Dear gear swi, I'm looking to get back into mountain biking but have absolutely no clue about mountain bikes these days. I haven't ridden one nor done any research in about six years. If you could reach into the vast knowledge that you call a brain and offer some advice on bikes in range of about $1000, I would be in great debt to you. (And I would prefer a hardtail.) J.R. Venice, California

In November I'll be doing the Hong Kong Trailwalker (, a 100-kilometer race with a lot of big ups and downs. I will probably do in about 25 hours. Last time I did it in Reebok DMX10's. I liked that they were lightweight and I think the cushioning helped my knees a lot on the downhills, but I developed large blisters and lost three toenails, which was rather unpleasant (I didn't get feeling back in one toe for six months.) I'm thinking that maybe the DMX's were just too flimsy for the trail and let my feet move inside them too much. What are your suggestions for other shoes to consider this time around? Mike Luechtefeld Dallas, Texas

I need something to go over snow terrain in the most efficient way possible for a winter approach/ascent of Split Mountain in the Sierras. Instead of clunky snowshoes, what do you think about the Yupi Skishoes? Or the Salomon Meta Skis? Between the two for rough, snowy terrain, which would you recommend? By the way, I'm a VERY novice skier, so something easy to learn is important. Jake Kim Irvine, California

On extended backpacking trips, does it make sense to pack both a soft shell and a waterproof jacket? Or just take along the rain jacket? Also, since I come from Europe, I'm a little bit confused about what exactly cross-country skiing is. I know what telemarking is (those graceful people on the piste) and also langlauf (with the thin skis), but what is cross-country? Karl Cottenie Leuven, Belgium

For multi-day trips to the Sierras, I've been using an REI Wonderland external-fre pack, 5,000 cubic inches of cavernous, organized, old-school pack. Everybody I see these days, though, has internal-fre packs that look so comfortable (maybe they're fooling me). I still living in the '80s with my Wonderland? Is it time for an internal-fre pack? If so, any suggestions? Alex Chino Hills, California

My wife has been using a pair of Asolo AFS Ridge boots for our backpacking trips, typically extended ones through rugged terrain. The Asolos blew out a se in front of the laces and need to be replaced. We are considering the Montrail Moraines or the Asolo 520 GTX boots. Is the Moraine too much boot? Is the Asolo 520 enough boot? Any other suggestions? Louis Oregon City, Oregon

I'm going to be spending a year working in Kenya and need to find a sleeping bag. I need to get a synthetic bag, but I want one with mobility since I move around a lot when I sleep. I don't like the constriction of most bags. It also needs to be fairly compact. What do you suggest? Paul St. Louis, Missouri

I'm looking for a lightweight, compact "kitchen" for holding dishes and utensils while car camping. Can you recommend some sort of canvas or nylon box thingy? Vickey Freedonia, New York

I do much of my hiking in northern California's poison oak-covered hills. Usually I can avoid getting oaked, but after a day of tromping through this toxic weed, just how long do its oils remain active on my boots, gaiters, and trekking poles? Has science determined a half-life for poison oak's poison? Carter Napa, California

I thinking of upgrading my steel fre road bike to a carbon fork. I have tried a carbon fork in the past, and found it to be somewhat unsteady at high-speed (40 plus mph) descents. I weigh 185 pounds-does weight have a lot to do with the choice of a fork? Any suggestions? Should I just save the money and stay with my tried-and-true steel fork? Steve Weinberger Spokane, Washington

Are there any one-person tents that you can combine to make into a two-person tent? Denise Centennial, Colorado

I'd like to invest in a pair of waterproof-breathable pants for one- or two-week treks where I might encounter rain and snow. Ideally, the pants would not be too bulky as they might spend quite some time in my backpack (I hope). If possible, please note any brands that I can find in Europe! Nicolas Heverlee, Belgium

I'm looking for info on bike trailers, having checked out some B.O.B. models, the Yakima Big Tow, and Burley's Nomad. Any insights as to which one would be best for city commuting? Also, any suggestions for where I might look for a used one? Linda Olympia, Washington

Will a pair of electric socks, worn inside waders, work when I'm steelhead fishing? More importantly, will these be safe if I'm wading in water? Ed Pawling, New York

Do you think the Bibler's Tempest is too much tent for Oregon's Mount Hood? I'm looking for a four-season tent in the $400 to $500 price range. I plan to live in it for a while (at least three to four months) as a volunteer. Joe Venice, California

I'll be skiing in the Austrian Alps this winter. What's the essential gear for avalanche safety? We're not all supported by James Bond-level technology, but I was wondering what sort of equipment you'd recommend for going off piste. Brian York, United Kingdom

Your Gearness, I started mountain biking about two months ago and bought a Gary Fisher Tassahara. I bought all of the needed accessories—Celbak, spd shoes, and clipless pedals—but have a question regarding shorts. I bought three pairs of six-panel Lycra shorts and love them. But, I see a lot of mountain bikers wearing baggy shorts. What do you think of them? I tried a pair of Zoic Vigor shorts and the Lycra liner's pad felt thin. What do you think about just using the six-panel short and putting knee length Cordura hiking short over them? Patrick Fetizanan Chicago, Illinois

My fiancC) has an old REI dome tent that she loves and always insists on bringing, though I'm convinced, because of its age, it's destined to soon become just some tattered prayer flags along the trail and leave us shelterless. She doesn't like any of the current tent designs because their vestibules completely protect the door and prevent you from being able to easily watch the rain. The REI dome is great because its door has two parts—a screen door and ripstop nylon door that you can zip part of the way up to keep rain out. Does anybody still make a dome tent like this? Mark Scantlebury Portland, Oregon

My family of five—myself, wife, and three decent-sized kids—plus the dog would like to go snow camping, and I think I've got everything covered except the tent. As for cost, we'd prefer to be comfortable and broke over rich, frozen, and miserable. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a suitable five-person tent—MSR's StormKing comes close, but only allows 12 square feet per person. I have concerns about splitting the family into two tents in potentially nasty weather. Do you have any advice? Nathaniel Nevada City, California

What's a good internal-fre backpack for someone just getting into backpacking (two- to four-night trips)? I don't want to spend more than I need to, not knowing how much I'll end up liking backpacking. (I've strictly been a day hiker in the past.) However, I don't want to buy junk that won't work properly and will ruin my trip. Kris Newbury, Ohio

I'm in need of a bigger climbing backpack, but I'm facing two problems. First, I also need a bigger backpack for weeklong trips; my climbing partner says just get one huge bag, just don't fill it up. So, one bag or two? Second, how big? I a five-foot-six, 130-pound female, and I think I require at least 3,000 cubic inches for my climbing needs. Kendra Boise, Idaho

I'm looking for a decent sleeping pad to use when backpacking. Cascade Designs' Therm-a-Rest seems a good buy, but I'm not sure. Does the three-quarter pad mean my legs will be hanging off the end? Does that even matter? What are the benefits of the larger, wider pads versus the ones that fold in half length-wise? Matt Albuquerque, New Mexico

I read a column you wrote last February on weatherproof digital cameras. Is there anything new that would fit the bombproof, sand-proof, waterproof category? We work as river guides so the cameras get some hard use. I also looking for a camera for my 11-year-old daughter, traditional or digital. Any recommendations? Peter Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

What is meant by the minimum weight on tent specifications? S Weatherley Birmingh, United Kingdom

I have logged many air miles with my MSR Whisperlite AND empty fuel bottles. I have never been given any problems (including post 9-11 from New York area airports) having them packed in my luggage. I do, however, take a couple of precautions. These include calling the airline before hand and getting the name and customer service ID of the person I talked to, keeping the fuel bottle clean and uncapped (leave some soap residue inside so it will smell clean), and always checking in at the counter so you can tell the attendant that that the thing that looks like a bomb is a stove and bottles. Most of the time the attendant checks the equipment and that is all (sometimes they mark my luggage with a weird tag). I have on other occasions had an attendant repackage the stove in the airline's special box. I feel that if you are up front about it and take a little care, things will go smoother. However be prepared for the guy who is a hard nose as you may still lose your stove. Jonathan Cushing New York, New York

Gear Guru: I work out almost every day, so I need a lot of base-layer garments. When it's not too cold out, my CoolMax Alta turtlenecks seem a good deal. But what about the other, pricier options? Do these have wondrous additional capabilities worth the extra cash? David Portland, Oregon

I read the article about the Crawford Survival Staff in the 2000 Buyer's Guide, but I wanted to ask if it's really worth the $225. You're the only source of reliable information I have! Did you actually field-test the staff? Alex

How do I get Christmas-tree pitch out of a Gore-Tex jacket? Karen Gresh, Oregon

I'm a self-proclaimed "active" person striving to be at least mediocre at several "outside" activities, such as mountain biking, kayaking, backpacking, etc. I have a Ford Ranger truck, and finding it quite a challenge to figure out how to fit all my stuff on there -- with more than one person coming along, it gets really tricky! I'm wondering what the best way to transport kayaks on my truck would be. I have an aluminum truck box already taking up half of the bed (placed lengthwise on the driver side). I have mounts to put two bikes on the other side of the box in the bed. But how will I carry a kayak? Help! Owen Fennern San Jose, California

Please explain the new REI One Jacket! I saw it advertised as a single-layer jacket to replace multiple layers, so I tried one on the last time I was in an REI store. Problem was that it comes with no hood and the pockets are so low in the hip belt area. It doesn't seem comfortable enough to wear without a light layer, or waterproof enough to ditch the rain layer. So, what exactly does it replace? Chris Silverdale, Washington

I have a year-old Marmot Swallow that I really love. I spent about 60 nights in the tent last summer and wondering when I might need to think about resealing the ses. I spent a good bit of money on the tent, and want it to last forever. How often is resealing necessary, and can you recommend a sealer? Thanks for your help. Carter Grant Alexandria, Virginia

I've recently started using the MSR Pocket Rocket, in place of my trusty Whisperlite, going through $25 worth of fuel in three weeks, compared to a gallon of white gas per season—a pricey switch, I'm sure you'll agree. Today I happened upon a Glowmaster fuel cartridge, almost half the cost of the Primus and MSR cartridges. Will it work as well as its more expensive cousins, and should I burn this instead of my greenbacks? Allen Tumwater, Washington

I have Scarpa T1 boots and have noticed that my ski edges are going to massacre my boots if I don't protect them. A solution I have heard of is to wear "supergaiters" with either Kevlar or other sturdy material on the instep to protect the inside of the boots. Unfortunately Black Diond (she on them) no longer makes a supergaiter and the Outdoor Research X-Gaiter is overkill in that it is expensive and so insulated that it will cook my feet. Any advise? Bill Hirshberg New York, New York

Last summer, I bought a Shan light touring kayak from Wilderness Systems (based largely on your recommendation, O Great and Wise One). After some great day trips, I'm now planning a multi-night river trip, so I'm looking for some packing advice. The boat has a rear bulkhead and an air bag up front for flotation. Should I pack my gear at the back with extra stuff lashed atop the stern, or can I replace the front flotation bag with a tapered dry bag? Zippo Baltimore, Maryland

I'm a 40-year-old dad planning to be a mule for my young family of five (wife, two daughters, ten and 12 years old, and seven-year-old son). I'm looking for a large capacity (6,000-plus-cubic-inch) backpack. I'm currently looking at the Osprey Crescent 110, Dana Designs Terraplane, and Arc'Teryx Bora 95. I realize pack comfort will differ based on individual size and body shape. Of these three I mention, and possibly others I haven't, which carries the heaviest loads and provides the most comfort. Frank Hahn Chula Vista, California

This summer, I will be traveling in Peru and concerned about thieves cutting into my pack. What do you recommend to protect my belongings? Pat Harlingen, Texas

Any recommendations for a two-person backpacking tent big enough for a six-foot, five-inch, 250-pound camper? I already have a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight two and it seems a bit small for just one person (me), especially after more than two nights of foul weather. Jim McGowan Charlotte, North Carolina

I was thinking about combining my expandable Mountain Hardwear Galaxy SL sleeping bag with the maker's 40-degree Down Upgrade bag. What do you think about combining these two sleeping bags for a Denali summit attempt? Rob Boston, Massachusetts

We know your favorite sub-$500 camera is the Yashica T4 Super. But, what are your favorite point-and-shoot cameras for $500 and above? Roy Boston, Massachusetts

I have been looking for a three-season alternative to my mountain tent, which has proven bulletproof for backpacking and climbing expeditions in mild conditions. The North Face Tadpole 23 seems to be a lightweight, good-looking choice, and since it's from The North Face, I have no questions on quality. What do you think? Christian San Diego, California

You have mentioned in the past that you are lukewarm on single-wall tents as in some circumstances they are neither as warm (winter) or as cool (summer) as double-wall tents, and prone to condensation issues. But you have also recommended the single-wall Bibler Ahwahnee, especially when weight is an important factor. I'm also curious if single-wall tents make a similar two-way compromise to that of modern membrane clothing—neither letting perspiration out perfectly nor keeping very heavy rain out perfectly. You have mentioned half of the clothing equation as an issue with single-wall tents. What about the second half—do they also leak in very heavy rain? Stephen Piper Alexandria, Virginia

Can you wash waterproof gear? I was taught long ago that when I come home from a camping trip, I should wash and air out my tent and backpack, wash my sleeping bag, and wash the dust and grime off my boots (I usually wax them, too). That way the items would last longer. My boyfriend, on the other hand, thinks that washing things like waterproof gear, his bike trailer bag, or even his CelBak will "ruin" the waterproofing. As a result, his gear is smelly and dirty and I don't want to share it. Miriam Boise, Idaho

Here's a tough one for you: For personal reasons, I have recently switched over to the "organic" lifestyle. I trying to apply this to all aspects of my life, including my love of the outdoors. I an avid hiker, climber, and mountaineer and was wondering if there are any outdoor products (sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, boots, etc.) made from organic materials. Jeff Anchorage, Alaska

Have you heard about the latest craze in the U.K.? It's called Paro clothing, and the claim is that you'll be throwing away all of your Gore-Tex outerwear when you start using it. What gives? A friend of mine who is a guide in Scotland lives by the stuff. Do you have any thoughts on the stuff? Is it all that it says it is? Arthur Long Valley, New Jersey

Is there anything wrong with using a regular detergent like Tide to wash fleece, instead of gear-specific products like Nikwax? Are there any other fabrics that shouldn't be washed with regular detergent? Joe Edison, New Jersey

I have been looking for a paddling jacket in a waterproof-breathable fabric. It seems not so long ago that the choice was either Gore-Tex or Sympatex. Now it appears every manufacturer has its proprietary fabric (Xalt, WaveTex, H2NO, etc.) Are you aware of any side by side comparison of these fabrics available? Joe DuRant Newport, Virginia

I have an early-nineties GT mountain bike with a titanium fre. It's still a good-looking, lightweight bike, but its rear U-brake has no real power. Are there any compatible brakes with better grip, or are there any pads with magical powers? Andreas Reno, Nevada

Why did Sno-Seal fall out of favor? I kept a pair of heavy hiking boots alive for years with some welt dressing and this stuff. Joe Midland, Texas

I'm planning a mountaineering trip to Bolivia in June. I have a pair of Koflach Degre boots, which have been fine on Mount Hood and when winter climbing in New Hampshire. Will these be OK for climbing Bolivia's 19,000-foot peaks? Do I need Alveolite liners? Brian Augusta, Maine

I have been searching online for the past few hours for piece of equipment that I believe I saw in some gear magazine (the mail order kind). I will describe it: digital watch, with a compass, stopwatch, etc., and a lighter, signal mirror, and small knife blade with various other attachments. It hung from a lanyard and cost around $100.00 or so. Can you help me find a name for this product or where I might be able to order one? Thanks for the help. Bradford Hammar Charleston, West Virginia

I have a 2001 Honda Civic coupe and will be making a cross-country trip. I looking into a cargo rack to outfit my Civic but I'm not sure how much to spend and which brand to go with (Thule, Yakima, or Saris.) The rack will probably only be used for a rooftop storage bag. If you could suggest a rack model I would greatly appreciate your help. Pete Lptey Fairfax, Virginia

Gear Guy, dress me for kayaking in the marshes of the lower Connecticut River this winter. It's prime roosting territory for Bald Eagles through late February. David Hadd, Connecticut

Are there any objective tests comparing the hard- and soft-shell products of different gear manufacturers? Yes, there's a huge ount of marketing hype easily available, but beyond XCR's assertion that it's "25 percent more breathable than standard Gore-Tex," there doesn't seem to be any hard numbers comparing materials. This is surprising when you consider how much consumers are prepared to pay for the latest and greatest. Jeff London, United Kingdom

Recently a couple friends and I attempted a 14-mile backpacking trip alongside a Class II-III river, with 90 percent of our time spent boulder-hopping, the remaining 10 percent waterborne. Unfortunately, we only managed to go three miles before the small recreational rafts we had to transport our packs got ripped up by the rocks and all the bushwhacking. In light of this, do you know of any companies who sell floating backpacks? Or is there some kind of easy-to-pack inflatable for transporting gear through water. We'd like to complete the se trek next year, but need a better way to float our backpacks. Travis Roseville, California

I have a bit of a problem. I must have put my pack away a little wet after a spring backcountry ski trip and now all the waterproof coating is coming off the inside of the pack. I have a siliconized nylon pack cover that I will probably use for an upcoming Sierra trip and sprayed the outside of the pack with Nikwax. I also always use a garbage bag inside of the pack to protect my gear. Do you think the pack is done and I need to bite the bullet and buy another? Or do you have any suggestions of ways to fix it? Tim Newport Beach, California

In answering the question, "What's the lightest three-person tent available?" a few weeks ago, you missed by far the lightest candidate: the Stephenson WarmLite! It can weigh as little as 3.25 pounds and has 52 square feet of space! Dave SteinerNew York

I just read your reply in reference to a question about sleeping bags for a big guy, and I have similar question. I only five feet, ten inches tall, but I have broad shoulders. I trying to find a mummy bag that is roomy enough through the shoulder area to move in. Do you have any recommendations for good but not too expensive down bags like this? Tad C. Helms Tallahassee, Florida

What do you know about the "Stealth Can" and its effectiveness? From what I read, it's impenetrable to bears and seals in odors to throw animals off the scent. I like the idea of pre-empting animals from entering cp, rather than "teasing" them with food they can smell but not reach. Mark Ewing, New Jersey

My sweetie and I are going to Everest's Khumbu Icefall this December, where it's likely to be numbingly cold. I'd like to buy her a toasty parka for this trip and have homed in on Feathered Friends' Icefall and MEC's Frobisher. But will those jackets be significantly warmer than our current 550-fill REI parkas? Should I pay for the 800-fill down or Nextec Epic (apparently the best thing since somebody figured out how to shear a sheep) if I go with Feathered Friends? Or should I be looking at other parkas? Robert Fairview, Oregon

Long time reader, first time questioner: I have long been a fan of liquid-fuel stoves, but recently read your advice about the difficulty in obtaining white gas products abroad ["Do they sell white gas for stoves in Europe?"]. I about to head out on a nine-month round-the-world trip, so would like to take along a reliable canister stove. Do you have any information on which canister stoves will mate with the multitude of international propane canisters that I'm likely to find? Europe and Oceania are my probable destinations. Aaron Green Bay, Wisconsin

Do you have any tips for taking a dog on trail? I'm taking my dog on her first trip and want to protect my gear without constantly worrying about it. Are those packs dogs wear a good idea? Will she dage the inside of my tent? Kieran Hosey Frankfort, Kentucky

I recently unpacked my tent to be hit by a powerful smell of chemicals and mold, so bad that it gives me headaches and I can't sleep in the tent. Could I just wash it with some mild soap to get rid of the stink? I believe that the ses were sprayed with some sort of leakproof sealant, so I think that's why it smells. Janie Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

How do I wash the sweaty odor from my polypropylene toque? I used Wisk liquid detergent without success. The toque is clean but it still smells badly. I need help. Alexander Do Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I have been trying to decide between the PUR Guide water filter and the MSR MiniWorks, although I have heard that the MSR clogs less and is cleanable. However, the MiniWorks' high pump per liter ratio has turned me off, especially as the PUR Guide boasts a more efficient output. I will be using the filter mostly in high alpine areas where the water is fairly clear of mud and silt. What are your thoughts? Jim Huntsville, Utah

I want a chest pack to carry my Pentax 67II camera and its lens. It will need to have padded shoulder straps and a strap to hold it tight around my waist. Any ideas? Kiim Clackas, Oregon

Is it better to roll or stuff a tent? Kye Eugene, Oregon

Why are mountaineering leather double boots such as the Boreal G1 or Vasque Vertical such a niche product? They are supposed to provide as much warmth as plastic double boots, without any the discomfort of wearing something fit for Frankenstein. These boots have summited Denali and Everest, yet event the "experts" at specialty gear stores frequently don't know about them. What's the catch? Andy Veres Alexandria, Virginia

I need to find a tent for winter camping and mountaineering. Living in Oregon I intend to stay within the Cascades. I have narrowed my search to the Fusion 2 and the Fury 2, both made by MSR. They fall into the same weight/price/size category. The Fusion is a convertible tent while the fury appears to be a four-season tent. Given the conditions I'm expecting to face, which tent would be the ideal choice for me? Is the Fury too much tent, is the Fusion too little? Is there another tent that you would recommend? Kevin Portland, Oregon

I'm a student who's planning a summer road trip to visit some neighboring states and maybe even Canada. I hope to leave the truck for a few days at a time and do a little backpacking, so I'm looking for a pack. Remember, I'm a starving college student, so nothing too expensive please! Mike San Luis Obispo, California

I have a Gregory Palisade pack and love it. A number of recent comments and reviews of the Dana Designs Terraplane pack have suggested it is the best pack on the market. However, I find the price of over $400 extreme. Is there something inherent in this pack that would suggest such a premium over the $200 to $300 internal fre packs in its category? David R. Eitemiller Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dear Gear Guy, I longtime winter outdoorsman, but a winter and alpine camping beginner. I bought a -5-degree Polarguard 3D bag that I've slept in at temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degrees in high-quality tents and on a (cushy) RidgeRest/Therma-Rest combo, albeit on snow—and I always freeze, if not right away, then definitely by 3 A.M. I wear at least two layers, often my third, hat, etc. Short of wearing my outer layer (!!) or my belay jacket/pillow to bed, what gives? I just in kick-ass shape (no insulation layer) or just a total wimp who needs to buy a warmer, heavier bag? Or is there something about temperature ratings that I'm missing? Bill New York, New York

I looking for a parka for winter camping in New Hampshire. I have narrowed it down to the Feathered Friends Frontpoint and the Wild Things Belay Jacket. How does the warmth of the Belay compare to a high-quality down piece such as the Frontpoint? Which would you recommend for New Hampshire winters? S Portsmouth, New Hampshire

I wondering what binoculars you'd recommend for ge viewing in Africa. This will be for use on open plains and in thick bush, both when I'm on the go and standing still. I'm considering either the Leica Duovid 8+12x42's or Swarovski EL 8.5x42's. Bertus Calgary, Alberta

I've been skiing for years and haven't needed to buy new thermal underwear in a long time. But now that I'm ready to replace it, several new materials are on the market. I know I don't want cotton, but what about silk? Wool? Or should I just stick with polyester? y Kuntz California

Are candle lanterns safe to use in tents for light? Obviously you'd want to keep an open fle away from the tent walls, but are they as safe as a battery-powered lantern? John Bergquist Corvallis, Oregon

What's the best crampon for the LaSportiva K3 boot? Can I use semi-rigid crampons with them to climb vertical ice? I need crampons for that and glacier approaches but am afraid that if I get a fully rigid crampon I will get to much balling-up effect with the snow. Joe Roop Prescott, Arizona

I have a simple question. I dried my jacket on a high temperature in the dryer. Everybody tells me I shouldn't have done this, but how will it affect my jacket? Adrien Lancaster, United Kingdom

Oh Gear Oracle, I have a problem with a build-up of moisture within my mittens, not from rain or snow, but from my own perspiration. This is especially true during snowshoeing trips. I was wondering if there are any shells that have little or no insulation, allowing me to layer them inside and increase the breathability of the mitten. Dennis Portsmouth, New Hampshire

At what point, if ever, should your boots be replaced? Is it a question of mileage, time, or condition? I've had my boots (L.L. Bean Knife Edge, leather) for a number of years. They are well maintained and comfortable. Is there a point where the boot does not perform its support function and the trade off between comfort and support (in favor of comfort) is not worth it? Jim Comerford Wyncote, Pennsylvania

What's the difference between Atlas Dual Trac snowshoes (they appear to cater to racing) and the all-purpose 10 Series that is designed for hiking? Can you use dual track shoes for hiking, or are they simply a high-performance marketing gimmick? Stephen Seattle, Washington