Staples amazon fire: Amazon Fire 7 selling for dirt-cheap at Staples

Amazon Fire 7 selling for dirt-cheap at Staples

Anyone looking for a decent tablet that they can pick up at a bargain is in for luck; for the Amazon Fire is now available to buy for as low as just $40 from Staples. The offer applies to the Amazon Fire 7 device which comes for $50 on other days but is now being offered with a $10 discount.

Of course, the Fire 7 isn’t a speed monster or can’t be put in the same league as the likes of the Apple iPad Mini or the Samsung Galaxy Tab. That said, the Fire 7 can still hold on to its own with its own value proposition. The tablet won’t disappoint you when subjected to everyday tasks such as web browsing, playing some games, watching videos and movies, listening to audiobooks, or reading eBooks.

In terms of specs, the tablet features a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of native storage. The latter can be expanded further to 512 GB via microSD cards. The tablet is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled and has a 2 MP camera each on the front and rear. The 7-inch display with its 1024 x 600 pixels resolution is fit for the course.

What’s more, the tablet is Alexa enabled too, which allows for hands-free usage, thereby adding to the user convenience. On offer is the version sporting the Twilight Blue shade. The tablet runs Amazon’s Fire OS.

On the whole, the Amazon Fire 7 comes across as a nice tablet and at the price, it is currently selling for, it is easily among the best that you can have.

With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles as well, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. Motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I’ll make a film sometime in the future.

Staples to offer new Kindle Fire, 7-inch Kindle Fire HD in-store starting today

STAPLES WELCOMES THE NEW KINDLE FIRE, KINDLE FIRE HD AND KINDLE WI-FI TO STORES THIS FRIDAY

Customers to Experience All-New Kindles in Staples Stores Nationwide

What: Starting September 14, Staples will carry three new Kindle devices in store. These will include the Kindle e-ink with special offers, a smaller and faster version for the reduced price of $69, the Kindle Fire 7″ and Kindle Fire HD 7″ 16 GB.

Staples interactive displays allow customers to experience and learn more about the selection of Kindles. Additionally, Staples offers an amazing assortment of Kindle accessories.

The new selection of Kindle available at Staples stores includes: § NEW Kindle Fire HD 7″ in 16GB: ($199/Wi-Fi)

• World’s most advanced tablet; 1280×800 HD display with polarizing filter and anti-glare technology for rich color and deep contrast from any viewing angle, exclusive Dolby audio and dual-driver stereo speakers for immersive, virtual surround sound, world’s first tablet with dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for faster downloads and streaming

NEW Kindle Fire 7″: ($159/Wi-Fi)
• New – 40% faster performance, twice the memory, longer battery life. A 7-inch
color touchscreen tablet that gives users access to 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, apps and books. Customers can access thousands of popular apps and games via the Amazon App store. Features ultra-fast web browsing and free cloud storage for Amazon content

NEW Kindle Wi-Fi: ($69 with special offers)
• All-new Kindle with 6″ display, new darker, hand-tuned fonts for easier reading,
faster page turns, and downloads books in 60 seconds with built-in Wi-Fi.
Additionally, the new Kindle Paperwhite Wi-FI ($119) and 3G ($179) are currently available for pre-sale. Amazon’s 6″ Paperwhite display features patented built-in light, 2GB internal memory and holds up to 1,100 books. Built-in Wi-FI lets you download books in less than 60 seconds.

Staples full suite of technology products and services includes the latest computers, e-readers, tablets and smart phones. Staples certified EasyTech associates are highly trained, and able to assist customers in selecting the best technology solutions for their needs.

Spot Nails Spot Nails BS5016AF Auto-Fire Stapler for Duo-Fast 50 series staples –


List Price: $179. 99$179.99 Details
Price: $171.41$171.41
You Save: $8.58$8.58 (4%)
Brand Spot Nails
Material Metal
Item Dimensions LxWxH
12 x 12 x 4 inches

Fire TV Stick Pre-Orders Begin at Staples

Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick was announced earlier this week and put on pre-order on Amazon’s website, but shipping dates quickly slipped as more and more buyers took advantage of the limited-time $19 price.

However, Staples just put the Fire TV Stick up for pre-order on its own website.

On Amazon’s website, the new streaming device is already back-ordered into January, which means if you decide to buy one for your loved one for the holidays, you’ll sadly miss out. However, Staples now has the Fire TV Stick up for pre-order.

This is great news for those who missed out on the device when it first went up for pre-order on Amazon’s website, as they can now pre-order on Staples’ website and hopefully get it right on release day, which will be November 19.

The Fire TV Stick looks to take on Google’s Chromecast, and just like the Chromecast, the Fire TV Stick plugs into an HDMI port on your television, but it comes packing with faster performance than the Chromecast, boasting 4x the storage and 2x the memory as the Chromecast. Plus, the Fire TV Stick sports a dual-core processor, which should hopefully make browsing and navigating menus smooth and snappy.

However, where the Fire TV Stick really shines is the included remote that comes in the box. The Chromecast doesn’t come with a remote, but rather users use their smartphones as the remote, which many users actually don’t like over using an actual remote with physical buttons.

The Fire TV Stick, on the other hand, comes with a remote that allows you to easily navigate and find your favorite movies and TV shows without any hindrance of a mobile remote app. However, Amazon will provide a remote app for the Fire TV Stick anyway if users prefer that, so you essentially get the best of both worlds.

One feature that makes the Fire TV really useful is the voice search that has users speak into the microphone on the remote so that they don’t have to type in what they’re searching for. That same capability comes to the Fire TV Stick as well, but only in the form of a $29 add-on for the Voice Remote that gives you this functionality. However, you can access voice search capabilities with the free remote app.

As with any other streaming device, the Fire TV Stick provides access to all of the popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, NBA Game Time, Twitch, SHOWTIME ANYTIME, Spotify, Pandora, Vevo, Plex, A&E, PBS, PBS KIDS, WATCH Disney Channel, YouTube. com, and of course Amazon’s own Prime Instant Video and Prime Music.

Amazon says that the number of services available on its Fire TV has tripled since the device’s launch.

We checked out the Fire TV earlier this year when it released and it turned out to be a promising device with a lot of potential, and the Fire TV Stick should be able to carry that on.

The Amazon Fire TV takes its name from the popular Amazon Kindle Fire tablet lineup, which runs on top of Android with a special interface built by Amazon. The device puts Amazon’s services and their store front and center, with a Kindle Fire-esque user interface that translate well on televisions.

Perhaps what’s most impressive with the Fire TV Stick is its price. You could’ve bought the device for as low as $19, making it the cheapest streaming option we’ve seen yet. In order to take advantage of this price, though, you had to be an Amazon Prime member and ordered the Fire TV Stick within the first two days of pre-sale.

Now, the streaming device is priced at $39, which is still quite reasonable.

Staples’ deals include iPad and Amazon Alexa • Eurogamer.net

Amazon Echo, HP laptops, drones, and more.

Continuing the trend of US-based retailers announcing their Black Friday deals ahead of the event itself, Staples’ has now announced a nice big batch of its upcoming Black Friday deals, including discounts on Amazon Alexa enabled devices (such as the Echo, Dot, etc) as well as Apple iPads, HP laptops and more.

Stores are set to open up at 7 am on Black Friday itself, which for the record takes place on Friday, 24th November 2017. That being said, the arguably much better option is to do your shopping on Staples’ website and pick up your purchases in-store on Black Friday itself. That way, you won’t be risking your life to quite the same extent and your purchases will be safely reserved, helping you avoid battling through the crowds.

With a particular focus on Amazon’s ever-increasing range of Alexa-enabled devices and $50 off a range of iPads, you may want to hold off on that big tech purchase you were planning until these Black Friday deals kick in.

If you’re looking for more Black Friday deals, top picks and coverage, be sure to check out our Black Friday deals hub. Alternatively, you can check out our guides to the best PS4 Black Friday deals, the best Xbox One Black Friday deals, best PC gaming Black Friday deals, and yep, you guessed it – the best Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals. We’ll be here for the entire month with up to date information, updates and deals.

Without further hesitation, here are some of the best deals that will be available from Staples on Black Friday:

Amazon and Home devices

Tablets

Laptops and computers

Everything else

If you feel like checking out a whole batch of other Black Friday offerings, be sure to head over to our Black Friday deals hub for up to date coverage of Black Friday deals on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo and more.

Amazon Readying Mulitple New Kindle Tablets, According to Staples

Amazon has big plans for its coming onslaught of tablets to compete with Apple’s iPad and Google’s Nexus 7. Reuters reports Staples US Retail president, Demos Parneros as saying there are five or six upcoming tablets, among them a a 10-inch model. That 10-inch model would clearly be positioned against iPad, as well as a plethora of Android tablets. Rumors about a bigger Kindle Fire have been circulating for some time, but since Staples sells the Kindle Fire, this 10-inch model is a bit more believable now.

Amazon’s first-generation Kindle Fire.According to previous reports from BGR, the 10-inch Kindle Fire will be feature-packed with a quad-core processor, front-facing camera, microUSB port, and possibly an HDMI-out port. The new tablet will apparently be a major step up from the current Kindle Fire in terms of appearance and design.

Other Upcoming Kindle Fires

The original Kindle Fire tablet which Amazon debuted in September last year is due for a refresh any day now (rumors point to the end of July), so we could count the 7-inch Kindle Fire 2 as one of those other many tablets Amazon has planned.

It’s not clear if the five to six tablets Pareneros mentioned are actually really two tablet models (a 7-inch and a 10-inch) with different storage options or even display resolutions—or if another Kindle Fire size is coming too.

The Kindle Fire has a 1024 by 600 pixel resolution, but NPD DisplaySearch recently told CNet about an additional 7-inch model with 1280 by 800 pixels resolution—on par with the flying-off-the-shelves Google Nexus 7. That high-resolution display will help make the Kindle better suited for reading.

NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim also noted he expects an 8.9-inch Kindle Fire 2 with a 1920 by 1200 pixels full-HD display. It might not be the iPad’s (2048 by 1536 pixels) retina display, but the bump in pixels would certainly make the Kindle Fire more competitive. Digitimes also reported an 8.9-inch Kindle Fire is coming.

Whatever this bunch of Kindle Fire tablets turn out to be, tablet wars will be in full swing before the holidays.

Follow Melanie Pinola (@melaniepinola) and [email protected] on Twitter.

Staples Black Friday Deals Include iPad, Amazon Gadgets

Staples has revealed its Black Friday deals, and shoppers can expect discounts on budget PCs, iPads, and more.

Staples will not be open on Thanksgiving Day, but customers can find deals on Staples.com. Stores open at 6 a.m. local time on Black Friday.

If you’re looking to buy an iPad, you can save up to 25 percent at Staples. Get a 64GB iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi for $449, a $150 savings. Or save $80 on the original 16GB iPad Air. If you want something a little smaller, the 16GB iPad mini 4 will be $299, or $100 off, while the 16GB iPad mini 2 will be $239, or $60 off.

For Amazon fans, an Amazon Fire tablet bundle with a 7-inch 8GB tablet, black cover, and 32GB SD card will be $54.99, down from $79.99. Save $20 on a Kindle Paperwhite or $30 on the standard Kindle ereader, which will be just $49. Amazon’s Fire TV set-top box will also be $25 off, or you can get $20 off when you purchase two Google Chromecast dongles.

Save between $50 and $100 on various Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets, too.

Staples will also offer up to $250 on select PCs. Get a 5.6-inch Core i7 Toshiba laptop with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and Windows 10 for $499.99. The Core i5 will be $399.99, while the i3 will be $299.99.

A touch-screen Toshiba 2-in-1 with a Core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM, and a 750GB hard drive will be $579.99, a $150 savings, while a Dell 2-in-1 with a Core i3, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive will be $499.99. Select machines from HP and Lenovo will also be on offer.

For the best deals every day, see TechBargains.com.

(For the best deals every day, see TechBargains.com or check out our coupons.)

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90,000 Bucket of onions left from the house | Events | SOCIETY

Once this village was called Giblovka. And in fact: one’s house will catch fire, another will be robbed, or some other misfortune will happen.

Renamed Giblovka to Verkhnyaya Vereya. For some, “faith” is “vzgorkok”, but for others – “rope”. The July fire, which turned the village into ruins and ashes, seemed to prove: whatever you name the village, it is still a lost place …

Village of ruins

At the entrance to the Verkhnyaya Vereya, you are surprised how quiet it becomes around.The city was just noisy, cars flew past the green forest. And suddenly – silence … Deep, unnatural. Birds are not heard, foliage does not rustle, even the wind, it seems, does not get here. The gray trunks of burnt pines stick out from the sand covered with black ash. Some of the trees, like matches, fell one on top of the other. Dead forest …

Further, where pine trees are replaced by birch forests, the bluish color turns into rusty-red: the fire poured heat on the foliage, scorched the roots, forcing them to bend monstrously. The distance between opposite sides of the road, surrounded by forest, is not great: two cars will hardly disperse.You try to imagine what happened here on the evening of July 29, when the fire was blazing, and you involuntarily feel fear …

Verkhnyaya Vereya, or rather, what is left of a large village is a mixture of sand, which was used to fill the flames, and ash – gardens, trees, grass have turned into it … Most of the sites in the ashes have already been cleared for building. The surviving stop looks absurd against the background of scorched brickwork: on a bright green shield – an announcement of a meeting with fire victims.

Tractors are buzzing, construction equipment is dusting.Two skinny hungry cows, miraculously escaped from the fire, sniff in surprise at the brought piles.

A passenger car hardly drives through the sand: the road, if it was, was broken by dump trucks. The first house, clad in bright yellow siding, has already been completed. And behind him – an old grandfather in a headscarf, his elderly wife and son. Digging potatoes …

A piece of paradise with your own hands

Viktor Teplov is in his eighties. His parents once lived in Upper Veree. Since 1965, Viktor Ivanovich lived here with his wife: he ran a farm, was under construction.And when Teplov was given an apartment in Vyksa, his daughter and grandson settled in the village house. To increase the living space, Viktor Ivanovich, father of four children and grandfather of three grandchildren, began to expand and insulate the house. The whole big family dug a hole for a new foundation.

“The whole family fed on this estate,” says Viktor Ivanovich. – In summer, people from Vyksa constantly came here: there is a vegetable garden, a garden, and a bathhouse. And, most importantly, the place is wonderful – the air is clean, next to the forest …

A lot of effort and money was invested in the reconstruction of the house.The size of each board in the floor of the house, the staples in the yard Viktor Ivanovich will say from memory. He spent almost all his free time in Upper Veree. Two sons and a grandson helped. Thanks to their efforts, the house has become cozier, warmer, and most importantly, twice as large. Now the unregistered living space will have to be defended through the courts so that the family does not build a 45-square-meter “baby” as compensation: such a huge Teplov family simply cannot fit.

Burning haze

On the day of the fire, construction was in full swing.Father and eldest son were digging a well, looking for water: this year it went deep into the ground. Then Viktor Ivanovich went to the city for cement.

“When I returned to the village, there were already firefighters and the Ministry of Emergencies,” the pensioner recalls. – I stand near the bathhouse and see smoke – far away, still in the forest. Well, I think the wind is towards the forest, which means that the village is not in danger.

Grandmother and her grandson left for Vyksa, took a bucket of onions with them: this year it grew large. They wanted to take a whole bag, but changed their minds.They could not even imagine that by evening there would be nothing to save …

– It was still seven o’clock in the evening – the sun is baking with might and main, – says Teplov Sr. – Suddenly it darkened sharply, and acrid, thick smoke poured down from the forest. Ash and burning needles fell on my head. Where did they come from, I think?

It became very quiet. Probably, the wind changed – the fire went through the village. “But if there were water, they would have defended their home,” says Viktor Ivanovich. – It is a pity that the construction of the well has just begun. At that time, firefighters were pumping water from the common water supply system.

The Teplovs closed the house – nothing was visible from the smoke.

They rushed from the house to the bus stop, but there was no longer any transport. Fortunately, a GAZelle drove past – they picked it up. There is a huge traffic jam behind the bridge across the river.

The driver drove out of the fire. In a few minutes they drove to the village of Provolochnoe. And there it became light again …

BTW

– After the fire, onions and carrots sat in the beds like boiled steel, says Viktor Ivanovich.- Yes, and little is left of the potatoes: everything is baked. Why am I digging it: I have brought a good variety from Belarus a long time ago. There were three pieces of potatoes, and I grew a whole plot of them …

See also:

90,000 New world. 1992. No. 7

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    Queens of Fire: the history of women in war from the Second World War to the present day | In the world | 08.

    03.2016

    Photo: TASS

    Women had to learn the subtleties of sniper shooting in the same difficult conditions as all other participants in the war – in the absence of spacious auditoriums to study tactics, the basics of camouflage, movement and other features of the sniper’s work, they had to study right in the open air, often combining theory with practice in one lesson.

    The difficult situation at the fronts and extremely difficult conditions for psychological training, and even on the physical health of female snipers, did not affect, and from the very beginning of the war, snipers in skirts began to destroy the enemy.

    The professionalism and endurance of the “Bolshevik Valkyrie”, as the Germans called it among themselves, was accompanied by truly special forces in shooting – one shot, one corpse.

    One of the most famous female snipers of the Great Patriotic War – Lyudmila Pavlichenko. Journalists called her “the queen of fire”, “lady death”, “sniper number 1”. Pavlichenko did not stand on ceremony with the enemy and did not kill for the sake of counting – each shot from a sniper rifle was designed to destroy the enemy, and the more, the better.For her successes and courage during the execution of the combat mission, Pavlichenko was also awarded a valuable “profile” gift – an SVT-40 automatic rifle with good optics to a fragile girl and one of the best snipers in the army, presented by General Ivan Efimovich Petrov. Pavlichenko herself presented an equally valuable gift to the command. She managed to lead the rating of the most effective snipers in the army after a complete count of the destroyed enemy personnel. When the last figures in the reports were summarized, it turned out that the fragile hands of Lyudmila Pavlichenko and the Mosin rifle with a telescopic sight were able to cut off 309 enemy lives, most of whom were officers.Pavlichenko herself more than once admitted in an interview with Soviet and foreign newspapers that it was not easy to choose an officer corps, but after the destruction of three or four officers, confusion and panic began in the enemy’s ranks, and this played into the hands of the Soviet soldiers. Despite the fact that in 1942 Pavlichenko was wounded and did not take further participation in hostilities, Pavlichenko’s military successes spread far beyond the borders of the Soviet Union. The legend of high-precision shooting and a professional in the field of exterminating the enemy, as part of a special delegation, was invited on an official visit to the United States and Canada, and President Roosevelt’s wife had been in contact with Pavlichenko for a long time and treasured her friendship with such a woman.Despite universal honor and respect, Pavlichenko was far from the only female sniper in the Soviet Union.

    The list of skirted shooters is so long and consists of so many names that it is quite possible to write a whole book about it. The rating of the most productive female snipers during the Great Patriotic War after Lyudmila Pavlichenko looks like this:

    2. Olga Vasilieva –185 confirmed hits since mid-1943;

    3. Natalya Kovshova – 167 Nazis in one year,

    4. Maria Polivanova – 143 fatal shots.

    (The fate of Polivanova and Kovshova is perhaps the most tragic. Defending against the German offensive in the Novgorod region, two friends, having spent all their ammunition, blew themselves up together with the enemy who surrounded them).

    5. Inna Mudretsova – 138 corpses of the enemy since 1943,

    6. Nina Petrova and her 122 successful shots.

    “Night Witches”

    The legendary Air Force unit that terrified the soldiers of Nazi Germany is one of those examples when a purely female team performed real combat missions of strategic importance.

    On June 12, 1942, the unit made its first combat mission. Much has been said about the uniqueness of this aviation detachment, but the main mystery for historians is still one thing – how fragile girls aged 17 to 22 managed to fly an aircraft and at the same time perform combat missions.

    The Soviet command was skeptical about the possible successes of the women’s unit – the women did not possess great physical strength, and the Po-2 planes, on which the “night witches” flew, could be shot down with an ordinary machine-gun burst from the ground. However, the very first flights showed that one should not neglect the weaker sex.

    history of women in the war from the Second World War to the present day – Rambler / news

    Women with weapons in their hands have long and successfully served in the armies around the world on an equal basis with men. The erroneous opinion that fragile creatures with weapons are out of tune and military wisdom are trained with difficulty crumble to smithereens when looking at modern women in uniform.

    Female snipers

    The assertion that war is a purely man’s business was most strongly refuted from 1941 to 1945 inclusive.Contrary to popular belief, in the bloodiest and largest war the world has ever seen, women fought the enemy on an equal footing with men.

    Sniper units, whose ranks women also actively joined, were compared in terms of the importance of the tasks performed to intelligence units – the destruction of enemy command personnel and other especially important persons both on the battlefield and beyond is a very difficult science.

    Women had to learn the subtleties of sniper shooting in the same difficult conditions as all other participants in the war – in the absence of spacious auditoriums to study tactics, the basics of camouflage, movement and other features of the sniper’s work, they had to study right in the open air, often combining theory with practice in one lesson.

    The difficult situation at the fronts and the extremely difficult conditions for training in the psychological, and even on the physical health of female snipers did not affect, and from the very beginning of the war, snipers in skirts began to destroy the enemy.

    The professionalism and endurance of the “Bolshevik Valkyrie”, as the Germans called it among themselves, was accompanied by truly special forces in shooting – one shot, one corpse.

    One of the most famous female snipers of the Great Patriotic War – Lyudmila Pavlichenko.Journalists called her “the queen of fire”, “lady death”, “sniper number 1”. Pavlichenko did not stand on ceremony with the enemy and did not kill for the sake of counting – each shot from a sniper rifle was designed to destroy the enemy, and the more, the better. For her successes and courage during the execution of the combat mission, Pavlichenko was also awarded a valuable “profile” gift – an SVT-40 automatic rifle with good optics to a fragile girl and one of the best snipers in the army, presented by General Ivan Efimovich Petrov. Pavlichenko herself presented an equally valuable gift to the command.She managed to lead the rating of the most effective snipers in the army after a complete count of the destroyed enemy personnel. When the last figures in the reports were summarized, it turned out that the fragile hands of Lyudmila Pavlichenko and the Mosin rifle with a telescopic sight were able to cut off 309 enemy lives, most of whom were officers. Pavlichenko herself more than once admitted in an interview with Soviet and foreign newspapers that it was not easy to choose an officer corps, however, after the destruction of three or four officers, confusion and panic began in the enemy’s ranks, and this played into the hands of the Soviet soldiers. Despite the fact that in 1942 Pavlichenko was wounded and did not take further participation in hostilities, Pavlichenko’s military successes spread far beyond the borders of the Soviet Union. The legend of high-precision shooting and a professional in the field of exterminating the enemy, as part of a special delegation, was invited on an official visit to the United States and Canada, and President Roosevelt’s wife had been in contact with Pavlichenko for a long time and treasured her friendship with such a woman. Despite universal honor and respect, Pavlichenko was far from the only female sniper in the Soviet Union.

    The list of skirted shooters is so long and consists of so many names that it is quite possible to write a whole book about it. The rating of the most productive female snipers during the Great Patriotic War after Lyudmila Pavlichenko looks like this:

    2. Olga Vasilyeva – 185 confirmed hits since mid-1943;

    3. Natalya Kovshova – 167 Nazis in one year,

    4. Maria Polivanova – 143 fatal shots.

    The fate of Polivanova and Kovshova is perhaps the most tragic.Defending against the offensive of German troops in the Novgorod region, two friends, having spent all their ammunition, blew themselves up along with the enemy who surrounded them)

    5. Inna Mudretsova – 138 corpses of the enemy since 1943,

    6. Nina Petrova and her 122 successful shots.

    “Night Witches”

    The legendary Air Force unit that terrified the soldiers of Nazi Germany is one of those examples when a purely female team performed real combat missions of strategic importance.

    On June 12, 1942, the unit made its first combat mission. Much has been said about the uniqueness of this aviation detachment, however, the main mystery for historians still remains one thing – how fragile girls aged 17 to 22 managed to fly an aircraft and at the same time perform combat missions.

    The Soviet command was skeptical about the possible successes of the women’s unit – the women did not possess great physical strength, and the Po-2 planes, on which the “night witches” flew, could be shot down with an ordinary machine-gun burst from the ground. However, the very first flights showed that one should not neglect the weaker sex.

    “Night witches” flew only at night – to find a dark plane against the background of the night sky is not an easy task. The practically silent, low-speed “plywood” Po-2 was noticed by the German soldiers only when the plane was flying over their heads. In the conditions of war, a real bomber was created from Po-2 – the suddenness of its appearance provided the ability to drop bombs directly on the heads of the enemy.

    In one night, “night witches” made up to ten sorties, causing critical damage to the enemy in certain sectors of the front. Few people in the century of the colossal development of aviation with its supersonic speeds and super devices can realize that there were almost no additional means to preserve the life and health of female pilots from the “night witches” – even young girls did not use parachutes, preferring to take more bombs … Particularly difficult was the weather conditions – the open places for the crew in the “plywood” Po-2 did not seem particularly comfortable even in summer cool conditions, and in winter, when the night frosts hit in full force, the “night witches” had a particularly hard time.

    The inhuman conditions and the general burden of military service did not break the Soviet girls – from June 1942 until the very end of the war, the “night witches” flew 20,000 (!) Combat missions, taking part in many major operations of the Soviet troops – the liberation of Crimea, Kuban, Poland, Belarus, as well as carried out night flights in Germany during the offensive operation of the Red Army. The “Night Witches” also own several other unique military records – the minimum interval between sorties (7 minutes in summer and 10 minutes in winter) and the total weight of the dropped bombs – almost three million kilograms of deadly cargo were dropped on the Nazi troops.

    “Amazon” Gaddafi

    Specialists in the field of psychological, physical and tactical training still cannot answer unequivocally why the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi included so many women in his own bodyguards.

    Despite the fragility of the women who once made up Gaddafi’s bodyguards, all of the Libyan leader’s personal bodyguards had serious training – in addition to excellent physical health and hand-to-hand combat skills, every woman bodyguard had another valuable quality – accurate shooting.

    Fire and sniper training of Libyan women in the country’s armed forces, in addition to the local military, was carried out by numerous instructors from Western Europe – German, British, Swedish and French specialists trained female snipers for quite good money, who, if necessary, were able to destroy the enemy with the help of a special weapons.

    The “nuns of the revolution” were supplied with the best weapons money could buy. Despite the fact that the main weapons were automatic rifles of foreign production, the personal guard of Gaddafi also respected Kalashnikov assault rifles very much and acquired a large number of them.As for sniper weapons, first-class specialists demanded first-class weapons – rifles from Steyr, Accuracy International, Mossberg and other famous and extremely expensive manufacturers were present in large numbers with Gaddafi’s personal guards.

    According to unofficial information, an indicator of the professionalism of the female bodyguard of Gaddafi was the ability to shoot down the neck of a glass bottle with a sniper rifle. The Libyan “Amazons” had to practice shooting almost constantly – at least twice a week, employees of the Colonel’s personal guard, who were free from service, went to a special training ground near Benghazi, where they learned the intricacies of high-precision shooting.

    Middle Eastern flavor

    And now the fair sex, despite the difficult situation and the incessant fighting, steadfastly endure the hardships and deprivations of military service along with men. We are talking, of course, about Syria and its women, who from the first day have supported their fathers, sons, husbands and brothers in the struggle of the country’s government against the terrorists who are tearing the country apart.

    The decision to join the armed forces of Syria is made by all the girls themselves. Someone deliberately goes to support their own fellow citizens, someone – to avenge their murdered relatives and husbands.Middle East experts explain that there is no place in Syria where women are not currently fighting. In the most difficult living conditions, Syrian women do not complain about the difficulties of service – everyone understands that the main thing is to defeat the enemy. Drive him out of his own land.

    There is also a special women’s battalion in Syria, in which almost a thousand people are serving. Despite the fact that this battalion is not the most trained and professional in the armed forces of Syria, there are a huge variety of military specialties that the fair sex has mastered.The most difficult job for women and the most responsible for military operations is the work of a sniper. Before approving a woman for the sniper role, trainers and personnel specialists thoroughly study the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. It should also be said that before serving as a sniper, Syrian women go through a lot – from auxiliary work to provide soldiers on the front line with everything they need, to the most unpleasant – serving at checkpoints, which are now and then attacked by suicide bombers.After the woman’s candidacy for the sniper unit has been approved, a course of firepower training begins to work with sniper weapons.

    Most often – as a sniper weapon, the Syrians use the SVD – the most massive and affordable sniper rifle in the world, however, the sniper may also have at his disposal captured rifles of foreign models, which are supplied to the militants by Western “friends of Syria”. Female snipers in Syria work just like their male counterparts.In the fortified room of the house, in one of the directions, a place for observation is equipped. Shift duty. While one of the members of the sniper group is resting, the other is watching the situation. These sniper groups are guarded by fighters of the Syrian special forces, prepared for any, even the most unfavorable development of events.

    The work of the Syrian female snipers is hard – it is extremely difficult to control the space in the conditions of dense urban development, and the count, if the enemy is still detected, goes on for a split second.The main task of the Syrian female soldiers on the front line is to maintain a given direction. With this, according to the admission of specialists working in the field, there are no problems.

    “I personally saw those who were on the front line, in positions. These women had a simple task – they had a certain sector and they controlled it. The service was carried out on an equal footing with men,” says military journalist Andrei Filatov, for a long time who worked on the front line with the Syrian Arab army.

    The militancy of Syrian women and the desire to defeat the enemy are also shared by the Peshmerga – the militarized formations of Kurdistan. Kurdish women, just like their Syrian sisters, are not at all afraid to fight and are completely calm about death in battle. Photos of Kurdish women facing ISIS on an equal basis with men are perceived around the world as an excuse to cheer up and find the strength to fight.

    Despite the fact that a little less than a thousand women volunteers joined the Peshmerga detachments, the beautiful half of humanity has the most serious intentions – the complete defeat of ISIS militants.Most recently, at the end of February 2016, another group of women volunteers joined the Peshmerga forces. Volunteers from the Agri block, in their own words, came to defend their homeland and honor.

    Many Kurdish women serve in the ranks of the Peshmerga in “explosive” areas – guarding checkpoints, strategically important facilities, as well as border areas – the places most often subjected to attacks. The professionalism of Kurdish women from the Peshmerga is at a high level – the fingers located over the trigger guard of small arms give out in beautiful creatures, dressed in sand-colored camouflage, who are good at using weapons.For the Kurds, the presence of women is a moral support that no one, even the largest logistical supply from sympathizers can provide. Women protecting their own men on the battlefield are the best way to help those who risk their lives every minute.

    Women’s Revenge

    Among the Kurdish Peshmerga movement, a separate, highly unusual female division has recently emerged. The female armed group consists entirely of former ISIS sex slaves, and has already taken part in hostilities – the “solar maidens” distinguished themselves in the battles for the liberation of the Iraqi city of Sinjar.In an interview with Fox News, Khatun Heder, the unit commander, said that the goal of the Sun Maidens’ fight is to protect all minorities in the region and fight evil.

    Neither Commander Heder nor rank-and-file members of the armed formation have any military service or special experience. Despite this, more than a hundred “solar maidens” are already on the front lines and fighting ISIS militants, and another 500 women will soon undergo appropriate training and join them. The immediate target of the Kurds in the region is Mosul, which is occupied by militants.The Iraqi army is gradually, albeit frankly slow, preparing for an offensive operation, and the Kurdish armed formations of the Peshmerga are no longer forward, providing the necessary space for the main forces.

    It is in their ranks that women will have to join, whose life until recently hung in the balance. According to the commander of the female formation Khatun Heder, the “solar maidens” were not only able to free themselves from sexual slavery and learn the tricks of war, but also instilled hope in other women in the region.Despite their decisiveness, Kurdish women are not the only ones taking revenge on themselves and their loved ones. More recently, the world was stirred up by a story from Afghanistan, the main character of which, by a fateful coincidence, became a local resident. Her son, a local policeman, was killed by the Taliban during another attack at one of the checkpoints at the entrance to the settlement. Taking the body of her son from the scene of the murder, together with her daughter and the widow of the murdered woman, she collected the weapons that had survived at the checkpoint and entered into a firefight with the Taliban.As a result of a fierce battle, which lasted more than seven hours, the efforts of three women killed 25 Taliban, and five more were seriously injured.

    Excellent strategic troops

    On the eve of International Women’s Day, congratulations are received not only by medical personnel, staff workers, but also … representatives of the beautiful half of humanity who have devoted themselves to service in the Strategic Missile Forces. Congratulating women in the ranks of the country’s missile forces, the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel-General Sergei Karakaev, noted that the specifics of the Strategic Missile Forces are such that there are many opportunities for the fair sex here for self-realization.Karakaev also noted that about four thousand female military personnel serve in the Strategic Missile Forces, and several thousand more work in the most formidable branch of the military as civilian personnel.

    The Defense Ministry noted that 100 girls study at the military educational institutions of the Ministry of Defense, which train officers for the Strategic Missile Forces. Their training takes place both at the Military Academy of the Strategic Missile Forces named after Peter the Great and at its branch, the Serpukhov Military Institute. Among the specialties that girls master are “Mathematical and software support for computer technology and automated control systems”, “Testing and operation of aviation and rocket and space technology”, “Chemical technology of polymer compositions, gunpowders”, “Ballistics”, “Metrological support of weapons and military equipment “,” Electronic warfare “and” Automated information processing and control systems “.

    Baptism. Self-propelled Cossack. “They were not burnt alive”

    Baptism

    The construction battalion was not in the middle of the war in the first days of the war, but on the outskirts of the front. German troops are rushing towards Leningrad from Pskov and Estonia. We were ordered to enter one of the sections of the Tolmachevo-Luga road, to ensure the uninterrupted advance of vehicles, military equipment, and human replenishment of the front. All this went, rode during the day, especially intensively at night. Whether the bridge was broken, whether the roadbed was damaged by bomb craters, whether the car was turned upside down, everything was immediately corrected by us, traffic on the road was restored.What could be easier and safer than serving in road units? At first I thought so.

    The German understood the significance of this section of the front road, did everything to slow down, interrupt the movement, hit with large-caliber guns, bombed from above. The enemy will destroy, we are rebuilding, the gun is firing, we are working at this time. We must not allow the columns of vehicles to stand as a motionless target under enemy fire, we work day after day, night after night. It is difficult in the dark, when the main flow of equipment, ammunition and fuel was going, it is even more dangerous on clear summer days, when the Nazis sent aircraft link by link.

    We did not know about the situation on the front line, I felt the hard way about the losses on the way to the front. They were huge, unacceptably huge, mainly because of the bombing and air attacks.

    – In-air! – an air raid signal is given and duplicated by dozens of fighters.

    In the sky, at high altitude, floating like a lone kite, the German two-body reconnaissance aircraft “Focke-Wulf-189”, or “frame”, “slab”, they were called differently. Now it circles over the positions like a hawk, then it leaves to the right or left, then it comes back and hovers over us, humming monotonously like a hateful autumn fly, looking out for everything, spying on.We hid, trying not to flicker, to move less, hiding in small bushes. It is necessary to observe camouflage, to prevent the accumulation of cars, especially traffic jams. We are preparing for an air raid, there are no means of repelling an air attack. How to do it? Yes, dig a ditch, fix, deepen, now wait for the guests.

    We need to finish the work on the repair of the bridge and the roadbed as soon as possible, shells have just turned them around. Without restoring the passage over the bridge, even under enemy fire, we will not be able to go into cover.The accursed scout is aiming bombers at the accumulated equipment, this “frame” was hated more than any aircraft, it was equipped with perfect Zeiss optical devices, from an unattainable height he sees, as in the palm of your hand, what we are doing.

    – Look, look, they are flying, – with anxiety in his voice, throwing his head face up, with his left hand, free from work, shows the partner on the saw Leonid Durasov.

    Nine twin-engine Ju-88 bombers float high in the sky from the south-west, Me-109 fighters tracing the sky above them on the sides with steel arrows.

    – To Leningrad, – I comment, not ceasing to pull the wide cross-saw. Hit in the head: Petrodvorets, Kirovsky plant, civilians, children. Children! Will a bomb hell fall on them, will they allow it? It shouldn’t be.

    – Where are our hawks? – Looking intently at the eastern part of the sky, asks Durasov. My hands drag the saw faster and faster, we press harder on the canvas, sweat rolls down in a hail, I wipe off my face with the sleeve of my tunic, I rub my eyes and forehead, there’s a pillar of steam.Leni’s head bends and rises incessantly, looking out for the appearance of our fighters. At the moment when the forest broke, he exclaimed:

    – Wo-he, look!

    Two links of our I-16 across the sky, as if uphill, slowly, strainedly float up. It seemed that they were not flying, but crawling, climbing a difficult height for them, they are so slow-moving in comparison with the Messerschmitts.

    – Right now the Hans drapanut, – Lenya Durasov expresses his secret desire.

    He immediately shouted:

    – “Messers”! Three … four … six, nine, these bastards.

    German planes, like steel devils, ringing, leaving a barely noticeable trail, looking out for targets for attack, opened fire, ahead of our fighters.

    – What order, what grace, – Red Army soldier Golovan admires the Germans. His tongue flutters like a thin mitten on a stake, lifted up a greasy signboard, shines with pleasure.

    – Nehay theirs 6, and ours 18, they would look at the order of German, – with undisguised hatred Osadchy is feeding through his teeth.

    Anti-aircraft batteries rattled fervently in the forest, anti-aircraft shells burst in the sky, behind and above the Junkers, the gaps are indicated by whitish clouds of smoke.A large section of the sky has already been stained, but not a single shell, not a single fragment hit the target, only fighters continue the air battle. A troika is separated from the formation of bombers, the planes take turns laying down on the wing, setting on us from the sun.

    – Take cover! – the platoon commander.

    We rush headlong into ditches, the earth is the only salvation. How long and horrible the minutes of the raid were. The first Junkers dropped bombs on a neighboring battery of 52-mm anti-aircraft guns, the second dives closer, the third is ours! His bombs exploded nearby, in the trenches of the first platoon.Pillars of smoke, illuminated by the flames of explosions, cones of the earth soaring into the sky, clouds of dust hid the position. The earth seemed to move to one side, then went back and forth, trembled. The Red Army men of the first platoon partly remained in shelters, some jumped out, rushed into the forest. What for? Fear has seized, a scream is heard, a din.

    – Back! Get down!

    I think it didn’t bother us, this time there was trouble. He looked into the sky, approximately in the place where the first three had just been, they lay down on the wing, three more bombers were entering the bombing.These really “ours”, flashing in the sun, dive one after another. I shrank inside, I fell into despair, fear, regardless of will, does a vile deed, a trembling beat from within, my hands grab what is needed and not needed, my legs break.

    – What a warrior you are, – I think about myself and I can’t do anything.

    The howl of planes is piling up, in addition there is a lingering, ominous whistle of falling bombs that penetrates all bones, followed by a deafening thunderous rumble of bomb explosions tearing the air.The darkness that set in after the blow, the stifling nasty smell of TNT, the screams, screams of the wounded, it acted so depressingly that he became not himself. The raid continues, in a gap of smoke and dust I saw black stumps rushing down from the belly of another bomb carrier, flying along with the diving bomber not somewhere, not at someone, but directly at me. I managed to think:

    – This is “mine”.

    A thought flashed through: I didn’t write a letter to my brother, didn’t answer my sister. You should have watched how I am at war, a German beats him in mortal combat, I can’t get him with anything.Is it really like that everywhere?

    Explosion! The first of the bombs fell not on me, but in 50-60 meters, the second, the third … where – I did not see, I did not hear. The earth from the clashing explosive waves is shaking, hollow, loose, somehow weak, like sewn with bast, jelly, and that’s all. The blast waves hit my ears painfully, I can’t see anything, I can’t hear, where am I? It cuts in the eyes, sand in the mouth, when he managed to swallow, why did he open his mouth? The head is swollen, it has become a stranger, filled with some kind of rubbish, but the body lives, clings to the saving threads.

    “To the bottom of the ditch,” I said to myself, “don’t try to fall, it will fill it up.

    So he sat on his legs bent at the knees, bending his head as close as possible, with each collapse of the walls of the trench he instinctively, like a worm, got out into the light of day. The smoke and stench were covered with an impenetrable canopy from the sun, from the air, from the tragedy of air combat unfolding above us.

    Along with sound thoughts comes healing of feelings, liberation from fear. I think there’s no reason to be afraid, it’s not a gudgeon who lived – trembled, died – trembled.It is necessary to end these “tenderness”, the pilots are fighting just like that. The wind blows the black haze aside, I look up, I want to understand what is there. A grim picture emerges. There are only four of our falcons left, there are still nine Messers, three Junkers are swooping in from the southeast, entering from a slightly different point in the sky, heading along the road, bombs fall from left to right, overtaking fleeing cars.

    – Look, ours is on fire! – wheezes a neighbor next to him, he got out of hiding, stands on wide-apart legs, like a sailor on the deck, with a helmet pointing at the “hawk” falling like a stone.

    But one of the I-16s fell onto the outgoing Ju-88. There was a flash, the bomb carrier started to smoke, as if it had stumbled, slowed down, began to abruptly decline, and was losing altitude. He pulls, pulls, bastard, to the north-west, to Estonia, but went into a “tailspin”, fell down like a stone. After a few seconds, we hear a dull, but powerful sound of an explosion.

    – Look, look! – jumping for joy Durasov, watching the duel of fighters.

    Our pilot, in a fit of revenge for the death of his comrades, led the fighter into a ram, Hans did not go head-on, dodged, our pilot managed to slam a sheaf of fire and metal.The enemy plane, firing back, soared up, started to smoke, pulled away, the “donkey” also left the sky. A flock of “messers” gloats in the heights, they, like a pack of dogs on a hunt for dogs, dash from side to side, looking for a new victim.

    – To the places, – the order of the company commander is transmitted. Platoon commander Lieutenant Sidorchuk is alive and looks pretty decent, not like me and my comrades. He quickly gathered a platoon, led to the same objects. Cars have accumulated along the road, apparently invisibly, are attached to the tail of the column, but the time is bright! We are worn out, crumpled, taking our place in every way.Many jobs are not provided, four soldiers died from a direct hit, six were seriously wounded or shell-shocked. Near them orderlies, more than a dozen were easily wounded, after dressing they were sent to a medical center, but many did not go to the MP. Osadchiy also remained, his right cheek is red and blue, with a rim of a smudge, bruised. Golovan went out to the bridge, where his arrogance had gone, pale, roaring, looked like a hen, crumpled by a kite, barely dragging his feet.

    Sidorchuk ordered to fix the flooring on the bridge in one hour, now it is necessary to work hard.Some are pulling logs, boards, other staples, pins, wire. Pyotr Osadchiy and I are doing carpentry, weaving, adjusting the logs more tightly, laying them on top of the canvas, fastening them together, making a track of boards, while at the bottom we are strengthening the pillars. Ready! The traffic controller’s green flag flew up, then horizontally, the way was open, the cars started. We are also “ready” to fall down and not get up for at least one hour.

    Night, the clouds on the front line of the defense are illuminated by flashes of shots, flares continuously soaring upward, the front is alive.Not far off, two fragmentation shells were launched, a German platoon of cannons hit the bridge, missed, missed and fell silent. Fuck! Fuck! – the explosions on the side of the road spoke again. Two cars were destroyed, one of them with a red cross, a nurse accompanied a seriously wounded major and three Red Army soldiers to the hospital, only one fighter survived. In another car, a driver was killed, a shell tore boards from the body, the boxes with shells remained intact.

    There is a traffic jam on the road, a battery of Fritz beat and beat. The platoon commander orders to eliminate the traffic jam in the firing zone, rushes forward with us, gives orders to the drivers, as the senior in rank takes measures to restore order.We rush after him, you will not lag behind the authorities, the subordination does not allow, business does not tolerate. We transfer a seriously wounded survivor to one of the vehicles, dump the ambulance into a ditch, and load the dead on the other. With ZIS we are pushing damaged cars, they buzzed down into the swamp, overloading shells, where did the forces come from?

    For the first time in months of joint service, I saw my platoon commander, Lieutenant Sidorchuk, as he was in reality – fighting, brave, decisive and … tough.What gave rise to such abilities? He still drove these qualities inside himself, did not show them. I realized that this was due to the fighting situation, a sense of responsibility.

    Losses in those days were great, they somehow got used to their tragedies, the war, but they could not get used to the death of the aviators, which they witnessed day after day. Too much was at stake in the air; it was impossible to defeat the enemy without modern aviation. Each pilot was the best warrior in the country, he could protect hundreds, thousands of people, why did so many die? Yes, because they flew in I-16 machines, much worse than the Me-109, although many military men argued the opposite, I.V. Stalin wrote in his order: “Our aviation is superior in quality to German aviation.”

    Have seen enough of these poor fellows, if they fought on equal terms, it was only because of personal courage, desperate courage. Here is the PO-2 aircraft, nicknamed the “cuckoo”, “cornman” – another matter, the Germans did not have anything like it. You used to stand at the post, you hear something “poking” over your head. An airplane carries “gifts” to the Germans to the front line, the fascists are in turmoil, anti-aircraft guns are choking, searchlights cut through the night sky, they find nothing, but he bombed, quietly low-low flies home, sits in corn, that is, on a field airfield.It was especially surprising that the pilots and navigators were women, although the “weaker sex”, we, women, do not hold a candle to them. Paul may be strong, but the warriors of us are still useless.

    One often remembers combat episodes of aviation, worries about its failures and the joy of victories. Memories, firstly, are connected with the fact that the planes hung over their heads throughout the war, in battles they largely made the weather. In 1941-1942, the Nazis dominated the sky, from the second half of the war in overwhelming cases – ours, not the planes that flew at the beginning of the war, but new, more advanced, superior to the Germans, those were Yak-3 and La-7.What he felt on his own experience in the battles for Novorossiysk in the summer of 1943. The fact that he stayed alive was largely due to the “red falcons”.

    Secondly, the nodules, moreover painful, were tied in the memory of student years. In 1936, at the Stavropol Zootechnical Institute, the city military registration and enlistment office announced a recruitment to study at a flight school. There were 12 people from our third year of study, only four were called. My friend, Petka Resser, was accepted, I was not, the Komsomol organizer did not take the course [1]. How so, why, how many worries, I had to go to the Osoaviakhimov cavalry, there to quench my thirst for service.They galloped, chopped with checkers, jumped over fences, holes, it is a habit for the Cossacks, but in the aviation!

    This text is an introductory fragment.

    Continuation for liters

    Physical properties of wood

    Changes in appearance, irregularities in the structure, integrity of fabrics and other disadvantages that reduce the quality of wood and limit the possibilities of its practical use are called wood defects.

    According to GOST 2140-81, all defects are divided into nine groups:

    • 1 – knots;
    • 2 – cracks;
    • 3 – barrel shape defects;
    • 4 – defects in the structure of wood;
    • 5 – chemical colors;
    • 6 – fungal infections;
    • 7 – biological damage;
    • 8 – foreign inclusions, mechanical damage and processing defects;
    • 9 – warpedness.

    Each group includes several types of vices, for some vices their varieties are indicated.Some of the defects are characteristic only of round timber (logs, etc.), other defects are characteristic only of sawn timber (boards, beams, blanks) or veneer. There are defects that are found in two or all three classes of assortments.

    Knots

    The most common vice is knots . They are parts (bases) of branches enclosed in assortment wood. By the degree of overgrowth, knots are distinguished only in round timber, distinguishing two types: open, i.e.that is, those that emerge on the lateral surface of the assortment, and overgrown, found by swelling and other traces of overgrowth on the lateral surface.

    According to the cut shape knots (in sawn timber and veneer) are divided into round , oval and oblong . A round knot is formed when the base of a branch is cut at a large angle to the longitudinal axis so that the ratio of the larger to the smaller knot diameter does not exceed 2. A circular knot can be found on the tangential surface of the assortment.An oval knot is formed when the base of a branch is cut at an angle to its longitudinal axis so that the ratio of the larger diameter of the knot to the smaller one is 2-4. exceeds 4. An oblong knot in the form of a strip tapering towards the core or a strongly elongated oval can be found on a radial or close to it section.

    According to the position in the sawn assortment , there are seam , edging , rib , end and stitched knots .Seam knots come out on the wide side (face), edge knots – on the narrow side (edge), edge knots – simultaneously on the adjacent face and edge, end knots – on the short side (end) of the assortment. If a knot penetrates the entire face or edge and extends to two edges, it is called stitching.

    In addition, knots are distinguished in sawn timber: one-sided , coming out on one or two adjacent sides of the assortment, and through , coming out on two opposite sides of the assortment.

    According to the relative position in the sawn assortment , there are scattered , group and branched knots . Scattered are any single knots that are spaced from each other along the length of the assortment at a greater distance than its width. For wide assortments (more than 150 mm wide) the distance between the knots should be at least 150 mm. Group knots are two or more round, oval or ribbed knots located on a segment of the length of the assortment equal to its width.For wide assortments, this section should be equal to 150 mm. With a whorled arrangement of branches, especially characteristic of pine and larch, branched (the old name is clawed) knots are formed. They are found on radial or close to them cuts and include two oblong knots of one whorl or one oblong in combination with an oval or rib knot of one whorl (between them there may be a third – a round or oval knot).

    According to the degree of intergrowth with the surrounding wood in sawn timber and veneer, there are intergrown , partially intergrown and non-intergrown knots , in which the annual layers have not intergrown with the surrounding wood for less than 1/4, respectively; more than 1/4, but less than 3/4; more than 3/4 of the perimeter of the knot cut.Among the non-accrete knots, drop-out ones are distinguished.

    According to the state of wood knots in all types of timber are divided into healthy , rotten , rotten and tobacco . Knots in which the wood does not show signs of rot are called healthy knots. Among this kind of knots in sawn timber and veneer, knots are distinguished: light, colored slightly darker than the surrounding wood; dark, the wood of which is impregnated with resin, tannins and sound substances and therefore is much darker than the surrounding wood; healthy with cracks.Rotten and rotten knots are called, in which the rot area occupies, respectively, less or more than 1/3 of the cut area. Knots are called tobacco knots, the wood of which has completely or partially rotted and turned into a loose mass of rusty-brown (tobacco) or whitish color, easily grinded into powder.

    Description of assortments by knotiness includes indication of varieties, size and number of knots. In roundwood, when identifying the varieties of open knots by the condition of the wood, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish tobacco knots from other rotten knots.In this case, probing with a probe is used. If the destruction zone extends to a depth of no more than 3 cm, then such knots, depending on the affected area, are classified as rotten or rotten, but if the destruction zone extends to a great depth (often to the core), then these are tobacco knots.

    Open knots are measured by their smallest diameter, and pieclosures are not included in the knot size. Overgrown knots are assessed by the height of the bulges covering them above the lateral surface of the assortments.In hardwood, the diameter of an overgrown knot can be determined by the size of the wound spot or the mustache of the brow. Well visible on the smooth bark of some species (birch, beech, hornbeam, aspen), the edge in the form of two dark stripes directed at an angle – whiskers – arises from the pressure of the growing branch on the trunk wood. After the withering away and falling of the branch, a wound spot appears in place of the overgrown knot, most often of the correct elliptical shape.

    The size of the thickest part of the overgrown knot in the assortments of birch, beech, linden, alder and ash is 0.9, and that of aspen is 0.6 of the maximum diameter of the wound spot.In some round assortments, such as plywood logs, it is important to know the depth of the overgrown knots. This allows you to set the size of the knot-free zone from which high quality veneers can be obtained. The depth of occurrence of knots in the assortments of these breeds can be determined by the ratio between the height and width of the wound spot and the diameter of the assortment in the place of overgrowing of the knot.

    With a decrease in the specified ratio for a given diameter of the assortment, the depth of the top of the overgrown knot increases.With the same ratio of the size of the wound spot, the deeper the occurrence of the knot, the larger the diameter of the assortment.

    In birch assortments, the knot depth can also be determined by the angle between the curb mustache. The greater the angle between the whiskers, the deeper the overgrown knot is located (with a constant assortment diameter). With the same angle between the whiskers, the depth is greater for assortments of larger diameter. By the length of the mustache, you can roughly judge the size of the overgrown knot.The length of the mustache, measured in centimeters, roughly corresponds to the size of the knot in millimeters.

    In sawn timber and sliced ​​veneer, the knot sizes are determined in one of two ways:

    • by the distance between two tangents to the knot contour, drawn parallel to the longitudinal axis of the assortment;
    • by the smallest diameter of the knot section.

    Round, oval and oblong (or branched) knots that do not protrude into the edge are measured as shown in fig.5, the first (dimensions a1 a2, etc.) or the second (dimensions b1 and b2, etc.) method. The size of the branched knots is allowed to be determined as the sum of the sizes of the constituent knots. The sizes of the group knots are determined in the same way. In peeled veneer, all knots are measured by the largest diameter of their section. The sizes of knots are expressed in millimeters or in fractions of the size of the assortment and their number is calculated in round timber and sawn timber per 1 m or for the entire length of the assortment, in veneer – by 1 m or for the entire sheet area.

    The number, size and location of knots depend on the tree species, the conditions of its growth and the trunk zone. Shade-tolerant tree trunks – spruce have more knots than pine trunks; trees grown in closed stands are cleared of knots earlier and higher than a tree grown free; the butt part of the trunk has less knotty than the apical part. The dimensions of the same knots and the state of their wood change along the radius of the trunk. As you move from the bark into the depths of the trunk to the core, the size of the knots decreases, the non-accrete knots turn into accreted ones, the number of rotten and rotten knots decreases.

    When using wood, knots in most cases have a negative effect – they often worsen the appearance of the wood, disrupt its uniformity and cause curvature of the fibers and annual layers, which leads to a decrease in the indicators of many mechanical properties of wood. Due to the higher hardness compared to the surrounding wood, healthy and especially dark (horny) knots make it difficult to handle the wood with cutting tools. Tobacco knots in round assortments are accompanied by hidden heart rot.

    The degree of influence of a knot on the mechanical properties depends on its relative size, type and nature of the stressed state of a loaded part of a product or structure. The smallest negative effect is exerted by healthy, round, completely fused knots, and the greatest – by stitched and group knots. Strength of wood decreases most strongly when stretched along the grain, least of all – when compressed along the grain. When bending, the degree of influence significantly depends on the position of the knot along the length and height of the part.The knots located in the stretched zone of the dangerous section of the bent part have the greatest negative effect, especially if the knot comes out on the edge.

    According to the data for pine wood blanks, there is a close to proportional relationship between the relative size of the knot (in fractions of the width or thickness of the blank) and the strength in static bending and compression along the grain (as a percentage of the strength of pure wood). Therefore, with a knot size of 0.3 and 0.5, the strength will decrease by 30 and 50%, respectively.A similar relationship was found when bending birch and beech wood. In oak wood, the effect of knot size on strength is less pronounced.

    Strength increases due to the presence of knots when the wood is compressed and stretched in the radial direction across the grain, when the axis of the knot coincides with the direction of the force. Knots also increase strength when cleaving along the fibers in the tangential direction when they are perpendicular to the cleaving plane.

    Wooden plugs (with or without glue) are inserted into the holes remaining after the knots have fallen out, if necessary.Sometimes knots are specially drilled out and the holes are sealed with plugs. This does not increase the strength of the wood, as the curvature of the fibers around the corks still remains.

    With an increase in the size of the knots, the moduli of elasticity during compression along the fibers and static bending decrease, and when stretched and compressed across the fibers in the radial and tangential directions, they strongly increase due to the greater rigidity of the wood of the knots themselves.

    The influence of knots on the mechanical properties of pine round timber was investigated.And the decrease in the ultimate strength in compression along the fibers of samples with a diameter of 8.5 to 12 cm with an increase in the ratio of the size of the largest knot in the whorl to the diameter of the sample from 0.18 to 0.61 was 4 to 18% compared to pure wood. Approximately the same decrease in strength was found when testing samples for static bending, if a large knot was in the stretched zone. For specimens with a diameter of 16 cm and more, no significant effect of knots on the strength in compression along the fibers was found.Thus, in sawn timber, knots have a greater effect on strength than in round timber. In round timber, as in sawn timber, knots have less influence on the modulus of elasticity than on strength.

    Cracks

    Cracks are longitudinal ruptures of wood, which are formed under the action of internal stresses that reach the tensile strength of the wood across the grain.

    Cracks in roundwood and sawn timber are divided by type into metic , shallow and frosty appearing in a growing tree, and shrinkage cracks appearing in felled wood.

    Meticulous cracks are internal radial cracks in tree trunks. They are found in all species, especially often in pine, larch, beech, mainly in overmature stands. The length of the crack along the trunk reaches 10 m or more, sometimes the crack extends from the butt to the living crown. In round timber, metic cracks are noticeable only at the ends (preferably on the butt), since, starting from the core, they do not reach the bark and are not visible on the lateral surface.In lumber, these cracks are found both on the ends and on the side surfaces. A simple crack is called a metik crack (or two cracks directed along the same end diameter), located in the same plane along the length of the assortment. Complex cracks are two or more cracks directed at the end at an angle to each other, as well as one or two cracks directed along the same diameter, but due to the spiral arrangement of the fibers, they are not in the same plane. Metic cracks occur during the growth of the tree.It is believed that cracks are also formed when a tree is felled from hitting the ground. When the wood dries, the crack size increases. Pointed cracks are not continuous, but intermittent breaks along the length of the assortment.

    Blind cracks are delamination (by annual layer) of wood inside the core or mature wood of the trunks of growing trees; found in all breeds. In round timber, an arc can be found only at the ends in the form of arcuate (not filled with resin) or ring cracks, in lumber – at the ends in the form of cracks-holes, and on the side surfaces in the form of longitudinal cracks or grooved depressions.Until now, the reason for the appearance of flawless cracks has not been precisely established. Sharp cracks are formed in places of a sharp transition of fine-grained wood to coarse-grained. The emergence of a shake can be associated with the formation of internal rot, and in pine and deciduous species – an alluvial layer.

    Frost cracks represent external longitudinal ruptures of the wood of the trunks of growing deciduous (less often coniferous) trees; propagate deep into the trunk in radial directions.They are formed when the temperature drops sharply in winter. They are similar to the old cracks that emerged from a lightning strike. On the surface of the trunk, this defect looks like a long open crack, often with rollers of overgrown wood and bark at the edges. Frost cracks are located in the butt part of the trunk. In round timber, frost cracks are clearly visible on the lateral surface and ends; outside they have the greatest width, go deep into the wood (often to the core), gradually tapering. In sawn timber, they are found in the form of long radial cracks with broadened annual layers around them.

    Shrinkage cracks occur in timber under the action of internal drying stresses. Cracks propagate from the lateral surface deep into the assortment in radial directions. They differ from apex and frost cracks in a shorter length along the length of the assortment (usually no more than 1 m) and a shallower depth. These cracks can appear on the end surfaces of round assortments and sawn timber due to uneven drying along their length. In the final stage of drying large-section sawn timber (usually hardwood), internal cracks (fistulas) sometimes appear, which are found when cutting assortments.

    According to their location in the assortment , there are end cracks located at the ends and not extending to the sides of the assortment, and lateral cracks , which are located on the lateral sides of the assortment and can extend to the ends. Among the side cracks in the sawn assortments, there are layer and edge cracks.

    If cracks extend to a depth of less than 1/10 of the thickness of the assortment (but not more than 7 cm for round timber and 5 mm for sawn timber), they are called shallow , if to a greater depth (but do not have a second exit to the side surface) – deep . Through-hole are cracks extending to two sides or two ends of the assortment, as well as flawless cracks extending in two places to one side of the assortment (they can form a groove). In veneer, cracks with a width of less than 0.2 mm are called closed , and wider ones – diverged .

    Side cracks are measured by the depth of the assortment in millimeters, and along the length – in centimeters or, respectively, in fractions of the thickness and length of the assortment.A thin steel probe is used to measure the depth. End point, flawless and frost cracks in round timber are measured at the smallest thickness of the core board or the diameter of the circle into which they can be inscribed, or at the smallest width of the intact peripheral zone of the end. End shrinkage cracks in round timber are measured in depth. In sawn timber products, end cracks are measured by their length at the end in millimeters or in fractions of that side of the assortment on which their projection is greater.Blind end cracks in sawn timber are measured along the chord, and if the crack occupies more than half the circumference of the annual layer, by diameter. In veneer, cracks are measured in length, and spread cracks – in width; take into account the number of cracks per 1 m of the sheet width.

    The smallest decrease in strength due to cracks is observed when compressing along or across the fibers, the largest – when stretching across the fibers, if the crack is located in a plane perpendicular to the direction of the force, and also during shearing, if the crack coincides with the shearing plane.During bending, the crack perpendicular to the direction of the bending force and located in the neutral plane has the greatest negative effect. Here, there are no normal stresses, but the shear stresses are maximum and the decrease in strength is proportional to the decrease in the shear area. According to the data, cracks have no effect on the modulus of elasticity during tension and compression along the fibers, but strongly reduce the modulus of elasticity during static bending in the case when the plane of the crack is perpendicular to the direction of the bending force.

    Cracks are one of the main factors in reducing the strength of assortments used in construction. Limitations in the tolerance of cracks are also explained by the fact that they contribute to the penetration of moisture and fungal spores deep into the assortment.

    Defects of the trunk shape

    Precision. All tree trunks are characterized by a gradual decrease in diameter in the direction from the butt to the top (escape). If for each meter of trunk height (length of the assortment) the diameter decreases by more than 1 cm, then such a phenomenon is considered a defect – tapering.Stiffness is measured as the difference between the butt and top diameters of a round assortment (in butt logs, the lower diameter is measured at a distance of 1 m from the butt end), and for unedged sawn timber – between the width of the butt and top end. The resulting difference is related to the total length of the assortment and is expressed in centimeters per 1 m or as a percentage.

    Trunks of deciduous trees are more thriving than conifers. Strongly loose trunks of trees grown free or in sparse stands.The higher the bonitet of the planting, the more full-bodied the trunks, i.e. less runaway. The smallest tapering is characteristic for the assortments cut from the middle part of the trunk, the greatest – from the top. The severity increases the amount of waste when sawing and peeling assortments and indirectly affects the strength, since it becomes the reason for the appearance of a flaw in the sawn timber – the radial inclination of the fibers.

    Consistency. This is a case of tapering when there is a sharp increase in diameter in the lower part of the trunk; the diameter of round timber or the width of unedged sawn timber at the butt end is more than 1.2 times the diameter (width) of the assortment at a distance of 1 m from this end.

    Rounded zakomelosti is called if the cross-section of the butt part has a shape close to a circle. Ribbed texture is characterized by a multi-blade cross-sectional shape. Longitudinal grooves are visible on the lateral surface of the assortment.

    Zakomelosti is measured as the difference between the diameters (for unedged sawn timber – width) of the butt end and the section at a distance of 1 m from it. With ribbed zakomelosti it is allowed to determine the difference between the maximum and minimum diameter of the butt end.

    Ovality. This is the ellipsoidal shape of the end face of round timber, in which the largest diameter is at least 1.5 times greater than the smaller one. The flaw is measured as the difference between the indicated diameters. Ovality accompanies roll or traction wood.

    Growths. This is the name of the local thickening of the trunk. They can have a smooth or bumpy debarked surface and dormant buds (mouth guards). Sometimes mouth guards can be distinguished from suvels by the presence of shoots on them.The growths are formed as a result of the adverse effects of fungi, bacteria, viruses, chemical agents, radiation, mechanical damage, etc. Features of the formation of growths due to the violation of growth processes. On the longitudinal section of the suvel, the annual layers are curved and repeat the outer outlines of the growth. The burls are characterized by a twisted structure of wood. In conifers, suvels are formed predominantly, in deciduous ones, outgrowths of both types are formed. The curliness of the burl wood and the presence of numerous traces of dormant buds in it create a very beautiful texture in the cuts.The texture of walnut burls is especially decorative. Basal guards often grow to a considerable size.

    In walnut and birch, they can weigh hundreds of kilograms, and sometimes even more than a ton. On the trunks of Karelian birch, spherical thickenings with a characteristic texture are often formed. Suvel wood has a large shrinkage along the grain (from 0.5 to 1.0%), a low modulus of elasticity and low compressive strength along the grain. Burl wood is denser and harder than normal stem wood and has less anisotropy.The growths are measured in length and width. They make it difficult to use roundwood and complicate their processing, but burl wood is highly valued as a material for art crafts and raw materials for veneer veneers.

    Curvature. Long stem curvature occurs in all tree species. Due to the loss of the apical shoot and its replacement with a lateral branch, due to the inclination of the tree towards better illumination, when growing on mountain slopes and for other reasons, the tree trunk may turn out to be bent.Distinguish between simple and complex curvature , characterized by one or more bends of the assortment, respectively.

    Simple curvature is measured as the value of the deflection of the assortment at the point of its curvature (as a percentage of the length of the curved section of the assortment). When bucking a long assortment into short ones, their curvature turns out to be less by about as many times as into how many equal parts a long assortment was cut. Complex curvature is characterized by the magnitude of the greatest curvature, measured in the same way as in the case of simple curvature.

    Defects in the shape of the trunk increase the amount of waste when sawing and peeling round assortments and are the reason for the appearance of radial inclination of fibers in sawn timber and veneer.

    Defects of wood structure

    Incorrect arrangement of fibers and annual layers

    Fiber tilt. Deviation of fibers from the longitudinal axis of the assortment (earlier this defect was called oblique) occurs in all breeds.In round timber, the slope is due to the natural spiral arrangement of the fibers; is found on the lateral surface in the direction of the grooves of the bark or in debarked assortments along helical cracks. In sawn timber and veneer, two varieties of this defect are distinguished – tangential and radial inclination. The tangential inclination of the fibers is found on the tangential section by the deviation of the direction of resin ducts, vessels, pith rays, cracks and strips of fungal lesions from the longitudinal axis of the assortment.

    If the indicated signs are not clearly expressed, then the risks should be drawn with a thin, but not sharp instrument, or a test splitting should be carried out along the fibers; deviation of the risks from the longitudinal axis of the assortment or non-flatness of the surface of the radial split will indicate the presence of a defect.

    The inclination of the fibers on the tangential surface of sawn timber may not be associated with the spiral arrangement of the fibers in the tree trunk, but arise as a result of sawing a straight fiber board (timber) into small parts when the cuts are directed at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the original assortment.Such a defect, in contrast to the natural tangential inclination of the fibers, has the same inclination angles of the fibers on opposite sides of the assortment.

    The radial inclination of the fibers is observed when cutting annual layers on the radial or close to it surface of the lumber. The specified type of inclination of the fibers (according to the old terminology – an artificial oblique) is obtained when sawing very tight, coarse and curved logs. If the saw cuts run parallel to the longitudinal axis of the log, then the annual layers and, therefore, the fibers on the radial surface of the sawn timber are at an angle to the edge of the assortment.In this case, on the tangential surface of sawn timber, as well as on peeled veneer, closely spaced boundaries of annual layers are visible.

    The inclination of the fibers of round timber is measured at the most typical place of the defect – on the lateral surface – as the deviation of the fibers from a line parallel to the longitudinal axis of the assortment over 1 m and is expressed as a percentage or centimeters. In butt logs, the inclination of the fibers is measured at a distance of 1 m from the bottom end. It is allowed to measure the flaw at the upper end along the chord h in centimeters or fractions of the end diameter.In sawn timber, the inclination of the fibers is measured as the deviation h over a length l equal to at least double the width of the assortment (as a percentage of the length of this section along the longitudinal axis).

    In veneer, the tangential slope is measured in the same way as in sawn timber, and the radial slope is measured according to the average width of the cut annual layers, which are counted over a 100 mm segment in that section of the tangential surface of the sheet where these layers are most closely located.

    The greater the inclination of the grains, the more the strength of the wood decreases.The greatest decrease in strength is observed when stretching along the fibers; strength during static bending is noticeably reduced; This flaw has the least effect on the compressive strength along the grain. According to the data, the inclination of the fibers equal to 12% causes a decrease in the tensile strength of pine in compression along the fibers by 3%, in static bending by 11%, and when stretching along the fibers by 14%. The modulus of elasticity also decreases significantly with increasing inclination of the fibers, especially when compressed along the fibers.

    The inclination of the fibers increases the shrinkage of the assortments in the longitudinal direction and causes the formation of helical warping (winging) of the sawn timber, twisting of the posts.In addition, the inclination of the fibers makes it difficult to machine the wood and reduces its bending ability.

    Curliness. This is the name of the convoluted and irregular arrangement of fibers, which is most often found in hardwoods.

    Wavy Curl is expressed in a more or less ordered arrangement of wavy curved fibers and forms a characteristic streaky texture. This arrangement of fibers is observed mainly in the butt part of the trunk, especially in the places where the trunk transitions to the roots.

    Tangled curl is characterized by a random arrangement of fibers; occurs mainly in burl-type outgrowth wood.

    Usually curliness is a local defect, as it is limited to certain areas of wood, but sometimes it can be found over a large length of the trunk, for example, in Karelian birch. According to research, such wood is characterized by the presence of large false-wide pith rays containing clusters of small parenchymal cells.A peculiar brownish patterned pattern is due to the brown pigment found in the cells of false-wide rays and parenchyma areas.

    Having measured the width and length of the curled part of the surface, set the percentage of the surface area of ​​the assortment occupied by vice. Curl reduces tensile strength, increases toughness and splitting resistance. Mechanical processing of twisted wood is difficult. At the same time, curliness (especially tangled) creates a beautiful texture, which is highly valued when using wood as a decorative material, therefore curliness should be considered a conventional defect.

    Curl. This is a local curvature of the annual layers at knots and sprouts. On the side surfaces of sawn timber and in veneer, staple, curved or closed concentric contours of curved annual layers are noticeable. One-sided curl is called a curl that goes out on one or two adjacent sides of the assortment, through – goes out on two opposite sides of the assortment.

    On the side surfaces of sawn timber and in veneer, measure the width and length of the curl, and also count the number of curls per 1 m or over the entire length of the assortment in sawn timber and blanks and 1 m or over the entire surface of the sheet in veneer.The curls surrounding the knots allowed in this range are not counted.

    The greatest decrease in strength is observed in the presence of through curls under the action of tensile stresses. Curls also reduce toughness. Curls are especially dangerous for small assortments.

    Reactive wood. In inclined and curved trunks and branches, a special wood is formed, which has received the name reactive in the world botanical literature.This defect occurs under the action of gravity, which causes a redistribution of substances that stimulate or suppress growth processes, wind load, growth stresses, osmotic pressure, and other factors.

    Roll. This defect in the structure of coniferous wood is expressed in an apparent increase in the width of the late zone of annual layers. Heeling wood only resembles late wood in color. The roll is formed mainly in the compressed zone of bent or inclined trunks, i.e.That is, on the lower side facing the ground.

    Solid roll is found on the ends of barrels that have been bent for a long time, in the form of a dark-colored area, sometimes occupying more than half of the cross-section, which has an oval shape. The core is biased towards the normal wood area. In heeling wood, the annual layers are much wider, and within each annual layer, the transition from the light to dark zone is less abrupt than in normal wood. Generally, heel wood has a smoother surface than normal wood.Solid heel is more often observed in the butt part of inclined trunks; it can be observed in the extended zone of curved trunks, as well as in the lower (compressed) zone of branches.

    Local roll occurs during short-term bending of the trunk or other factors. At the end of the trunk, it is noticeable in the form of arcuate areas, capturing one or more annual layers.

    On the side surfaces of sawn timber and veneer, solid and local heel looks like dull dark stripes of various widths.The roll is especially common and clearly visible in ripe woody species – spruce and fir; in the dark-colored heart zone of larch, pine, cedar, the roll is less visible.

    The roll is measured by the width and length of the zone occupied by it; it is also possible to determine the proportion (as a percentage) of the area of ​​the side of the assortment occupied by this defect.

    Lateral tracheids have a rounded cross-sectional shape; large intercellular spaces remain. The wall thickness is 2 times that of normal tracheids.

    In heeling wood, the cellulose content decreases by about 10% and the lignin content increases.Density, end hardness, compressive strength along the grain and static bending increase, while tensile strength along the grain and toughness decrease. The moduli of elasticity along the fibers decrease, while the shear moduli and elastic moduli during compression across the fibers increase.

    Shrinkage across the fibers in heeling wood is about 2 times less than in normal wood, however, shrinkage along the fibers (due to the large angle of inclination of microfibrils) significantly increases (10 times or more).This causes longitudinal warpage and cracking of the sawn timber.

    The limit of hygroscopicity in heeling wood is lower; the permeability of wood to liquid and gases decreases, which is associated with the smaller dimensions of the tracheid cavities and bordered pores; water absorption falls.

    The presence of heel in the balance reduces the yield of chemically pure cellulose, increases the cost of bleaching. Because of the roll, the quality of the wood pulp used in the papermaking deteriorates, the saws are clamped when cross-cutting the boards.

    Pulling timber. This defect in the structure of hardwood is related in origin to heel, but unlike heel, it is formed in the upper (extended) zone of curved or inclined trunks and branches of some species (beech, poplar, etc.). In beech, after felling, traction wood can be detected by a lighter color with a silvery or pearlescent tint. Under the influence of light, air, and also as a result of the removal of moisture during drying, the traction wood is painted in a darker brown color.

    At the ends of timber, traction timber looks like arched sections that differ in color and structure (fluffy velvety surface) from normal timber. On the radial surface and in veneer made of wood with clearly visible annual layers (oak, ash), it is observed in the form of narrow stripes – strands. In timber with weakly pronounced annual layers (birch, maple), defect recognition is difficult. The methods for measuring the draft wood are the same as for the roll.

    The content of libriform fibers in draft wood increases, they have a smaller diameter, but a greater length and significantly thickened walls.The walls of the libriform fibers have a thick gelatinous layer lining the inner surface (from the side of the cavity). This layer is rich in cellulose and does not lignify. The total cellulose and ash content is higher, and the lignin and hemicellulose content is lower than that of normal wood.

    The density of draft wood is about 10-30% higher, shrinkage along the grain is about 2 times greater than that of normal wood, however, the reduction in shrinkage across the grain is less than that of heeling wood. Compressive strength along the grain is lower, and tensile strength along the grain and toughness are higher than that of normal wood.

    Pulling wood makes it difficult to machine sawn timber, resulting in shaggy and mossy surfaces. Fibers that come off during cutting clog the saw blades and the sawing process is slowed down.

    Irregular anatomical formations

    False core. This is the name of the dark-colored inner zone of hardwood (birch, beech, alder, aspen, maple, hornbeam, linden, etc.)). The border of the false nucleus usually does not coincide with the growth rings. It is often separated from sapwood by a dark, less often light (for example, birch) border.

    Distinguish rounded , star-shaped and lobed false nuclei, painted in a dark brown or red-brown color, sometimes with a lilac, violet or dark green tint. There is a dark border that divides the core into sections. Longitudinal cuts show a wide band of one or more of the indicated colors.

    The reasons for the formation of a defect can be age-related differentiation of tissues, a wound reaction of a tree, the effect of fungi, the influence of severe frosts.

    In round timber, the false kernel is measured at the smallest diameter of the circle in which it can be inscribed; in plywood raw materials (blocks), the smallest width of the peripheral zone free from defects is measured. In sawn timber and veneer, the dimensions of the zone occupied by the flaw are measured.

    False core impairs the appearance of the wood.This zone has low permeability, tensile strength along the fibers, and impact strength. In the presence of a false core, the bending ability of the wood decreases. In birch, the false core is easily cracked. In terms of resistance to decay, the false kernel often surpasses sapwood.

    Internal sapwood. In oak and ash wood (sometimes in other deciduous species) in the core zone, several adjacent annual layers can form, similar to sapwood in color and other properties.In round assortments at the ends among the dark-colored core wood, one or several different widths of light-colored rings are noticeable. In lumber, even light stripes are visible on radial or near surfaces. On tangential surfaces, the inner sapwood is observed in the form of a more or less wide strip, which pinches out when the annual layers are cut. Internal sapwood is formed as a result of a disturbance in the normal activity of the cambium, which is caused by frost.

    In round assortments, the outer diameter of the inner sapwood ring is measured, as well as the ring width.In sawn timber and veneer, the width and length or area of ​​the zone occupied by the blemish is measured.

    Internal sapwood, like normal sapwood, has a significantly lower resistance to decay than the core, and easily permeates liquids. The shrinkage of internal sapwood wood is somewhat less than that of heartwood.

    Spot. In the wood of growing deciduous trees, as a result of a wound reaction, exposure to chemical factors, fungi and insects, relatively small dark-colored areas of wood are formed (resembling the core and core in color).

    Tangential Spot is most common in beech. It is noticeable at the ends in the form of spots elongated along the annual layer with a width approximately equal to the width of the annual layer, and up to 2 cm long, and sometimes even more.

    On the tangential sections, longitudinal wide stripes of brown or gray-brown color are visible, on the radial section – narrow stripes with core rays sharply distinguished against a dark background.

    Radial spotting occurs in deciduous species (more often in birch), usually closer to the central part of the trunk; on the ends of the assortments, it is noticeable in the form of small spots of dark brown, brown or dark gray color, which are elongated mainly in the radial direction, i.e.That is, along the medullary rays. On longitudinal sections, spotting is observed in the form of longitudinal stripes tapering at the ends. It occurs under the influence of fungi and insects, as a result of damage to the bark by birds.

    Veins, or core repetitions, are constantly found in birch wood, as well as in other deciduous species (alder, mountain ash, etc.). The veins are clearly visible in the radial section in the form of brown lines located at the boundaries of the annual layer. On a tangential section, they have a loop-like shape.In veneer, scattered and clustered, in the form of intertwining stripes, group veins are distinguished. Pith repetitions are microanomalies of wood structure caused by various reasons.

    Spotting is not taken into account in round timber. In sawn timber and veneer, the length and width of this blemish or the percentage of the corresponding surface area of ​​the assortment are measured. Spotting does not significantly affect the mechanical properties of large assortments, however, cracking occurs in veneer in places of large spots of radial spotting.A large number of veins can reduce the tensile strength of the veneer.

    Core. In round assortments, the presence of a core is inevitable, therefore it is not considered a defect in them. In sawn timber, the depth of the core is measured from the nearest face or edge. The heartwood and juvenile wood adjacent to it significantly reduce the strength of small-section assortments. In large sawn assortments, the presence of a core is undesirable due to the numerous overgrown knots around it.In addition, assortments cut in such a way that they contain a core, during drying, as a rule, cracks due to the anisotropy of shrinkage. The core rots easily.

    Offset core. The defect is expressed in the eccentric arrangement of the core, which makes it difficult to use round timber; it indicates the presence of reactive wood.

    Double core. In the assortments cut from the trunk near its division into separate vertices, two cores, and sometimes even more, can be found.Each core has its own system of annual layers and is surrounded by a common system of annual layers along the periphery of the trunk. The section of the trunk takes on an oval shape.

    In sawn timber and veneer, the length of a section with a double core is measured, and in round timber, the presence of this defect is only noted. Double-core sawn timber warps and cracks more. Sawing and peeling of round assortments is difficult and is accompanied by an increase in the amount of waste.

    Stepson and little eyes. This subgroup includes very large or, conversely, extremely small knots.

    Stepson is a stunted or dead second top of the trunk, which penetrates the assortment at an acute angle to its longitudinal axis for a considerable length. In round timber, the stepson looks like a strongly elongated oval, in sawn timber and veneer – a strip or an oval with an independent system of annual layers. The defect is measured by the smallest diameter of its section.The stepson violates the uniformity of the structure of the wood, and in sawn timber – and the integrity, reduces the strength, especially when bending and stretching.

    Eyes are traces of dormant buds that have not developed into a shoot, which are found in sawn timber and veneer. The diameter of the eyes is no more than 5 mm. Distinguish between scattered and group eyes (three or more eyes at a distance of less than 10 mm from each other). In addition, light, almost the same color from the surrounding wood, and dark eyes are distinguished in the veneer.If there are scattered eyes, their number is determined, and if there are group ones, the width of the zone they occupy. In small assortments, eyes, especially those located in the extended zone of the dangerous section, reduce the static bending strength and impact strength.

    Wounds

    Dry bone. This is the name of external unilateral necrosis of the trunk. The deepened section, devoid of bark, is elongated along the length of the assortment, and has nodules along the edges (Fig.one). This defect occurs in all breeds; it is formed as a result of peeling, bruising, burns or overheating of the bark of a growing tree. In conifers, dry bones are accompanied by increased resinousness. In the area of ​​dry bones, a sapwood mushroom color often appears; sound colors and rot in this case are shifted to the outer zones of the wood. In round assortments, blemish is measured by depth, width and length. The dry bone changes the regular shape of round assortments, causes curls and breaks the integrity of the wood at the points of sagging, reduces the output of sawn timber and veneer.

    Propagation. This is the name of an overgrown or overgrown wound containing bark and dead wood. With partial overgrowth, the wound is easily found on the lateral surface of the trunk. With complete overgrowth, the germ is visible only at the end as an echo-like slit and an internal radial crack filled with remnants of the bark.

    Distinguish between open sprout , which emerges only on the side surface of any assortment or on the side surface and end, and closed , which is found only on the ends of round timber and sawn timber.An open sore is less than 2 cm wide, which makes it possible to distinguish it from a wider wound – dry bones.

    In sawn timber and veneer, among the open grooves, one-sided, coming out on one or two adjacent sides of the assortment, and through, going out to two opposite sides of the assortment, are distinguished.

    In addition, the veneer may also contain the following types of sprouts: accrete – a trace from a closed sprout in the form of an elongated section (seam) of twisted wood; light – sprout similar in color to the surrounding wood, and dark – sprout containing bark inclusion or significantly different in color from the surrounding wood.

    In round timber, open and closed seedlings are measured by the smallest thickness of the core cut (board) into which it can fit. In sawn timber, sprouts are measured in depth, width, length, and also take into account their number in pieces per 1 m of length or for the entire side of the assortment, in veneer – they are measured along the length and take into account the number in pieces per 1 m2 or for the entire area of ​​the sheet.

    The sprouting violates the integrity of the wood and is accompanied by the curvature of the annual layers. The degree of influence of seedlings on the quality of wood depends on their variety, size, location, quantity, and also on the nature of the assortment.

    Cancer. This is a wound that occurs on the surface of the trunk of a growing tree as a result of the activity of fungi and bacteria. Cancer can be open (in the form of an ungrown wound with a flat or uneven bottom, stepped edges and influxes at the periphery) or closed (in the form of an overgrown wound with abnormal thickening of bark and wood tissue near the affected areas). This defect occurs in deciduous and coniferous species. In conifers, it is accompanied by strong resinification and resinification of wood.Open cancer is measured by the width, length and depth of the wound, closed cancer – by the length and thickness of the bulge.

    In this defect, the correct shape of round assortments is disturbed. Due to the change in the structure and the increased resinousness of wood in conifers, it is difficult to use assortments for their intended purpose.

    Abnormal deposits in wood

    Grinding. This is the name of an area of ​​wood abundantly impregnated with resin, formed as a result of injury to coniferous tree trunks.Most often, pitching is found in pine. On round assortments, they are detected by the presence of wounds and by the accumulation of resin. The resinous areas are darker than the surrounding normal wood and are translucent in thin assortments.

    The blemish is measured by length, width and depth or the area of ​​the tarred area. Resinated wood has significantly lower water permeability, moisture and water absorption, but higher density and reduced impact strength; the heat of combustion of resin-impregnated wood according to the data increases (by 30% with a resin content of 45%).Resinated wood has increased resistance to decay, but poorly finished and glued.

    Pocket. This blemish, formerly called a resin pocket, is a cavity within or between growth layers filled with resin or gums. Such resin containers are found in conifers containing resin passages in wood, especially in spruce. At the ends, one can see arcuate cracks – holes, with the flat side facing the center of the trunk, and the convex side facing its periphery (Fig.one). On the tangential surface, the pockets are depressions in the form of an oval, elongated in the longitudinal direction; on a radial section, they look like short slits.

    In sawn timber products, a one-sided pocket is distinguished, which opens onto one or two adjacent sides of the assortment, and a through one, which opens onto two opposite sides. The size of the pockets in Siberian spruce can vary from a few millimeters to 10-15 cm. The pockets result from subcrustal damage to the cambium when individual sections of the trunk are heated by the sun’s rays during the frosty period.

    Small pockets can also form from insect damage. To improve the extraction of resin from spruce, it is possible to create pockets artificially, causing large subcrustal damage to the cambium with a special tool.

    Pockets are measured in depth, width and length, and also take into account their number in pieces (in sawn timber – for 1 m of length or for the entire length of the assortment, in veneer – for 1 m2 or for the entire sheet area). Resin escaping from the pockets prevents the finishing and gluing of product parts.In small parts, pockets can significantly reduce the strength of the wood.

    Water layer. These are areas of kernel or ripe wood with high moisture in the freshly cut state. The defect is found in the butt part of the trunk both in conifers (pine, cedar, and especially often in spruce and fir) and deciduous (aspen, elm, poplar, etc.).

    At the ends of the timber with the indicated defect, dark spots of various shapes are visible, and stripes are noticeable on the longitudinal sections.After drying, the spots of the water layer fade, and small cracks appear in these areas of the wood. The moisture content of pine and spruce in the water layer zone is 3-4 times higher than the moisture content of healthy wood (kernel or ripe wood).

    In round timber, the water layer is measured by the smallest thickness of the core cut (board), by the smallest diameter of the circle into which it can be inscribed, or by the area of ​​the zone occupied by the flaw. In sawn timber, the width and length or area of ​​the zone occupied by the blemish is measured.

    The reasons for the formation of the water layer have not been finally established. Some researchers believe that this defect in the wood of elm, poplar, fir and some other species is caused by the activity of bacteria. In a number of works, the formation of the water layer is associated with the penetration of rainwater through ungrown knots. One of the scientists makes the assumption about the fungal nature of the water layer in aspen, in which the mechanical properties decrease by an average of 10% (impact strength decreases especially noticeably). Water-layered wood differs from healthy wood by increased shrinkage and swelling.An increase in the limit of hygroscopicity is noted. The water layer makes it difficult to impregnate wood with antiseptics. The increased ability to absorb water can cause drowning when rafting. According to research, the formation of a water layer in spruce and pine is associated with oversaturation of the soil with moisture. Significant fragility of water-layered wood of these species is noted. The presence of cracks in the central zone of the water layer in growing trees and the formation of cracks when the felled wood dries up reduces the yield of high-quality sawn timber.

    Read online “Time Injection” for free

    “Time Injection”. Artist Khabib Asalbekov.

    “Times are not chosen, they live and die”

    You can’t say more precisely the Russian poet Alexander Kushner …

    We have been through this a thousand times and this time we will go through. What are the consequences? Who can predict them for us?

    The times of Nostradamus are long over, and there are no new prophets in their homeland. Or do they exist?

    Maybe you will find the answer to these and other questions from some of the authors.

    Reader, live this almanac with us!

    Compiler of the almanac:

    Tatiana Pomysova

    [email protected]

    Tatiana Pomysova

    Last day of the Moon

    (Co-authored with Vladimir Volkov)

    A huge black hole was inexorably approaching the moon.

    Time was counting down the last minutes of the life of a satellite of the planet Earth. Everything happened as in a slow motion movie: the ringing silence destroyed the screaming space.The silence grew louder and louder. Another moment and the Moon disappeared into her black mouth.

    All space objects flying around the planet simultaneously fell to the Earth like ripe apples from branches. All satellites, all space stations – everything that previously took pictures, transmitted information, followed – everything collapsed at once into the underworld.

    The world fell into silence. The Internet stopped working throughout the planet, hundreds of millions of earthlings fell into a stupor. All systems announcing the attack in all countries of the world worked.All the armed forces of the planet were put on alert and began to search for a target.

    “Seventh of June”. Artist Tatyana Pomysova

    But no one attacked anyone. If earlier targets were shown from satellites, now the screens were silent. From planes patrolling the borders of countries, information was received that there were no sources of attack.

    The Ukrainians were the first to resist and fired at the territory of Russia with all available missiles. Romania, Poland and the Baltic countries joined Ukraine.The fire of war was blazing. Russia with super-powerful ballistic missiles swept away the capital and the adjacent territories of the attacking countries from the face of the Earth.

    Turkey and Greece joined the battle against Russia. All along the border with Russia, China opened a hurricane of fire. Russia from submarines with ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads covered all the cities with a population of over one million in China.

    A super-powerful missile from one of the submarines in the Caribbean struck the Yellowstone caldera and a volcanic eruption began, growing every moment.Huge tectonic faults have spread throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

    The sun went out in clouds of black ash. Not a single ray could break through to Earth. Night has come. The people of America were horrified. In China, Japan, Korea, dozens of volcanoes woke up and new vents appeared at an enviable speed, and erupted in clouds of lava, fire and ash.

    Before my eyes appeared a sign with the inscription “June 7th”, around which a flame was blazing. And then my brain, like an arrow, pierced the alarm clock and I jumped on the couch in a cold sweat …

    Thorn handles

    New Year’s holiday script

    One day the Martian kids were playing in the playground.All around was deserted and not a single tree grew. Suddenly, a spaceship landed near the site. The kids hid behind the wall of a neighboring house and furtively watched the aliens.
    The hatch opened, the twin brothers came out of it and pulled out a beautiful green tree, decorated with lights and balls. The tree rested and cried. The kids were already ready to jump out from behind the bushes to stand up for the Christmas tree.
    First bully:
    – Let’s hide the tree here, no one will find it. Earthlings will manage without a holiday.
    Second bully:
    – But the earth is full of trees, how to get rid of them? They can be used for a holiday.
    First hooligan:
    – Nothing, we stole the Main Christmas tree, and now something will be wrong on Earth in winter, and our hooligan goal will be achieved.
    Second bully:
    – No time to talk! Hide soon and flew. We shouldn’t stay long on this planet, they might get caught.
    The hooligans put the tree in the sands of Mars and flew away.
    The kids rushed to pull out a beautiful tree into the light.
    First baby:
    – Oops! The tree is pricking! Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!
    Second baby:
    – You grabbed him painfully, so it defends itself. Ouch! The tree has thorns with its handles! Both cried in pain and surprise.
    Mom and Dad, worried, came running to the crying babies.
    – My heart sensed that some kind of trouble had happened! My sons, don’t cry! – said my mother. – Now our Cosmic Doctor Cat will treat your hands! The cat is magical: he is so fluffy, if you stroke him, scratches will pass from his purr.The kids laughed and began to stroke the Cat. By releasing intricate sparks from his eyes, the Cat cured them. True, he had to discreetly use a medical case and a pencil – green.
    – And for now, I’ll tell you about the Christmas tree with thorn handles – my mother smiled. – This is a magic tree, it lives in the forest on planet Earth. When the New Year comes, the Christmas tree is brought home and decorated.
    Meanwhile, the hooligans were quickly overtaken by the space police.
    – Forgive us! We won’t be anymore! – the space hooligans said in unison.
    “Well, look, you’ll get caught again, you won’t get off so easily,” the Chief Police Officer promised, this time generously letting go of the space hooligans.

    Kind Cosmos. Artist Tatiana Pomysova.

    And dad flew to Earth in a spaceship and returned the tree there. It has become exactly like in Moscow on Red Square near the Kremlin itself. That was the joy to people on Earth! ..

    Spring is beautiful

    Spring is beautiful in that it is.

    After winter – guitar clinking of icicles

    And it seems that it will burst, so full

    The soul of love is like a honey beehive.

    Spring is beautiful because along the streams

    Water melts the ice of absurd partings.

    And we reach out to those we need.

    And we drown with them, in the renewed rivers.

    “Lady with a dog”. Artist Tatyana Pomysova

    Mantra about spring

    “Lips cracked like pieces of ice –

    This is my blood with water

    Tears from the very middle

    For you, for you …

    Melted with a gentle word,

    Split and swam

    Bends, hopes,

    That has long been forgotten.

    Lips melt in warm waters –

    You will look with a daze,

    Enchanted by the ice drift …

    And you will remember them like that … “
    (Anna Poletaeva)

    I remember one poem,

    As truth, as a mantra about spring.

    His girlfriend wrote long ago …

    Here, read it, Anna said so …

    Pamir

    And I dream of going to the Pamirs.

    Not he to me, so I to his roof,

    There, where people breathe blue sky

    And the world slumbers on a colorful shawl.

    Stern, kind, infinitely gentle,

    He is like a lover that comes from there.

    We love by fate and our people …

    Peaks of the mountains with a snow-white hat

    Even if I don’t even see the Pamirs,

    After all, this is not Turkey for you,

    He waits for me and melts with glaciers,

    When I fly over it in my dreams.

    Aloe

    The reproach will fall like a tear of yesterday:

    to whom who owes – will pay everything on time.

    Whoever offended – will be over you.

    But it will not humiliate – this is your Angel.

    Cut the heavens with a knife in the morning …

    Someone is pouring scarlet on the sails.

    “Lady with a dog”. Artist Tatiana Pomysova.

    ***

    A man with a wide back and shoulders

    Loves me at night.

    Kisses me so tenderly,

    With my hands … under my clothes …

    I think he called to be a wife.

    Maybe you dreamed? Ouch!

    A plane tree branches are climbing through the window.

    Mosquitoes, attack by swarov.

    August night in Dushanbe.

    It was “A”. “Bae” did not happen.

    ***

    Desert burned mucous

    In the nasopharynx – hot …

    Who am I to deny him?

    It seems rude, cynical, which means –

    He’s not lying. Why lie to him?

    … I press my skin into it.

    Does he burn it too?

    ***

    If you hug me –

    This means that I am your choice.

    You wanted me first

    And I chose to love from many.

    Following you in midnight delirium,

    My gut rushes nervously.

    If I go next to you,

    So, you are the first for me …

    ***

    Earthy, bodily, sweaty.

    The best.

    And from you, it storms me with might and main.

    Reach for lips, smoky, calling,

    While the soul speaks with the soul …

    ***

    … I was your prey.

    I confess to myself – it was.

    But not a bird, and not a game.

    I took your love.

    And how it was to fight

    If you are the Tiger, then the Lion.

    Failed like a well,

    in full view of everyone.

    When?

    When will I get tired of loving you?

    Forget that ridiculous turn,

    Snake ring, crazy temptation

    And your dried mouth with kisses.

    When will I forget you completely?

    The eye is gold, the call of the hearts of lovers.

    You are sunshine and joyful like Buddha,

    He shook off a thousand shackles from me.

    When will I see you again,

    Skinning the days gone by?

    I will not reproach, I will not humiliate with doubt.

    I want to snuggle up to your chest as soon as possible.

    ***

    My muse, come back.

    How we parted with you,

    Taste has lost its life …

    I do not call, I howl.

    With Baptism

    I want to congratulate you on the Baptism!

    With a sign, with a cover of waters over mystery.

    I wish the Cross touched the eyes,

    Having opened them with extraordinary vigilance.

    He will call

    He will call as he embraces.

    And he will remove the glasses of ignorance from us.

    Will save us from pain,

    The one that itching while he lives.

    IN SUCH care, almost like a miracle,

    As long as I live, I will believe.

    “Bouquet”. Artist Tatyana Pomysova

    Forgiven Spring

    I start spring with forgiveness.

    Drove to the earth’s bottom,

    Again I did not go through baptism,

    I forgive myself …

    Poetry Day

    What is your delight for a poet?

    Vain and velvet, is there salt in passion?

    Only cursory lines of night obsession.

    Mirage of success and doubt pain.

    Write, Poet!

    Cut yourself into pieces

    And soothe our souls with a word.

    Do not expect our fate for your blood!

    Prophet, seer, God’s son from Earth.

    Fool’s Day

    So God decided to stage an experiment again:

    He sent fire and water to people.

    And the cold sent such that at once the priests

    Turned into ice, into forged metal.

    And these soft-bellied animals

    All multiply and live happily.

    They bite, shoot from cannons.

    They cheat, cut and steal.

    Plague does not work on them, so what?

    Erase the annoying look from the face of the Earth?

    Let’s jump out of the skin:

    … and presented a crown and covid.

    “A trip to the theater.” Artist Tatyana Pomysova

    Victory Day

    Victory Day with a bitter taste on the lips.

    And – joy, that which is pain in the eyes.

    Both the celebration and the thrown flag

    with swastikas of furious attacks.

    Konstantin Domarev

    * * *

    When the light ends, darkness will fall.

    When the world ends, the war will begin.

    When the heat goes out, the cold will come.

    When you part with a dream, trouble comes.

    When the fire dies down, the shadows are light.

    When the palm freezes – where are your lips?

    * * *

    My soul flew away somewhere.

    There is one empty body around me.

    I’m waiting for changes and the same weather.

    Who should I go to, who will help me?

    I’m terribly tired of this.

    Flashlight that shone through the window all night,

    And that faded, it seems to me, a long time ago.

    And the lilac branch does not knock on the house,

    And it does not ring … And I write about

    As a matter of fact, it becomes all the same to me.

    Will the spring water flow tomorrow?

    Will a new star rise by nightfall?

    Will a primrose rise in the sun?

    Will I receive hello from strangers?

    What nonsense it seems.

    When will the body acquire the soul?

    When will everything start in a new way?

    When will peace return and when

    Electric wires will ring again

    And whirl a carefree round dance?

    We stay forever

    We will die if we are left to live

    In our children, our grandchildren.

    In our wives, what to love

    We tried even in pain.

    Where we are, leaving a trace –

    About myself memories.

    Where we are not today

    On the threshold of the universe.

    We will die if we are left to live

    In our books of revelation,

    Pulling a thread to each other

    Words – impulses of inspiration.

    In each sound reflecting

    Days of today’s adversity.

    A motive sounds through the words.

    Years go by.

    We will die if we are left to live

    In a good song on a quiet night.

    Someone will speak,

    That we did not live very well.

    It really doesn’t matter,

    Live yourselves better than us.

    We stay forever,

    Dear ones, with you.

    Delete

    I love you, Delete button

    On a computer keyboard.

    Your own joint that got stuck in proofreading

    It flies somewhere with a slight crack.

    And free blank field

    Invites you to correction.

    Now you will write this …

    To my own surprise, again.

    I sing praises to you, button,

    An ingenious invention.

    Your designer came up with how cleverly

    Protect you from defeat.

    You can’t burn out of shame. I’ll cover

    And nothing threatens you

    If right hand on time

    You won’t press the Delete button.

    Try

    Try to kneel

    And reach for the stars.

    Try to hammer the supports

    And build a bridge.

    Try to count the minutes

    Not watching the clock.

    Try to open the gate

    Closed with a bolt.

    Try to get into the well

    And look at the world.

    Try walking in onuchi

    And do not erase to holes.

    Try to dive off the cliff

    Where the water is shallow.

    Try to follow the path

    Leading you nowhere.

    Try May 9

    Do not remember your relatives.

    Try to breathe deeply,

    When they gave you in the gut.

    Try to go blind

    And don’t break your face.

    Try this life

    Live it to the end.

    Olga Goryachkina

    Winter

    It is snowing. What a quiet and incomprehensible mystery. Where these beautiful moth-like creatures are born. Whose careful hand covers the earth with a light, fluffy, warm blanket in order to preserve all the seeds-germs of future life. And how delightful it is to look at this sacred whiteness that hides all the dirt, all the damage that man causes to the earth.How much nobility and purity in this white, shining light. And the earth in this snow-white dress is like a bride, like a sleeping princess, concealing life in the depths and longing for her prince. His love will awaken the life stored in her and transform it into blossoming exultation. But while the earth is sleeping under a safe cover and watching its blue starry dreams. And the snow goes and goes … His snowflakes are attracted to the ground by an invisible current. They strive for it with all the joy of life and leave a short but dazzling white mark.

    Summer

    Summer is the time for fruit ripening. Nature, as the most generous mother, has prepared many gifts for everyone. It pleases both those who work on their land and those who rush to the forests, rivers and lakes to get their spoils. What a passion captures you in the meadow, breathing in the mesmerizing scent of wild strawberries hidden in the grass. And how raspberry berries glow, through and through with the sun’s rays, like rare Christmas tree decorations. And how much joy there is in the dark red hats of the boletus, or in the white stalwarts crawling out to the paths, hurrying to meet you.How gilded in the sun baby carps, silver bream, sparkle with red plumage of ruffs. And tell me what garden beauties can match the tenderness and subtle scent of forest and wildflowers. What a wealth of colors and shapes. And nature gives all this as a gift. She also feeds animals and birds. And they are stocked up for the winter for future use, but you have to work hard. Nature does not favor the lazy. Summer is also a time of joyful admiration. Ah, these field daisies, these cornflowers blue in the rye, these fields of spiky pink fireweed, these heady smells of meadowsweet in the forest hollows.And what a discordance in the herbs: something runs, rustles, chirps, shadows, chirps; something in the air itches, rings, buzzes, sings in different voices. Yes, except to list everything. So the little bird, working all day, tirelessly looking for larvae under the bark of trees, all this time rejoices and sings, sings incessantly. And this song of gratitude to the earth and the sky for this small, but such an amazing, filled and unique life.

    About life

    You are sweetness and bitterness,

    You are joy and sorrow,

    You are a quiet backwater,

    You are stormy sea

    Everything is dear to me,

    Whatever you promise

    So that my heart is

    It’s not cold for you.

    Portrait of a Lama

    (At the festival “Russia – Tibet”)

    How good it is to look each other in the eye and smile!

    No words needed. The whole soul, at a glance.

    She is as pure as a mountain lake and the sky is reflected in her.

    Black and white

    Snow fell and covered the sidewalks.

    I walk and look at the white snow.

    A black negro is walking towards the white snow.

    My eyes are darkened by a black negro.

    And I look at the white snow.Black and white.

    These are just the facets of a single life.

    Necessary contrast for finding the golden mean.

    Different thoughts

    That which is from the Earth gravitates to the Earth.

    But what belongs to Heaven strives upward.

    A person always has freedom of choice.

    ***

    Let our soul listen to the quiet voice of the Angel,

    who always guides us with love and saves us in the days of

    of our troubles, difficulties and failures.

    ***

    We will learn from life to life until we see

    everything we did with our own eyes and then we will ask –

    where have we been before !?

    ***

    I would like to hug the whole world,

    Yes, only that little mind,

    Yes, the arms are short.

    Oleg Pol

    Like a withered leaf falls on the soul …

    Despite the message – dedicated to François Villon

    Like a withered leaf falls on the soul,

    A swift shadow is flying towards me.

    I look towards you, and I hardly worry –

    It’s not every day that shit.

    A Sick Conscience? Doesn’t look like

    It is not customary for us to feel sorry for ourselves.

    I remember the past without shivering

    And I look in the mirror, not hiding my eyes.

    But I don’t want to talk about the past. And it is not necessary.

    It’s time to embark on a new path,

    Take a sober look around the crowd,

    And gently unbend the middle finger.

    I would write further, but it’s time

    Meet the neck with the edge of the ax.

    Ballad of Death

    Talk about death is always pointless in essence,

    And in winter and spring, and in frost, and in fog, and in heat.

    On this day, as always, I am again at a crossroads:

    Yes, as long as I live, but someday I will definitely die.

    We enjoy life in its entirety until the deadline,

    And its end is somewhere in the distance, like some trifle.

    And since there are no prophet genes in human blood –

    We live and do not know when, why, where and how.

    Day after day, days alternate, sometimes often, sometimes rarely,

    But the inevitable moment will come, when without any trick

    Destiny, that is, life, will stick a blackened mark in our nose,

    By playing the lottery of many different deaths.

    Someone died from vodka, and someone died in hand-to-hand combat,

    Someone burst out of greed, loving money excessively.

    Only all this, I’ll tell you, it doesn’t matter at all,

    What is important is what we will leave behind for our descendants.

    So alone, not feeling sorry for himself, he just did what he could,

    And left his mark in full measure of talent and strength.

    And the other lived as it is, as a curve will put on the soul,

    As a result, he simply inherited a little in his life.

    Inherit is not a problem. Leaving a problem is

    The trail is such that in the future there will be someone with respect

    Remember you. But not everyone understands this.

    Why this is so – I myself still do not understand.

    Well, those who left look at our attempts from above,

    And I’m sure it’s pretty funny to look at us with them.

    Only I am still alive, I do not need a life preserver,

    And I’m not eager to get into their number anyway.

    But do not think, brothers, that I turned back,

    I’m not afraid of either the bony or the procedures associated with it.

    I’ve almost been there, and I agree that yes, it’s unpleasant,

    But by no means fatal, forgive my pun.

    I just want to know when, even if at least up to a year,

    (Everyone wants this, except for the very last dumbheads)

    I will find myself, suddenly passing a brief moment of transition,

    Surrounded by a series of familiar laughing faces.

    ***

    Oh, Caesar! You asked me about Spartacus.

    The threat to the country is, of course, great.

    But it’s stupid to repeat to everyone about the occupiers –

    Lies cannot help us for sure.

    Dedicated to the Knights Ast-Ahe

    Detachment

    stood in the night forest

    In a bad year.

    The brave is often spoken of.

    That they are lucky.

    But everything has its kink

    And your limit,

    And the night fell with rain

    Elven Arrows

    Sharp Elven Arrow

    But the sword is sharper!

    No one dares to die.

    And don’t you dare!

    As long as it remains

    Steady hand,

    The arrow cannot defeat

    Blade metal.

    The detachment lay down under a hail of arrows.

    The moment has come –

    Arrow knocks down easily,

    And on the spot.

    None of those who could fight,

    Didn’t retreat,

    Investing in a desperate dash

    Remaining forces.

    * * *

    Who was alive is now dead

    Lies in blood

    And you will see this clip

    By MTV.

    And don’t forget that he was killed,

    No doubt,

    For your cozy warm life

    And a toilet.Going through those years,

    Where Blood Spills,

    We are in a hurry to look there

    We are over and over again.

    Since it is hidden under the castle

    Simple answer:

    For those who are unfamiliar with death –

    And there is no life.

    Ella Egorova

    The color of fate

    When would it be possible to predict

    The color of the traffic light is green by fate,

    A yellow could wait out

    And do not rush desperately for a new one.

    Though the century is sometimes painted with a rainbow,

    We cannot avoid the tiger stripe.

    That light on the way, then a dark color.

    And the color of fate is probably purple.

    But I’m afraid, without thorny paths

    Feel neither color nor peace.

    Without knowing tears, we cannot understand the joy.

    And without comparison one cannot comprehend otherwise.

    Coronavirus

    So unnatural that noisy Moscow

    Filled with faceless silence.

    Suddenly the streets and houses were empty

    Doomed by sad rumor.

    The virus has gone on a spree all over the planet,

    He looks young, but already in the crown.

    Coronavirus bitterly got,

    But we are ready for a staunch defense.

    We will resist! This time will pass!

    And life will give rainbow colors!

    And the bird cherry will bloom then,

    And the sun will send warmth and affection.

    Believe it

    When you lose a loved one, dear,

    In your soul he will occupy the rank of a saint.

    And radiant memory will sing,

    That it was impossible to die.

    But he left without leaving his heart,

    Although the door is already closed behind it.

    Inside you longing howls like wolves.

    And do not collect fragments from the past.

    Bitter loss to a relative, friend.

    Well, and the Earth, it goes in a circle.

    And not hide in life from losses.

    The time of the wound is scarring, believe me.

    October

    The river is ribbed and silvery

    And a cloud hangs over the river.

    On the slopes of the coast, yellow,

    The autumn grass lies.

    And the air is cool.

    And it smells like autumn already.

    Nature is happy with many colors,

    When October is on the calendar.

    A new day will come

    Today I woke up from the sun,

    Who stepped to me through the window!

    And sunbeams playfully

    They give me their tender warmth.

    Without splashing, I carry it on my palms

    Nature’s fireproof dawn.

    And I believe! Tomorrow is a new day

    And he will give me a rainbow bouquet.

    About us …

    Today the birds chirped began to sing.

    So early. Half past three now.

    I can’t sleep, something at night, these trills

    They talk about friendship to me and about us …

    Again dawn

    I want you to succeed a lot.

    More happiness and warmth.

    Conceived to come true.

    So that tomorrow is better than yesterday!

    Life is an endless streak,

    How night and day change color.

    Add a little rainbow

    And the dawn will be joyful.

    novelty

    Sometimes novelty attracts us.

    And what is there, beyond the shaky edge?

    Butterfly carelessness when

    He hurries to a bright light with a smile.

    Or quite unexpectedly

    Destiny page opens

    And any ailment will take away,

    To be born from scratch!

    And your soul garden will blossom,

    Meeting joyful dreams!

    Let the thorns pass you,

    Giving only the aromas of a rose!

    Spring

    Spring awakens joyfully

    Greening branches hello.

    Dandelions wake up

    Bright yellow sun color.

    A soft white bird cherry

    Intoxicates with a spicy smell!

    And secretly-bold spring

    We, charming, have in common with nature!

    First time

    Today is a day similar to yesterday.

    Different possible concerns.

    And tomorrow there will be new things –

    I take notes from Life’s mood.

    Melodies, chords by ear.

    I’m interested in day and night and morning.

    And light, and shadow, and smells of Spring!

    I live for the first time in the world as if.

    I do not want to change myself in a dream:

    I follow obediently by the Treasure

    I bring the sun rays in my soul,

    Which are beyond doubt!

    Dreams …

    I wake up: Directly to the balcony.

    There are birds singing every morning.

    And add trills! No, not a dream!

    Joy, life is reported.

    The day is cool, the sun sleeps lazily,

    Wrapped in your warmth behind the clouds.

    But if my heart hurts,

    It will warm you tenderly, melodiously.

    And all the flowers will echo the sun

    And dandelions, one in color!

    Let your cherished dreams come true.

    But you just have to really believe in it.

    It seems to me

    I think you’ve been waiting for a long time

    And the age of our meeting is not a hindrance,

    On the contrary, deeper and stronger,

    I want to embrace you like an echo.

    You are multifaceted for me, like the World.

    And I stand on tiptoe a little.

    I want to comprehend you! But no strength:

    In doubts, I retreat lonely.

    And in the morning dawn wakes up.

    And mentally next to you,

    I bring you a bouquet from the dew,

    To exchange joy and glance.

    Israel

    A land parched with a thirst for hope,

    The people found by the wandering of centuries,

    To the freedom of Jews and peace, and honor

    I walked barefoot, smashing my feet into blood.

    And our round ball, which is called the Earth,

    You have been confirmed, people are independent!

    And your heart that beats with blows,

    Contains intelligence, patience and a righteous code.

    Always on the alert and always on the alert.

    You will lift up your prayer to the sun,

    So that there was harmony, peace and luck

    And clear skies for future dreams.

    Kirill Rozhkov

    Radica

    I still remember this amazing case, and I don’t know how it can be explained … I turned eleven or twelve then, definitely not more.I was riding in a frozen winter bus, returning from class from some circle or section. Everything around was silent, businesslike, usually for this time of year. The bus rolled, it was getting dark, and I was sitting near the frosty window. Involuntarily he moved his eyes, turning his head, looked around. And in particular, I saw this woman. She was also sitting by the window, in a kind of “counter-zone”. That is, you could clearly see it only if you look back and obliquely at the same time. She was young, but more precisely, one should have said about her “woman”, not “girl.”However, at that age, all adults, I suspect, seemed older to me … And yet, probably, it was really a lady already in the “female”, and not “girlish” age. Unless only if in the very “late” period of the latter. In a fur coat, boots. And, how to say … Fluffy frosty. No, the weather and the situation hardly made her this way. Perhaps they just added more expressive “colors” to the image, and the woman has always remained that way. Both in winter and in summer – in one “color”. Beautiful, with plump, elegant lips, wrapped in fur like Venus.Why did I remember her like that? It is unlikely that she would have been remembered if something completely unexpected had not happened … She smiled at me. Yes. For some reason, just in response to the fact that I looked around the cabin twice. Immediately after our eyes met by chance. She clearly paid more attention to me than I did to her. And as if something unusual thought about me. Something unvoiced … And she smiled. The smile was also special. Complementing the image that is now imprinted on me, instantly and completely, like a photographed one.So that later, for hours and days, it appears, as if on paper dipped in a bath, with every detail. Her smile shone with tenderness – unambiguously. And at the same time – pulled all the same in winter, almost physically. With a little, but distinctly crept in mockery. Was that smile still lurking in corruption or something? I guess not. Or only in the smallest proportion. And then the beauty turned away. The commercial hid her eyes to the side, and the frosty sun gleamed in the glasses of elegant glasses. Either she herself was ashamed of her own mimic gift, or perhaps she didn’t want to embarrass me further, an eleven-year-old boy.However, there was a distinct impression, as if she saw in my glance in her direction some kind of game, an impromptu sign thrown … And as if she accepted my sign and – just like that, she responded to him with a smile that she could not contain. And – immediately, embarrassedly turned away after all that had been done between us – “done” silently, with my eyes alone … Although I did not even think to “say” something with my eyes … We clearly understood each other somewhat differently – a fact … And further thought was generally lost. How could I, in those snotty years, attract the attention of a woman who had passed the earthly journey by a third? A little blindingly beautiful, like sparkling snow, like a thin ray on the rim of her glasses … With a sincerely soft, but no less sincerely a little bit, the smallest mocking smile.However, it was precisely this smallness that made the latter a special highlight, which it was impossible not to count from the face – a tiny round grain of black pepper in borscht, just giving him tsimmes. Nothing else happened. I got off at my stop. And that’s all. Sinful I, clearly, understandably, never saw that woman again. And I didn’t hear her voice, as you understood, and never at all. As well as she is mine. Our tacit, strange “acquaintance” took place during the time it took to light a pipe – no less, but no more.And then more than two decades passed, and a lot of things happened …
    Six months ago I was sitting in a social network, and suddenly something caught my attention on a “local” banner. I looked there more closely. There was a heading “friends of your friends – maybe you know or could get to know each other.” Nothing special … I just glanced at the male and female faces on the “avatars” there and … I saw one. Feminine. No, I was not thinking “long and painfully” at all. I immediately remembered that this smiling face was quite unambiguously reminiscent of that fur-framed face that I had seen on the bus as a snotty fifth grader.The face of the one who mysteriously showed me an unforgettable smile for a lifetime, although in age it was almost suitable for me as a mother. I “clicked” on the avatar. It turned out that this woman was a friend of my acquaintance, a lawyer in the medical field. I went to her page. She turned out to be about the same age as me, so, a little older. She lived in Moldova. Her name was Radika. And the surname … To have such a surname in Russia is not to have any. I looked at the other photos posted. Yes, she was literally the same.Fluffy and cold. Otherwise, gentlemen, again you will not say. Smile. The same one. In all the nuances that I have already conveyed to you. Even glasses – with narrow small lenses, in a thin metal frame. Elegant plump lips that create that smile. Dark, shiny hair, bob haircut. Hands on hips in front of the photographer’s camera. Some fun in this pose, and an obvious slight emphasis on this “posturing”. A slightly haughty, proud lifting of the head slightly to the side and up. And the nose is a little wrinkled as if from the sun. And a grin – over everything, including herself, in a deliberate self-ironic lassitude at the lens.A laugh over the mortal world and at the same time – something that turns into genuine tenderness, when the radiant eyes sparkle behind the flat glasses of fashionable glasses. Beads on a silk neck. A short tunic, as if casually covering the full thighs, and long warm legs hanging from a pink tunic, ending in playful sandals. And again, one bare hand is rested on the barrel, thin, flexible. Here is Radika trying on a hat in the salon. But – in a Polish costume at some kind of holiday. And here – having come out of the pool, she is standing on its edge at full height, still wet, again brightly lit.And the sun is playing in the white-toothed, and at the same time, the too hot day here seems to cool down a little … The next picture shows Radika with young men nearby. And the familiar and iconic smile is even wider – what a happy I am, I have two gentlemen … But she is already standing on the arm with one boyfriend, all in the same tunic dress. He is not at all having fun in the photograph with might and main, making a make-up, like those two. It becomes visible to the naked eye: there, three of us, there was just a fleeting company, a joke, but here – no. This is a real gentleman, groom.Hands clasped gently and at the same time tightly. But they even posed in a photo studio, climbing into stencil figures in a veil and tailcoat. They stuck their faces through the holes of the “cardboard boxes” from behind and took a picture. Yes, funny, and at the same time – with a grain of truth … An outline for the future … I looked at the page of the girl’s education. It appeared – the Chisinau Institute of Cybernetics and Informatics. And then, in a telephone conversation, I asked that friend of mine about Radika, who had the latter as a friend. Olga told me that Radika is a cousin, it seems, or she’s a little foolish there (I certainly didn’t quite catch it …) the sister of her classmate in law.Cousin, in short. But no, Olya told me firmly. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to introduce you. Rada has a groom. And you have a man’s interest in Rada, I see! How inimitable this sounded … Oh, women, with your special insight and intuition for such things! I was not offended by Olga. So shy outwardly and at the same time so unshakable inside the voice of a fragile lawyer, who uttered the phrase about “male interest”, sounded so inimitable that it was impossible to be offended. Just be touched and – really involuntarily become more serious … That the groom – I already understood this, and so on from the photo session.And that Radika deserves that man’s interest, that is, very much deserves, as Olga added, who, they say, fully understands me, this, of course, also seemed unconditional … And yet I myself carefully suggested friendship to Radika. By correspondence. Through the Internet, which connects not only Russia with Moldova … But the Rada silently refused my friendship. However, I again almost did not take offense. For he reasoned logically: but I – would I include a completely unfamiliar girl in my friends, if she wrote to me from somewhere for no reason? Unlikely.So why should I be angry with Radika? How natural my train of thought turned out to be is up to you, dear readers … However, I looked at her pictures again. All the same light pride, cool arrogance, a sneer at the world and at oneself, the self-ironic pretentiousness of the pose, a little prickly dazzling beauty. Again a curved graceful hand, a small handbag on the side … And the groom, in beige. I could not resist and wrote in the comments to the photo: “The gentleman in the cream jacket was very, very lucky.” The laconic phrase seemed to have sounded in a whisper.Deliberately calm, insinuating whisper, stunning in its quietness and at the same time firmness. Otherwise, than in such a whisper, it would have been difficult to convey it, if it was required not to write it, but to say it aloud. It suggested itself. In a whisper of the underlined dignity of another gentleman – who wisely realizes that he has no right to count on something more than such a compliment, if the very one to whom he says this is already clearly of good will and not under duress (as evidenced by the same happy smile and in this picture!) inimitably strong at the same time lovingly holds his arm, in a cream jacket … However – the second gentleman still cannot refuse to say this, to admit in this way.Calm gentlemanly courage, which could at the same time flatter her, in a pink tunic. The next day I saw the “fives” set and my photographs on my page … From the avatar of the guest, whose visit was shown by the “radar”, the same face, of course, was looking. She smiled at me from the photograph, and after my comment, she could no longer not visit virtually in response. Then, on the bus, of course, I met another woman, for obvious reasons to everyone. However, at the same time, they were both so similar in everything.And in the main thing, expressed without words … I now, it turns out, uttered a few words to her. A short, but overwhelming intertwining of feelings involuntarily generated by her. Deliberately modest and quiet, like spring thunder … What followed next? Nothing special. After all, Rada has a fiancé. And she is a native of Moldova. But sometimes we now go to each other’s page. And again we give a mutual grade of “excellent” for new pictures … How we exchange kisses anyway. We look at each other fondly.And we smile. Without words. Like then, on the bus. For the first time in my life. Suddenly. Weird. Fleeting. It doesn’t look like anything. So hiding in space and time. However, when I look at that face again, I notice the same strange split. Such a truly human tenderness on the one hand, and on the other – no less distinct crumbs of ice, shining already from the corner of a smile and in a gaze, a smirk that almost hid … And harbored the unspoken, inexpressible … Not expressed, and therefore alarming.So what makes you chill? And what will win here, in this face, in the end? Human – or? .. And that beige suit. Near. By the arm. At hand. And – so far away from me, free and carefree … And I suddenly clearly think that all the same then, perhaps, was a little deceitful. (Not at all referring to the external beauty.) And what, as it is sung in a Scottish song, – if the bride leaves for another, then it is not known who is lucky …

    We are coming to you

    (Fairy Tale 16+)

    In my youth, I lived with my father and mother in a two-story house among apple orchards.We reaped a large harvest almost every August.

    My dad was an artist, but he also understood something in technology and was also a very creative person in its field. Mom told me that when I was still very little, I went in a cradle, my dad came up with something simple and ingenious. He tied a trouser strap to my wheel cradle and made the job of rocking me twice as easy. I just pulled towards me by the belt, and back my cradle swayed with its weight. Dad was sitting next to him on a garden bench or stool, smoking his favorite scented pipe, gnawing at it amusingly, and with his free hand he could even sketch out some sketches.

    Dad. Artist Kirill Rozhkov

    Dad always sketched everything mechanically. He carried with him in his pockets a bunch of parchments, notebooks, quill and pencil. He looks at the trees in the garden – he takes and throws himself an apple tree and rejoices. Then the governor came to survey the surroundings and spoke, standing over the gardens on the fenced area of ​​the raised ladder of the fire engine. He broadcast into a megaphone attached to the site. Dad, along with everyone, listened to him, and mechanically, stroke by stroke, with a pen, he busily scribbled on a piece of paper – the governor – high above the fire engine.

    And dad invented a special small elevator for picking apples. It was arranged in the form of a long board raised to the sky, through a screwed small block at the top of which a strong rope passed with two large metal laces or saucepans tied to it. Mother and I, basking in the sun, in silk dressing gowns, stood on the top steps of two stepladders, and between us was this very elevator. When we threw enough apples into the top mug, it sank down with its weight, and another automatically rose up.Downstairs, papa was rather unloading the lowered mug and waited for the next one. From apples, we cooked jam in the garden in a cauldron converted from a large crucible. They also made cider – for which I or my mother stuffed a large bottle with apple wort, and put a deflated rubber holiday ball on top. The bottles were removed to the cellar, and all that was left was to wait for the balloons to inflate above them, already ready to take off, and then descend again.

    I loved my dad very much. We often sat side by side with him on a garden bench in the evening, enjoying the pleasant coolness.We looked at the apple-tree parks stretching around, mysteriously dark on one side, and a little lit by the spilled glow of Yablochkov’s candles on the other. Dad had a long, pleasant, silky beard. We spoke for life, he gnawed his pipe, and I, to match him, gnawed or licked a lollipop cock on a stick. Sometimes, far beyond the gardens, a diesel engine would suddenly turn on, rattling and chilling backs. He rattled for a long time, spreading around the area in waves of echo. And dad said that his source does not go anywhere, but, judging by the sound, is motionless in some place we cannot see from here.But why did it turn on and who launched it?

    When dad woke up in the morning, he stretched, and then, running off the porch, he often spontaneously rolled along the garden path “with a wheel” or did a handstand, resting his feet on some strong apple tree. At this time, my mother cooked sweet semolina porridge of a pleasant thick or made ice cream from fermenting dairy products, which she served in silver bowls to me and papula. After breakfast, Dad liked to work in the sun, in the shade of the branches. He set up the easel by sticking it into the soft turf with three sharp legs.I watched furtively as he painted. Holding a palette in his left hand and a brush in his right, he danced with inspiration at the easel, clearly in love with himself, his work and the gentle world around him. Sometimes he even hummed, because the soul was probably singing. Sketching a landscape with flowers – with large yellow petals, as it were, in two layers, with a brighter “core” and – on tall strong juicy green stems, dad deduced in a pleasant baritone, spontaneously conducting with a brush and the movements of his own head: – I am an artist! Y-a artist, I’m bad-o-zhni-ik !…. Then dad drew less, but often got on a moped and left for the city, to the publishing house, where he was now in charge of the design department.

    And then the idyll of our garden was interrupted by messages from loudspeakers about military conflicts with the barbarians of the Southeast Islands. I was worried, “rooting” for the soldiers going there. I knew from my mother that our fleet was strong, but I also heard that barbarians love to board. Then again, high above the garden, they lifted the mayor with a megaphone on one of the fire engines, and on the other, at the same height, a six-foot hair man in a helmet was sitting on the landing, personifying the war.And then the south-western regions became closed to large columns, caravans and flights of airships, after a series of local conflicts. If at one time in the taiga lands of Yagli, the local monarch managed to maintain that autonomy, where the center was a rocky city, and the men wore checkered ponchos; then ours did not succeed in reaching an understanding with that distant land where the history of the development of the lands of Ruta and Ispak began in due time.

    Local conflicts were largely interrupted by the onset of a strange phenomenon in the atmosphere.Scientists on their towers and most importantly – in a special observation basement of the village of Radapog synchronously detected a change in the magnetic background in the troposphere. What this meant, I still did not understand. Yes, did anyone fully understand at all, including even bearded respected husbands in academic caps? I closed my eyes, and I just imagined Radapog, famous for the most accurate measurement data: a spiral staircase to an adit, in which, under the basalt slabs, Foucault’s pendulum swung for days on end and chronometers and hair moisture meters clicked.And it must be the same – this adit, known all over the world – in such a small-seeming village.

    Mom loved Dad too. But I felt something … I felt that everything was not always smooth and peaceful with them. However, they say, it is completely peaceful and does not happen, if this is life, and not a frozen swamp? .. And yet … I could not bring myself to ask about everything. And while – I was greeted by another charming dawn over the gardens and the same delightful song, admiring himself and the fact that he sang, dad, near the easel, with a brush in hand: – I am an artist! I am an artist, th-but bad-o-burn-ik! And, having sketched out another multi-colored daub, the father was resting on the bench, gnawing at his pipe.

    Economic reforms took place, mainly when the directions of merchant sea caravans of ships and convoys of trucks began to change. And then dad and his friends entered some kind of business, which he told us little about. Cartel – I think it was called that, a buzzword. He mentioned trade relations with the northern Jagli. And – that once the trucks drove south even as far as Wijk. But I didn’t really believe it. I knew that Wijk was considered a fairly ancient settlement on the southern borders of our, so to speak, empire; that, in fact, in every fourth of us blood flows from there.However, now the word “Wake” sounded like something obscure and frightening, which did not even appear on most cards. I asked my mother what was the matter, but she either really didn’t really know, or she didn’t want to talk.

    But dad said that a complex natural and man-made disaster near Wake occurred immediately when this phenomenon, which is still observed and disturbing the whole world, not only a scientist, began – every day the increasing magnetic field of the troposphere. Dad showed me a shot of the night land from the stratospheric balloon.Cities and villages shone with lights, and where, in theory, Wijk was supposed to be far to the south, an unusual grayish spot stretched. As if the light faded and faded.

    We did not really discuss this anymore, but scientific news reported that the accumulation of magnetism in the troposphere continues. Slow-slow, according to the slight fluctuation of the needle a day, however – unforgiving. My mom was fluent in several languages, and just when my dad went to the cartel, I was also sent along the path of learning languages.And the “intensive” took place nearby – on the other side of the apple orchards. Classes on campus began early in the morning, and the rector was one of the first to arrive by bicycle. Chained him up in the campus parking lot, took off his permanent helmet with a cast pair of copper horns, and quickly ran into his apartment. And then the mechanic Ariel appeared – to show us an educational film in the big hall or just a video from a disc. Why he was nicknamed Ariel, no one really remembered, but this nickname passed from generation to generation of students.Perhaps because it was a flying mechanic: if the rector almost always arrived by bicycle, wearing a helmet with copper horns, then the mechanic flew in, attracting everyone’s attention from raised young heads, buzzing over endless gardens. He hovered on a light-engine glider with an additional pedal drive – sort of like on the same bike, only in the sky with wings. He twisted the drive, seated among white silk – imposing, with a thick belly, a reddish rough face, an extensive bald patch and a sweaty gray mane of hair.I liked to study, especially when the intensive lectures were held right in the open air, on the grass near the field. And I met Marianne.

    She also studied to be a polyglot, only she was noticeably older than me, with a much more solid past. Marianne was of average height, always with a cigarette. Short-cropped dark hair, thin gilded pince-nez, large brown eyes, plump, bright red lips, moderately large breasts and buttocks. She loved to wear white clothes. After classes we played with cabbage, cards, and she promised to tell me everything on cards or something else.

    Marianne unwittingly became a senior comrade. I was still essentially a sniffle, and she was young, but married, with children. She seemed among us, snotty – wow! And everything would have continued remarkably if the family where a girl named Faina lived had not settled in our gardens, in one of the neighboring chambers. She had a couple of inseparable Amazon friends. Faina noticed me how I was spending time, usually sitting near the central alleys on a bench, reading, listening to music or basking in the sun, and began to harass me.Taxi along with two Amazons, grab a book and throw it. She will show me on the dress – what, they say, you have here, I will naively look, and she grabs the nose with all her strength and silently, cruelly twists it. The Amazons laugh disgustingly loudly, lackeys. I, almost crying, asked her directly:

    – Why are you doing me so?

    Faina repeated in amazement:

    – “For what?”

    After which all three began to laugh foully, and Faina said angrily:

    – Yes, for everything good! Look at yourself – you’re a sniffed hen!

    And they left.Having given this explanation. What did I do to her? She did not touch her in any way – she sat by the alley and read books. Why did she hate me ?! Soon I found out that this Faina’s dad is not the same mom, too, in some kind of cartel. In the evening and at night, she, with or without the Amazons, drove to the shore to the club, where she danced to the flickering of strobe lights and the performance of musicians. Therefore, she often wore buttoned sandals and chintz dresses.

    But sometimes the three of them did not go to the club, but simply wandered along the alleys of apple-tree forest parks.We even got to the farthest places, where there was a cemetery, partly active, and partly abandoned. There they staggered from tombstone to tombstone, and often sat three of them on distant graves. They were especially attracted by those slabs that were overgrown with hemp. The three of them stuck out there, sometimes with the guys, passing a flask of wine or an intricate pipe in a circle.

    And then they returned along the Yablochkov alley lit by a powerful candle, quiet and deserted, under the shade of cypress trees. And in front of us the athletic Faina swam with the gait of almost a fashion model, in sandals with long straps.Her gait personified a spontaneous constant narcissism.

    The last straw came when all three again came to me, sitting on a bench under Yablochkov’s candle that had been extinguished during the day. Faina silently took a petrol rag raised from the ground, apparently from someone’s car, and began, just as silently, shaking gently and panting with hatred, strangling me to her, throwing it over my face and hair. And the Amazons, of course, readily insured me so that I could not resist her.

    I endured for a long time and did not want to show this bitch tears. But now she could not resist. I burst into tears from such an insult. Faina, seeing this, smiled contentedly. And nevertheless, although I was afraid of aggression from the Amazons, I snatched the nasty rag from her and gave it to her with a flourish across Faina’s face. All three froze. In a terrible, dumbfounded amazement at such an unheard-of audacity. Faina’s eyes were slightly out of the orbits. She stuck to the ground with her sandals. However, then she took control of herself and with cold hatred, quietly and clearly, she told me:

    – That’s all.Now I will kill you!

    And I was scared. I was really scared. And then … then someone appeared nearby. And shouted:

    – Hey, you, Faina-Fay-na-na! Do not dare! This is mean and dishonest!

    The three of them turned mechanically, as if on hinges. There was Marianne, my campus friend. She stood up for me! But it was felt that they were not very afraid of her appearance. How could you influence them?

    – At least you can challenge Natasha to a fight according to all the rules! On the shore, on sticks! – said Marianne.

    – What, an idea! – Faina threw in after a pause.

    – And I will be her second! Marianne said decisively.

    They agreed. I was alive. However, I still got scared, because now I had to fight the sports Faina. But – with me was a beautiful soul Marianne! That same evening we all came to the appointed place – to a rather extensive sandy beach near the river. Faina was still in the same club dress, who did not have time to change. And I – in culottes breeches.As promised, Marianne became my second, and one of the Amazons became hers.

    We were given a hard unbreakable stick of the same length and thickness, and the rules were explained. Then they offered to get rid of clothes that could interfere, and Faina threw her dress on the sand without hesitation. I involuntarily looked at her almost completely now naked figure, taut, smooth, trained, at her long springy legs and flexible arms. She was predatory holding a stick and looked mockingly and aggressively.

    I also took the club.It doesn’t matter, ”I remembered Marianne’s words,“ how the fight ends. Don’t give up right away, and even if you lose, you still accepted the fight with honor! This is the main thing! And we grabbed, the stick hit the stick. I fought and waved the stick as best I could, but of course I quickly lost. Who was I? Loving a peaceful idyll reading rogue, afraid of fights and so easily frightened by someone else’s aggression, and – she, self-confident, spiteful, clearly having experience of fights and physical training in general. Soon I was lying on my back on the sand, my stick was lying at a distance, and the slightly sweaty figure of Faina stood over me, legs apart and grinning triumphantly.

    – So what? She said, looking at me from above. – Now choose yourself – should I kill you or spare you?

    And I – asked not to kill. Yes. Perhaps someone would have followed the law of honor to the end and asked to kill myself, but I did not. I didn’t want to die. And even though I lost the battle, I wanted to live even with such a trauma. And she didn’t kill me. I got up from the sand and then … I don’t know why I suddenly decided on this. Perhaps the presence of Marianne morally affected?

    – But, Faina, we will meet with you again! Here! At the end of this summer! And we will have a second fight! Now I challenge you!

    Faina was taken aback.Nonetheless, I checked out my determination. She chuckled coldly and replied:

    – Well, accepted! In August, here, according to the same rules! We wait! And I will come!

    We were standing next to Marianne. She was smoking a cigarette, putting her hand on my shoulder. We were silent. And I am without words – why were they needed here? – I felt her support. We watched as the helpful Amazons handed Faina a dress, she busily put it on again, made herself up. And all of them, giving us the go-ahead and once again confirming their readiness to meet at the end of the summer, moved away, starting to dance synchronously on the move and in chorus with evil gaiety singing the well-known:

    – Fa-i-na-Fay-na-na-Fa’i-na-Fa’ina-Fa-i-na !….

    And I decided to start, as they say, a new life. Namely – to prepare for the upcoming fight. The women’s fencing section was not too far away, and I signed up there.

    It was now difficult to recognize me – the former bibliophile-lover. I trained day after day, following all the instructions of the gray-haired master-master, despite the fact that I was tired, that it was difficult, my muscles ached. Breathing whistled, sweat flooded my eyes, and I myself got a lot of blows in sparring. I practiced lunges, defense techniques, jumps, setting legs, and everything, everything, everything.She gathered her will in a bunch, gritting her teeth, brushing away small angry tears and sweat, throwing down a cruel challenge to herself and not sparing herself, the old one, in the name of herself new. I went through the whole course of fencing and hand-to-hand, and felt like a completely different person.

    And in August we met again on the same river beach. My second was again Marianne, and in front of me stood the same Faina, only now in leather pants. We grabbed on the same sticks. And although she was not a weak opponent, this time I defeated her! Now we have reversed roles.She lay supine in the sand, and I stood on top.

    – Well, Faina, kill you or ask for mercy? I asked with a cold grin.

    – Kill! – Faina yelled, panting with impotent anger, however – determined.

    I was slightly dumbfounded. But she screamed over and over:

    – Yes, yes, now I choose death !! Kill me, do you hear! Let’s!

    And I didn’t want to kill her. I was not like her.

    “No, I won’t kill you,” I said quite calmly as I walked away.Belatedly, I realized that now, consciously or unconsciously, she would probably consider herself morally punished by such a decision of mine. Well, let it be …

    Growling and shedding angry mean tears, she again demanded to kill herself. But I turned around and said:

    – Don’t, Faina! Need to live. And you, and me, and everyone! Live, and let’s not quarrel anymore!

    Faina sat down on the sand, dropped her disheveled head on her knees and cried hoarsely, howling and covering herself with her hands. However, it was felt that my words nevertheless sobered her.Although, perhaps, from her personal point of view, I really “punished” her … The Amazons approached her and carefully cooed over her. And Marianne and I walked away, embracing in a friendly way, Marianne famously smoked a cigarette. And again we were silent, because again we didn’t want to say anything. Since that day, we have never said a word about anything with Faina. And she never came to me again.

    When I entered to study as a seamstress, Lena was practically the first person I saw on the course. She lay curled up on the table and slept.Then the main local old-timer arrived – associate professor of geography Zakhar Semyonovich. Short, in a checkered suit and with a small, bright red suitcase to match the owner, he was choleric and in his “well over seventy” literally ran up the marble stairs, not holding onto the railing. Clutching the suitcase between his thighs and grumbling condescendingly, he poked with a key the old lock of the audience, which was difficult to open. However, just as a weapon gets used to one hand, this lock has always obeyed the ridiculous old man.With Zakhar Semenovich it was possible to act insultingly, but it was impossible to insult him – this was the essence of his character. At his lectures, we mainly painted geographical maps, and he told us about the old days, when he was still young, the city was just being built, and he had to get up early and light kerosene lamps instead of Yablochkov’s future candles.

    “They gave me a match,” he said, “and I went around everything in the fortress and lit it! Why are you grinning? – he waved his hand.- Yes, they trusted us! Give this to you a match – you won’t leave a whole glass!

    As if the match was like a cobblestone …

    He did not particularly annoy us, seamstresses, with his geography, set according to the schedule for general education. And so he said, referring to a woman, mainly an audience of off-suit whistles:

    – Paint the cards – and go paint your lips and go to your clubs! But please don’t meet the barbarians from the islands! He called out. – And then there – a female corpse was found in the forest!

    The girls were slightly frightened, twitching.And one for some reason asked him who his wife was.

    – Chemist! He waved away with a wrinkled hand. “My son is a chemist,” he said, “and my grandson also wants to become one!

    Greta, Lenin’s intricate friend, asked about his wife. They always went in pairs and both smoked, however, unlike Lena, Greta seemed shy in appearance. It will raise its eyes, then it will lower it. But when it raised it, cold, mocking and even mischievous glare sparkled in them. Then the eyes became dull again, as if with the help of their switching two monads of some two truly different Grets were successively replaced.Sometimes, Greta, who began to crumple and squeeze her legs, looking down, would say:

    – Oh, I need to wash my hands!

    And quickly walked to the latrine. Sometimes in their company there were two more guys – arrogant and stupid. Sima and Tim. One was incredibly fat and puffy, with wet, empty eyes and shortness of breath, clumsy, as if puffed out hands. The other is small and skinny, with a crooked thin mouth. But they, too, almost always fumbled together. When Greta returned, they mocked her.

    “What, Gretchen,” they winked at her, “did you pour it?

    Greta turned pale in response, puffed and furiously assured:

    – I went to wash my hands!

    In response, those two laughed insolently and devastatingly:

    – Of course! Yes, we know perfectly well what I actually went for!

    Greta blushed and silently resentfully turned away from the impudent. After classes, everyone gathered behind the school building, sat there on barrels or logs. Lena, crossing her legs, sang a song. Sometimes Andryusha, little black with pink ears, appeared – Lenkina’s love.They smoked together, and then hugged and kissed passionately. Then Lena and Greta harnessed Andrei to a small, like a Chinese, gig, and Greta stood on it in a green Amazon suit. “Rickshaw” Andrey rolled the gig back and forth around the courtyard, and Gretchen, towering in it, legs apart, smiled contentedly. Having rolled her, uncomfortably sniffling Andrei sat down next to Lena and, starting up, pushed her in the side with his finger, and then Gretchen. Sometimes, without sharing something, they fought with Lenka.

    In the classroom, Lena and Andrey tried to sit down together, but all the teachers made them sit down.However, they managed to talk to each other across the audience obliquely, often disrupted classes, threw chewed resin and Chinese sticks at each other. After class they fought again, and one day Lena scratched him until he bled. Then they reconciled and hugged again. And Lena sang and danced, wagging her hips. I admired her and hated her at the same time. This crazy, animal, funny bastard thinking about nothing. Once she didn’t like something at a lecture by Zakhar Semyonovich, and at first, screaming, climbed onto a chair, and then onto the table.And stood at this height, akimbo.

    – You are my fool! – she shouted from there to Zakhar Semyonovich.

    – I’m not yours, do you hear! He yelled back. – I’m not yours, I’m not yours, I’m not yours!

    Why did I become friends with her? This happened after that catastrophe in our life, when my father sailed away to rest on the Grappsky Islands, and returned by the ambulance steamer sick. He claimed that his bone-eating disease was simply due to unwashed glasses. But I already knew well that this almost never happens, and most likely, my father cheated on my mother with some local women.And how insignificant he looked, shaking, making excuses … He felt sorry for the father, and at the same time he was disgusted now. I always believed him, considered him honest and noble. And – now … It was a breakdown in my life. I didn’t want to trust anyone anymore. I didn’t want anything at all. I saw nothing in the future, I challenged my father, mother, myself, everyone … And I went for a walk with Lenka. And I went all out – began to smoke and quickly got hooked. Soon it became a trifle for me to smoke one or two packs of cigarettes a day.And Lenka, just think, poured out my personal.

    – Eh, Marianka! – pouting her lips, she said confidentially before the next girlish chatter.

    Why did she seem to respect me? Thus, I already knew how once, having smoked hashish, Lenka was hooligan in the street, throwing stones, she was seized and put behind bars in a dungeon. Her father contributed money for her and freed her from the dungeon. But at home he tore it out with a soldier’s belt. And she walked with bruises on her back, with eyes red from the avaricious tears of the insolent girl.Soon, her father became a guard, so that from now on, under his own responsibility, he would take her daughter out of the dungeon if she went there again. Early in the morning Lenka took her little brother to the nursery. And in the evening we sat with her and also with Gretchen on the bench, smoking, I already had up to three packs a day. Lenka, who had drunk mead, told me how my mother bought her for her twentieth birthday several pairs of new silk pantaloons – with a drawstring drawstring and an elastic band. Lenka loudly sang songs on the bench. Andrei, her henchman, screamed, danced alone, ran to take a piss behind the bench, played a bilbock.It was all hopeless, animal, oblivious, sensual and awesome …

    And one day we turned into that old fortress on a hill, a mossy abandoned place of the times of the western migrations, when the notorious Wijk was still marked on the maps. There was a lot of talk about this fortress. But we stubbornly walked – me, she and Andrey. And when we were crossing the field, near a birch grove we saw Greta, who in languid solitude was firing a crossbow at a dry tree. Time after time, getting rid of some kind of internal frustration that she only understands.And again her eyes – now oil-cunning, now downcast – switched two personalities of one Gretchen – impudent and shy.

    We took her with us, and she stomped after us, putting the crossbow with arrows into a special case behind her back, in the manner of a knapsack. Her figure was again wrapped in an Amazon costume. She clearly loved him, although she was not an Amazon – there were no characteristic external features. We climbed to the upper tier of the fortress, to its battlements, along the steps worn out by centuries. Inside, on the shabby brick walls, were intricate sets of runes unknown to us.Also – phallic symbols and pornographic images, and just someone’s names.

    But it turned out that Lena and Andrei had been climbing here for a long time for loving seclusion at night above the ground. They built a windproof shelter out of old bricks, covered it with a roof, put a wide feather bed on which one could lie or sit, and put baskets of food and bottles of juice and soda water on the shelf. The four of us sat, smoked, played cards and dominoes, ate and drank. Then we went to wander around the fortress and found a strange object in one of the casemates, similar to a torch made by someone, only damp.The next week we rolled onto our benches again. It was warm and sunny. We got high, I smoked one after another. Then Lenka and Andryukha did not get along again. They stood in front of our bench opposite each other, and she flicked his face. Finally, having beaten, she turned away, asked for a can of soda and began to drink greedily, standing with her head thrown back. And then her pantaloons fell. Obviously, the drawstring failed. Planned for shoes. The bench shook – we laughed so hard that our eyes dimmed to a hysterical fit.

    Lenka looked down, covered her mouth with her palm (a strange gesture, but it is done in such cases), hastily pulled on the fallen underwear, turning her back to us, tightened the drawstring, pulled the dress. Then, turning her face, she twitched and mimicked us with a grimace, like: “So what – ha-ha?” The next day, at a lecture by Zakhar Semyonovich, she loudly urged him to shove these contour maps into p …. Zakhar Semyonovich, unable to bear it, amazed everyone.

    – You go there yourself! She came out of there herself – at her mom’s !! He yelled.

    Lenka looked with bulging eyes. She was in real shock. And on the third day we visited the fortress again, the very corner. Lenka was in a leather cap and was chewing gum. And now something was irresistibly drawn to this fortress, where we had never met anyone but ourselves, and we had not yet explored the underground under it. I was attracted there no less than now to cigarettes. And I, having tied a special Yablochkov candle to my head, went alone to our fortress and began to go down the stairs – into the underground, where we had not yet been.The dungeon grew darker and deeper. And my heart sank when something clanked loudly in the silence under my foot. I looked and saw a wrinkled, thin copper plate. How did it get here?

    Further on, there was a corridor with sockets for lamps on the sides and crumbling stucco. And under my feet came across metal glasses and film boxes. And then the corridor led me to a low, extensive casemate, and only from above, from the hatches or loopholes, the faint light of the sun fell. On the right was a huge stone bollard, up a narrow square manhole led by hammered metal brackets.And in front there was another room with a half-torn off door. But there – absolute darkness reigned.

    Zakhar Semyonovich soon said goodbye to everyone as a teacher. He was retiring and now was going to work without burdensome in the cafeteria in our own school. He appeared on the summer stage in front of the assembled students and associate professors. Not in the usual checkered suit, but in the pants of a highlander with suspenders and a shirt with an apache collar. It was too unexpected. But he finally amazed everyone when, simply and clearly looking everyone in the eyes from the stage and finally saying goodbye to the school as a teacher, he recited, as it were, his own, final, solo monologue:

    I’m not a steppe wolf, not a dashing eagle.I am a simple man, I am a sick old man. I am a night worker, I am a poet of the soul. Come to me, do not rush, do not rush! I am a baby of years, I am a madman for days, I am fifteen pillars and thirteen stumps. I have a hand saw, I am rotten wood, I am dust on bread, I am grass in a dream. I am seagulls in the night, headache, I am a piece of brocade, a young moth. Not a dashing eagle, but winged forever! I am a sick old man, I am a simple man. *

    (Note: * verses by P. Pepperstein)

    The endings of some lines he rolled out a little shrilly and hysterically, however – he never replayed.And I read the last two lines quietly but clearly. With dignity and humility at the same time. The audience responded with stunned complete silence, and then – an ovation. And Zakhar Semenovich almost imperceptibly disappeared from the stage, adding nothing more.

    … Something was down there, which now pulled me – to hide from the world in this secluded dungeon and settle in it. And I left the house and went there. I settled there, bringing with me a box of cigarettes, a pillow-seat. I lit a kerosene burner there, fried meat on it, ate cookies and read comic brochures.So I sat all day, chewing, warming myself by the lamp, looking at comics in the newspapers, thinking about everything and nothing, and smoking one after another. The smoke went up, huge heaps of cigarette butts formed, I fell into oblivion and a slight horror. Alone in silence and darkness, illuminated by kerosene. I didn’t need anything else – just to leave everyone in closed loneliness, from a seriously ill father who had betrayed his family, from an offended mother. And only sometimes I thought about them – the impudent animal ridiculous Lenka, who admired and shocked me, and the same ridiculous double Gretchen with a crossbow behind her.

    In the end, I broke down and told them about the dungeon I had discovered. The next day the three of us went down here. Andrei did not join – as Lenka said, he ran away from her for a week, and it looks like for a long time. (Maybe an inner voice pointed something to him correctly? – I involuntarily thought later …) We sat in a circle, smoking. But Lenka was not like me: if I lived measuredly next to the secret of darkness at a distance, then she immediately decided to scout out everything here. She planted a large piece of coal on a stick and set it on fire.And then she impudently moved across the entire space with a flaming coal in her hand, shining here and there. It also penetrated into the room where the gloomy darkness lay, as if sagging and thickened over the years. It turned out – there is a closed casemate, with an overhanging ledge to the right. And then suddenly a burning piece of coal fell off, fell there, on the stone floor and – down there, something flared up. A kind of black tar in a shallow pit. The fire in the floor flared up. We stood, already frozen in indecision. It smelled strongly of smoke. Lenka swore and held out a stick there, began to beat the fire furiously.There was no effect. He only began to burn more.

    – So, let’s run from here! – Lenka commanded.

    We simultaneously turned in the direction of the corridor, and then behind our backs a rolling rifle shot seemed to be heard. We never understood what happened there. But, apparently, something exploded and burst under the floor, and when we turned around, a thin stream of burning resin poured out from the casemate at lightning speed. We instinctively jumped back, and he rolled past us, spread to the other side.And – on the threshold of the exit into that saving corridor, a second flame flared up, like a reflection of the first one in a mirror – on the other side of us. Lenka rushed there, and, deciding on the last, tried to extinguish with her own water. The flame just hissed wildly, introducing Lenka into a scream and shock, and us too, and when Lenka jumped back, the fire, which had died down, suddenly spread to the corridor. She did not have enough strength to extinguish it … The path was cut off.

    – Up, – I pointed out, – let’s get out on the brackets!

    We rushed to the manhole leading upwards, but then we distinctly felt how in the burning smoky air of the accursed dungeon smelled in a new way: a sharp unfamiliar gas, similar to a swamp.As soon as we had time to feel it, an explosion blew up, deafening us. And a wave, overturning consciousness, hit from that casemate, a clot of flame splashed out from there, and Gretchen, standing closest to the casemate, was thrown into the air like a rag. She was whirled in whirlwinds and flung her head against the stones. We heard a terrible crunch.

    We rushed to it, already suffocating ourselves in the smoke and hot air, turned it over. Lenka screamed. I didn’t scream, but I felt that reality had somehow changed – this is called depersonalization.In the light of the flashes, we saw Gretchen’s glazed open eyes – one by two-thirds, the other by one. She died instantly. We did not even remember how we climbed up the brackets, I was the first, and then waves of fire rushed behind us from below, just as fanned by the draft in this pipe. I had already climbed almost to the top when I heard Lenkin cry:

    – Marianna!

    Further it was torn off by a wave of burning air, and it collapsed into the fiery space blazing below. But I – I managed to jump out onto the upper walls.And then … Further, until now, I can not restore everything completely in my consciousness. I scarcely remembered going down the ledges on the outer wall and running away from the thick pillar of smoke above the battlements. And sometimes I don’t understand – in reality I saw or heard it or in a dream – the screeching and fighting of fire bells and a special airship hanging over the fortress and sprinkling it with fire-extinguishing mixtures … And to this day I remember those events in fragments. As if the memory itself protects me from these memories, allowing me to highlight only partially – one or the other piece.I’ve recovered; I came to my senses. Returned to normal life.

    But – my life was divided into before and after. They both died, and I was saved alone. Maybe, at times I thought, I was saved only because I had already been there several times and almost lived. I knew this dungeon, and it knew me. I got used to him, approached him respectfully. And they came brazenly, not knowing him, and immediately lit coal, and burst right through with fire … And the dungeon took revenge. The official report said that stocks of old explosive fuel had caught fire under already rotten floor slabs.But it involuntarily seemed to me that the reason was not only this – but we, three young sinners, awakened in many years of desolation an unknown otherworldly evil sleeping there. About which, however, we had heard before from people in the surrounding area.

    And I sat by the window, looking at the stars, thinking about everything and nothing, and smoked one after another.

    I realized that this will never leave me. And strange events began in the state, flashes of magnetism in the sky, a war with barbarians, a local conflict in Wijk, a man-made disaster beyond Polkhar.Further – the separation of Veik as an autonomy, the flight of many inhabitants from it, the closure of internal borders with him at the official level. I no longer remembered what happened before, what later, but the people talked about the “shadow over the Wake” and – about the “magnetization of the troposphere.” I got married, my daughters were born. And I left my job as a seamstress and began to study languages. And then we met Natasha. Which then also … lost her dad.

    One evening in the alley I met Marianne. She shone with a bright spot of a pink short tunic with a half-open shoulder and a brooch-clasp on the chest.She wore sandals with long straps on her feet. Smoke, she smiled brightly and offered to walk to the campus and ask our Ariel to show us some film – he often lived in his closet until late at night and edited videos. I agreed, and we walked through the warm, warm twilight. All the lights on the campus were already blown out except two – in the office of the first person of the campus – the rector and the second person – the mechanic Ariel.

    Ariel really sat in a closet, narrow and long. On its wall was a poster with a large photograph of the poet Voznesensky performing on the stage.On the other part of the wall, a man with a hat and glasses, a little over a meter in height, was painted in charcoal in the genre of graffiti. A huge round shiny microphone stood in front of Ariel on a narrow table, music was playing from the speaker, and Ariel sang karaoke with rapture alone. He sang songs of the Guards, Naboki and merchants. When he saw us, he interrupted the karaoke singing and looked inquiringly. He was in a gray suit and smelled of film strips and Quadrigue cologne. Having listened to our request, he smiled and said that it seemed that it was not supposed to be in non-class times, but he would make an exception for such beauties.Soon we watched several music videos in the cinema. Marianne sat with her beautiful bare leg over the other and smoked. This, too, was not supposed to be in such a place, but …

    But then – now, it seemed, in the immemorial, those days – we sometimes sat in such a manner in the lobby of the school, skipping classes. And Lenka, in a mesh hat, also impudently pitched outside the smoking areas, right in the lobby. She sang songs with unprintable expressions and lifted her leg. Gretchen sat next to her and also lifted her legs, folded back the tight hem and spent hours looking at her outstretched thighs in purple stockings.With such an expression, as if she herself did not understand why she was staring at her own limbs, as if she found them extravagant and intricate in these stockings. Obviously, Greta-1 was looking exactly at Greta-2’s feet.

    Then Greta stood in front of Lenka and little by little began to squeeze her knees and whistle tensely. Shy and funny … Lenka, noticing her incipient discomforts, said:

    – Gretchen, I think it’s time for you to wash your hands! Yes, yes, go and wash your pens!

    Lenka grinned mockingly, and Greta sniffed with offended evil and disappeared from her eyes.Then Tim and Sima appeared. They burned phosphorus behind the school. They generally liked to burn something. We loved to light and burn … And we loved …

    Marianne lit the next cigarette from the butt of the previous one, and I was fascinated watching the final clip from the selection. I liked him the most. The plot of the video was as follows.

    Among the endless cherry and apple blossoming orchards, under the rays of the sun and the shade of alleys, a tram rolled along a narrow path. In it, alone in the back half of it, with her back to other rare passengers, sat a languidly romantic dreamy girl, immersed in herself and looking down.At the stop, a young guy entered the carriage. In the background, slightly blurred plan, behind the face of that passenger shown in close-up in the foreground, it seems that for some reason he approached those other people in the carriage. Then the frame changed. Here he was standing right in front of a sad, dreaming girl and – stretching out his hand to her. The girl looked at him. From the expression on her face it became clear – she liked the guy at first sight.

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