Homer’s Best Bets

In writing this column, the Betster tries to strike a balance between funny and insightful, with maybe the needle tipped toward insightful. Sitting down late Tuesday night, usually finishing six stories before deadline sparks the creative juices. You’d think this would be easy.

Right. Try writing about what a wonderful year 2016 has been. The last weekend should be a time to reflect, see where we’ve been, what great things the world has accomplished and how it just will keep getting better and better. Really? After a presidential election where the nation remains divided? As Yoda would say, “There is no try, only do.”

Holy Millennium Falcon! That’s another thing that sucks about 2016. It was bad enough that at the end of 2015 Hans Solo died in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” but that was only fiction. Now Carrie Fisher, the actress who played General Leia, has died. Why do the smart, witty and interesting people have to die young?

Closer to home, we’ve also lost some good people this year. The Betster would list them, but after awhile it gets hard to type through tears. This 2016th revolution around the sun didn’t really go well, did it?

If you think about it, the earth really doesn’t orbit around the sun. In space-time, it moves in a spiral, rising and rising, a winding line never meeting until the universe folds back into itself.

We never swim in the same river or the same sea. The solar system moves through the galaxy that moves through the universe. A year is just that moment in the seasons similar to a moment in a season 365.25 days ago.

In other words, reboot, turn the page and start again. Will 2017 be any better? Cynical Betster says “How could it not?” and Pollyanna Betster says “Why not?” But really, it will just be.

So seize the moment, find the joy in whatever will be, hope for the best and prepare for the worst, because the year will change no matter what. What won’t change are the cool things to do, like these Best Bets:


BEST PULLING BET: What better way to say good-bye to 2016 than blasting clay targets out of the sky? Bam! That’s for the crazy election! Ka-pow! That’s for taking David Bowie and Leonard Cohen too early! Head out to the Kachemak Gun Club at Mile 160 Sterling Highway for skeet shooting from noon-3 p.m. Saturday.


BEST GET ROWDY BET: Play it loud, play it fast and dance away the old year with some rocking New Year’s Eve events at local bars. Pah-tee! Betsteroids. Drink sensibly, though, and don’t overindulge. If your blood-alcohol level does get a wee bit high, be safe and take a taxi ride home. Bonus: Kostas Taxi, Ryder Transport and Kachecab offer free rides from 8 p.m. Dec. 31-6 a.m. Jan. 1. Tip the cabbies well, though. For rides, call 399-8008, 399-8115, 399-8888 or 235-1950.


BEST BE COOL BET: OK, maybe you want a more sedate New Year’s Eve because, well, you’re not 25 anymore. Our local clubs will take care of you, too, with several holding a champagne toast on New York time. You can have a nice dinner, listen to some mellow music, cheer in the new year at 8 p.m., and go to bed at 10 p.m. See all the New Year’s Eve events on page 14.


BEST KEEP IT SOBER BET: Yeah, New Year’s Eve has a reputation for a time to get plastered, but ya know, we can celebrate without booze and drugs. The Betster gets that many have chosen sobriety. One day at a time, brothers and sisters, one day at a time. If you need some help keeping clean, call your sponsor or check out local AA meetings. See the Calendar on page 14 for times and places. Or, just drop in and support people searching for a solution.


BEST BURN IT OFF BET: Start your New Year right by fulfilling that resolution to exercise more. You’re going to do that, right? Ski and snowshoe for First Hikes at Eveline State Recreation Area from noon-3 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy hot drinks, snacks and a warming fire. A $5 donation is requested.