Homer’s Best Bets

If you’re reading this on Thursday morning or anytime after Dec. 13, well, whew, the world didn’t end. Or maybe it’s the beginning of the end, which is supposed to happen on Dec. 21, 2012. Students of eschatology — that’s a fancy word for “end of the world studies” — say that the Mayan Long Count calendar runs out of pages on Dec. 21. That kind of makes sense since the
Mayans carved everything important on rocks and after a while you can imagine Mayan rock carvers going, “Whew. When is someone going to invent paper?” and “Let’s quit writing down future dates.”

Will the world end in a big whimper or some giant galactic black hole ripping through our solar system? Will a ginormous electromagnetic pulse destroy everything electronic, forcing the Betster to drag out that old mechanical IBM Selectric III typewriter, so cool 33 years ago it even corrected errors by backspacing? Maybe.

Or, life could go on as normal, with all those little mini ends of the worlds, God bless ’em, like people getting sick.

Here’s what the Betster knows for sure: Eventually the world will end for all us — some now, some tomorrow, some years from now, just not all at once. Meanwhile, women with big plump bellies will birth amazing little creatures into this world, and guys will go, “Dude, I had something to do with that.” Right. Now change the diaper, Dad. The world keeps turning.

Out on the edge of the solar system, a tiny little spacecraft that’s been hurtling through space soon will escape into interstellar space. Forward, Voyager 1, into the unknown. Mile after mile, she goes where no human-made object has ever gone before. Swoosh! Well, not swoosh, because in space no one can here you go, “Yee hah,” even though you’d like to. The end of the world? Tell that to Voyager 1. For her, the universe is just beginning.

Huh. Kind of like us, with each new sunrise, each last hour of darkness fading away, because Betsteroids, we’re on the last long haul to longer daylight hours, all the more reason to celebrate, maybe with some of these Best Bets:


BEST MIX IT UP BET: It’s that time of month again, when the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center holds its chamber mixer. Mingle with other business owners, get to meet cool people working in commerce and of course enjoy great snacks. A Ta Ta B & B is the host from 5 to 7 p.m. today on Alder Lane.


BEST CORN COB PIPE BET: Enjoy a classic Hollywood Christmas with two old-time films on the big screen. That’s right: It’s “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman,” showing at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre. Proceeds support Kachemak Kids.


BEST WHAT DAT? BET: Learn how to identify crows, ravens and other winter birds in a identification class from 6:30-8:30 p.m. today at the Alaska Island and
Oceans Visitor Center. Put that knowledge to the test starting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, when teams fan out around Homer to identify and count birds. Meet at Islands and Ocean Saturday morning.


BEST IT’S A WRAP BET: Christmas shopping got you frazzled? Let two wrapping teams help with the chore. The American Legion Auxiliary is at Ulmer’s from noon-5 p.m. today to Christmas Eve and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 24. There’s also a gift wrapping fundraiser from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Safeway sponsored by Midtown Café, the local youth center.


BEST YOUTH UP BET: If you ever doubted that the kids were all right — they are, of course, most of them — get some reassurance with Colors of Homer, a night of creative youth expression from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Council on the Arts. Admission is a $5 donation.


BEST FLYING TRAPEEZE BET: It will be both risqué and risky when Bait & Tassels, Homers burlesque troupe, performs Under the Big Top at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. For adults only, admission is $20 in advance at the Fringe or Alice’s and $25 at the door.


BEST SMOOTH DANCING BET: Who knows what the weather will do this weekend, but inside it’s warm and hopping for the Square and Contra dance from 7:30-10:15 p.m. Saturday at West Homer Elementary School. Rick Kleinleder calls to music by the Spit City Slickers. Admission is $6, and kids under 16 get in free. And hey — don’t forget those clean, soft-soled shoes.


special Christmas sweater — you know, the one with a pink tree — for the Down East Saloon Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at 9 p.m. Friday. Iron Mermaid plays.