From Columbine to Parkland

I was a senior in high school when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 13 people and injured two dozen more in their attack at Columbine school. That was April 20, 1999, almost 19 years ago.

The kid who murdered 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland? He was born in September of 1998. He wasn’t even a year old when the Columbine massacre occurred.

If the school shooting was born at Columbine, it is now old enough to have graduated from high school. Hell, the school shooting is old enough to have gotten married and started having kids.

All the real, actual kids who did graduate last year and all the kids who are currently in school have never lived in a world where school shootings don’t happen. Of course I’m not the first person to notice this — I just read a USA Today article that refers to today’s youth as “Generation Columbine.” (I don’t love the let’s-coin-a-term thing, but it does rather ram the point home.)

Nobody can possibly be serious in professing that it’s “too early” to talk about gun control. The insincerity or such a statement would be laughable if it weren’t for the 150+ kids who have been murdered to date … or the estimated 150,000 kids who have experienced a shooting at their school over the past 20 years.

Easy recipes to make your house smell amazing on a lazy day

I like to make a batch of both of these every so often — cinnamony nuts for snacking, and crunchy nut gravel for topping yogurt or oatmeal or just putting straight into your face. They’re both easy-peasy, and you can pretty much use whatever mix of nuts you want and achieve lovely results.

Cinnamon Maple Nuts

  • 1 c. raw almonds
  • 1 c. raw pecans
  • 2 c. raw walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Measure the nuts into a biggish mixing bowl. Melt the ghee / coconut oil in a small dish, then stir in the maple syrup. Pour over nuts and mix to coat. Sprinkle cinnamon generously over the top and mix more, until nuts are evenly coated with maple-cinnamon goodness. Spread nuts on a baking pan and bake for 8-12 minutes. If it’s your first batch, check ’em early and then keep a close watch — you want them a nice toasty color, but nuts can quickly go from toasty to slightly burnt if you’re not paying attention. If you’re using a glass baking dish, they may take longer. Let cool before storing. They should keep at room temp at least several weeks, at least in theory, although they never make it that long in my house.

Kitchen Sink Nut Gravel

  • 1 c. raw cashews, chopped
  • 1 c. raw almonds, chopped
  • 1 c. raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. raw pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 c. coconut flakes
  • 1/4 c. raw pepitas
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. cacao nibs
  • 2 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • A tiny dash of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Measure the nuts, coconut, and seeds into a biggish mixing bowl. Melt the ghee / coconut oil in a small dish, then stir in the maple syrup and the spices. Pour over nut mixture and stir until evenly coated. Spread nuts on a baking pan and bake for 8-12 minutes. (See above note on baking times.) Cool and store in a couple glass jars — makes a little over a quart.

Dusting off, making new

I started my first blog in the fall of 2000, when I was in college, when people still used to write “web log, or ‘blog'” in articles about this new format. This was before the term “social media” was coined.  Before blogging, you might create a personal website and fill it with lots of pages of nonsense, but the organization was all in site structure. Using a website to maintain an online journal seems obvious in hindsight, but at the time it was hailed either as revolutionary or as a useless boondoggle that would never catch on.

And now blogs are old hat. Well, welcome to this one.