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Barbarian Warlord

The light is low in the bar/cafe, opera music is playing, and I write with a single candle on the table providing most of the light.

The owner is a very internationally inclined Chinese man. Impeccably dressed in Italian clothing, he slowly works the room, offering for people to try...something, I can’t see exactly because it’s too dark. Candy? Chocolate? Olives? Something.

He and I have chatted before, but he sees that I’m working and leaves me to my writing and coffee. The coffee is pretty good. I’d prefer if it was slightly stronger, but it’s still pretty good.

I stayed up all night talking business with a Chinese friend, then had a call back to America scheduled at 5AM local time. I didn't sleep until 9AM, and then I awoke at 5PM when I got a dinner invitation.

Well, dinner for my host, breakfast for me.

Falling

On Tynan

Being high up in the air isn't a problem until the wind starts blowing.

Then the dance begins -- your mind rebels, and you have to do everything you can to not get sucked down into it.

The veteran climbers at The Gunks in Upstate New York have adjusted, but it's my first climb outdoors.

We wanted a 5.3 difficulty climb, but birds were nesting. So we're on a 5.6 called "High Exposure" -- a fitting description.

Adrenalin and bravado are a potent mix, and the first two-thirds of the climb were uneventful. Pleasant, a walk in the park. I'm a natural for this stuff. If I dropped 10 kilos, I could be a a pretty great climber. This is easy.

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