The Betster always finds the Lower 48 response to a big East Coast blizzard amusing. If a winter storm that in Alaska we’d call “a minor irritation” threatens the Northeast, people go into full-on snowpocalypse mode. Well, some people. The Betster knows most seasoned New Englanders react like Alaskans. Snow? In winter? What’s the big deal?
Outside of New England, gauging by the reaction on social media, you would have thought this week’s blizzard meant the end of civilization as we know it. Not that a storm with 1- to 2-feet of snow and high winds should be taken lightly. Yeah, you might want to check the food supply, bring in some firewood and keep the shovel by the front door. The Betster has seen storms like that where even getting out the front door meant punching through a 5-foot wall of Yukon cement.
Wisely, East Coast officials followed the Betster’s favorite samurai warrior advice: “Expect nothing. Prepare for anything.” They shut down roads in advance of the storm. Airlines canceled flights. When not much snow fell on the Big Apple, New Yorkers seemed miffed that weather forecasts had been off. One newspaper photo in the New York Times showed a bicyclist on the Brooklyn Bridge, and tried to pump up the event with the caption, “a bicyclist makes a trek across the Brooklyn Bridge despite the snow.”
Holy Fat Bike! The bridge had a dusting of snow that Homer’s hardy winter bikers would laugh at. You could still see the deck of the bridge. We’re talking a snowfall so light it seems … well, Alaskan. Does it seem fair that people starving for snow and know how to deal with it aren’t getting any? Something is not right with the universe — except this. Snow, rain, sleet or slush, there’s always something great to do, like these Best Bets:
BEST D&D BET: No, that’s not Dungeons & Dragons, gamers. It’s Dinner and Dance, the big soiree at the Homer Senior Center at 6 p.m. today. Come in from the cold and warm up at a luau with great food and dancing. Tickets are $15 a person.
BEST KEEP IT COOL BET: With winters like this, if we didn’t have the Kevin Bell Ice Arena, there would be no ice. Keep the rink going with a viewing at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre of the classic hockey film, “Miracle,” about the American victory over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Donate as much as you can; proceeds benefit the Homer Hockey Association’s fundraiser for the ice rink.
BEST BIG TALENTS BET: How do you get up on the stage with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra? Practice, practice, practice. That’s what local youth musicians have been doing as part of the Link Up Program with the KPO. Students have been learning to sing or play an instrument and at 7 p.m. Friday at the Mariner Theatre play with the orchestra. Admission is free, but donations to support the orchestra are appreciated.
BEST FIGHT THE FEVER BET: Cabin fever is such a midwinter curse we have not one, but two, Cabin Fever events this weekend. At 7 p.m. Saturday it’s “Cabin Fever Films” at Bunnell Street Arts Center, a local sneak preview of films that will be shown later at the Anchorage Museum. The evening also features poetry and performances. Admission is $10 general, $8 for members of Bunnell or the Anchorage Museum.
Also at 7 p.m. Saturday is the annual Cabin Fever Variety Show at Chapman School in Anchor Point. Enjoy local talent, a dessert auction and a chance to win a pair of snowshoes. Proceeds support the Anchor Point Public Library. Tickets are $7 general, $5 for children under 12 and seniors 55 and older, and $15 families.
BEST FEET ON THE STREET BET: In another sign that all is not right with the weather, yet again the annual Ski for Women will not involve snow or skiing. It will involve women, though, in the non-snow version, the Walk-about, Shop-about for Haven House from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. The fundraiser for South Peninsula Haven House includes a walk in downtown Homer, with stops at supporting shops. Costumes are encouraged. The fee is a $15 donation to Haven House.