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Msilverhammer
293
Jan 23, 2018
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Just for clarification, when I wrote my comment on the jacket mentioned in this drop, the Men's Helium HD jacket, I mistakenly referred to it as the Men's Helium II jacket, both from Outdoor Research.
REI is selling the Men's Helium HD jacket for $199.00 as compared to the Men's Helium II jacket for $159.00, so this drop is well under market price.
Both jackets are made from the exact same Pertex® Shield+ 2.5L 100% nylon 30D ripstop material, but the Helium HD is three ounces heavier, has pit zips, and a hood that will fit helmets, and zip hand pockets, among the differences.
As I stated earlier, from what I have read, been told, and researched, they seem like excellent jackets, that are light, and very breathable.
Hope this clarifies my previous comment.
Jan 23, 2018
wily-quixote
188
Jan 23, 2018
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I have the Helium II and it is a good jacket but i believe that the pit zips and hood on the HD make it superior - despite the added weight. I use the helium as a 'no rain is forecast' jacket. If I know it is going to rain i will take a gore-tex paclite - which isn't any more waterproof but mine is thicker and more stormworthy. Pertex shield is a good membrane. I don't agree that other technologies are necessarily superior in wet conditions as all the technologies fail when the dwr diminishes (which it will) in sustained rain - no membrane can transfer moisture with 100% water on the surface of the jacket -which occurs when all the jackets wet out. The only one that (reputedly) does not wet out is Columbia Outdry which has very few independent reviews and I know no-one that has used one to verify it. For those using a shell as a wind or snow shell the differences in membrane technologies is much more important. The helium jacket, being lightweight, will be more fragile than heavier thicker jackets (i.e. will wear out under packstraps etc).
Jan 23, 2018
Msilverhammer
293
Jan 24, 2018
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I agree that the addition of the pit zips, helmet compatible hood, and other features make the Helium HD a better jacket.
Depending upon when you re-proofed your jacket with DWR, it should in conjunction with the waterproof fabric stop all water from penetrating through your jacket, no matter how wet.
It takes quite a bit of time, say a month or two of daily use for most DWR to wear out, and it also depends upon which DWR product was applied, e.g. Revivex, Nikwax, Grangers.
I have tried to get wet in my Marmot Oracle, and Marmot Artemis jackets, and came out dry, despite spending hours in downpours.
BTW...I did insert some independent reviews of the Outdry jacket in my original comment, and the Outdry performed as claimed.
I clearly stated that I would like to own and purchase an Outdry jacket, but I have not yet tested one out, so I only go by what I read and watch in videos.
Since I already have a half a dozen rain jackets or more, I have been slow to purchase another one, since the jackets that I already own work quite well.
I guess that since I love all kinds of gear, I will eventually break down and pick up a Columbia Outdry jacket, and a Polartec Neoshell jacket, as I live in a mostly warm and humid climate, so the wicking and breathability characteristics are important, after the waterproofing.
Thanks for commenting.
Jan 24, 2018
wily-quixote
188
Jan 24, 2018
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DWR takes up to a couple of days to lose its properties in continual rain, this is exacerbated by movement through undergrowth. I know of no jacket that has DWR that lasts through continual rain for extended periods- they all wet out eventually (except perhaps outdry).
The presence, or otherwise, of DWR does not change the waterproofness of a membrane jacket but it does change the capacity of the jacket to transmit water vapour through the membrane. No jacket can achieve this when DWR fails - which is one of the circumstances when then water vapour condenses inside the jacket.
in practice, all waterproof jackets result in the wearer becoming damp or wet from sweat if the individual is engaged in aerobic activity in the rain. Even in ideal conditions (dwr functioning) the capacity of any of these membranes to transfer water vapour from sweat, in the quantity that it is produced, across a membrane to a humid ambient environment (i.e. when it is raining) is insufficient.
Most demonstrations of vapour transfer across membranes do not take into account the humid environment on both sides of the membrane in real world conditions. The membrane requires both temperature and vapour pressure differential to move water vapour across a membrane. these conditions do not exist when hiking through the rain - especially when working very hard or when DWR fails.
In that sense it doesn't matter which of the modern jackets that you buy as none of them will keep you dry in the rain of you are hiking. The most valuable asset of any jacket is to prevent water ingress from the rain - which will displace the warm moist environment in the jacket with cold water. So durability, fit, hood and squall resistance is the optimal properties of any jacket as it prevents water ingress. the next best feature is ventilation (pit or torso zips) as this allows that most efficient method of water vapour loss - venting.
the next most important property is DWR durability followed by whatever membrane brand you prefer.
If you are engaged in non-aerobic activity in the rain the membrane is more important as is activity in dry cold environemnt (i.e. snow) as the ambient differential in humidity is greater and the membrane can act more effectively to shift water vapour. But if you are engaged in non-aerobic activity in the rain you don't need a membrane a pvc slicker would do and if you are in the cold, dry snow you don't need a WP membrane you need a softshell.
The truth is that a WP membrane is better than the alternative in most circumstances but this myth that, when hiking in the rain, they are guaranteed to keep you dry is marketing gibberish.
Jan 24, 2018
Msilverhammer
293
Jan 24, 2018
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See my replies to your statements below:
You stated:
DWR takes up to a couple of days to lose its properties in continual rain, this is exacerbated by movement through undergrowth. I know of no jacket that has DWR that lasts through continual rain for extended periods- they all wet out eventually (except perhaps outdry).
My reply... You are hypothesizing about a 95/5 scenario, actually more like a 99/1 scenario.
How many times does someone actually become exposed to a continual, or non stop downpour of rain, (not a drizzle) over a period of two days straight, while crawling and bushwhacking through the wilderness?
I think that the guys out on the crab boats may experience this type of weather occasionally, but they are usually wearing PVC.
I worked in the wilderness areas of one of the rainiest areas around, SE Alaska, and I never experienced that type of situation.
I have also ridden out twelve hurricanes, or typhoons throughout my life, and again, I never saw it rain non-stop for more than a full day, except on one occasion way back when during Hurricane Dennis in Florida, where it rained for three days straight.
Now if I had been outside continually during those three days, I might have experienced the scenario you described, but I was smart enough to just hunker down, and only go out when necessary.
Finally, your statements are somewhat anecdotal, and with all due respect to you, you have no actual empirical evidence that was collected scientifically to back up your statement. Way too many variables, and just not totally factual, or accurate.
Perhaps we can agree that in normal day to day exposure to intermittent rain, which is what 99% of us will experience, a properly cleaned high quality waterproof jacket, that has a high quality DWR applied will last at least a month, and probably more. That's my actual experience.
You stated:
The presence, or otherwise, of DWR does not change the waterproofness of a membrane jacket but it does change the capacity of the jacket to transmit water vapor through the membrane. No jacket can achieve this when DWR fails - which is one of the circumstances when then water vapor condenses inside the jacket.
My reply...
Actually the presence of DWR does repel water, hence the name Durable Water Repellent.
When the DWR does fail, or wear out, the jacket material will wet out, and yes, at that point it will be more difficult, but not impossible for vapor to be transmitted to the outside of the jacket, but this is greatly improved by using pit zips, mesh pockets, and different types of hydrophobic clothing.
You stated: In practice, all waterproof jackets result in the wearer becoming damp or wet from sweat if the individual is engaged in aerobic activity in the rain. Even in ideal conditions (dwr functioning) the capacity of any of these membranes to transfer water vapor from sweat, in the quantity that it is produced, across a membrane to a humid ambient environment (i.e. when it is raining) is insufficient.
Most demonstrations of vapor transfer across membranes do not take into account the humid environment on both sides of the membrane in real world conditions. The membrane requires both temperature and vapor pressure differential to move water vapor across a membrane. these conditions do not exist when hiking through the rain - especially when working very hard or when DWR fails.
My reply...
You are basically correct that aerobic activity, while hiking in the rain for example will eventually lead to the build up of moisture, and damp, or clammy feeling inside most rain jackets due to the inner lining of the jacket being unable to wick away all of the moisture that is created by your perspiration.
However, you seem to be making "blanket" statements again, and the buildup of moisture is dependent upon various factors such as the degree of exertion, physical differences among human beings, the jacket material, and fibers, the outside ambient temperature, the humidity level, and whether or not the jacket has venting such as pit zips, or mesh pockets, etc.
Again, as far as the jacket materials go, you did mention Outdry as an exception to your statement about waterproofing, and moisture buildup, but there are other jacket materials where great wicking and breathability performance have been confirmed and observed, such as with Polartec Neoshell materials.
Hiking on a level trail in a light snowfall in 10 degree Wyoming, will lead to different results than hiking in a place like a tropical rain forest during a heavy rain downpour.
One other factor to consider is the type of base layers, or clothing that is being worn under the jacket?
There are many base layer materials, and fibers that are hydrophobic, such as wool and synthetics, and wool/synthetic blends, meaning that they repel water, and move it away from the body, and then there are some materials and fibers like cotton that will retain the moisture.
Additionally, by embedding revolutionary particles like Cocona into the clothing fibers, manufacturers can actually increase the hydrophobic action, by literally driving moisture off of, and away from your skin and clothing.
So this is why you really can't make hypothetical, and unscientific blanket statements, as again, there are any factors to consider, but I understand your point, as most of us who have worn a rain jacket while exerting ourselves, have probably experienced that clammy feeling due to a build up of moisture.
You stated:
In that sense it doesn't matter which of the modern jackets that you buy as none of them will keep you dry in the rain of you are hiking. The most valuable asset of any jacket is to prevent water ingress from the rain - which will displace the warm moist environment in the jacket with cold water. So durability, fit, hood and squall resistance is the optimal properties of any jacket as it prevents water ingress. the next best feature is ventilation (pit or torso zips) as this allows that most efficient method of water vapor loss - venting.
My reply...
I disagree, as my jackets seem to keep me dry when hiking, and again, there are many different materials, some are better than others, and the variables that I mentioned above are a determining factor in just how dry your body, and clothing remain..
I agree on everything else, and have touched on venting previously.
You stated:
The next most important property is DWR durability followed by whatever membrane brand you prefer.
My reply...
OK...that seems reasonable.
You stated:
If you are engaged in non-aerobic activity in the rain the membrane is more important as is activity in dry cold environment (i.e. snow) as the ambient differential in humidity is greater and the membrane can act more effectively to shift water vapour.
But if you are engaged in non-aerobic activity in the rain you don't need a membrane a pvc slicker would do and if you are in the cold, dry snow you don't need a WP membrane you need a softshell.
The truth is that a WP membrane is better than the alternative in most circumstances but this myth that, when hiking in the rain, they are guaranteed to keep you dry is marketing gibberish.
My reply...
OK, again, much of what you are stating is pretty anecdotal, with not any empirical, scientific evidence to back it up, but I get your drift, as this is probably what you have experienced.
Let's face it, a lot of people's opinions are formed by experiential data.
I previously touched on the fact that waterproof jackets perform differently in cold and humid climates, versus hot and humid climates, and the type of jacket, outerwear, or clothing that an individual wears, needs, or deems appropriate for the environment where they are located, will again be based upon personal preferences, experiential data, and past performance, among many variables.
So admittedly modern breathable rain jackets are not perfect, definitely better than PVC, and some are better than others, but most if not all will keep you dry in the 95% scenarios that are commonly experienced, and perhaps jackets like Outdry are the best for those 5% or less scenarios.
I respect your opinions, as again, this is what you may have experienced, but they are somewhat different than my experiences.
I am always cautious about making hypothetical blanket statements, especially when they are based upon unlikely, extreme, and uncommon scenarios, that are not backed up by empirical evidence, and are a mixture of factual and anecdotal opinions and data.
Good discussion, and thanks for sharing!
Jan 24, 2018
wily-quixote
188
Jan 24, 2018
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Jan 24, 2018
LeoKauai
88
Jan 24, 2018
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Aloha my friend. I bet you have never been to Kauai. And for hurricanes, we've been through a few here, including Iniki in 1992, considered the strongest storm to hit the US last century. We learned the meaning of the term "the calm before the storm." We had the most beautiful, no-wind days, the days before and after Iniki. But back to the rain, about you working in rainy areas, and having never experience downpour for more than two days straight, check this out. There's a reason Kauai is called the Garden Island: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/04/02/hawaii-dries-out-after-40-days-rain.html All good, happy trails and much aloha to you and the community here. Kalalau-bound next week, and it looks like it's going to be wet... Lucky we live Kauai, cause we just hike in the rain, wearing no rain jacket — too hot. But we do bring one for the campsite. I have three expensive jackets, all about 10 oz. But couldn't help myself and order a Frogg Toggs, 4 oz at only $10. After all, it's not like I'm going to hike in it, it's just for campsite use. And Crawler's Ledge is quite sketchy, the less weight the better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynMfBJWGIkU

Aloha again.
Jan 24, 2018
Msilverhammer
293
Jan 24, 2018
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Aloha Leo,
Hows it brah?
Leo, believe it or not, I actually used to live in Hawaii for several years, on the island of Oahu, and the town of Makaha, on the Waianae Coast.
I used to travel up the Kole Kole pass, and hike in the Waianae Mountains, near Mt. Ka'ala.
I have been very lucky to live in places like Hawaii, Alaska, California, and Florida just to name a few.
I never traveled to Kauai, but I could actually pick up the radio stations there, since my home was on the western tip of Oahu where Makaha is located, so it was very close to Kauai.
Makaha is different than Kauai because the Waianae Mountains block a lot of the rain, so Makaha and the Waianae area is a little dry like a desert, as cactus grows over there.
The areas around places like Kaneohe Bay and the north shore of Oahu receive a lot of rain however, and are very green.
I was lucky enough to also travel to islands like Kahoolawe, which 99% of the people will never go to, as the island is uninhabited, and off limits to everyone. We had a few luaus there, with some Hawaiians from Lanai, Maui, Molokai, etc. I remember eating poi, lomi lomi salmon, and of course the pig. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahoolawe
I used to sleep on the beach on Kahoolawe just to get away from the mosquitoes, and I would wake up every morning when the sun came up over the top of Haleakala, the volcano that rises to 10,00 feet above sea level. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haleakal%C4%81
I agree, that when it is hot, and humid, hiking without a shirt is a great idea, as long as you can handle the sun's rays, and just using the jacket at camp sounds like a good idea also, when you are just sitting around, and you want to stay dry.
Also, hanging a good tarp helps out too, of course!
I just went through Hurricane Irma in September 2017, and it rained all day, with about 70 miles per hour wind in the area where I was located, (we got lucky, as Irma destroyed some places like the Island of Barbuda, and the Florida Keys), and my jackets held up fine in the heavy rain, but I did not stay outside long, due to the heavy wind.
I will try to post a video on YouTube, and send you a link, so you can see the wind and rain that I experienced.
I watched and like your video, as it looks like a great place to hike!
Take care of yourself, and good luck, and watch out for the Wild (Pigs)Boars!
Jan 24, 2018
Msilverhammer
293
Jan 24, 2018
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I respect your opinions, and those of the other people that you cited, as this is what they have experienced.
Thanks for sharing this valuable information, as this is how we all can better learn and educate ourselves, by being open to listening to each other's opinions about their experiences.
There are many opinions on the subject however...
Notice what Chris Townsend states in the first paragraph of his article, and I quote...
"Waterproof/breathable (W/B) clothing has been controversial since Gore-Tex first appeared some forty years ago."
"Outdoors folk argue vigorously about its merits and failing, about whether it works at all, about whether it's a complete con, about whether it's actually waterproof let alone 'breathable."
So it seems that there are differing opinions, yet Chris continues to use the W/B jackets.
One question however, as I could not help but notice that some critics denounce the W/B jacket manufacturers as outright liars, who are using totally false advertising... Do the manufacturers actually say anywhere that you will that you will not notice any perspiration on your skin when wearing a W/B jacket?
I also read and respect the views of Andrew Skurka, the only individual to complete the sea to sea trail, and a six month Alaska-Yukon expedition, that actually took him through Gustavus, AK, where I lived for a time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMf7TypZwtc
By the way, I have actually met Andrew Skurka in person, and he gave me some free gear when he was the Go-Lite ambassador.
I think that the following commenter, who submitted this comment to Andrew Skurka actually has the correct approach and thoughts on the matter...
Buck Nelson wrote on December 17, 2015 at 8:29 am
I agree that breathable fabrics tend to be over-hyped, yet breathables are still my rainwear of choice in most backpacking situations. I try to manage my expectations.
If I’m working hard enough I’m likely to get sweated up in breathables OR nonbreathables.
But I find that I dry out much quicker with breathables and it takes longer to get sweated up in the first place.
I try to be sensible in my layering, pace and ventilation.
I think that Gore-Tex is quite waterproof. Waders made of Gore-Tex work very well.
And although it might not breathe as much as the marketing would lead us to believe, it still breathes significantly.
Most of the time I’m wearing my raingear it isn’t pouring rain. I wear it for warmth and as a wind shell as well, and when it’s cold sometimes I sleep in it.
I find well-built breathables make a significant difference in staying dry and comfortable. Of course, there is no best gear, only reasonable compromises.
His comments kind of sound like of sound like my experience and opinions!
While kayaking in Alaskan wilderness, I wore a pair of Helly Hansen bib overalls, which though not very breathable, kept most of my body dry, and when I needed it, I would put the HH jacket on over it.
So, would I sweat when kayaking with the HH jacket, yes, but the rain and splashing water was not allowing me to become wet, and cold.


During the times that I used a W/B jacket, I had the same waterproof results, but noticed that I had less perspiration on my body.
I still think that an advanced fabric like Polartec Neoshell is the way to go, based upon reviews that I read, and probably Outdry.
Thanks for sharing the information.
Jan 24, 2018
DismalDave
39
Jan 25, 2018
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You mention that you have seen a difference in the DWR products. I always end up getting one at a time and can never keep track of which works longer or better. Not to take us down Alice's path with a Mad Hatter (there do seem to be a few who pop up on MD from time to time) but, which DWR products have you seen work the best/longest? Thanks
I did take a NOLS course sometime before the last ice age (1976). It was in the North Cascades and out of 30 days we had rain for 18 days. Nothing stayed dry. Loved the 80 pound packs at resupply. Seriously old school. I just hope a few of the glaciers are still there.
Jan 25, 2018
Msilverhammer
293
Jan 25, 2018
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The best DWR product that I have seen so far is ReviveX made by Gear Aid.
Granger from the U.K. also has good products that I have tried in the past.
I used Nikwax on my boots, and it works too.
The key to re-proofing a jacket with DWR is to clean and wash the jacket using one of the wash solutions made by Revivex, Grangers, or Nikwax.
Gear Aid manufactures and sells Revivex Pro Cleaner. https://www.gearaid.com/collections/cleaning-water-repellents/products/pro-cleaner
After washing you should hang the jacket and saturate it with the DWR spray according to instructions. Gear Aid manufactures and sells ReviveX Durable Water Repellent Spray. https://www.gearaid.com/collections/cleaning-water-repellents/products/durable-water-repellent?variant=32263085521
All also have products that can be applied in the washing machine, but I had a conversation with a representative at Gear Aid a while back, and I was told that it was preferable to wash the product, and then saturate the jacket with the ReviveX DWR product, and then let it dry, but that both would work, however the application by spray is more complete in the coverage.
Gear Aid manufactures and sells ReviveX Wash-In Water Repellent if you are interested in applying the DWR in the washing machine. https://www.gearaid.com/collections/cleaning-water-repellents/products/wash-in-water-repellent?variant=28044150545
I have not tried it, but you could probably wash a jacket with the ReviveX Pro Cleaner, then apply the ReviveX Wash in Product in a separate wash cycle, and and then apply the ReviveX DWR spray too, after the jacket was hung up and dry.
You would probably obtain the best DWR coverage that way, but maybe this is overkill.
Following is a link to the actual two step process instructions for using ReviveX. https://www.gearaid.com/blogs/learn/revivex-durable-waterproofing-spray-faq
I did not know this, but they have another product called ReviveX Instant Water Repellent Spray. https://www.gearaid.com/collections/cleaning-water-repellents/products/instant-waterproofing-spray
According to what I read, it is a spray on waterproofing, that is OK to use on Gore-Tex, but I assume that you must clean the jacket first.
I'll have to contact Gear Aid to find out more.
I was looking at some other products that I had not used, and came across a company called Atsko, which seems to have quite a few good waterproofing products.
They have an aerosol product that is called Permanent Water Guard, (the wording on the label is Fluoropolymer Water Guard) which they guaranty will remain effective even after 25 washings in their Sport-Wash or Sensi-Clean wash products. http://www.atsko.com/permanent-water-guard-10-oz-aerosol/
They go on to state that this is an extraordinary claim no other product is willing to make -- not even factory-applied Durable Water Repellents.
Permanent Water Guard is further described as a 10 oz. Aerosol that is engineered for synthetic materials and blends like Polyester, Microfibers, Nylon, Gore-Tex , Waterproof Breathables, Laminated or Coated, Fleece, Polypropylene, Blends, and Imitation Leather.
There claims are probably accurate, as I know of no other company that is using a fluoropolymer formula in their DWR.
In any event, I will probably purchase and test out this product, just to see how it performs when compared to something like ReviveX.
By the way, the also have another version of this product made for waterproofing fibers like wool, cotton, etc. http://www.atsko.com/permanent-water-guard-17-oz/
They also have a page where they discuss wash in versus spray on waterproofing of garments, and DWR in general. http://www.atsko.com/durable-water-repellent/
In any event, I hope that this information is useful to you.
Oh, I also found a couple of videos about DWR from a few years back, that I had watched before, that you might find helpful.
DWR in general.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=xVBedxM_pi4
Comparison of Nikwax versus ReviveX.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRbXy8Hn4Z0
Demonstration of breathability of Gore-Tex Pro Shell versus Active Shell, eVent, and Polartec Neoshell jackets compared.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TmzwZgEVmA
Good Luck!
Jan 25, 2018
Msilverhammer
293
Jan 25, 2018
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FYI... A few things you might find interesting...
Columbia Outdry Extreme...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdxqGKhfnLU

https://blog.columbia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ODX-Breathability-Test-MVTR2.png
Also, I stumbled across this DWR product from Atsko, when performing some research.
http://www.atsko.com/permanent-water-guard-10-oz-aerosol/
I had never heard of it before, but it seems that it is designed as a long term DWR.
I will try it on one of my less expensive jackets, just to see how it performs.
Finally, a video from a few years back that compares the breathability of W/B fabrics, such as Gore Tex Paclite, Active, eVent, and Polartec Neoshell.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TmzwZgEVmA

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Jan 25, 2018
Msilverhammer
293
Jan 25, 2018
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Aloha Leo,
Check out my Hurricane Irma video!
https://youtu.be/T5Tr1kxcUSM


Good Luck!
Jan 25, 2018
wily-quixote
188
Jan 26, 2018
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Scroll down to may 27 2016.
You have to look past advertising blather and magazine 'reviews'
Jan 26, 2018
Msilverhammer
293
Jan 26, 2018
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I am not sure where you are directing me.
Looked in all the blogs you cited, and linked, but could not find that date in any of those, or here in these undated comments.
Maybe I am missing something.
Would you please be more specific?
Thanks!
Jan 26, 2018
LeoKauai
88
Jan 27, 2018
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Nice, mahalo!
Jan 27, 2018
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