Monthly Archives: July 2010

Flight attendants, prepare for landing

When I fly into Sea-Tac Airport, I like to be in a window seat. I generally am an aisle-seat person because I like to stretch out and see what’s going on in the other rows and be able to stand up immediately once the plane lands.

But I make an exception for Sea-Tac. As the plane begins to descend, the almost-straight-line of the Cascade’s volcanoes come into view from above the clouds. There’s Mt. St. Helens, its once impressive dome blown half to pieces during its last eruption. There’s Mt. Baker or Mt. Adams–I get them confused–and then, unmistakably, there’s the gleaming white fist of Mt. Rainier. “The Mountain.”

I love The Mountain. I miss it when the never-ending cloud cover blocks it from view. I go to great lengths to catch a glimpse of it on clear days. I have vague aspirations to circumnavigate it on the Wonderland Trail and to climb to the top of its crater.

I’ve seen The Mountain during sunset from Queen Anne Hill. I’ve watched it puff pancake-shaped clouds like Alice’s caterpillar. I’ve watched it disappear into self-made snowstorms. But the best view of The Mountain is, undeniably, from the window seat of an airplane, flying just above its peak. It’s the best way to appreciate its hulking mass towering over the other mountains and its somewhat unassuming attitude.

I can’t think of a better way to be welcomed to the Pacific Northwest.


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The no nonsense guide to food labels at farmers’ markets

Farmers’ markets today can present quite a challenge to conscientious shoppers. There are so many different labels used to describe produce and meat – local, sustainable, free range, cage-free and so on – that the process of shopping can become rather daunting.

This no-nonsense food label dictionary will help you work out what it is you’re really buying.


This is an unregulated claim. It generally means the hens who laid the eggs were allowed to live outside of cages, as opposed to conventionally raised chickens that are stuffed into high-density cages (and probably fed animal protein).

Cage-free birds don’t necessarily have access to the outdoors, though. It’s best to ask the farmer how he or she raised the birds.

Read the rest of the article online at

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