Life

I talked about Hattrick here before. It is a game and like any other game, it has users. And one of these users died today. I do not read the news on the homepage on a regular basis, but the “RIP” part caught my attention.
I do not like the subject “death” and I try to avoid it as much as I can. But when it comes to hear about young people die it’s not that simple to avoid it. I read the lines and followed the link to the the team’s page. It said that the respective team does not have a human manager. This team currently holds the last position of the most important Romanian series.
I entered the forum and found messages from this user announcing his retirement from Hattrick. It was in September. He was saying that he has to be admitted to the hospital for undetermined time.
Almost two months after the user and the person behind do not exist anymore.
He was saying that there are things way too important in life than the game. The others seemed not to understand the meaning of what he was saying. I don’t think they could at that time. They didn’t know what he knew.

Life could be incredible fragile and it scares the hell out of me. One moment you are here and you are breathing, reading, writing… The next, everything could vanish…

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Black Friday Sales

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season.
Because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, Black Friday occurs between the 23rd and the 29th of November.
Black Friday is not an official holiday, but many employees have the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday (with the exceptions of those employed in retailing, health care, and banking), which increases the number of potential shoppers.

Retailers often decorate for the Christmas and holiday season weeks beforehand. Many retailers open extremely early, with most of the retailers typically opening at 5AM or even earlier. Some of the larger retailers (depending on the location) such as Sears, Best Buy, Macy’s, Toys “R” Us, and Walmart have been reported to open as early as midnight on the start of Black Friday in localized areas and remain open for 24 hours throughout the day until midnight the following Saturday. Upon opening, retailers offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores.


Although Black Friday, as the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season at least since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the term “Black Friday” has been traced back only to the 1960s.

The term “Black Friday” originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day. In many cities it is not uncommon to see shoppers lined up for hours before stores with big sales open. Once inside the stores, shoppers often rush and grab, as many stores have only a few of the big-draw items. On occasion, injuries and even fatalities are reported.

Tropicana Juice

This brand among many others reminds me of America. There was hardly a morning without the Tropicana Orange Juice.
100% Orange Pure & Natural… that’s how it is promoted and it sure feels like it.
It is made with fresh oranges, there are no water, sugar or preservatives added.

To make the best juice, Tropicana works with some of Florida’s most established groves. Tropica is the largest single buyer of Florida fruit. They are making sure they pick the fruit at the perfect time.

The orange oil is extracted from the peel to capture the from-the-orange taste and aromas which are later carefully blended into the juice for consistent quality and flavor.
Oranges have a limited growing season, and because there is demand for juice year round, an unspecified quantity of juice (some or potentially all) is deaerated and then stored for future packaging in chilled tanks to preserve quality. The aseptic tanks protect the juice from oxygen and light and hold the liquid at optimal temperatures just above freezing to maintain nutrition. It has been reported that deaerated juice no longer tastes like oranges, and must be supplemented with flavor packs derived from orange oils before consumption. Tropicana also uses small quantities of high-quality orange juice from Brazil to supplement the Florida crop.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends.

Giant balloons, floats, marching bands and clowns with confetti are part of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held in New York.

This year, for the first time, the parade route bypassed Broadway, which cuts a diagonal slice through Manhattan, as it made its way south from the Upper West Side to the finish at Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.

The new route traverses the grid of the city’s streets and avenues, includes turns around five corners, and is slightly longer than in previous years.

Remembering London

A couple of weeks ago I’ve seen some pictures from London. The pictures of a friend in London. And I’ve remembered places. I don’t know if there will be posts about London as there were about NY or Washington. I do not like London so much. I like places in London but there’s no chemistry between us.
I have photos, videos and memories. I don’t feel the need or desire to return.

It was in 2008 for my 30th birthday. I have mixed feelings about the trip. I cherished some places and I have good memories of them, I cherished others but the memories are a bit hurtful. Especially the ones from June 4th.

And I really tried and succeeded in enjoying Greenwich.

If only it weren’t for the count down…

NYC Subway

While in NYC in 2007 the subway seemed a little bit complicated as I only took it once. In 2009 I got so used to the NYC subway and I even began to like it, especially the Shuttle, the connection between Times Square and Grand Central Station.

The 7-day Unlimited Ride MetroCard, which includes unlimited subway and local bus rides costs 27 dollars.

The NYC subway is one of the oldest and most extensive public transportation systems in the world, with 468 stations in operation (421 if stations connected by transfers are counted as a single station).
Among the world’s busiest metro systems it is the only one to run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Subway stations are located throughout the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Many lines and stations have both express and local service. These lines have three or four tracks: normally, the outer two are used for local trains, and the inner one or two are used for express trains. Stations served by express trains are typically major transfer points or destinations.

The Times Square–42nd Street station is the busiest station of the New York City Subway.

But the entrance/exit right near the Police Department in Times Square is the smallest one I ever seen.

Swatch

Swatch is a brand name for a line of wrist watches from the Swatch Group, a Swiss conglomerate with vertical control of the production of Swiss watches and related products. In 1982, Swatch was conceived and it was introduced to the market in Switzerland in March 1983.

This concept was realised in the early 1980s, under the leadership of the then ETA SA’s CEO, Ernst Thomke with a small team of enthusiastic watch engineers led by Elmar Mock and Jacques Müller, who had had the idea to use the case back as a movement main plate (platine), as it had been done to realise the flattest watch in the world, the Delirium, suppressing a lot of parts. And designed for easy assembling.

Swatch was originally intended to re-capture entry level market share lost by Swiss manufacturers during the aggressive growth of Japanese companies such as Seiko in the 1960s and 1970s, and to re-popularize analog watches at a time when digital watches had achieved wide popularity.

The combination of marketing and manufacturing expertise restored Switzerland as a major player in the world wristwatch market. Synthetic materials were used for the watchcases as well as a new ultra-sonic welding process and the assembly technology. The number of components was reduced from 91 or more to 51, with no loss of accuracy. Compared to conventional watches, a Swatch was 80% cheaper to produce by fully automating assembly.

In light of the economic state of the Swiss watch industry at the time of the introduction of the Swatch, its directors understood that it was not enough to offer a good watch. The watches needed to be attractive, cheeky and good fun, daring in design and aggressively priced, with high quality and innovative flair. The Swatch watches were high-tech and came in a variety of fashion and art design.

The first meaning of the name “Swatch” was “Second Watch” — because the new watch was introduced with a new concept of watches as casual, fun, and relatively disposable accessories. However Franz Sprecher conceived it as the contraction of Swiss (Made) Watch: “S’Watch”, soon became “Swatch” as it is today perceived worldwide.

There are five families under the Swatch brand: Originals, Irony, Skin, Beat, Bijoux.

I have 2 Swatch Irony pieces. The first one was bought in 2000 and it still rocks.

The second was acquired this September. Its complete name is Swatch Full Blooded and will always remember me of Washington.

Needless to say I am very content with my Swatches…