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  • The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Del Mar, CA 2013


    (Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

    Weekend Recap

    This time on “The Allen Report”, we make our annual trek to the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, California for a series of showdowns between a national name and a home state hero. For the past several years, Kelvin Ramer and his Time Flys machine have made several attempts to replace Jimmy Creten and Bounty Hunter as King of the Del Mar monster trucks. And he was going to try again this year. However, this was no two truck show. Right behind Jimmy was Trent Montgomery in Iron Outlaw. But Kelvin had backup of his own. That was his own daughter, young Rosalee Ramer, driving Detour. Rick Swanson returned with Wrongway Rick to the place where it debuted one year ago. Son Eric Swanson drove his trophy truck bodied-monster wearing the normal Obsessed logo to round out the field.

    Day one of three at Del Mar was the unique High Jump competition under NCAA rules. Bringing the bar down three times meant elimination. Clearing the bar meant raising it. The last truck that could still clear the bar was the winner. In the afternoon show, Bounty Hunter not only won but kept all four tires still on with a height of 8 feet, 2 inches. The evening show started the showdown. First, the 1934 Ford Coupe with Kelvin at the wheel threw down the gauntlet of 9 feet, 3 inches. Jimmy had the officials raise the bar even higher and still cleared it. Not to be outdone, Iron Outlaw and Detour jumped in to help their teammates. But when those two left the building, the game of “Top this!” truly began. It went on and on until the bar couldn’t go any higher. At a venue record 10 feet, 9 inches, Jimmy and Kelvin would tie for the win. But things were just getting started.

    Day two was a wheelie competition. Longer distance plus higher vertical equaled more points. Trent Montgomery had come a long way in one day from smashing the High Jump bar the day before with an honorable run in the evening that held the lead until the last two and finished the day in third place. The elder Ramer showed he meant business, getting the loudest applause of the show up to that point in Time Flys. But Jimmy Creten won the Wheelie Competition at Del Mar last year and started the repeat with the crowd roaring for him. In the evening show, Time Flys gave it one last shot with power, slap and sky wheelies all in the same run. But Bounty Hunter rarely shares the trophy a second time. Double wheelies, tons of momentum and excellent pre-wheelie air gave the Tonganoxie, KS native the Wheelie contest win for the second year in a row by better than 10 points over second place. With only a day of all or nothing freestyle to go at Del Mar, Kelvin had only one more try to prevent Bounty Hunter from cleaning house.

    Day three was all out freestyle. Bounty Hunter only pulled further into the lead in his first run with a very high score. But the win did not come without a price. Moments before his time expired, Jimmy blew a rod in his engine. Despite the crew’s best efforts, Bounty was out for the day, ending his chances of a clean sweep. With that, all signs appeared to point to Kelvin Ramer sharing the crown with the Bounty Hunter driver. But Time Flys would also find engine trouble. Eric Swanson and Obsessed had finished third place every competition they entered. This was the third day of at least one competition for Eric. By getting scores on the board and finishing his run, third time was the charm for Eric to take the day win. With three different winners in three days, the competition in the Del Mar arena remains tighter than ever.

    Along with the monsters, trophy karts started the show on days one and two, while scaled down versions of mid-twentieth century dirt racing jalopies called mini dwarf cars did on day three. Next on the calendar for us is just a few hours up the road at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA, for the annual KaBoom with freestyle motocross, monster trucks and fireworks extravaganza. Well then, thank you for reading, a warm thank you to John Borba and WGAS Motorsports for their hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

    Photo Gallery

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    All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2013.

    The Allen Report: Kaboom Monster Truck Show – Pomona, CA 2012


    (Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

    Weekend Recap

    The annual KaBoom! Event in Pomona, CA, has been sellout every year since its inception in 2002. Its 10th birthday was celebrated side by side with America’s birthday by again being held on the 4th of July. The Monster Trucks performing were Jimmy Creten in bounty Hunter, Geno Kinal in Iron Outlaw, Kelvin Ramer in Time Flys, Rosalee Ramer in Detour and Eric Swanson in Obsessed.

    To get the crowd pumped up for the monster trucks, four of the most fearless freestyle motocross riders you could find had the crowd screaming for the favorite – The Backflip, and the riders, including Metal Mulisha representative Jimmy Fitzpatrick, delivered.

    But the show soon became a nightmare for Jimmy Creten really fast. Despite a bye all the way to the finals where Iron Outlaw joined him, the former World Champion broke a ring and pinion in the front differential right off the starting line of the Chicago-style, Roundy-round course, causing him to wash out on both turns, and giving up the win to his teammate, Iron Outlaw. The front end mechanical goblins, which had followed him up to Pomona from Del Mar, proved too much for Jimmy to fix in time and the entertainer had to have the curtain come down early.

    Similarly, Eric Swanson in Obsessed lost second gear and had difficulty finishing his freestyle run, just barely clearing the big center jump. Iron Outlaw and Kelvin Ramer in Time Flys performed the duet freestyle finale, crashing through the extra long mobile home much to the crowd’s excitement. Iron Outlaw was declared the freestyle winner with Rosalee and Detour finishing a strong second.

    The fans forgot all about being sad about Bounty Hunter breaking when the opening fireworks went off, saying “goodbye” and “thank you for coming” with a BANG!

    Next for us at “The Allen Report” is one of the biggest monster truck shows of the summer. Every August, some of the biggest players of the monster truck game gather at the Rocky Mountain Raceways in Wet Valley City, Utah for a “Clash of the Titans”. “The Allen Report” will be there to cover the activities. Thank you for reading, a special thanks to John Borba and WGAS Motorsports for their wonderful hospitality, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

    Photo Gallery

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    The Allen Report: Monster Truck Show – Del Mar, CA 2012


    (Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

    Weekend Recap

    This edition of “The Allen Report” comes to you from Del Mar, California where Jimmy Creten in the Bounty Hunter is thinking San Diego County Fair Championship three-peat. Rick Swanson has introduced a new body design called WrongWay Rick. The other participants were Kelvin Ramer and Time Flys, the Youngest Female Professional Monster Truck Driver in the World, Rosalee Ramer in Detour, Eric Swanson the Youngest Professional Male driver in the World in Obsessed and Russell Steeley in Iron Outlaw.

    The monsters would be competing at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar in two shows a day for four days with a different contest each day. The combined scores from both shows in the same day would determine the day’s winner. Day 1 consisted of a high jump contest. Detour jumped 9 feet 2 inches in the first afternoon show and a roof-raising 12 feet 8 inches for a day total of 21 feet, 10 in to take the first win.

    Day 2 was a wheelie contest day. This saw Eric Swanson nail a well executed wheelie in Obsessed, but broke a ring and pinion a monster at the same time. However, Jimmy Creten had his game together, never once getting a wheelie that was less than vertical and the length of the floor to take the win.

    Day 3 featured a long jump contest with football field style measurements. Fan favorite Time Flys jumped a respectable 64 feet but that was only good enough for 4th place in the early afternoon show. But then came the late afternoon show and the 1934 Ford flew a neck wrenching 71 feet. These two distances made him the 3rd different winner in 3 days of competition.

    The 4th and final day was a full blown freestyle. The trophy cart races were fast and furious, but the crowd was anxious to get down to the meat and potatoes. Bounty Hunter did not disappoint. His perfect 40 in both shows of the day made Jimmy Creten a 3 time San Diego County Fair Undisputed Champion.

    Next up for us at “The Allen Report” will be the 4th of July celebration called simply KaBoom! at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA. Many thanks for reading, a special thanks to John Borba and WGAS Motorsports for their hospitality and access to the pits and drivers, enjoy the photos and cheer on!

    Photo Gallery

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    All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2012.

    The Allen Report: Monster Jam – Phoenix, AZ 2012


    (Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

    Survival is crucial to success in monster truck racing. If you can’t keep your truck in one piece the whole night, someone else will walk onto the winner’s stage. And this year’s show at the Chase Field Monster Jam was a prime example of that. The show featured both Grave Digger and Son-Uva Digger with Carl Van Horn and Ryan Anderson driving. The “General” himself, Brian Deegan drove the Metal Mulisha for the first time in his career. Former World Finals fastest qualifier Marc McDonald brought El Toro Loco back. Linsey Weenk returned to Phoenix with the Lucas Oil Crusader. Former sprint car driver Taryn Laskey filled in for Nicole Johnson in Tasmanian Devil. The other teams were: Mitch Tulachka and Shane Phreed in Geter Done and Robo Machine. Allen Pezo and Ron Nelson drove Predator and Pouncer. Kelvin Ramer drove Time Flies and former California Kid driver Garrett Ladelle drove Detour. Rounding out the field were Mark Schroeder and Rod Wood driving the Felon and McGruff.

    Grave Digger was ready to face the former Bustin’ Loose driver in Pouncer in the semi-finals when he lost oil pressure coming to the start line due to a rollover during introductions and had to be replaced by Felon, whom he had beaten the round before. Mark took advantage of the opportunity and won. In the other half of the semis with Son-Uva Digger taking on Crusader, Ryan spun out coming down the main straightaway of the so-cal style track only to get the win back when the former Canadian hit the jammer obstacle and flipped over. In the finals a broken ring and pinion in the back axle of Felon meant Predator, who had lost to him back in the opening round, had to take his place. In the final, it was neck and neck until the third member of the Anderson equation spun out again, giving Allen Pezo a huge win.

    Brain Deegan set the bar early with a lead score of 20 and held the lead most of the night. El Toro Loco took the lead with only the two “Diggers” to go thanks to a score of 23. The man they call “CVH” saved his truck from another rollover, but was unable to fire back up and keep going with time still on the clock. When all was said and done, Ryan Anderson took the win by just one point, extending his perfect record of freestyle wins to five. But in true Anderson fashion, trophy or not, he came back out and unleashed his inner beast, giving the Digger-maniacs in the stands a wicked encore.

    Monster Jam at Chase Field gets bigger every year this year’s show is one of the reasons why. For us at “The Allen Report”, Firebird Raceway is next on our schedule in April. Until then, thanks for reading, enjoy the great photos by Jim Allen and cheer on!

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    The Allen Report: WGAS Monster Truck Tour – Del Mar/Pomona, CA 2011


    (Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

    The 4th of July is always an important date on the modern calendar and monster trucks are about as American as they come. That is why six of the best monsters this side of the Mississippi River arrived for the annual show at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, California, followed by the KaBoom show at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. The six combatants are Jimmy Creten and Bounty Hunter, Darren Migues in Iron Outlaw and the father and son duo Rick and Eric Swanson in Obsession and Obsessed. Kelvin Ramer drove Time Flys while Hog Wild ride truck owner Bob Johnson and Chris Etchison shared driving duties in Fired Up.

    For three days and two shows a day, the monsters made the Chevrolet Del Mar Arena their stomping grounds. The first day saw decent efforts, but Jimmy Creten had his cyclones down pat and took both shows that day. Business picked up tremendously on the second day when Darren announced through amazing runs that he would lay down to no one, his teammate included. With just a few points separating the two halves of 2Xtreme Racing, the final day saw sold out shows in both the afternoon and evening. In the end, the win was awarded to the Bounty Hunter, having a perfect six-for-six record to wrap up the Del Mar shows for another year.

    Independence Day was celebrated with exactly those same monsters at the packed Fairplex in Pomona. The show opened with the high-flying, death-defying Freestyle Motocross riders, including Nikki Danielson and Jimmy Fitzpatrick of the famous Metal Mulisha doing what they do best, despite a close encounter with Mother Nature’s fury. Roundy-Round racing saw Eric Swanson in Obsessed take down Fired Up, but the end for him in racing came when Iron Outlaw, who had knocked off Time Flys, defeated him to take on Bounty Hunter in the finals. Jimmy Creten crossed the finish line first, but in the process, he hit a turning pole handing the win to Migues in Iron Outlaw. However, even that could not stop him from literally jumping over his own team truck to finish freestyle. As always, fireworks closed the incredible KaBoom event.

    During the weekend, Kelvin Ramer said he is building a yet to be named third truck that, like Time Flys, will be a 1934 Ford Coupe. However, the body will be roofless and the nose will be slanted banana style. Until next time, thank you for reading, enjoy Jim Allen’s great photos, and a big thanks to John Borba and WGAS Motorsports for their hospitality. Cheer on!

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    All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2011.

    TMB TV: Highlights – Monster X Tour – Chico, CA 2011


    Event: Monster X Tour
    Venue: Silver Dollar Speedway
    Location: Chico, California
    Date: April 8th-9th, 2011
    Videographer: Colby Marshall

    Lineup: California Kid (Garrett Ladelle), Fired Up (TJ Etchison), Rock Star (Bill Payne), Time Flys (Kelvin Ramer), Titan (Donald Epidendio) [Read more...]

    TMB TV: Original Series Episode 4.5 – Chico, CA 2011


    Event: Monster X Tour
    Venue: Silver Dollar Speedway
    Location: Chico, California
    Date: April 8th-9th, 2011
    Host: Ross Z. Bonar
    Videographers: Colby Marshall, Kaedon Berry

    Lineup: California Kid (Garrett Ladelle), Fired Up (TJ Etchison), Rock Star (Bill Payne), Time Flys (Kelvin Ramer), Titan (Donald Epidendio) [Read more...]

    Monster Photos: Monster X Tour – Chico, CA 2011


    Event: Monster X Tour
    Venue: Silver Dollar Speedway
    Location: Chico, California
    Date: April 8th-9th, 2011
    Photographer: Ross Z. Bonar

    Lineup: California Kid (Garrett Ladelle), Fired Up (TJ Etchison), Rock Star (Bill Payne), Titan (Donald Epidendio), Time Flys (Kelvin Ramer) [Read more...]

    Monster X Tour Rocks Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway


    The Monster X Tour invaded Chico, California this past weekend and TheMonsterBlog.com was on hand for all the action, the tour’s and our first outdoor event of 2011. Some of the biggest names from the West Coast would battle it out in wheelie, racing, and freestyle competitions, including the Monster Truck Mafia’s Rock Star and California Kid, this year’s breakout star Donald Epidendio in Titan and California superstars Time Flys and Fired Up.

    Friday night’s action would begin with a with a 2 hit wheelie contest as each truck would hit a 6 car stack then swing around to a slap wheelie bump. It was Garrett Ladelle in California Kid setting the bar with a nice vertical wheelie and slap wheelie to start the competition. After efforts from rookie T.J. Etchison in Fired Up and Kelvin Ramer in Time Flys, Donald Epidendio would come out and raise the bar with a massive vertical sky wheelie on the car stack and though he missed a slap wheelie the first time, an impromptu hit on the van stack would provide the bounce needed for a huge slap wheelie. Finally, Bill Payne would bring his new Rock Star out for its first hit outdoors. Payne jammed the brakes before the car and matted Rock Star, ultimately sending the truck past vertical and onto its roof. Bill would wait for the truck to be flipped back over and deliver a quick freestyle to the fan’s delight, giving Rock Star the wheelie contest win.

    Bill Payne in Rock Star wins the Friday wheelie contest with a wild past vertical effort and rollover.

    Racing would be tricky as the Monster X Tour crew created a challenging over-under, figure 8 track. In past over-under tracks, the chances of one monster jumping over another were slim to none. This over-under was the exactly the opposite which created some exciting, but tense moments. Each truck would start at the base of each lane, putting one truck right above another much to the delight of the Chico fans. The final round would come down to teammates Garrett Ladelle in California Kid and Bill Payne in Rock Star. Payne would bobble in the final turn, handing the win to Garrett in the Kid who laid down a flawless pass. Garrett was particularly excited about the win as it came on the one year anniversary of the first time he ever drove a monster truck.

    Garrett Ladelle celebrates his one year anniversary of his first time driving a monster truck by taking a big racing win.

    The final competition of Friday’s show would be freestyle and all drivers let it hang out. Right out of the gate, it was California Kid getting wild and almost sending the truck end over end followed by Kelvin Ramer with some big air in Time Flys. Next out was Donald Epidendio in Titan in one of the best runs TMB has seen in quite some time. Donald launched Titan off of every obstacle, rocked some sick cyclones in the mud, and some great vertical wheelies to the roaring approval of the fans. Knowing he had to go big, Bill Payne only made it three hits into his run before a 3/8’’ bolt let go in the driveline, ending his run short and leaving the freestyle title to Epidendio in Titan.

    Donald Epidendio lays down one of the better runs we've seen in a long time to give Titan the Friday night freestyle win.

    The weekend finale on Saturday night started out with one of the best collective wheelie contests that TMB has seen in some time. It all came down once again to Titan and Rock Star, as Titan was again vaulted past-vertical into the 5th car of the 6 car set and drove the truck to an insane one wheeled slap wheelie. Payne once again rolled Rock Star over backward and followed up with a quick freestyle after being turned over. In a questionable call, it was Payne in Rock Star getting the win to sweep both wheelie contests on the weekend based on the rollovers and freestyles while Epidendio had the most impressive efforts.

    Absolutely jaw-dropping effort from Titan as Epidendio puts it up in a one wheeled slap wheelie.

    Racing would see the same two drivers continue to battle it out as Payne and Epidendio won their respective races to meet in the finals. After a close start, Epidendio would bobble in the turn and Payne would make a flawless run to take the victory.

    Donald Epidendio had the edge at the start but it was Bill Payne taking the Saturday racing win.

    The final competition of the weekend would be freestyle. Teammates TJ Etchison and Kelvin Ramer would both perform nice donuts and wheelies and Garrett Ladelle in California Kid would pose a formidable run before the transmission went out. Again, Donald Epidendio would pilot Titan to a high-energy and big air filled run to the roaring approval of the Chico fans, but it was Payne in Rock Star that would come out with an insane run, ultimately ending in a backwards rollover after pile driving the backside of the over-under jump.

    Bill Payne in Rock Star putting together an incredible run Saturday night to win the last competition of the weekend.

    A big thanks goes out to Danny Torgerson and the Monster X Tour staff for their hospitality and having the TMB crew on hand for their first outdoor show of the season! Stay tuned for a full photo gallery from TMB’s Ross Z. Bonar this week and don’t miss all the action from the weekend on TMB TV’s Original Series featuring incredible footage from Colby Marshall and Kaedon Berry. Episode 4.5 from Chico will debut on Wednesday, April 27th at 8PM eastern time with all the weekend’s monster truck competitions as well as some extras you won’t want to miss!

    The Allen Report: Monster Jam – Anaheim, CA 2011


    (Coverage By Christopher Allen, Photos By Jim Allen)

    The Monster Jam superstars lowered the curtain on a triad of shows in the home of the Anaheim Angels Saturday, February 12th, 2011. The stacked 16 truck field featured the following top names in monster trucks: Charlie Pauken in Grave Digger, Tom Meents in Maximum Destruction, Adam Anderson in Grave Digger The Legend, Jimmy Creten in Bounty Hunter, Cam McQueen in Nitro Circus, Candace Jolly in the Monster Mutt Dalmatian, Becky McDonough in Dragon’s Breath, Scott Buetow driving Iron Man, Pat Gerber in Shocker, Don Frankish with Maniac, Scott Anderson in Jurassic Attack, Kelvin Ramer in Time Flys, Nick Owens driving Iron Outlaw, Mark Schroeder in The Felon, Dan Rodoni and The Patriot and Mike Pappas in Tropical Thunder.

    The track of choice was an appropriate one for the locale and venue, the very popular so-cal style. That means they fall off a tabletop jump, turn away from each other, fly down a straightaway and race back the way they came. Early racing highlights saw Bounty Hunter advance with a bye after Jurassic Attack suffered fatal engine trouble during intros and Time Flys upset new World Finals qualifier Nitro Circus in the opening race, free of qualifying. In one of the semis, the blue and gray Digger and Max D crossed the finish line side-by-side with Grave Digger The Legend winning by an inch or two, if that much. The other Digger outraced Bounty Hunter to setup a history making Digger vs. Digger final. In the end, Adam proved himself more than just a freestyler by taking the huge racing win.

    Freestyle started off a little slow, with most of the first half the field slowly strutting their way around the track with little air. Nick Owens in Iron Outlaw would hold the lead for the longest time with a score of 22. Even the young Anderson and Owen’s boss Jimmy Creten could not outscore him. But then, there were two. Tom Meents has four World Freestyle championships to his credit and showed why, finishing his run with an upside-down cyclone on the tabletop. With a score of 29, Meents looked to see a trophy for the first time at the Big A in a few years. To close the show, the reigning freestyle champion of the world Charlie Pauken gave the fans a potential winning freestyle in Grave Digger, but he only impressed the judges enough for second place, giving Meents the victory.

    Although the Anaheim Monster Jam season was over, two weeks later Monster Jam would make its debut at the Los Angeles Dodger Stadium. With Monster Jam, a great show is always guaranteed. On that note, thank you for reading, enjoy Jim Allen’s great photos and cheer on, we’ll see you down the road!

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    All content copyright TheMonsterBlog.com 2011.

    Monster Truck Radio 02/21/11 – Kelvin Ramer & Rick Swanson


    Monster Truck Radio With Host Jeff Richards
    Date: Monday, February 21st, 2011
    Guest #1: Kelvin Ramer, driver of Time Flys
    Guest #2: Rick Swanson, driver of Obsessed [Read more...]

    Monster Photos: Monster Jam – Anaheim, CA #2 2011


    Event: Monster Jam
    Venue: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
    Location: Anaheim, California
    Date: January 29th, 2011
    Photographer: Susan Clemens Woolley, www.123EventPhotography.com

    Lineup: Backwards Bob (Rick Swanson), Captain USA (Jeff Bainter), El Matador (Daron Basl), Grave Digger (Pablo Huffaker), Grave Digger The Legend (Tony Farrell), Jurassic Attack (Scott Anderson), King Krunch (David Smith), Maniac (Don Frankish), Monster Mutt Rottweiler (Charles Benns), Obsession (Jeff Jones), Shocker (Pat Gerber), The Patriot (Dan Rodoni), Time Flys (Kelvin Ramer), TMNT (Ryan Huffaker), Tropical Thunder (Andrew Peckhum) [Read more...]

    Monster Photos – Monster Jam – San Diego, CA 2011


    Event: Monster Jam
    Venue: Qualcomm Stadium
    Location: San Diego, California
    Date: January 22nd, 2011
    Photographer: Susan Clemens Woolley, www.123EventPhotography.com

    Lineup: Avenger (Jim Koehler), Batman (Norm Miller), Blue Thunder (Todd Leduc), Brutus (Chris Bergeron), El Toro Loco (Marc MacDonald), Grave Digger (Chad Tingler), Lucas Oil Crusader (Linsey Weenk), Maximum Destruction (Kreg Christensen), Monster Mutt (Joe Miller), Obsessed (Rick Swanson), Obsession (Jeff Jones), Shocker (Pat Gerber), Spike (Rich Hilgendorf), Superman (Chad Fortune), Terminator (Gary Schott), The Felon (Mark Schroeder), Time Flys (Kelvin Ramer), Wrecking Crew (Steve Koehler) [Read more...]

    Monster Truck Radio 11/15/10 – Kelvin Ramer


    Monster Truck Radio With Host Jeff Richards
    Date: Monday, November 15th, 2010
    Guest #1: Kelvin Ramer, driver of Time Flys
    Guest #2: N/A [Read more...]

    Video of the Week – 08/07/10

    Week Ending:  August 7th, 2010
    Truck(s) Featured:  Time Flys (Kelvin Ramer)
    Video Type:  Fan Event Video
    Courtesy:  www.YouTube.com

    Description:  Kelvin Ramer lays down an incredible freestyle run in Time Flys at the Salinas, California John Shipman Motorsports event.