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Seven-Eleven's Night Shift

I often work at 7-11 in the nighttime. In Taipei, a number of 7-11 stores have some nice tables. There's free WiFi, and while it's somewhat limited (you need to get a login that expires after 30 minutes, and you can log on only 3 times in a day), my phone has infinite 3G internet and tethers to my computer.

There's a 7-11 a few blocks from my place, so it's my de facto go-to place after the cafes in this sleepy little area are closed at 1AM.

After being here on and off for a few weeks, I've come to be impressed by the industriousness of the nighttime clerk here.

7-11 has managed to have one man cover the majority of the general service of customers who come in, preparing microwaved food or other things that need preparation when customers order them, stocking the shelves when the delivery trucks arrive sometime between midnight and 5AM, doing general maintenance and keeping the store clean (sweeping, mopping), and -- and this was the part that struck with the need to write this -- make repairs and maintenance of long-term fixtures like the fans, appliances, and refrigerators.

Tonight, he disassembled all the fans that are embedded into the ceiling, and the genius of the system became apparent. The fans were made to be assembled and disassembled with no tools at all. They're made of some lightweight material, and easy to logically take apart. They're held together by some sturdy plastic screw-like things that can be easily hand-cranked on or off while using the other hand to support the main weight of the fan. 


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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