Homer’s Best Bets

This week has been chock full of important dates. On Monday, 3/14/16, we got Pi Day, because the date is close to the numeral pi, 3.14159. Break out the key lime pies. Yum. On Tuesday it was March 15, the Ides of March, famous for when Julius Caesar discovered that in politics, you can’t even trust your friends and don’t ever want to turn your back on them.

It gets better. Today, March 17, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, when everyone becomes Irish, or pretends to be. The Betster loves that at the Homer Senior Center cafeteria corned beef and cabbage is on the menu. Check out the bar ads, too. You might find similar deals around town, with the added benefit that you can wash the meal down with a bit of Irish whisky or a nice Guinness beer. Corned beef might be hearty, but it’s not that great a dish. It’s kind of like haggis, with mustard.

The Betster understands that the Irish don’t get as excited about St. Pat’s Day as we Americans. That’s OK. Part of being American is celebrating the nations you came from, or would like to, especially if you can throw a big party. St. Patrick gets honored for chasing the snakes out of Ireland. How do we know this? Because Ireland has no snakes. Alaska has no snakes, either, which must mean St. Pat took a side trip here. It’s possible. Cross the Atlantic, turn right at Nova Scotia and zip through the Northwest Passage. It would have been a minor miracle. Maybe St. Pat caught a ride from some Inuit hunters heading west after discovering Greenland.

So wear green or get pinched. Honor a people who helped make this a great nation, and best of all, hoist a dram to the Emerald Isle. It’s a fine place, me buckos, even if a bit soggy. Oh. Like Homer.

Aye, there’s lots to do this weekend, and if this marvelous spring continues, you can find adventure everywhere, as with these Best Bets: 


BEST GENIUS BET: We know Alaskans are smart, but sometimes people Outside notice too, like with Sven Haakenson Jr. The former director of the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak, he’s now on the anthropology faculty at the University of Washington. Haakenson  got a MacArthur Fellowship in 2007, widely known as the Genius Grant. Meet Haakenson tonight when he gives a curator’s talk at 6 p.m. today at the Pratt Museum on Living Alaska, an exhibit of selected Alaska art from the Rasmuson Foundation’s art acquisition fund. The exhibit is at the Pratt through April 23. 


BEST DO THE HOP BET: Fort Collins, Colo., band Wasteland Hop returns to Homer at 9 p.m. Friday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. A folk-rock-hip hop band, Wasteland Hop describes itself as “the soulful pourings of Janis Joplin interlaced with the cerebral speech of Aesop Rock.” Tickets are $10 at the door.


BEST BIRD ON DUDE BET: The weather has gotten nicer and with spring come new arrivals sneaking in. See what’s starting to show up with the monthly Kachemak Bay Birders trip at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the mouth of the Anchor River. Meet then at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitors Center to carpool or show up at 1 p.m. at the Anchor Point beach parking lot. The guided event is free.


BEST CH-CHANGES BET: How is climate change affecting Alaska fisheries? Hear some of the latest science when Terry Johnson of the Alaska Sea Grant program speaks at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Johnson will discuss the current effects of climate change and ocean acidification.