Best Bets

Hold onto wool hats, people, we are nearly up to 9 hours of beautiful, bountiful, blessed light a day!

Today, Homer clocks in at 8 hours and 41 precious minutes of the nectar of the sun. And it’s about. Darn. Time.

Too long has the Betster been forced to strap on a gangly headlamp simply to make it a few hundred feet to the car in the morning. I repeat, the morning!

Too long has the Betster placed a boot-clad foot on what looked like solid, dependable ground only for that foot to slide capriciously out and up, leaving the Betster with a very sore bottom.

Too long has the Betster stared forlornly out the window, watching diligently for that one hour of pure, unadulterated sunshine to force its way through the loathsome clouds, if only to feel it for a few minutes.

Finally, that which is good and packed with Vitamin D is returning to our Hamlet by the Sea. The Betster suggests you get the heck out of your house and enjoy it. Another episode of “Gilmore Girls” will always be there, but all too soon we’ll be sliding back in the other direction once again, lamenting the loss of those seriously groovy rays.

Until then, while the sun is on our side, take advantage of these Best Bets:

BEST BEHIND THE SCENES BET: This weekend, Homer will be taken over by the Winter Carnival, a celebration of all that is good and chilly. While you should definitely make time to get outside and watch the parade at noon on Saturday, there are plenty of other activities as well. Just take the Behind the Scenes Collections Tour at the Pratt Museum, an inside look at the thousands of historical objects kept in the museum’s Natural History and Cultural Collections. These aren’t something you get to see everyday, literally. These tours are being held in conjunction with Curator’s Closet, and will begin today and continue at 2 p.m. every Thursday. The tour costs $5. Those interested need to call the museum at 907-235-8635 to reserve a space.

BEST BRAINY BET: In the mood for something a little more intellectual? Look no further than the Cranium Cup Trivia Contest and Silent Auction, being held from 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 at Alice’s Champagne Palace. The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary Club is hosting the trivia challenge and fundraising event. Groups of up to six members should register online at or call Tom at 399-2432. The event costs $100 per team or $20 per individual.

BEST BAND BET: If you took the Betster’s sound advice and attended the above event, you might as well just stay at Alice’s for the Salmonfest/Alice’s Champagne Palace Music Series, featuring The Drunken Hearts. Alice’s tapped the Colorado music scene for this band, which promises to make a lasting impression on Alaska music aficionados. The band fearlessly bottles a tempestuous, yet honest brand of American music, infusing spirited vocals with electric and acoustic instruments, and crafting thoughtful songs that are resonating with crowds everywhere. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door and can be purchased at the Homer Bookstore, Old Inlet Books or Alice’s Champagne Palace. The show starts at 9 p.m. Saturday.

BEST BEST OF BOTH WORLDS BET: If you do anything at all outside this weekend, it really ought to be the Wine and Cheese Wooden Ski Tour. The annual event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11 at the the McNeil Eveline Trails. Participants are encouraged to use their wooden skis and/or dress in classic costume. Time to dig out those wool knickers, wool socks, fur parkas, etc. Door prizes will be drawn at the last stop. The cost is $25 for KNSC members, $35 for non-members, and $10 for youth 11-20. Kids 10 and under get in for free. There will also be a “sled of shame” for those who get just a bit too merry and may need a ride back.