An American coot hides in grass at Beluga Slough last Saturday afternoon. Common in the Lower 48, coots are rare in Alaska. Local birders reported seeing the coot last Friday, too. It was feeding near where Beluga Lake empties into the slough.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

An American coot hides in grass at Beluga Slough last Saturday afternoon. Common in the Lower 48, coots are rare in Alaska. Local birders reported seeing the coot last Friday, too. It was feeding near where Beluga Lake empties into the slough.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Homer’s Best Bets

Saturday will be the end of an era, Betsteroids. That’s right. On 12/13/14 it will be the last day this century when the date will be three consecutive numbers. That’s assuming you abbreviate the year and don’t use the European method of writing dates with the year first, as in 14/12/13. Ever since Jan. 2, 2003, or 1/2/03, we’ve had a run of similar patterns. We also had 12/12/12, 11/11/11 and so on. Consider it a little bonus for living at the start of the new millennium.

But wait — as Humphrey Bogart said to Ingrid Bergman in “Casablanca,” “We’ll always have palindromes.” OK, he didn’t say that. Paris. He said, “We’ll always have Paris.” In fun with numbers in the 21st century, consider this cool pattern. On May 10, 2015, written as 5/10/2015, the numbers read the same backward and forward, what we wordsmiths call a palindrome. Here’s another one: What did the burglar say after breaking into poet T.S. Eliot’s bathroom? “Was it Eliot’s toilet I saw?” There will be similar number palindromes for 6/10/2016, 7/10/2017, 8/10/2018 and 9/10/2019.

That’s kind of how the human brain works, isn’t it? We wander through the world and see patterns. Our monkey mind likes to do that. We look to the moon and stars and create calendars; we look to the sun and create clocks. This big blue marble we live on revolves around a natural fusion reactor as our planet spins on its axis and the seasons shift and change.

All of which is a way of saying this old world keeps turning on, and we’re coming to the end of our yearly, seasonal cycle. It’s funny how we make a couple of holidays around that. Huh. Don’t worry too much about time, Betsteroids. Seize the day and enjoy this wild ride, maybe with these Best Bets:

 

BEST BACK IN ACTION BET: Homerites who lived here a few decades ago might remember Friday pizza night at Fresh Sourdough Express an Ocean Drive. The tradition returns from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday with an open mic live-music night. From 3-5 p.m. Sunday, the Sourdough also holds a holiday reception with an art show by Amanda Brannon and readings by an all-star list of local authors.

 

BEST BIG BYTES BET: Coding is the hot new computer skill for modern technogeniuses. Heck, even President Barack Obama has learned to code. Girls, the Homer Public Library holds a special class with “Made with Code Coding for Girls” from 3-5 p.m. Saturday. Learn how to make a story game or digital tool by creating code with easy to use drag-and-drop code blocks. For girls ages 8-12; moms, grandmothers, aunts and big sisters are welcome, too.

 

BEST HO-HO-HO WOOF-WOOF BET: Kids aren’t the only ones who can get photos taken with Santa Claus. Take your furry friends to Santa Paws from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at the Homer Animal Shelter and get a photo with Santa. Proceeds benefit Homer Animal Friends.

 

BEST WRAP AND ROLL BET: Covering gifts in shiny paper, making those tight little folds and then decorating it with a fancy bow — whew, that can be a tough job to do during the holiday rush. Fortunately, the American Legion Auxiliary once again has your back with its annual Christmas gift wrapping program. Hours are 1-5 p.m. through Dec. 23 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Christmas Eve at Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware. Donations are gratefully accepted to support veterans programs.

 

BEST WAY ACOUSTIC BET: The warm space at Bunnell Street Arts Center is perfect for the simple instruments of the guitar and human voice. Hear the music of Armin Abdihodžic, guitar, and Zachary Milliman, tenor at 3 p.m. Sunday at Bunnell. Abdihodžic has been praised as one of the most promising Bosnian guitarists of the coming generation and Milliman has sung in numerous operas. Admission is $8 youth, $10 seniors and Bunnell members, and $12 general admission.

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