Grocery List For Men, Strano Cooper Young Memphis, The Kraken Project, Coffee Memphis


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Holiday weekend Memphis. THREE days of things to do. Let us begin.

My wife is out-of-town for a couple of days, so of course I went to the store for supplies.

beer ribs and bacon

The grocery list I compiled is made up of beer, chips, doughnut holes, bacon and ribs. Oh and a couple of movies. That should do it.

Last night we stopped in at Strano! in Cooper Young. How was it? Very, very good. You like salad?

Strano Memphis Salad

The salad is as good as the photo looks. Delicious. Really. I LOVE a good salad and Strano delivers. We shared a plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

Strano Memphis Spaghetti and meatballs

Again, the dish was very good as well. The sauce, pasta and meat were flavored perfectly. And if you are thirsty, have Trevor make a drink for you at the bar. He knows his drinks.

tennessee water strano memphis

margarita strano memphis

The bar also serves local beers as well.

strano memphis beers

The service was also very good. If you have yet to try out Strano, you are missing some great food. The restaurant is located at the corner of Cooper and Young. Go!

The rain today kept me from my bicycle ride. But if the streets dry out tomorrow, I will jump on the bicycle and have a go.

Need a GOOD book to read? If you like mysteries, computers, & A.I., you will enjoy “The Kraken Project” by Douglas Preston. EXCELLENT book. And better yet, the book is on loan from the Memphis Public Library. I have a digital version of the book. Ironic since the book deals with computers and the digital world.

Oh look, hell has moved into my work place for a week.

Fair Memphis

This is what my work week will consist of Tuesday – Saturday. Security – “Stop. Where are you going?” Me – (sigh) “To work.” Every. Single. Day….

It’s good to know your barista. I walked into Coffee Town today, knowing that the best barista had already ended her shift. I was surprised that she was still working when I arrived. Although she was finishing up, she saw me and poured my coffee without even asking what I wanted. No waiting, no fuss. That is what I call great service.

Love in a cup.

On the menu this evening? Beer, movies and maybe Cooper Young. See YOU back here for more coffee, beers, and books. Cheers.



Midnight Classic Bicycle Ride 2014 Photo’s, Angry Orchard Cider, Shelby Farms Construction, Shelby Farms Bike Lane, Patriot Lake, Coffee Town


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As promised, photo’s from the Midnight Classic Bicycle Ride 2014.

Midnight classic bike ride 2014 3

midnight classic bike ride 2014 2

Midnight classic bike ride 2014


midnight classic bike ride 2014 4

Waiting (for the ride to begin) is the hardest part. The starting gate is wayyyyy up there.

After the ride, I replenished fluids lost with alcohol. Not the smartest idea in the world.

angry balls

Angry Balls. I accidentally got the “balls” in front of the “angry” in the photo. Ooops.

And… Angry Orchard also has a cinnamon product out now.

angry orchard cinnamon

I tried the new beverage out. The flavor was okay. Not my favorite. There appeared to be an odd after taste each time I took a drink. My wife also commented on the after taste.

I’m not sure if I have posted this photo in the past, but this is the new Shelby Farms bicycle trail.

Shelby Farms Bike Lane

And here is what Patriot Lake looks like now. Not much water left.

Shelby Farms Patriot Lake construction

So I tried out my new bicycle tire with the “old” bike tire liner. How was it? The tire made me put more effort into my ride slightly. I was worried about my speed this morning, so I kept a close eye on the time. I actually made it to the top of Shelby Farms 4 minutes faster this morning. Although heading back in the opposite direction this afternoon seemed to feel more difficult.

As I was heading to work this morning, I decided on a cup of coffee at Coffee Town. I haven’t been to the coffee shop in weeks. Work, work, work. Well work be damned this morning. Work can wait. I stopped in, read the news and had my coffee. It’s the little things in life.

Love in a cup.

Love in a cup.

Done. See YOU back here for more coffee, bike rides, and alcohol. Cheers.

Midnight Classic Bike Ride


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Midnight Classic Bike Ride. It went down. Last Saturday night.

What about last Friday? Friday was good, until the last two miles from home. Flat tire. That sucks. I could have changed out the tube, but I only had 18 minutes to walk the bike. Bah!

To make matters worse, I found THREE NAILS along the Greenline at the 40 / 240 intersection last week.  THREE NAILS at the construction site. Bah!

Back to the Midnight Classic Bike Ride. I worked morning to afternoon Saturday. Went home, took a nap for an hour, and then I began the process of getting things ready for the ride. Lights. Lots of lights. Water. Batteries. Lots of batteries.

At 10:30 p.m. I headed to the Liberty Bowl. Bicycles everywhere. Everywhere. And I am supposed to find a few people I know who are participating in the ride. So I ride around, in the crowd. Round and round. I did find a few people I was looking for. We chatted about the night for some time. Then it was nearly midnight. Time to ride.

I lined up near the back of the pack. (Count? The word I heard was 1000 people pre-registered and approx. 600 registered that night.) I planned to take the night easy. I even used my camera to video the entire ride. Since I have been on the ride three years in the past, I knew the route by memory. Easy ride west, then back east, then north. We cruised down Madison and Overton Square where people cheered us on. Then we headed north to North Parkway. By the time we reached Poplar, I decided to ride a bit faster. The bridge at Poplar and the viaduct was easy. At the University of Memphis, I picked up the pace.

A few small hills heading east along Central and then the ride was over. I finished in a little over an hour. Good ride with good people. There were big people, small riders, newbies, and pro’s. It didn’t matter if you were young or old, black or white. We all had our bikes and we all fit in.

Sunday. I slept in. Big time. The idea of replacing fluids at the end of the ride with alcohol is not the best idea.

As I walked outside Sunday, I found my SAME back tire flat AGAIN. I did ride a bit hard Saturday night and took some hits to the bicycle tires. Checking the tire today, the tube was punctured in a different place than the tube on Friday.

I had an idea I wanted to attempt for some time. Can I take an old tire, cut out the center strip of the tire (where the tire meets the road), fill the tire with an old tire tube, then place the whole thing in the new tire. Basically you get double the protection from punctures. I have also read that the tire would feel rather solid with less air in the tube. After I inserted the old tire into the new tire, I checked the pressure. The tire almost felt as though it was only a little low in air. And I had yet to put any air into the tube yet.

I pumped a small amount of air into the tire and that thing was SOLID. I put the tire back on the bike and gave it a try. I did notice a slight difference in the weight of the rear tire. Very minor though. I am anxious to see how the tire works on daily commutes. From what I have read on the internet, cyclists go a year without a flat by using this “double liner” in the tire.

I do have photos from the Midnight Classic Ride. But not enough time to download, edit and name the photos. Either I will add photo’s to this post, or add the photo’s to a new post.

See YOU back here for more beers, bikes and bicycle tire experiments.


Post 1000, Central BBQ, Doctors Visit, I 40 240 Construction, Shelby Farms Lake Expansion, New Bike Lanes Shelby Farms


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Post #1000 Memphis. Let the party begin. Really, has it been 1000 posts? It only feels like a mere 960 posts.

Since I took the day off for a 4 day weekend, I attempted to make the most of it. The day started with a visit to the doctor’s office for a checkup. “You are disgustingly healthy”, he said. Well better than the opposite I guess.

Next on the list? Lunch. How about some Central BBQ Nacho’s.

Central BBQ Nachos

Can’t go wrong.

Next on the list of things to do? A bike ride to Shelby Farms. I want to check out the new bicycle trail around the expanded Patriot Lake. It was hot outside. HOT. As I approached the I-40 and 240 interchange, I see that the construction project is stillllllll….. on going.

40 240 construction Greenline

When will the “progress” end? I appears to be a big mess to me.

Onward, to Shelby Farms. I rolled through the park, getting closer and closer to Patriot Lake.

Shelby Farms Park

Can you imagine commuting through this park (TWICE!) daily? Beautiful. And the state wants to put a highway through it. Makes you wonder.

I finally reached the northern part of Gate 1.

Shelby Farms Gate 1 closed

The above photo is looking SOUTH at the very low Patriot Lake. From here you have to turn right (west). But… use the bike lane on the southern edge of the drive around the lake. At first it was very confusing. The lanes for motorists and bicycles have yet to be added. None of us knew where we were going. (Hint. Paint the lanes BEFORE you open the road and bike lane to park visitors.)

Shelby Farms Bike Lane

I guess the BLACK stripe is supposed to mean “bike lane”. I’m kidding, slightly. If you are going to paint a bike lane, paint it PRIOR to opening the road around the lake. And there was only ONE bicycle lane symbol painted when I rolled through. No, that is not a “small car lane”, it’s a bike lane.

Shelby Farms Patriot Lake Expansion

The lane meanders along the park on the western side. Some grass is already growing on the new hillsides.

Shelby Farms Bike Lane 3

The above photo was taken near the NEW park gate. The path circles around back east again.

If you are heading from Germantown TO Shelby Farms, you will find this sign below next to the old park entrance.

Shelby Farms Bike Lane 2

The above photo looks to the north, cutting off access to the older, eastern section of Patriot Lake. The new section of the bike path is nice. More signs are needed at the center of the park though to point out the bike lane. As one cyclist commented as I was riding the path back, “They sure messed this up”. And motorists were travelling well over 20 m.p.h (posted speed limit) on the new road circling the lake. Maybe the sheriff’s department can take care of that.

Good day to be off from work. And I have 3 more days off in a row to enjoy.

See YOU back here for more bikes, bbq and 1000 posts. Cheers.


Second Line Memphis, Memphis Ribs, The 80’s


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11 weeks of our summer program at work has come to an end. 55 days of hard work is now complete. Lately I have worked weekends and evenings. But this week I will have a 3.5 day weekend, which is very much-needed.

Mid-morning we headed over to Second Line for brunch. Arriving 15 minutes to 11:00 a.m., our first thoughts were “we have gotten here to soon”. Doors open up at 11:00 a.m., but there was already a line of a dozen people waiting to get in. The staff member at the door joked that people would soon be camping out over night just to get in the door Sunday morning.

This would be my FIRST visit to Second Line, but not my last. After looking over the menu, I decided on the chicken gumbo, with cornbread PLUS a side of red beans and rice.

Second Line Memphis

So how was the brunch? I was not a fan of the corn bread. The flavor of the dish was overwhelmed with “butter”? The chicken gumbo? Good. I am a big fan of gumbo. Nice flavor, although our friend said she thought the gumbo was thinner this time around (the gumbo was thicker in the past). The red beans and rice? ORDER THIS! Delicious! Overall the service was very good as well as the food. I’m sure we will return in the future.

Like ribs? These are the ribs I cooked on the grill last week.

Memphis Ribs

And yes, these ribs turned out great. I used Corky’s rub on the ribs, plus crushed red peppers and crushed jalapeno. Heat to go with the meat.

Lastly, I discovered some old photo’s from the 80’s.

High School 1980's

Funny thing is, all of the these guys are friends of mine via Facebook. Guy on the far left is an accountant. Next up is myself (second from left). When I turn my head sideways and point to the camera, that’s when things get out of hand. The fourth guy from the left is in a band that tours the world. The guy second from the right became a drill instructor in the army. And the guy on the far right is an IT administrator. None of us knew what we would become. Nearly 30 years later, we still remain in contact. Yes the 80’s were a fun time.

Maybe I can get in a bike ride this week. Maybe. Cross my fingers :)

See YOU back here for more Memphis restaurants, the 80’s and Memphis bbq. Cheers.

Strano Restaurant Cooper Young, Mojito, Margarita, Memphis Beer, The Secret Island, Journey Memphis 2014, French Press


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And… I’m back. A very busy work week, combined with family in town, left me with little time to post items. After 52+ hours of working… I’m exhausted. The plan for today? Do nothing.

I have posted about Strano in Cooper Young in the past. Good restaurant at the corner of Cooper and Young. And… they have happy hour prices from 5 -7. My former barista Trevor is now bartending at the joint. He makes some very good drinks. We walked in and sat at the bar. First up? A margarita.

margarita strano memphis

Good drink for a hot afternoon. Beer on your mind?

strano memphis beers

Strano serves local and regional beers. Need some High Cotton? They have it. Strano also serves Wiseacre and Memphis Made beer. I wanted a Saison by High Cotton, but the bar was out of that particular beer. I ordered the Yazoo Hefe instead. Very good beer.

How about another drink? Tennessee Water was next on the list.

tennessee water strano memphis

Beautiful! The drink is made from watermelon. Try one. You will like it.

Next up? Mojito.


Delicious. ORDER THIS. Really.

If you like fresh herbs used in mixed drinks, these herbs are grown at the restaurant itself. Can’t get fresher than that. We also ordered something to snack on while having a few drinks. Goat cheese and bread.

strano memphis

For the record, I am not a fan of goat cheese (or any other kind of cheese). This plate was good. Last week we tried the pizza at Strano. The pizza was good too.

In an attempt to make better coffee (instead of pre-ground coffee), I purchased a coffee grinder AND a French press.

French Press

How do I make FRESH coffee? The process took some experimentation. The first attempt was a failure. The beans were not ground up enough. (The beans are meant to be ground “course” whatever that means.) My second attempt was much better. I ground more beans slightly finer and added more near boiling water. The concoction was left steeping for 4 minutes. The second attempt made a much better coffee.


Now I need to find the perfect bean.

Books. Not enough time to read lately. I need a good book that is an easy read. A new book comes out next week that should fit the bill. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are back with a new novel. “The Lost Island” PREVIEW is available for free at After reading the preview, I know I will buy the book. Can’t wait. I have yet to read the first two books in the series; I may have to go back and explore those. (I’m not one to read a series of books in order. I like the challenge of reading the books out of order.)

That 80’s band Journey is coming to Memphis soon. If you like the hits, check out this show. Total “sing-along” festival. I remember working a Journey show many years ago. Back then it was a “sing out loud” show. If you grew up in the 80’s, you know all of the words to all of the hits. I checked out and the show consists of one hit after another. I’m in. Mud Island, Saturday 9/13/2014, 8:00 p.m.

Journey Band

Done. I’m beat. My bike ride to coffee shop? Done. Laundry? Done. BBQ Ribs? Working on it. See YOU back here for more books, bikes, classic rock and drinks. Cheers.


Central BBQ Construction, Hueys, Young Avenue Deli, Cafe Eclectic, Best Memphis Burger 2014, Shelby Farms Park Construction


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Manic Monday Memphis. Once again, Monday has bested me. But wait. What about the weekend?

Took my bicycle out for a ride to Coffee Town Saturday morning. Coffee, classic rock and my bicycle. Best things in the world.

After my coffee and eggs, I rolled back towards Cooper Young. Where do I go for lunch at? How about Hueys? I rolled west, down Central Ave. As I was riding by Central BBQ, I noticed a bit of construction going on in the parking lot.

Central BBQ

The joint is still open and you can eat there, but a large trench has been dug up. Not sure exactly what is happening at Central BBQ. Could they be expanding the lake? Heart of the “pork”?   ;)

I took the photo and continued on to Hueys. Texas Toast Burger. Extra jalapeños. Spicy. Good.

Hueys Texas Toast Burger

Hueys has some of the best service in town. Hands down. Love me the Texas Toast Burger. Thanks Hueys.

Saturday evening we headed over to Cafe Eclectic (N. McLean location). We have been here in the past. I ordered up the grilled cheese sandwich with a side of hash browns.

Eclectic Cafe Grilled Cheese Sandwich

My wife ordered the burger and fries.

Eclectic Cafe Hamburger

We topped the dinner off with an ice cream sundae.

Eclectic Cafe Sundae

What did I think of the meal? The grilled cheese sandwich was okay at best. The hash browns were EXCELLENT. Best part of the plate. The burger had very little taste to it. The sundae? Very good. If it is seven o’clock and your restaurant has few people inside, there may be a problem. Just sayin’.

Sunday. After a visit to Home Depot (more plants for my flower bed), we met up with a friend at Young Avenue Deli. “You’re not afraid someone will stab / shoot / kill you for your bicycle?” Ummm…. no. She used to live in Midtown! That’s what you get for living in the “bubble” for so many years. Go outside the gated community! Again, another miss at Young Avenue Deli. The chicken salad sandwich was off. The grilled cheese sandwich was cold. My burger was okay at best. Got to try harder Memphis. Maybe the Best Memphis Burger Festival will change the way people cook at local restaurants. We stopped by the event last year. Good stuff.

Best Memphis Burger Festival 2013

Best Memphis Burger BIG Burger

Good food, music and the money goes to a good cause. Make plans now.

Which brings us to Monday. I began my bicycle ride at 6:45 a.m. Wayyyyy to early to be awake. For anything. Especially on a Monday. I put the pedal “s” to the metal (?) and moved a bit faster this morning. Fast enough that I took 5 minutes off my morning commute. What I was looking for was the Shelby Farms Park front gate. It was supposed to be closed for good (the NEW entrance is .25 miles further north on Farm Road). The gate was open this morning and this evening as well. Weird.

By the end of the work day, my mind was numb (“dumb?”). Much more difficult for me to exercise after a mentally challenging day. I took my time during the ride home. I didn’t race anyone along the Greenline. I didn’t set any records. My brain had been abused pretty good today. Since it is late Monday evening, time for a “drank” or two.

See YOU back here for more bikes, parks and Memphis meals. Cheers.


Shelby Farms Construction, Shelby Farms New Gate, Rain,, Soundbot Speaker


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Thirsty Thursday Memphis.

gordon biersch wheat beer

The temperature was cool this morning, and the weather made for a nice ride. I must have been in a good mood, I took 5 minutes off of my ride this morning.

Riding my bicycle through Shelby Farms… Construction. I received an email last night from the park. The main gate at Farm Rd. and Walnut Grove Rd. will permanently close beginning Monday. The NEW entrance will be located a quarter-mile north. (Last night there wasn’t a map associated with the new gate. Checking tonight, the park has provided a nice map regarding the new gate.) Read more about the new gate at Shelby Farms here. My only question is if I the pedestrian / bike path will remain open from the top of the hill at Shelby Farms, to Walnut Grove Road and Farm Road. Guess I will find out soon enough.

More construction. If you want to see the lake at Shelby Farms, you had better hurry to see it.

Shelby Farms Construction Lake drain 2

That water is fading fast.

Shelby Farms Construction Lake Drain

The above photo looks like The Mayors Lake from last year. But the Mayors Lake is full compared to this small lake near the visitors center.

Speaking of Shelby Farms, as I was biking home this evening I ran into another cyclist waiting for the light to turn green. He asked me, “Do you work around here?” Me – “Uh yeah.” Him “We did a bicycle ride last year together.” Wow. He remembered me. I just looked it up. That ride was May 15, 2013. Although my bicycle hasn’t changed, he upgraded to a better bike and pro gear. We talked for a short while about riding. He was on his way to downtown (!) from Shelby Farms. And he left me in the dust. See you next year… if I can keep up.

Oh yeah, back to this evenings ride. Rain. There was mainly drizzle falling on me on my ride home. No worries, but I am getting very tired of stating “ZERO” chance of rain. I checked the weather map at 4:30 p.m. today. There was a HUGE rain cloud to the west of Memphis. Are you kidding me??? can’t see this ginormous rain cloud? Who is running the website? Or do they just make weather predictions up? Luckily for me, rain didn’t pour down on me during the ride home.

Lastly, I ordered a blue tooth speaker for my shower. Had to have it. Gotta listen to music while getting ready to ride in the morning. Yes the device works and it was only $15, or about that.

Sound Shower Speaker

The device charges from your computer and the battery is supposed to last 8 hours. Fine by me. I just hit the classic rock button on any one of my devices at home. (I can’t keep track of all of my devices.) I won’t spend money on many things, but I will spend money on music (classic rock) and gadgets. Gotta have gadgets.

Get ready for a post in the near future about my latest acquisition.

Done. My “perdiction” is a few drinks, then bed. See YOU back here for more bikes, beers, and classic rock. Cheers.

Elwoods Shack, Cooper Young, Alchemy Memphis, Growler Memphis, Busters Memphis


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Manic Monday Memphis. Are you staying dry? Here comes the rain.

Last Saturday we tried out Elwoods Shack (4523 Summer Ave). The place is located next to the Lowes parking lot (RIGHT as you look at the front of Lowes).


Do not let the decor fool you. This may be a hole in the wall place, but the food is good (and so are the portions). I ordered up the fish tacos

elwoods fish tacos

and my wife ordered the bbq sandwich.

elwoods bbq sandwich

Both dishes were good. The seating area is small inside, but there are picnic tables outside to sit on. Perfect for that fall weather coming up in a few months. Walk inside and order your meal to the left. Give them your name, and the staff will bring your order to your table.

I dusted the bicycle off this morning at 6:45 a.m. and headed to work. With a starting temperature of 80 degrees outside, I was in for one hot ride in the early hours. An older cyclist caught up to me a few miles into my ride. We spoke about the weather, and the cold front moving into Memphis. “How long does it take you to get to work?” he asked. “Me? One hour and 15 minutes.” This guy said he sees me daily at Shelby Farms, riding through. That would be correct.

Since the rain was supposed to start falling at 5:00 p.m., I had my wife pick me up from work. If I only had one extra hour, I could have made it home on the bicycle. We decided to stop in at Young Avenue Deli for dinner buttttt…. the power was out. Cafe Ole had power, but their juice was flickering off and on. Sweet Grass was also closed due to power issues. Weird. We had a go at Alchemy in Cooper Young. Yes, we have been here in the past. I always get the Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup.

grilled cheese and tomato soup alchemy memphis

My wife ordered up the sliders.

alchemy memphis sliders

Both dishes were good. What’s new at the joint? They have changed the menu into “Starters”, “To Share” and “Large Plates”. Which is a good idea. In the past you would order a few small plates and share those. My wife really enjoyed the burgers.

We watched as the weather turned worse in Cooper Young.

Cooper Young Storm

The wind took the large valet parking umbrella down the street. Valet dude chased the umbrella down Cooper. Once he had the umbrella in hand, the wind took him back the other way down Cooper. That’s some wind for ya.

After dinner I stopped in at Growler Memphis to see the beer list. Good things are on the board. Lots of Wiseacre and local brews. I must return and pick something up. I do believe you can now run tabs at the “beer store” (as I like to call it). Friendly and knowledgeable staff here, plus a good atmosphere to sit and have a beer.

Memphis Growler Store 2

Memphis Growler Store

Oh yes, I nearly forgot, liquor stores in Tennessee can now sell mixers and average beers. Wow! Tennessee is no longer living in the 1800’s. Here are a few items I purchased the other day:


The Tilted Palm Bloody Mary Mix is good. Spicy to boot. The Christmas Ale is good too. And then there is Fireball. Hold on tight if you are doing shots of the cinnamon stuff. All of the above was purchased at Busters on Highland. Wow. You mean I can buy mixers now in a liquor store? That is like buying eating utensils at a food store. They kind of go together.

Done. See YOU back here for more beers, bikes and food. Cheers.

Pig on Pig, Little Free Library, Soul Fish


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The weekend continues Memphis!

Bike ride to coffee-house? Check.

Laundry done? Check.

Ribs on the grill? Yes, yes, yes.

memphis ribs

I am trying something slightly different this time. Pig on pig. That is correct, bacon on ribs. This should be very interesting.

Earlier today we stopped in at Soul Fish for some lunch. Again I ordered the two piece catfish plate, with fries, hush puppies, and mashed potatoes.

Soul Fish Memphis 2

That plate was good. My wife ordered the chicken salad.

Soul Fish Memphis

Very good as well.

We also stopped by a couple of Little Free Libraries.

Little Free Library Memphis TN

Not to take books out, but to put books and magazines in them. If you are in Cooper Young, there are more books in there. Go get ‘em.

Done. Time for a small bit of television, finish up the ribs and maybe a drink or two. See YOU back here for more bikes, beers and ribs. Cheers :)


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