Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Triangle: The Fire that Changed America may or may not be worth the time. My used copy was not worth MY time because the unscrupulous person who sold it as "like new" neglected to mention all the underlining and margin notes she scrawled all through the book in purple, green, and blue ink.

As I mentioned to a book group, "I think the feeling that the previous owner sloppily defaced the book, like book graffiti, drives me crazy.The ink color drives me crazy. The sloppy underling drives me crazy. The dumb boxes she put around certain words drive me crazy. Her insipid, stupid margin notes drive me crazy. (Most of these margin notes are worthless. They offer no special insight into anything. It's like she made them just to be writing them 'cus it made her look smart.) The sloppy way some of her notes went over the text drive me crazy. "

By the way, her name is Liz. She had the author, David Von Drehle sign the book to her. She apparently was reading it for a MA Lit class. I bet, based on her margin notes, she failed the class. She probably took the money she made selling the book and invested it in more cute colored gel pens.

Deep Storm

Deep Storm by Lincoln Child is a first rate action adventure sci-fi novel. Child is always highly recommended for any book he co-authors with Douglas Preston. Let me assure Preston/Child readers that in Deep Storm Child is equally enjoyable. In Deep Storm, Peter Crane, a naval doctor, is recruited to help diagnose a mysterious illness that has broken out on a North Atlantic oil rig. Once he arrives, Crane discovers that the real action is below the oil rig at a secret underwater excavation project code named Deep Storm. Once he has security clearance, Crane is told that they have discovered the lost city of Atlantis, but soon discovers that this is a cover story for the real secret. Meanwhile, the mysterious illness that many in the crew are experiencing exhibits a wide variety of symptoms and Crane is stumped as to the cause.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The book Polio: An American Story really did hold my attention the whole time I was reading it. I don't know if it's because I'm getting older or what, but I'm starting to enjoy certain non-fiction books more and more. The reason reading about the development of the Polio vaccine caught my attention could be in part because of my age. The battle against Polio had been "won" by the time I was born, 1959, but the effects of Polio were still very evident.

I also vividly recall standing in line, by class, in a school cafeteria in Omaha with many other kids in the school. We were all there to get a shot for.... something. I don't think it was for polio; this would have been too late for those mass vaccinations, but what was it for???? Now I really want to know because I don't have the faith in the medical community that most people would have had during that time, the 60's, that everything they say you have to do is really the truth. Nor do I trust how those vaccinations were (potentially) made.

Anyway, this mass vaccination memory disturbs me. I need to see if my sister remembers it. She is only 2 years younger than me and I know she was there. I can't remember if my older brother was there, but I don't recall his class being in line.

Well, I talked to my mom and she has no idea what they would have been shooting us up with at that time. We, parents, older brother, me, and one sister ( the other two siblings weren't born yet), apparently stood in line around 1961 or ' 62 for our polio vacinnations and did the 3 times oral. She's wondering if it was some kind of flu vaccination for an outbreak.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Polio: An American Story

Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky was a Pulitzer Prize winner in History for 2006. This book lives up to it's recommendations. It really is an engrossing historical account of the crusade to find a vaccination for poliomyelitis. Oshinsky details how FDR helped raise awareness of polio, the creation of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, and the March of Dimes. All the scientific professional rivalries, missteps, and breakthroughs are carefully placed in a historical context and covered equitably. The main rivalry in the history of the polio vaccination was between Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk. They represent the two camps of virologists: those who believed in an attenuated live-virus vaccine (Sabin) versus those who believed in a killed-virus vaccine (Salk).

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"un-alphabetized" and "un-arranged by subject"

The recent "un-alphabetized" and "un-arranged by subject" -ness of my book cases has me all in a tizzy.

We have 4 large double book cases in our bonus room (or library as we like to call it) and we all love our books. Combining that with a house that is for sale and it's easy to see how this wall of bookcases could look messy. Books were stacked up and spilling out of it. I packed some up, thinking that would help. My daughter had a better idea. She suggested that in order to make our wall of bookcases look less cluttered, it might help to arrange the books by size, rather than my preferred method of organization, alphabetized or by subject.

The book cases look GOOD, which was the point, but now, when I want to find a book quickly, I can't. I'll think "Oh, that's by _______ and it will be there." The problem now is that looking "there" where the book should be no longer helps. The book could be anywhere. Now I have to remember if the book I'm looking for is hardcover or paperback. Is it a large or small paperback/hardcover. Then I need to try to remember the color of the cover, if possible.

It will be wonderful when we finally sell this house, move, and I can put my bookcases back into the order I like. I miss the alphabetization.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's been said that learning to respond gracefully to ungraciousness is like learning to play the piano....if you didn't encounter people who treat you ungraciously, you'd never have the opportunity to learn to practice grace of your own.

Monday, February 19, 2007

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm – but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.”

T.S. Eliot

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale is a story of secrets. In it the famous writer, Vida Winter, contacts Margaret Lea, bookseller and biographer, to tell her true story. Vida had been giving out different versions of her background for years. Her current circumstances lead her to the decision to finally tell the true story of her life. This makes the plot sound simple enough, but it is anything but simple. Between the ghosts in Vida's past and Margarets own ghost there is always an unseen presence hovering just out of sight.

Part of what makes The Thirteenth Tale such an incredible book is the writing. Setterfield has a way with words that is inspirational. Several times while reading, I found myself re-reading a passage simply because the writing was that good. The plot itself is compelling which also makes this a very enjoyable book, but the writing, ahh....

"She was a do-gooder, which means that all the ill she did, she did without realizing it."

"All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes - characters even - caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you."

"My gripe is not with lovers of truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? When the lightening strikes shadows in the bedroom wall and the rain taps at the window with its long fingernails? No. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie."

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Professor and the Madman

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester,originally published in 1998 by Harper Collins, is exactly what it's title implies. It is the story, in part, of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). The dictionary itself took 70 years to compile and hundreds of people helped with this undertaking. During this time one of it's greatest editors, Professor James Murray, was aided by Dr. W. C Minor, an American expatriate and Civil War veteran. Dr. Minor was also a certified lunatic who was committed to The Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum for murder.

While Dr. Minor's life was troubled and he was beyond a doubt insane, he also provided invaluable help in the work involved to complete the OED. He provided thousands of literary word entries and quotes to the editors all from his cell at Broadmoor. Professor Murray and Dr. Minor almost became friends, or colleagues, while working on the OED. The OED is really the main character in this book, but both Murray and Minor are treated evenly and are a compelling addition to the story. Actually, for me, what makes a story on the writing of the OED is the subplot of the professor and the madman.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

wing situation

The wing situation at our home has gotten a bit out of control.

This love of chicken wings is very recent.  Now apparently, we need to have wings any time there is an event.

I'm not talking about an event like having guests over. I'm talking about our families TV show line up. We have to scramble to get wings ready to be consumed while the TV show is on. The sad thing is that it started with one show (24), has expanded to two shows (24, Lost), and I know that soon it will blossom to three times a week (24, Lost, Amazing Race). Although it's nice that we can all watch the same TV shows together as a family, that doesn't exactly a party make. It's also not that wings are an unhealthy snack, but they aren't exactly the cheapest snacking obsession to latch on to.

Now my family is treating a favorite TV show like it's time to open the all night buffet full of endless choices. You should understand the problems this can create in my family. Suddenly dinner must be something light because it's 24 night and you know that means it's time to break out the cheese, crackers, ice cream, chips, chicken tenders, and, naturally, wings. This is troubling. It may be time to make some snacking rules before putting into place a ban on all snacking while watching TV.

Our snacking rules could be:
1. If you must snack, you must vary your snacking choices over a week. So for example, you could have cheese one night, fruit the second, and wings the third night. No repeat of any one item during the week.
2. No multiple items. You may not have "just a couple wings" along with your cheese.
3. Dinner must be eaten and you should not save room for snacks. If you are full after dinner, you are full and do not need snacks.
4. A special two hour show does not mean you need to have snacks for two hours.
5. No more than 1 (one) bag of wings will be purchased per month. This would be the big bag from Sam's, so no pouting that it is not enough wings.

These rules may have to be added to, but it's a start.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Eternity Road

Eternity Road by Jack McDevitt is a science fiction book originally published in 1997. The setting is the future USA after a plague has wiped out most of the population. All that is left of our 21st century civilization are artifacts, ruins, and the remains of our roads, thus the name "Roadmakers" is given to our civilization by the new emerging culture of city-states. There is a legend that some Roadmakers left a vast store of knowledge (books) in a place called Haven. The first expedition to fine Haven failed. A second expedition begins and much of the book covers this second expedition.

Eternity Road is not fine literature, but is certainly an acceptable science fiction yarn. There are better books out there about civilization ending, but this is enjoyable book to read for pleasure. There is no underlying theme or moral to the story. There is no epic battle of good against evil. It's more along the lines of an explorers travel log set in a different future. I'd recommend it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

an apology

To the large extended family sitting near us last night:

It was obvious that we were all out on the town celebrating last night at one of the local casino's all you can eat lobster buffets. Our families were both, separately, enjoying the food and each other's company, as it should be, until my family decided to show their true natures.

Honestly, I like to think we are, to some extent, a cultured family. That we are all very well mannered and, perhaps, just a sliver above average. After last night I do realize that this may be delusional on my part. Everything was going along beautifully - if we forget the rush around town looking for some place to celebrate that did not have a long wait before you would be seated. We'll also overlook my families repeatedly circling the desert bar like great whites on the hunt. Yes, if we all overlook those two incidents, and if those were the only remarkable occurrences, I could have been left with my happy little fantasies about how well mannered my family is in public. Alas, it was not to be and my little world came crashing down around me.

I am horrified to say that it was my beautiful daughter who did the first great belch. I know, you all stopped talking, turned, and looked at me, thinking it must be the old lady with the funny short hair who lost control, but I'm telling you that it was my lovely daughter. The look of abject horror on my face, as she was laughing hysterically, was real. Yes, I agree, she should have been the one with the look of horror on her face after such a great a noise sprang forth from her. There is no explanation why she was laughing.

It could have ended there, but, alas, it did not. The second great belch issued forth from my son. There is no comprehendible excuse why everyone in my family, except me, was laughing like a pack of hyenas over this second belch. My son swears it surprised him and there was no way he could have prevented it. After that I do realize all the young members in your group were watching my family closely. I am so sorry we may have scarred your impressionable young children for life. I saw the look of relief cross many of your faces when we left.

There is no conceivable rationale for the last occurrence except, perhaps, that the moist towelettes provided were not enough moisture for my daughter. It could have been due to how rare rain really can be in our area of the country, so the hard rain last night was an oddity. It could also be that I am making excuses so I do not need to face the reality that my daughter bent over and wildly swished her hands in the stream of water coming out of the rain gutter. Yes, we do have indoor plumbing. No we have never had a need to wash our hands in water from a rain gutter before. Yes, I did see her raise her hands triumphantly out of the water and I did hear her say, "There!" as if no other explanation was necessary.

For all of this, I am truly sorry.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Neither here Nor there

Bill Bryson's Neither here Nor there: Travels in Europe was first published in 1991. Although Bryson can be humorous, I'll have to admit that his humor in this book grew very tiresome. First, at the beginning of his travels, one would presume during the "here" part, he seemed to delight in sexual humor and innuendo more so then in the later "there" part of the book. This came across as boorish and really annoying. He also seemed to be preoccupied with swearing much more vigorously earlier in the book. I'm not sure what was up with that. I enjoyed later books by Bryson more than this early travel log. If you should stumble across Neither here Nor there, you could read it but I wouldn't recommend seeking it out.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Useful Work Phrases

1. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
2. I didn't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it is hard to pronounce.
3. What am I? Flypaper for freaks?
4. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.
5. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
6. No, my powers can only be used for good.
7. How about never? Is never good for you?
8. You sound reasonable. Time to up my medication.
9. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
10. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.
11. Who me? I just wander from room to room.
12. My toys! My toys! I can't do this job without my toys!
13. It might look like I'm doing nothing, but at the cellular level I'm really quite busy.
14. At least I have a positive attitude about my destructive habits.
15. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
16. I see you have set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
17. Someday we'll look back on this, laugh nervously, and change the subject.
18. Time to go. The mother ship has landed.

(I found this list originally from 1999 while cleaning out my desk and felt it needed to be shared with others again.)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I'm accepting the challenge of being tagged by Stacey.

The Christian Homeschool by Gregg Harris was the first book on homeschooling I read. A friend loaned it to me to read. I bought my own copy so I could loan it out to other people. It's been a long time since I actually looked at it, though.

The computer (including the connected printer) with internet access has become invaluable in homeschooling.

I know that there have been several over the years, but I either sold them or gave them away so I no longer have them around, taunting me. Perhaps the latest would be Alpha Omega's Spanish 2 Lifepac. My daughter hated Spanish 1, even though she did well in it. We made her continue on to Spanish 2 because we were following the rule that it's a good idea to have 2 years of the same foreign language for admission to many colleges. We finally allowed her to drop it after the first lifepac and she's now taking the language SHE wanted to learn, Mongolian. The Spanish 2 won't be wasted, though, it will go to my sister who is also forcing her kids to go on the Spanish 2.

Although "enjoy" would be too strong a word for it, we sure appreciated MUS Geometry for my daughter.

I know everything we'll be using for next year, but I'll mention A Beka U. S. History.

Since I only have 2 things left that I'm considering buying for next year as I already own everything else, I'll list one of them: Alpha Omega's Home Economics Lifepacs.

The perfect math programs tailored to the needs of each individual child.

Rainbow Resource Center's huge catalog, or, as I like to think of it, the big book of fun.

Only because I moderate it. I visit several homeschool message boards but rarely post any more.

I'll do what Stacey did... if anyone who homeschools reads this and hasn't been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a profound, incredibly moving, unforgettable memoir that will definitely be on my best of 2007 list. This is one of those books that will stay with you forever. To say that the Walls' family was dysfunctional is an understatement. If not for the fact that she overcame this childhood, Jeanette Walls' memoir could make a case for screening people before allowing them to have children. I was raging inside at her parents; no child deserved parents like this, adults who could rationalize away providing even basics for their children while finding ways to provide for their own needs. Walls tells the story of her childhood matter-of-factly, without any self pity. This is a must read.


Jeannette Walls's father always called her "Mountain Goat" and there's perhaps no more apt nickname for a girl who navigated a sheer and towering cliff of childhood both daily and stoically. In The Glass Castle, Walls chronicles her upbringing at the hands of eccentric, nomadic parents--Rose Mary, her frustrated-artist mother, and Rex, her brilliant, alcoholic father. To call the elder Walls's childrearing style laissez faire would be putting it mildly. As Rose Mary and Rex, motivated by whims and paranoia, uprooted their kids time and again, the youngsters (Walls, her brother and two sisters) were left largely to their own devices. But while Rex and Rose Mary firmly believed children learned best from their own mistakes, they themselves never seemed to do so, repeating the same disastrous patterns that eventually landed them on the streets. Walls describes in fascinating detail what it was to be a child in this family, from the embarrassing (wearing shoes held together with safety pins; using markers to color her skin in an effort to camouflage holes in her pants) to the horrific (being told, after a creepy uncle pleasured himself in close proximity, that sexual assault is a crime of perception; and being pimped by her father at a bar). Though Walls has well earned the right to complain, at no point does she play the victim. In fact, Walls' removed, nonjudgmental stance is initially startling, since many of the circumstances she describes could be categorized as abusive (and unquestioningly neglectful). But on the contrary, Walls respects her parents' knack for making hardships feel like adventures, and her love for them--despite their overwhelming self-absorption--resonates from cover to cover. --Brangien Davis --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Freelance writer Walls doesn't pull her punches. She opens her memoir by describing looking out the window of her taxi, wondering if she's "overdressed for the evening" and spotting her mother on the sidewalk, "rooting through a Dumpster." Walls's parents—just two of the unforgettable characters in this excellent, unusual book—were a matched pair of eccentrics, and raising four children didn't conventionalize either of them. Her father was a self-taught man, a would-be inventor who could stay longer at a poker table than at most jobs and had "a little bit of a drinking situation," as her mother put it. With a fantastic storytelling knack, Walls describes her artist mom's great gift for rationalizing. Apartment walls so thin they heard all their neighbors? What a bonus—they'd "pick up a little Spanish without even studying." Why feed their pets? They'd be helping them "by not allowing them to become dependent." While Walls's father's version of Christmas presents—walking each child into the Arizona desert at night and letting each one claim a star—was delightful, he wasn't so dear when he stole the kids' hard-earned savings to go on a bender. The Walls children learned to support themselves, eating out of trashcans at school or painting their skin so the holes in their pants didn't show. Buck-toothed Jeannette even tried making her own braces when she heard what orthodontia cost. One by one, each child escaped to New York City. Still, it wasn't long before their parents appeared on their doorsteps. "Why not?" Mom said. "Being homeless is an adventure."
Copyright © Reed Business Information,

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted story of breath-taking sorrow. The story hinges on one fateful, dramatic decision that affects the very foundation of essentially two families. In the first chapter, David, the father and a doctor, delivers his own children during a snow storm. They are fraternal twins, a healthy boy and a girl with Down's Syndrome. The father gives the girl to his nurse, Caroline, and instructs her to leave the baby at a home, but the nurse instead raises the girl as her own daughter. This one decision haunts David's family all their lives.
From the Washington Post:
"...This tragedy of a man who thinks he can control how lives are redirected is as moving as the story of his nurse, who knows that her love can bless a damaged life. In the end, it's not just that David made a mistake in a moment of crisis; it's that he never realized that parenthood is an infinite series of opportunities for redemption. Years after the choice he could never forgive himself, for, as Caroline tells him, "You missed a lot of heartache, sure. But David, you missed a lot of joy." Readers of The Memory Keeper's Daughter will find ample stores of both."
Reviewed by Ron Charles Copyright 2005, The Washington Post Co. All Rights Reserved. -
The characters are true to life and, just as in real life, you may not always or ever like them. There was even a time while reading that I had to set the book aside, reflecting on how some events in the book so closely mirrored a couple similar family situations from years ago. In some ways I think that since the characters so closely resembled how some people would react, it becomes even more heart breaking.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Material World and Hungry Planet

We gave our daughter, just me, two interesting books for Christmas:
Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel and Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel, Faith D'Aluisio. Both of these books come highly recommended. I read Material World in January, after my daughter finished it, and, after reading half of it earlier, I finally finished Hungry Planet last night.

Material World was published in 1995, but still has an impact. From the review:
"[A]ward-winning photojournalist Peter Menzel brought together 16 of the world's leading photographers to create a visual portrait of life in 30 nations. Material World tackles its wide subject by zooming in, allowing one household to represent an entire nation. Photographers spent one week living with a "statistically average" family in each country, learning about their work, their attitudes toward their possessions, and their hopes for the future. Then a "big picture" shot of the family was taken outside the dwelling, surrounded by all their (many or few) material goods.
The book provides sidebars offering statistics and a brief history for each country, as well as personal notes from the photographers about their experiences. But it is the "big pictures" that tell most of the story..... Material World is a lesson in economics and geography, reminding us of the world's inequities, but also of humanity's common threads. An engrossing, enlightening book. --Maria Dolan"

Hungry Planet was published in 2005 and was the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the year. This really is not a cookbook, although it does have a recipe in it from each family portrayed. The review, in part, at
"...Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, [is] a comparative photo-chronicle of their visits to 30 families in 24 countries for 600 meals in all. Their personal-is-political portraits feature pictures of each family with a week's worth of food purchases; weekly food-intake lists with costs noted; typical family recipes; and illuminating essays.... Among the families, we meet the Mellanders, a German household of five who enjoy cinnamon rolls, chocolate croissants, and beef roulades, and whose weekly food expenses amount to $500. We also encounter the Natomos of Mali, a family of one husband, his two wives, and their nine children, whose corn and millet-based diet costs $26.39 weekly.
We soon learn that diet is determined by largely uncontrollable forces like poverty, conflict and globalization, which can bring change with startling speed....
Because the book makes many of its points through the eye, we see--and feel--more than we might otherwise. Issues that influence how the families are nourished (or not) are made more immediate. Quietly, the book reveals the intersection of nutrition and politics, of the particular and universal. It's a wonderful and worthy feat. --Arthur Boehm "

They are both excellent books. The big family portraits in both books are intriguing, fascinating, and sometimes humbling. As noted in the reviews about, in Material World we see a family surrounded by all their material possessions while In Hungry Planet, we see various families surrounded by a weeks worth of groceries. Just pondering what your family would be surrounded by in these portraits.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


I'm wandering the house wondering which book to start next. There are so many good choices. Do I go back to fiction or should I stick with another nonfiction. Choices, choices....

Friday, February 2, 2007

Isaac's Storm

Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson was excellent. If you are a weather geek and also love the history of weather forecasting as well as a disaster story, this is the book for you. If reading about the September 8, 1900, Galveston, Texas hurricane will give you nightmares, then you might want to skip this book. Most of the book covers events leading up to the hurricane and the life of Isaac Cline. This is also a book about human nature and the flaws found in men. Many people could have potentially been saved had the egos of several different men not gotten in the way. I highly recommend Isaac's Storm. My copy is off in the hands of my co-weather geek son.

From Amazon:

On September 8, 1900, a massive hurricane slammed into Galveston, Texas. A tidal surge of some four feet in as many seconds inundated the city, while the wind destroyed thousands of buildings. By the time the water and winds subsided, entire streets had disappeared and as many as 10,000 were dead--making this the worst natural disaster in America's history.

In Isaac's Storm, Erik Larson blends science and history to tell the story of Galveston, its people, and the hurricane that devastated them. Drawing on hundreds of personal reminiscences of the storm, Larson follows individuals through the fateful day and the storm's aftermath. There's Louisa Rollfing, who begged her husband, August, not to go into town the morning of the storm; the Ursuline Sisters at St. Mary's orphanage who tied their charges to lengths of clothesline to keep them together; Judson Palmer, who huddled in his bathroom with his family and neighbors, hoping to ride out the storm. At the center of it all is Isaac Cline, employee of the nascent Weather Bureau, and his younger brother--and rival weatherman--Joseph. Larson does an excellent job of piecing together Isaac's life and reveals that Isaac was not the quick-thinking hero he claimed to be after the storm ended. The storm itself, however, is the book's true protagonist--and Larson describes its nuances in horrific detail.

At times the prose is a bit too purple, but Larson is engaging and keeps the book's tempo rising in pace with the wind and waves. Overall, Isaac's Storm recaptures at a time when, standing in the first year of the century, Americans felt like they ruled the world--and that even the weather was no real threat to their supremacy. Nature proved them wrong. --Sunny Delaney --