Some not-so-tall tales to tell, plus a storm wrap
Call this a column of stories.
My girlfriend did a low-budget movie called “Captiva” back in 1994 with Ernest Borgnine, who turned 90 years old last Friday. “Captiva” was filmed in Southwest Florida on islands to our south.
She tells a couple of great tales about Ernie, who won an Academy Award for his role in a 1955 movie called “Marty.”
Seems when he arrived on the set of “Captiva” - on duh? Captiva Island - he got out of his limo, all hunched over and bent. The cast and crew were aghast at how he looked. Slowly, Mr. Borgnine rose to his full, big height, gave out a bellow, and said, “Hah! Gotcha!” Everybody hugged, and the production began.
He was later walking down the road with my friend when the “film-behind-the-film” crew was shooting. That’s the “movie-behind-the-movie” thing that usually happens to give the behind-the-scenes shots of producers, directors, cast, crew and all the rest something to refer back to in later years as they reminisce about the shoot.
Anyway, filming of the behind-the-film was on-going and got very up-close-and-personal with Mr. Borgnine. Ernie said something like, “Hey, you want to see something?” and dropped his pants to moon the camera.
“Did you get that?” he asked as he pulled his pants back up. “No? Here, take another shot,” and repeated the action, giving the big Ernie grin all the time - between his legs, of course.
So old Ernie is 90. According to wire reports, his secret to his longevity is that he’s “got a young wife.”
He also tells a great story of how when he was a kid, he and his sister were going through poor times during Christmas. Mom was making handmade stuff for them, they knew, and they weren’t expecting much in their stockings that year.
Dad got a payment on a loan he made to a buddy a while back, though, all of $14. That was a lot of money back then and, when the kids collected their fruit and nuts from their stockings and found $7. It was something of windfall. No, much more than a windfall.
Happy birthday, Ernie.
The names will be deleted to protect the innocent or guilty on this one, and tutus are apparently not involved - but it’s a weird mix of dance and sports.
It seems that a big-time college football coach came to our part of the world and extolled the virtues of ballet to a local high school football team. The team snarled at the thought of doing the ballerina maneuvers, until the skinny little girls came out to offer to help the big, strong football players.
“Oh. I get to pick them up? I get to twirl them?” was the refrain.
Suddenly, ballet didn’t seem so girly to the football guys. Actually, it kinda got to be fun. And they started to do the dance, and the run, and the jump.
And the coach noticed how much the team had improved as a team. They could run down the field better, catch the ball better, return the ball better, deek and dodge better, all because of the ballet that they were getting better and better at doing.
Wanna dance, big guy?
Speaking of dance, stopped off at the Sarasota Ritz-Carlton the other night for an adult beverage. It was Sunday, usually a quiet night, and we were expecting no real action, just a quiet drink.
The small lounge had at least 100 people packed in, with a constant throng on the dance floor doing the tango.
Yeah, the tango. Or the flamenco. Or whatever.
It seems that the resort has been doing some kind of dance event for five months or so. Response has been huge.
I stood there in my usual Island-style scruffies while the guys in their Armani suits and the women in their slinky dresses and $1,000 shoes dipped and twirled and felt like more of a heel than usual.
But it was quite a show.
Enough of stories. Here’s something you can really use. As near as anyone can figure, we’ve made it through the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season.
According to Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. William Gray, this is the breakout of the season. These comments are all from the team’s Web site:
Subtropical Storm Andrea
On May 9, a previously extratropical cyclone organized into Subtropical Storm Andrea while about 140 miles southeast of Savannah, Ga. Later, the organization of the system deteriorated with a significant decrease in convection as it moved over cooler waters, and on May 10 it weakened to a subtropical depression May 10. On the morning of May 11, convection flared up over the center, indicating that the cyclone might be acquiring tropical characteristics once again. However, it did not.
One surfer drowned in Florida from the rough surf. A total of five perished during Andrea’s initial extratropical phase.
Tropical Storm Barry
On May 30, a broad low pressure area formed in the Gulf of Honduras. Moving northward, the system slowly deepened as it moved through the northwest Caribbean Sea into the southeast Gulf of Mexico. On June 1, the first day of the officially defined hurricane season, the cyclone organized into Tropical Storm Barry despite being located in an area of high shear, and warnings were issued along the Western Florida coastline. Barry provided much-needed precipitation to Florida and Georgia, which were experiencing drought conditions. Barry made landfall near Tampa Bay on June 2 as a minimal tropical storm. Soon thereafter, Barry was downgraded to a tropical depression as it began its extratropical transition. On June 3, the cyclone moved up the coast of the Carolinas, bringing rains into the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. By June 5, its center had moved northward into Atlantic Canada.
Tropical Storm Chantal
An area of low pressure developed near the Bahamas on July 28, and slowly organized while moving to the north-northeast. On July 31, the system strengthened into a tropical storm south of Nova Scotia, the first in nearly two months. Damage was estimated to be in the millions of dollars, with at least $4 million in damages in the town of Placentia.
A vigorous tropical wave moved off the west coast of Africa in the second week of Aug. 28. The storm continued to strengthen and on Aug. 16 was upgraded to the first hurricane of the season. On Aug. 17, the eye of the hurricane passed into the Caribbean between the islands of Martinique and Saint Lucia as a Category 2 hurricane. Dean rapidly strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane. Dean then passed just south of Jamaica as a category 4 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center upgraded Dean to Category 5 status late on Aug. 20, and at that strength, it made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico near Costa Maya on Aug. 21. At least 42 people were killed by Hurricane Dean.
Tropical Storm Erin
On Aug. 9, an area of convection developed just south of Jamaica in association with a trough of low pressure. It was upgraded to Tropical Storm Erin on Aug. 15. It weakened to a tropical depression as it made landfall near Lamar, Texas, on Aug. 16, and the NHC issued its last advisory on the system shortly thereafter as it moved inland. Two people were killed when a warehouse collapsed in Texas. In total, 18 people died as a result of Erin.
On Aug. 31, an area of weather east of the Windward Islands became organized enough, and was named Tropical Depression Six. Early on Sept. 1, it was upgraded to a tropical storm and named Felix. Later that day, Felix was upgraded to a hurricane, And later upgraded to a Category 5 storm and struck northeastern Nicaragua with winds of 160-mph Sept. 4. At least 133 people were killed by Hurricane Felix.
Tropical Storm Gabrielle
A cold front that moved off the southeastern coast of the United States on Sept. 1 developed a weak low over the waters near Georgia. On Sept. 8, new convection eventually united with the center, leading the transition of Gabrielle into a tropical storm. Gabrielle gradually strengthened as it traveled northwest towards North Carolina and Virginia. The storm reached its peak intensity just before it arrived in Cape Lookout, though strong wind shear kept most of the convection and surface winds offshore. The circulation deteriorated further, and the storm dissipated southwest of Nova Scotia.
Tropical Storm Ingrid
A large, westward-moving tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa on Sept. 6. The depression moved west-northwestward for the next week. The cyclone slowly developed into a weak tropical storm on Sept. 13, and reached its maximum intensity the next day. The final advisory was issued on the 17th as the system degenerated into an open wave north of the Leeward Islands.
On Sept. 8, a weak surface trough and an upper-level low produced disorganized showers and thunderstorms between western Cuba and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The depression quickly intensified, and became Tropical Storm Humberto. Humberto turned to the north and eventually north-northeast and continued to rapidly intensify. In the early morning hours of Sept. 13, Humberto had strengthened into a hurricane while located about 15 miles off the coast of Texas. Hurricane Humberto made landfall near High Island, Texas, as a Category 1 hurricane. Humberto quickly weakened and entered Southwest Louisiana as a tropical storm. Hurricane Humberto caused some structural damage on High Island and widespread tree and power line damage in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area. Power outages caused four oil refineries to halt production in Beaumont. One person was reported dead as a result of the storm, a Bridge City man killed when his carport crashed on him outside his house.
Tropical Depression 10
An extra-tropical low formed off the east coast of Florida on Sept. 18. It slowly tracked westward, breaking itself away from a trough over the Atlantic. Tropical Depression Ten began to move onshore, and never reached tropical storm strength. Damage from the precursor low was reported in Eustis, Fla., from one or more tornadoes that damaged or destroyed about 50 houses, but caused no serious injuries.
Tropical Storm Jerry
Jerry began as a non-tropical low that drifted around the central North Atlantic on Sept. 21. It was classified as a subtropical depression on Sept. 23. Jerry became fully tropical on Sept. 24. Thereafter, the storm tracked northeastward over cooler waters and began to weaken. By Sept. 25, the storm had completely dissipated. 64.
Tropical Storm Karen
In the fourth week of September, a very large tropical wave emerged off the coast of Africa and tracked south of Cape Verde. It slowly became organized. Early on Sept. 25, it became a tropical depression, and six hours later was upgraded to Tropical Storm Karen. It was slow to intensify at first, but on Sept. 26 Karen rapidly intensified to near hurricane intensity early in the day.
A tropical wave moved off the western coast of Africa on Sept. 11, traversed the Caribbean and crossed the Yucatan. Under weak steering currents, the depression drifted south and southwest, executing a small cyclonic loop into the Bay of Campeche. Rapid intensification eventually brought Lorenzo to hurricane status. Lorenzo reached its peak intensity on Sept. 28, then weakened slightly before making landfall near Tecolutla, Mexico, as a minimal hurricane. The small circulation weakened rapidly after landfall, and the system dissipated the next day. Six deaths in Mexico were attributed to Lorenzo, mostly the result of flash floods and mudslides. The states of Puebla and Veracruz reported damage from rain and high winds. Two hundred people were forced to evacuate in Hidalgo when the San Lorenzo River overflowed its banks. Lorenzo made landfall in virtually the same location that Hurricane Dean had struck a month earlier.
Tropical Storm Melissa
Melissa began as a tropical wave that exited the western coast of Africa on Sept. 26. The depression drifted westward between very weak steering currents. While inching westward, the depression strengthened slightly and became Tropical Storm Melissa, tying the record for most storms to form in a month. The next day, increasing westerly shear weakened Melissa back to a tropical depression. As it lost deep convection, the depression moved rapidly toward the west-northwest along the southern edge of a regenerating low-level ridge. Thunderstorm activity sputtered, and the depression degenerated to a remnant low. Since Melissa did not affect land, there were no reports of damage or casualties associated with the storm.
Tropical Depression 15
On Oct. 11, a tropical depression formed in the central Atlantic east of Bermuda. It dissipated without further development.
Tropical Depression 16 developed Oct. 27. It steadily intensified and became a tropical storm on the afternoon of Oct. 28. It made landfall in Haiti on Oct. 29, and then meandered across the western Caribbean near Cuba for the next three days. Noel brought torrential rain to the region, killing at least 148 people. It then accelerated northeastward, passing through the Bahamas before strengthening to a hurricane on Nov. 1. Noel began an extratropical transition on Nov. 2.
OK, so I’ve got to put some kind of critters into this report - and this is literally a killer.
It seems that some guy in Michigan told law enforcement officers that he made a mistake when he shot a 1,400-pound, pregnant cow.
He believed it was a coyote.
Remember that coyotes are those kinda dogs that sometimes weigh all of 40 pounds.
Oh, and shooting coyotes is illegal in Michigan right now, since its deer season.
According to wire service reports, authorities are “skeptical” about the shooter’s explanation.