Crazy Austin Homeless Dude

Downtown Austin is notorious for having a bunch of homeless people hanging out at street corners. It reminds me a lot of San Francisco in that regard. There is something about ultra-liberal towns that seems to attract some of the craziest of the crazy homeless people.

I was in a coffee shop off Congress, just a few blocks from the capital, at a place called The Hideout. It’s kind of Austiny and grungy but cool. They have music shows and other alternative stuff at night. People that work here have Euro accents and they seem rather put-out with life, but this is very much an Austin vibe kinda thing – to act like you are all upset by the world and just sit around, thinking up beat poetry.

This coffee shop, like others I have seen in downtown Austin, is frequented by these homeless people, that come in and actually drink coffee and eat pastries and stuff. I have no idea how they afford these overpriced items… I can only assume it is either free or they use their begging combined with relatively poor money management skills.

So this guy in the picture below sat down and just started chatting it up with me. He was very nice, for a crazy person. He proceed to tell me what he likes to do is get shoe polish, rub it all over his face, and run around the streets singing show tunes. The funny thing is, my ideas are not completely dissimilar.

I told him his glasses were pretty cool (in a Napoleon Dynamite voice) and I asked if I could take a picture. He said, “Sure man, right on,” so I snapped it.

(All the pictures are gone. Times are hard.)

Coffee at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

This Mozart’s Coffee Roasters is where I come some days in Austin to drink coffee and hop onto the wireless broadband pro bono. It’s right on Lake Austin and they have a huge deck where you can hang out, look at the lake, and drink coffee. 90% of the tables here are filled with people on their laptops doing god knows what.

It is almost surreal… everyone could be at home, drinking coffee, online with their laptop, totally alone. But instead they all come here to be by other people who are doing the same thing. As strange as this human behavior is, I can’t help but notice I am part of it.

Stem Cell Fraud 101

So I ran into another interesting guy at Starbucks. I was sitting there and this Korean guy came and sat by me, I surprised him by saying, “Annyeoung Hasimnika”. He was shocked and started speaking Korean back to me, and I gave him a blank stare because I only know how to say Hello, Goodbye, Hi, Bye, and Can I Clone That Sheep For You.

We then started speaking English and he is a biochemistry professor in South Korea. His name is Jin Jeoung. I said, “Oh, well there has been a little biochemistry news coming out of South Korea lately eh?” He laughed and said yes – that he was actually from the same university as the fake cloner guy (Hwang Woo-suk). Not only that, but he actually taught him in a class ten years ago. I asked if the class was called “Stem Cell Fraud 101″, and we had a good laugh and clinked our coffee cups together.

Jin went on to say that it was an unfortunate event and kind of one of those things that snowballs and gets out of hand. He obviously still had faith in the other good biochemists there at the university (like him). His son is currently at UT studying biochemistry himself… at the end, his son came in and wondered why his pops was chatting it up with some white dude that spoke broken Korean.

All of this story is true, by the way… I just re-read it and see that it appears a little outlandish.

Crazy sock/boot combo at Starbucks

I really don’t know how to describe this outfit that I just saw at Starbucks, but it was almost freezing today and this gal came in wearing a huge windbreaker and these crazy frilly socks, carefully splayed over her brown Timberland boots and some 1988 cut-off blue jeans.

Lance Near Starbucks

I was just driving through the Arboretum here in Austin to go to this new Starbucks that opened to check my afternoon email and whatnot. I looked over to my right at the stoplight, and there was Lance Armstrong on his bike. He was dressed in blue and looking cool. I quickly rolled down my window and yelled “Screw the French media!” He gave me the thumbs up and smiled. Then the light suddenly went green before I could think of anything else witty and/or less extreme to scream out my window.

Lance

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