Homer’s Best Bets

Judging by the lines at local garages, some of you seemed surprised that it snowed Monday night. You do realize you can get your tires changed over on Oct. 1, don’t you? Yeah, yeah, the Betster forgot, too. Well, not forgot. You know how life gets. The fall punch list gets a little long, probably because there are so many items on the summer punch list that just didn’t get done.

Turn off the outdoor water faucet, stack the firewood, clean the wood stove chimney, put away the barbecue grill, put up the twinkling white lights along the path, get out the ice scraper, find the winter jackets and boots, fluff the comforter and clip the Betster canine companion’s toenails. Holy Pocket Calendar! That’s a long list, and that’s before the spousal companion adds to it. Some of these items involve rearranging storage space, which is how the Betster uncovers the studded tires — or tries to. No matter how carefully you stack stuff, the thing you need now can’t be unburied until you do the things you should have done in May.

Anyway, driving in winter doesn’t require studded tires. It just requires crackerjack driving, nerves of steel and a steady hand on the steering wheel. It is possible to inch your way down an icy hill covered in black glare ice if you take your time, aim for the center of the road and don’t hit any moose on the way.

Huh. This might explain why the Betster only saw six cars and trucks in the ditch on Monday night. We’re just dang good drivers, that’s why. Oh, and don’t say you’ve never gone VID — cop code for “vehicle in ditch” — either. Let ye who has not skidded sideways doing six 360s cast out the first tow rope. That’s the rule of the Last Frontier, by the way. You’re not obligated to give a person a tow, especially if you have a wimpy little Subaru and the VID is a ¾-ton pickup truck. You are obligated to check on the person to make sure the car hasn’t gone turtle and the poor person has been hanging by a seat belt for the last two hours.

Help out your neighbors, even if you did break the rules of civility at the presidential debates and yell at them. See? This is why civility matters. The man you call a bone headed ignoramus dumber than a gooey duck might be the guy who rescues you. Be kind. Kindness counts.

So get your gear in order, strap on the rock skis and don’t keep trying to pretend this is summer with an early sunset. It’s winter. The ground is covered with white. Unless you plan to get on the next plane south, you’re stuck with the weather we’ve got until at least Saint Patrick’s Day. It’s all the more reason to get out and about and celebrate, maybe with some of these Best Bets:


BEST MIX IT UP BET: New in town? Have a new business? Want to network with other entrepreneurs? Swing by the monthly Homer Chamber of Commerce Mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Homer Inn & Spa on Ocean Drive Loop. 


BEST DRILL MAYBE DRILL BET: Concerned about oil and gas exploration and development in lower Cook Inlet? Learn about the history of the petroleum industry and discuss current onshore and offshore drilling issues. Cook Inletkeeper sponsors a showing of the 1970s documentary, “Alaska: Technology & Time,” with a panel discussion to follow, starting at 7 p.m. today at the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center.


BEST YOU HAD ME AT OTOLITH BET: That sounded kind of sexy, until the Betster looked it up and realized “otolith” is a fish ear bone. Well, to scientists that’s important, because they can identify where fish grew up by looking at the chemistry of otoliths. Learn how in a video lecture by Ivan Mateo at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Kachemak Bay Campus.


BEST BEST OF SPENARD BET: Spenard is kind of like Homer tucked into a corner of Anchorage, but with strip joints and no beach. Enjoy the Best of Spenard Jazz with Nervous for Love, a spoken word dancer musician hip kind of thing. It’s at 7:30 p.m. Friday after the Third Friday opening of Process Alaska at Bunnell Street Arts Center, 5 to 7 p.m.


BEST LIKE CRAZY PLAY BET: Now that pigskin season is over, it’s back to hitting round balls with superfast and awesome v-ball action. Cheer on the Mariner girls in the Play Like Crazy Volleyball Tournament from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday in the Alice Witte Gym at Homer High School. Stick around at 6:30 p.m. for the Alice Witte Volleyball Alumnae Challenge when past Mariner athletes take on the current team.


BEST BINDERS FULL OF WISDOM BET: Red faces Blue in the big debate next week that might help voters decide: Stay with the incumbent or go with the challenger? That’s right — it’s Republican Party Rep. Paul Seaton vs. Democratic Party Candidate Liz Diament at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the House District 30 candidate debate at Kachemak Community Center. On Monday night at 5 p.m. it’s round three when Mitt Romney debates Barack Obama in the presidential debates live on the big screen at the Homer Theatre.