Homer’s Best Bets

Recently an alert citizen called the paper saying a friend overheard some government types at a café talking about a secret project to change the weather. “Hope you like clear weather,” the government guy was alleged to have said, “because that’s what Homer’s going to get for a while.”

Yeah, yeah, the Betster thought, just another hot news tip that would turn out to be some federales pulling a joke. Except, well, have you noticed for the past few weeks it’s been awfully sunny lately? Maybe there really is a secret government plot to use Homer as a test lab for short-term weather changes.

If that’s what they’re doing, the Betster wants to know this: Why couldn’t they have done it last summer? Not that sunshine isn’t appreciated now, but a few 70-degree days with full-bore solar rays would really rock. What we need now — and not too much, thank you — is a little snow, just enough for some skiing.

In the dark days of December, what good is sunshine if we keep losing it? Here’s the paradox of December. Yes, the daylight hours drop away in big chunks of minutes. By Dec. 21, we’ll be in that holding pattern where for a few days the daylight ration hardly changes. And then, shazam! We start gaining daylight. The Betster’s advice to new Alaskans is, “If you can hang in there through December, winter will be a snap.” It’s not the cold and snow that breaks us — it’s the lack of sunlight.

So get out, seize that sunshine and grab it while you can, because for a few weeks it keeps fading. It will get better, but in the meantime, fight off the winter blues with these great Best Bets:


BEST THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON HORMONES BET: We’ve long suspected teenagers are way different, but now we know: It’s all in their heads. Learn how the adolescent brain works in “The Amazing Adolescent Brain,” a talk at 6 p.m. today at the R.E.C. Room led by Promoting Health Among Teens (P.H.A.T.) peer educators. All are welcome.


BEST LIGHT MY FIRE BET: Santa Claus makes yet another appearance this weekend with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Watch the lights go on and stick around for holiday fun from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the chamber.


BEST NEW TWIST ON AN OLD CLASSIC BET: See what the gang at South Peninsula Hospital and Long Term Care have done to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with “A Long Term Christmas Carol,” showing at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Long Term Care.


BEST NEW TWIST ON AN OLD CLASSIC II BET: There’s always something fresh and new in the annual Homer Nutcracker Ballet. Who plays Uncle Drosselmeyer? What are those rats up to? Why not a hip-hop version of the Sugar Plum Fairies? The ballet is at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Mariner Theatre.


BEST PRETTY FAIRE BET: Shop local from artists and crafters for another holiday tradition, the Nutcracker Faire, running 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday at Homer High School.