Homer’s Best Bets

The other day the Betster searched fruitlessly in email for an important document. After about 20 minutes, the Betster smacked forehead into palm and realized, Oops, that document had been faxed. You know — it existed only in dead tree format. Weird.

Kids, if you’ve ever wandered into an office built in the 20th century, you might see a thing called a fax machine. Decades ago, this was how information got communicated almost instantly from far away places. Say you needed a quote on a construction job. You’d say, “Have your assistant fax me the figures.” Bingo! The fax machine would spit out six pages of fuzzy type. Before email and text messages, that’s how you relayed important stuff in a hurry. Fax machines reached their nadir with A Certain Organization in Topeka, Kans., that liked to send out fax bombs telling us stuff like how a heroic Marine was the spawn of Satan. In duplicate. That’s why shredders were invented.

Some people still use faxes, like some of our great advertisers. The Betster loves how the fax dings when a page comes through. Somehow it sounds really important that way. There’s this anticipation that comes as a fax whirls through the machine and you’re so excited you read the information as it arrives, line by line.

Why do we love old technology? Maybe it’s because new tech changes so fast it’s nice to have something comfortable and consistent. The Betster has a poet friend who really, really wants a manual typewriter. The Betster gets that. Typing on a manual typewriter takes effort and real physical labor. A poet could really work up a sweat writing a sestina. When she’s done, shazam, she could fax it straight to her editor. You wouldn’t even have to print it out.

Well, old tech or new tech, there’s always something cool to do in this town, because it’s late fall, you know, when the social calendar just starts filling up, like with these Best Bets:


BEST AND THE WINNER IS BET: Celebrate the idea that made America great with the inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year Award presentation at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Public Library. The winners of the BIZ-Idea Contest also will be given out. Refreshments are served.


BEST GO VAN GOGH BET: Kachemak Bay Campus student artists get their own night with an opening reception at 5 p.m. today at the college. The show features work from this semester’s painting class. Stick around and make it an evening at KBC with …


BEST HIP FIC BET: For decades the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Alaska Quarterly Review has been publishing some of the world’s best literature. At 6:30 p.m. today at the Kachemak Bay Campus, AQR contributors Eva Saulitis and Nancy Lord read their recent essays and discuss examples of genre-defiant work in the latest issue. Grrr!


BEST BIG VOICE BET: What? You haven’t heard Lulu Small sing? How long have you been in Alaska, dude? She’s just one of our state’s musical treasures. Hear her and the LTD Band at 9 p.m. Friday at the Down East Saloon. With her five-octave vocal range, as they say in Britain, she’s just totes amaze.


BEST TOTES BAZAAR BET: Need to get started on your holiday shopping? Check out creative gifts at two — yes, that’s two — church bazaars. You might even find the Betster’s favorite Christmas present ever, a sock monkey. Faith Lutheran Church holds a holiday bazaar from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church holds its bazaar from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., so you should have time for both.