Light posting for the next 4-5 days

So it got a little windy here Friday night…..

I checked the weather forecast about 4 Friday afternoon and it said there was a 50% chance of isolated thunderstorms, but Woody (who lives 12 miles NW of me) shot me an email about 6 or 7 and said his weather radio was blaring with severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings.
Huh. I checked the weather again and this time it said a 60% chance of isolated thunderstorms. A couple minutes later I checked it again and they updated with a 100% chance of heavy thunderstorms. My weather radio was quiet but I turned it on and bigger than shit, Woody’s area was under watch, but there was nothing for Macon County. Oh well, time to hunker down, bro…

About 7:45, I stepped out on the front porch and sat with that asshole dog Jack trying to calm him down because there was some thunder rumbling off to our west and north and that hound’s a pussy when it comes to thunder. Seriously, he goes almost catatonic. Anyways, I was out there with him and the wind was at a dead flat calm, not even the leaves were stirring and the air was so heavy it was like wearing a wet blanket. Jack was getting more and more nervous so I said fuck it and put him in my bedroom to keep him and CharlieGodammit separate. I had no sooner put him there there, hadn’t been inside for more than a couple minutes, and all of a sudden I heard a loud deep moaning sound and then CRASH!!! and the shit was on. That fucking wind was howling, man. I stuck my head out the back door to make sure a branch hadn’t landed on my truck with that crashing noise but shit, I couldn’t even see it with all the wind and the rain. It’s parked 20 feet from the back door. I was really hoping it was still there.
We lost power a minute later. No fucking lights at all and my generator’s out in the shed, buried behind a bunch of shit because I hardly ever use it. No big deal, I fired up a couple of coal oil lamps and a few candles, and commenced to reading until the wind quit blowing. I’ll haul it out in the morning – as long as we stayed out of the refrigerator and freezer, we shouldn’t lose any food.

We got just a minute of real heavy wind, then it slacked off to maybe 30 mph, so I looked outside again to see if I still had a truck and saw my pecan tree.

Fuck. I liked that tree. We’ve got a glider set up under it and I kick back in it and read on a pleasant day.

As I was walking around outside making sure I still had a roof, I saw flashlights bobbing around across the street. Those people had just bought Miss Jeanetta’s place and moved in maybe 3 weeks ago. Nice folks. I started over that way, but they went back inside.
That was about 10 at night, and over the rain and wind I could hear several chainsaws and the hum of generators off in the distance to the west. Folks were already cutting their houses, garages and vehicles free.

This morning, I got up at dawn to see a power company truck parked in the middle of the road. They must’ve seen me stirring because a couple seconds later there was a tap tap tap at the door, with the gentleman asking permission to drive their bucket truck across my property to cut some branches off the power line.
Well shit, that’s a no brainer. It’s either yes, or I do without power.

While they were working, I hauled my generator, all 128 pounds of it, up from the shed and put on some coffee, then I saw the new people wandering around their place, so I went over there to offer them a thermos of coffee while they were waiting for the power to come back on. Then Tim told me to go check out their place.
Here’s the front. Doesn’t look real bad, does it?

Here’s the back:

Fucked their shit all up. Two trees uprooted and hit their roof, with one of them taking the leech lines from their septic tank with it. The stub pole for their power lines sheared off. Their power ain’t coming on anytime soon. Welcome to Tennessee.

I felt really lucky when I saw that because there was no real property damage to my place, just a fucked up tree and all the shit on the front porch scattered around the yard.
Then the bucket truck on my property got stuck as they were trying to leave. They called in a winch truck and then that son of a bitch got stuck, so they called in another truck, blocked off the road and hauled the other two out. Now I’ve got these fucking ditches the entire length of my property.

That’s going to run me several hundred dollars for a couple truckloads of topsoil to fill them in. Fuckers…

While I was watching them trying haul everything out, I asked one of the power guys how bad the damage was in town and he said that while most of the town lost power, there wasn’t a lot of damage. It appears we caught the southern end of the storm. He told me he suspected we got hit by a small tornado that was skipping around, evidenced by the spotty damage. I’m not entirely sure if that’s the case, I’ve been checking different news sites and haven’t seen any reports of tornadoes touching down anywhere in Tennessee that night.

We lost power for about 15 hours and when we got it and our phone/internet back, Woody called and said he was alive, but had a few downed trees out at his place and one splinter of tree piercing the siding on his house.

I checked the TVA website and they said Lafayette got .73″ of rain in just a couple of hours, but Lisa went to News Channel 5 or some such shit and saw where they said we got 2 inches. I can believe that because when I was wandering around checking the roof Friday night, I was in ankle deep water.
After I talked to Woody, I called my mother-in-law in Portland because I knew she’d be worried, and she was – she’d been trying call all morning with no luck. She said that on the news, they were saying northern Macon County was getting winds from 80 to 100 miles per hour, so I don’t know if we got a small tornado like the power guy said or just some ass-kicking straight line winds. I guess it doesn’t really make much difference – wind damage is damage no matter if it’s a tornado or straight line wind but I was kinda hoping it was a tornado so I could cross being in one off my bucket list.

Anyways, I’ve got to get that pecan tree cut up and split after I get a tree service out, I’ve offered to help the new folks across the road with whatever they need, and I’ll be going over to Woody’s to give him a hand cutting up the trunks of his trees once the tree service comes in and cuts them down.

I was thinking about cutting that damned pecan tree down myself, but after further study, I think I’ll have somebody with experience and insurance come do it. The angle of the trunk is off and there’s some heavy branches overhanging my shed – if I fuck it up I’m pretty sure my homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it, so I’ll be out a couple thousand bucks for a new shed. I might be able to save a couple hundred dollars if I have them just drop it and leave it for me to cut up.

I’ll be able to give you your picture posts starting Monday, but that’s about it for the next few days, maybe all week.
I appreciate your understanding.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot – the chickens all survived.

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79 Responses to Light posting for the next 4-5 days

  1. Oswald Bastable says:

    Pecan wood is good for smoking, so at least that’s some good news in a big pile of shit.

  2. Onehalfmvsquared says:

    Happy you are safe and sound. Trees are renewable, people aren’t. Good luck with all your repairs.

  3. RosalindJ says:

    Good for the chickens (and you guys) and yikes!
    I have extended family in Bethpage and was getting weather alerts all evening. A-OK there. Glad it wasn’t worse for you. Worse is always on the menu.

    • Wirecutter says:

      It seems like Bethpage gets more weather warnings than we do. There must be a trough there that the storms from the Cumberland Valley travel up.

  4. C says:

    When an electric company ruts up a yard, many will pay some local landscape outfit to come out and fix it. Give them a call and send the photos.

  5. WoodBurner says:

    Get your insurance agent out to your place ASAP.

    They will look for and find damage you missed.

    Power Co. should help you out with the ruts.

    Good luck.

  6. Cederq says:

    I bet if you went down to the power company and show them your pics, I bet they may reimburse you for the damage on your property. Sure they can access their plant, but cannot further any more damage in the process. Worth a try anyway.

  7. Greg B says:

    Yay! For the chickens.

  8. Eddie says:

    Glad to hear you and yours are safe, also good to hear that you checked out and are willing to help your neighbours. When shit gets bad these days I worry with the attitude of many with the “I’m all right, jack”

  9. Jeff C. in NC says:

    We are glad you are ok and with minimal damage. Here we just got some rain in the NC foothills to your west. Charlotte got nailed but that is what you get for putting sidewalks and streets around 100 year old pin oaks damaging their roots.

  10. The Jannie says:

    Mother nature can be a bitch when she feels like it: 15 hours with no internet! Glad you’re all ok!

    • Wirecutter says:

      Lisa was laughing at me the other morning wandering around looking for something to do. She said she’d never heard me talk so much before – usually in the morning I’m reading the news.

  11. Bootmaker says:

    hey man…pecan is excellent for smoking.

  12. Tim in AK says:

    You might as well be in Alaska, Ken, with that kind of wind damage.

    Don’t be afraid to lean on the tree service guys to cut you a big price break on just dropping that tree for you.
    I do very few tree removals here, but instead mostly do what I call “do it yourself tree service” for people, by falling their trees for them, at about 1/3 the price I’d charge for a removal.
    I’ll usually cut them up too for them, for no extra charge, unless they insist they only need them on the ground.

    Glad to hear you got away with no major damage, but just mostly some cleanup….kind of like me after our big earthquake last November 30th.

  13. Tom says:

    Nice spread you got there. I had the fuel truck back down my driveway this past winter, and that fucker back off the driveway onto my lawn and left me with a 20 inch deep trench the company says I now own. Take care of business, looking forward to your updates when you come back.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_48g5RdRHw

  14. Edward Teach says:

    Chickens are tough sonsaabitches. My folks have a place in Mexico that went through a Cat 3 hurricane and the chickens all survived. They just hunkered down and hung on.

  15. DaveS says:

    Glad to hear that you guys are alright. Stuff is fixable.

  16. Judy says:

    That sound you heard, with the dead calm before hand means tornado.

  17. Critter says:

    Glad to hear you and Ms Lisa and the chickens are OK.

  18. rightwingterrorist says:

    As people have commented the power company will probably take care of the ruts. In my youth I can’t begin to tell you how many times I had to lay out 3/4 inch plywood on the ground for the trucks to roll over just so this sort of damage wouldn’t happen. It sucked, but then again it always seemed I was the youngest on the crews that I was on. Enjoy the pecan wood, I use it myself quite a bit as I’ve several large one that like to self prune in my back yard. With all of the excitement it may take a day or two for the chickens to begin producing, but produce they will.

  19. Eastwood says:

    I bet that Peacan wood would be good wood for smoking meat . Glad you are okay

  20. Ron Smith says:

    Thank goodness the chickens are safe!

    Bummer about the pecan tree but they make good firewood. You’re lucky you didn’t lose the roof. That calm before it hit is classic – updraft prior to a tornado. A day or two before we get a cyclone down here in Queensland, we get dead calm with a slow greasy ocean swell.

    Helluva lot of weather y’all been having over there this year!

  21. Tim McCann says:

    We had one hell of storm roll through Hampton Roads Virginia on Thursday night 70 mile an hour winds, and heavy rain, Thankfully it was a fast moving sell and was gone with a 1/2 hour. Trees were down everywhere, closing down the interstate and major roads.

  22. waitingForTheStorm says:

    I had at least one tornado touch down here. About 100 yards from my house, there is a swath of total destruction in the trees about 50 feet wide and almost 200 yards long. It is different from straight-line wind damage. We heard the “freight train” just before the storm let up. I have plenty of tree damage from straight line winds, but that scar on the hillside is something else. We are all safe, so we thank our lucky stars for that, at any rate… Glad to here that you came out it relatively unscathed. I had the shit scared out of me, all right. I found debris on my driveway from trees that are more than 150 yards from the house.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Okay, so I’m not crazy then. My first thought was a tornado, then the power company guy said that, and now you.
      Yesterday morning I was clearing branches from my front yard and there was a magnolia piece that was about 6 feet long and as big around as my thigh, and we don’t have a magnolia tree that size anywhere close to my place and I’m talking a mile or more, at least.
      What’s funny is I’ve got an old beat up 14 foot boat chained to a stub pole in my backyard that I’m meaning to fix up and it didn’t even budge during the storm. I figured I’d find that next door the next morning. Hell, I’ve got a plastic wheelbarrow that was leaning against the shed and it was still in place the next morning – split the tree and left the wheelbarrow 15 feet away.
      Thanks for letting me know, and I’m glad you folks are all right.

      • Billy Bob says:

        Dude, before I left the area Crossville, I worked in Rhea Co. We had 2 come through and meet in Bledsoe and Rhea co’s that took four of the large steel transmission lines down. The steel was supposed to withstand 250 mph winds and they were gone never to be found again. Gone…No twisted metal nothing ripped from their pads. They found guns checks mail and other property dumped over 70 miles away over the next few weeks. These storms do two thing they start getting close to the Cumberland Plateau and the go North or south or ride through Spencer over into the Crossville area. Be smart build you a underground bunker or Tornado shelter. It is a way of life there. Its nothing to play with or take chances with I have seen many die, few at a time but the storms are short and mean.

      • waitingForTheStorm says:

        I will send out a couple of photos by email in a few days when I get the time.

        One good story. The power folks sent a truck down the road (after the road crews cleared the debris, but that is another complete story there) and they told me it would be several days or more before we got power. I mentioned, well maybe several times, that there is no city water in our valley and everyone was on powered pumps. No power, no water. He turned serious, said “I will write that in the report”. Not an hour later, we had two complete crews on the property. They stayed seven hours that day and came back first thing the next morning. We had water the first day and power completely restored to the valley by the time they left the next morning. I politely thanked them and told them I would clean up the mess: go help other folks in need.

        I love small town America. The people live here and, even if you don’t know them, they are your neighbors. Never lived anywhere like that before.

        The hens will start laying again. We have had ours stop laying after a particularly bad week of raccoon predation. They will forget soon (chickens are not geniuses).

        • Wirecutter says:

          I have to tell you, our power company linemen are some of the best I’ve ever had to deal with. That was damned decent of them to put you on a priority because of your water situation.
          They came over yesterday morning to restore power to the house across the street and you should’ve seen them grinning and smiling when the neighbor’s 84 year old came out and gave each and every one of them a hug.

          I drove down Underwood Road yesterday after the they told me that’s where most of the damage was. Holy shit – the power company foreman told me there was over 200 trees down on that little stretch and he wasn’t lying.

          Please do send pictures when you get a chance.

  23. Steven Wright says:

    We got a tornado warning in Scottsville. The sky went from calm just like yours to, black with a layer of gold and a layer of green. I got the kids out of the closet where we shelter in place, and raced us ti the tornado shelter at the fire station. Nothing bad at my house, lots of rain, and a few trees down. That was a scary strong storm.

  24. JamesD says:

    12 years ago we had a microburst uproot and shear a large red oak and crashed through our garage and a bedroom – serious damage (what a boom!). Weird part is I was the only one with bad damage in the area and the wife had 2 containers of flowers about 6 feet apart near the red oak and one set of flowers were sheared off like a lawnmower had gone over it and the other was intact.

    Storm damage sucks, took over a year to get things rebuilt properly – wish you luck over the next week.

    • Wirecutter says:

      If you’ll notice in the pictures of the neighbor’s place, it sheared their stub power pole, but there’s a picnic table in the background that didn’t even budge and their potted plants are still in place around the plot where they were going to plant them.

      • Andy says:

        Yep, definite signs of a tornado. Shit will be completely destroyed and 2 inches away, no damage at all. Saw that first hand at a grocery store in Midland Texas when I was a young boy. Good news…the damage doesn’t look too bad all things considered.

        • Wirecutter says:

          No, it could’ve been worse. I’ve got a pair of maple trees in the front and one on the side that could’ve slammed into the house.

  25. Paraclete says:

    Sounds like Jack dog is a better warning system than the radio…
    Glad you folks are ok

  26. JamesD says:

    BTW, the power company should gladly repair those long ruts they left.

  27. nwoldude says:

    Nice spread. Too much lawn to mow. Trust all are well.

  28. WestcoastDeplorable says:

    Nice place, Wirecutter. Sorry you lost those trees. Reminds me of a similar scene when I lived in Florida and a mini-twister knocked over 2 old Oak trees that were probably 80 to 100 yrs old. I was thankful it didn’t hit the house because we were home at the time.

  29. Nancysjet says:

    You can rent a lawn roller they fill with water,but you have to do it when it’s still wet tow behind your cub

  30. Uchuck the Tuchuck says:

    If you have a smoker, save that pecan wood for it. Chicken smoked over pecan is a wonderful thing.

  31. Sanders says:

    Glad you made it through with minimal damage. You really ought to get a smoker – pecan wood makes some good barbecue.

    Had a bad wind storm come through here earlier this year. I lost a few shingles, but nothing serious. Then, when I went up to the wood cutting area in the mountains, I was amazed at how many huge ponderosa pines were blown over – all facing the same direction like someone just pushed them over with a dozer.

    Where I live, trees I planted 17 years ago all grow crooked because of the wind.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Oh, I’ve got a smoker and with a little effort, my splitter makes some nice shavings for smoking. I think about 1/4 of that hickory that fell a couple years ago was used for smoking, I shit you not.

  32. Putz says:

    Thoughts and prayers and images of unicorns, rainbows and other such shit. Somebody had to step up and give you a liberal moonbat response. Really wish I was closer. Got a bobcat, a wood chipper and a 30 inch chainsaw…and would love to score some of that pecan for turning a bowl or two. Glad the damage was relatively light considering. Give Miss Lisa a squeeze and get to work.

  33. H says:

    Man, that really sucks. We lost a pecan at the old house in exactly the same way.

    Of course, we got another 4″ of rain overnight, and the basement flooding we’ve been fighting for a month that just stopped a couple days ago is right……..back………at………it………again, so………..

  34. Padawan says:

    Souds like you might’ve had a microburst and that’s why the power guy said tornado. Here the big city we had one in the alley behind my apartment building last summer literally right outside my bedroom window…sounded like a fleet of freight trains came tearing right through my building. There was no damage on my block but two blocks behind us the storm uprooted several huge trees that were planted along a sidewalk. One tree fell on a car. The woman who owns it posted the pictures on her Facebook; the tree landed AROUND the the car.

    I’d suggest maybe getting one of those thunder jackets for Asshole but he seems like the kind of dog who’d rather rip your nuts off than have you try and stuff him into it.

    • Wirecutter says:

      He’s so damned squirmy I doubt I could get him in it. I’ve got some doggy downers that I give him if we’re expecting a storm, but they didn’t do him a lot good the other night.
      He’s actually okay if I let him in – a little nervous but not freaking out – but the real problem is getting him back outside after it’s all over. I literally have to pick his ass up and carry him outside.

  35. Chad says:

    I was with my son visiting a college in Murray. We ended up sheltering in the basement of the stadium. It looked like either straight line winds or a tornado was there before we went downstairs. That thing blew in hard!

  36. Sorry to hear about your troubles. Glad everyone (and the chickens) are all right.
    Two years ago I learned not to go outside to check the damage until the storm is over, two trees were down and I was standing on the deck checking it out, when it appears the time had come for that part of the deck. In the wind I couldn’t hear it happening but caught the motion out of the corner of my eye.
    Haven’t moved that fast in years. A thousand pounds of tree landed on the exact spot I was standing.
    Lesson learned.

  37. Angel says:

    Weather pussy. If it’s not at least an EF-1, the weather service doesn’t acknowledge it.

  38. WDS says:

    Bunch of us were out ridin’ the hogs yesterday and stopped for some chow and a beer. I checked the radar and could see it was up in your area but our forecast was T-storms later. Paid the tab and headed out. I went out to light the grill around 5:30 or so and oh God, the sky was that sick purple color. I went to check the radar app only to have the weather alert go berserk. Grilled dinner at the end of the garage with a fan to vent the carbon monoxide. We got about an inch over the course of 90 minutes or so but the rain gauge showed an additional inch this morning. Sorry for you Pecan tree and this time of year, I’d keep the old generator handy. Glad y’all OK up there.

    • Wirecutter says:

      We’ve got another storm forecast for tomorrow. I’m hoping it’ll blow that damned tree the rest of the way down and save me having to pay to have it done.

  39. MT says:

    Only you can make near-disaster an entertaining read. Glad to know you and yours are ok. Be careful helping neighbors and friends with their cleanup.

  40. bogsidebunny says:

    I heard yesterday it got a little windy West of me. But there’s the Mountains between Eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina so the heavy shit dissipated and we got just a little rain. Happy to hear ya’ll, including your fowl friends, escaped harm Wire!

  41. Greg says:

    I use to have a Boston Terrier that would damn near shit himself when there was thunder storms. I felt so sorry for him. Got him one of these “Thunder Shirts” and it made a WORLD of Difference for him in these Florida Frog Stranglers!!! Get one for the little guy!
    https://www.thundershirt.com

  42. Sawed Off Bastard says:

    A country boy WILL survive

  43. James says:

    Hmmm….,sounds like a interesting day!

    As others have mentioned glad you and the missus and dogs/chickens what have you all OK,the rest,can be cleaned up/fixed!

    I would say you need to make the ole genny a little more handy/available.I find when I really have shit all lined up ready for storms ect.,well,I just don’t get hit hard by em.

  44. Kapt Kaos says:

    I’m glad you guys got through it without anyone getting hurt, Ken. It would be a hell of a shock coming from the west coast to out there and suddenly realizing tornadoes do exist. But then again the people down there have never seen the ground roll by like waves on a bay while the trees and power poles swing back and forth like they’re going to snap off.

  45. 4brig says:

    Wow, good to hear you guys and the chicks are safe. Things can be replaced but not people.
    It has been cool and cloudy here, normal weather for the PNW.

  46. Tree Mike says:

    Hey Ken, I’m over in Humphreys Co. I’ve got chain saws, gear, trucks a helper nephew. I could be there in less than 2 hours if you want to have more fun than you can shake a stick at (ha ha). On the clock, it’s hard labor and expensive. With volunteers, it’s recreational therapy. I’m volunteering. We could knock it out in less than a day, judging from your pics. Tree Mike’s tree service 1981-2014. Now I have thousands of trees on my 25 acres, so I haven’t gotten out of practice. I left contact info in your email, then remembered you get swamped. Give me a holler, Tree Mike.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Thanks, Mike. If I get started and realize I still can’t handle it, I’ll give you a call and let you come up at your convenience. I really appreciate the offer.

  47. ron says:

    you mite send this post to power company, to show them how many people are aware of damage they caused.
    and promise to post positive report after they fix damage.
    or else they cut your power off completely

  48. Jeremy says:

    Glad you are Okay. The storms have been especially rough this year.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Actually around here it’s been pretty mild. We hadn’t even had any decent thunderstorms lately. Hell, I’ve been bitching because they kept forecasting heavy storms but they all seem to peter out right before they get to us.

  49. nines says:

    God, I really love reading what decent people have to say. I really love imagining having neighbors like you. It soothes my aching old heart. I’m so glad everyone’s okay.

  50. JK says:

    Here’s the site I depend on for finding out “WTF exactly was that?!!!” that just rumbled through. I’m in extreme north Arkansas 140 miles as the crow flies east toward Memphis.

    https://www.spc.noaa.gov/

    ‘SPC’ is ‘Storm Prediction Center’ outta Norman Oklahoma – When the page loads there’s a tab at the top “Storm Reports” click on that and it’ll load a page giving ‘Today’s Storm Reports’ and just below there’s ‘Yesterday’s Storm Reports’ … Given the number of (mostly) wind reports I’m seeing there (incidentally always click the “(since 0600 /0700)” rather than the “(Reports over the last 3 hours)” … Keeping in mind today’s date. Reason for that is, just above the reported incidents map there’s a in red-highlighted bit states, “Note: All Reports Are Considered Preliminary” and above that Note see the <1906_ _ bit? That’s the one you’ll need return to in some few days to tap back to today’s date.

    The process is generally, a bunch of NWS/EM contractors will be out (or in the air as VFR allows) over some period of days time assessing the “WTF exactly was that?!!!” bit updating the map as information gets collected and collated into a coherent ‘Event Record.’

    Depending on one’s experience (mine for instance was old school [pre-satellites] military meteorology school plus some EW stuff – but we won’t be getting into that okay?) At any rate below whatever map of listed events we are looking at there lays below three categories of info – tornadic, hail, and winds. General Locations and Counties are also listed alongside the times (Zulu/GMT) and furthest right some small characterization of the specific report.

    That immediately above ‘Depending on’ paragraph “may be” useful to an interested party in determining the “WTF exactly was that?!!!” bit – just in case, for instance, getting together a good list for some sort of adjuster may be in order.

    I know my Granny placed great value on her chickens.

  51. Terri says:

    So glad you all are ok!!

  52. H1 says:

    Get a rough terrain sheep’s foot roller to run the length of the ruts.
    While ground is still soft.
    Steel wheel would work but might get stuck.

  53. Titan Mk6B says:

    The wife and I were watching TV the other night when I decided to check the radar. I said she might want to check the local channel because we had an intense little storm heading right at us. The weather weenies were yelling tornado so of course we went outside to look. You could see the funnel cloud when the lightning would hit. It just went over and did not come down and was really about a half mile away.

    Funny thing about tornadoes when they are up in the clouds. The noise they generate sounds just like continuous thunder.

    Just a bit later I heard that sound again and another one was just to the right and pretty well went barely just to the east of my house.

    Just another day in Oklahoma this year.

    Glad you did not have any more damage than you did.

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