing are Nome musician Arlo Hannigan with Jackie Rae Daniels, fiddle, and Lance “Sunny Jim” Highers on harmonica. Tickets are on sale at Bunnell.

BEST HIGH OCTANE BET: If you saw the Gasoline Lollipops at Salmonfest, you know they deliver the real deal to Alaska’s eclectic music scene. Based in Colorado, the Gasoline Lollipops are on tour in Alaska and play at 9 p.m. Friday at Alice’s Champagne Palace as part of the Salmonfest Music Series. They combine the sincerity of dirt-poor folk with the energy and rebelliousness of punk. The Colorado Daily named the Lollipops Best Local Musician/Group f0r 2017. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

BEST ART ART BABY BET: Combine art and the outdoors with “Art is in Nature is in Art” from 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday at the Wynn Nature Center, Mile 1.5 East Skyline Drive. Sponsored by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, you’kl learn about the anatomy of different flowers and then choose your favorite and paint a picture. The fee is $15 for a family. Call 235-5266 for more information.

BEST HAPPY BIRTHDAY BET: For 40 years South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services, also known as The Center, has been helping keep Homer’s mental well being healthy. Celebrate their anniversary from 4-7 p.m. at the Homer High School Commons with food, music, raffles and more. A museum also features the history of the nonprofit. Hobo Jim performs with music by Lisa and Dave and Shamwari.

BEST BE CALM BET: With all the smoke, heat and craziness in the Alaska Legislature, take a moment to breathe, center and focus on what matters. What better way than some Tibetan Buddhist meditation from 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday at Many Rivers Studio on East End Road.

BEST MAKE IT SO BET: July 20 will be the 50th anniversary of that one small step when Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon. Celebrate the accomplishment of the Apollo 11 lunar landing with a guided recreation of the event from noon-5 p.m. Monday at the Homer Public Library. Best for teens and adults. Bring your lunch and see how this mission was executed by crew members and mission control in Houston in 1969. This live webcast is made possible by the American Museum of Natural History.

BEST GO BIG BET: Whether you’re trying out for an epic Pier One production or just trying to gain more confidence at work, Jim W. Anderson can teach you the skills in “Landing Your Next Big Role,” a workshop from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, at the Homer Council on the Arts. An actor and leadership coach, he’ll use performing arts techniques to help you succeed on the stage or off. The class is $22 online or $20 at the HCOA office with cash or check. The workshop will be followed by a 45-minute discussion on Creating Influence, open to the public.

BEST SOCCERMANIA BET: With the USA Women’s Soccer team winning the World Cup, heck yeah everyone is jazzed about soccer these days — even BOB the Bookmobile. Megan Rapinoe won’t be driving the truck, alas, but staff and volunteers from the Homer Public Library will bring BOB over to soccer practice from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Homer High School. Between learning new skills to be the next champions, check out the cool book selection.