Thanks to the services of the U.S. Government, and in particular the Naval Observatory, we’ve figured out how to compile sunrise-sunset and hours of daylight tables for Homer. We might complain about the feds, but now and then they do stuff right. Navigational charts, buoys, rescuing mariners on sinking boats, tide charts and astronomical tables: yeah, your tax dollars do work sometimes.
Anyway, that’s how we can print the sunrise-sunset table every week on page 2 of the Homer News and the hours of daylight on page 1. You might have noticed that since New Year’s Day we’ve gained a whomping 17 minutes.
Seventeen minutes. Holy vitamin D! We’re gaining sunshine daily. Still, you might notice it’s only 6 hours and 27 minutes, which pretty much means that in the morning, evening and hours in between, it’s dark. “Oh dark hundred” soldiers like to say. With this bleak, snowless winter, that doesn’t put a lot of contrast in the landscape, either. It’s hard to keep it between the ditches when the sides of the road blur into a dim void.
That’s all the more reason to pay attention when driving. If you’re walking or bicycling on the side of the road, that’s also a good reason to wear reflective clothing and bright lights. The other day the Betster passed a pack of fat bikers on Diamond Ridge Road with blinky lights, reflective tape and bright headlights. That’s the idea.
The Betster also passed a guy wearing all black like he’d just come from a ninja convention. If you’re leading a raid with Seal Team Six, yeah, you want to blend in with the night, but if you’re out for an evening jog, you want to be seen. Think Las Vegas. Think flashing lights so outrageous that if you were a downtown business, zoning enforcement would write you a ticket so fast you’d swear the speed of light was only advisory.
Be safe. Be seen. That’s the Betster’s advice for the week. But meanwhile, don’t fear to stroll the streets of our awesome town, because there’s lots to do, like these Best Bets:
BEST FROM THE TRENCHES BET: What’s it like to leave home, meet a new roommate, go to classes on your own and explore the brave new world of college? Find out from college students who have been through it at the Student-to-Student College Fair from 7-9 p.m. today at the Homer High School Commons. Graduating seniors thinking about college can meet with Homer college students home for winter break.
BEST STILL ART BET: The Friday art openings just keep coming, with a Second Friday opening from 5-7 p.m. at Bunnell Street Arts Center for artist and writer Jo Going’s “Still and Again.” It’s a multimedia installation of art and poetry based on Going’s book of the same name. She reads at 6 p.m. and will sign her book, too.
BEST DOUBLE TALENT BET: Jonathan Bowers is not only an awesome singer-songwriter, he has a degree in creative writing and teaches at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Hear his musical side at a gallery performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Homer Council on the Arts. Tickets are $5, youth, $10 HCOA members and $15 general admission. He also holds a songwriting workshop from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at HCOA. Call 235-4288 to register.
BEST DIG AIR BET: This is a sport where if you go “whoosh,” you’re doing it right — wiffle ball, that is. Join the big Indoor Wiffle Ball Tournament from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Homer High School. The fee is $50 a team or $10 a player. Proceeds benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation.