Homer’s Best Bets

So, Betsteroids, how many New Year’s resolutions have you broken already? Here it is day two of a bright, shiny year and already the B. has broken six, including “thou shalt not be snarky.” Being a hardened, cynical journalist, the Betster really has trouble with that one.

Holy Miss Manners! You would not believe how many times daily the Betster gets tempted to snap back at someone with a witty, biting reply. OK, maybe not witty. We’re not exactly talking Jon Stewart here on the south shore of Beluga Lake. Most of you are kind, considerate people trying to tell your story. Some of you, though, could use a little of that mindfulness training. The Betster might join you.

If the Betster cannot refrain from thinking snarky thoughts, yours truly endeavors not to act on them. This is how the Betster hopes to respond this year. A) Something happens that annoys the Betster. B) Craft a supposedly smart-aleck reply. C) Take a deep breath. D) If written as an email reply, hit delete, quickly. E) Move on.

Writing things in email can be dangerous, though. What if you hit “send” by mistake? What if you put the email in the drafts file and days later send it? Maybe it’s better not to write the snarky reply down at all and skip straight from A to C to E. Take a deep breath and move on.

The Betster likes how Isaac Asimov would respond to people who would annoy him. Asimov would put a piece of paper in his typewriter, write a letter and then seal it in an envelope. Then he’d destroy the dang thing. Sometimes he’d even address the letter and put a stamp on it, but not mail it. He said the whole process gave him satisfaction. You still get into that accidental-send problem, though. After Asimov died, did his widow find a pile of unsent mail and send it on? That would really have freaked people out.

Take a deep breath and move on. There’s a concept. How much pain and suffering would be avoided if we all did that? If someone seemed to slight us, what if instead of taking it personally we just said, “Ah, he’s probably having a rough day.” What if we smiled at the person and said, “How can I help? What can I do?” That would really mess with them.

We’re in a whole new year, ready to change bad habits and maybe improve ourselves, if not our community. It’s the 50th year for the Homer News, too, so it’s time to get out and celebrate this way-cool town that gives us such awesome stories, maybe with these Best Bets:


BEST ROCK ON BET: Stretch those muscles and explore new heights with adult rock climbing from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Bay Club. Nonmembers are welcome. That’s just one of the cool things you can do to push your body and work on your wellness.


BEST GO WARRIORS BET: You can root for the Warriors or you can root for the Warriors in the big Nikolaevsk vs. Alumni basketball game today at Nikolaevsk School. The question is, which ones? Do you go for graduates or this year’s players? Whichever way, it’s bound to be fun. The girls start at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m.


BEST BRIGHT SKIES BET: You won’t need big stadium lights like in Anchorage to ski on the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club trails this Friday night — not with 100 tiki torches showing the way. Once again it’s Friday (and Saturday) Night Lights from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday (and Saturday) at the Roger’s Loop Trailhead. Adult members are $10, nonmembers $20. Kids are free. 


BEST BIG VOICES BET: If a picture is worth a thousand words, the student photographers in the PhotoVoice project speak volumes. See what they have to say about making choices on alcohol with their exhibit opening at 6 p.m. Friday at K-Bay Caffe.


BEST BIG YEAR BET: Boston birder Neil Hayward really rocked his Big Year when he saw 749 unique species in one year. Want to beat his record? You can start your Big Year this Saturday by joining the Kachemak Bay Birders monthly outing. Meet at noon at the Alaska Island and Ocean Visitor Center.