Tim Knight Blog | The Hopeless Population | Talkmarkets
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Tim Knight has been charting and trading since 1987. His first stock trade was, in fact, on October 19, 1987 – the day of the crash – which perhaps goes a long way explaining his disposition ... more

The Hopeless Population

Date: Monday, August 19, 2019 12:48 AM EST

Over the years, I have written from time to time about experiences in my beloved Palo Alto. One of the most popular tales had to do with one particular homeless fellow named Zachary, about whom I wrote here as well as here. I had a brief encounter this week which prompted me to do this post.

this is not Zachary, but another homeless fellow downtown

It was nine in the morning, and I was doing typical Tim stuff: having caught up on morning trading tasks, I had driven downtown with my two larger dogs to get my morning chai, and I stopped by Walgreens to pick up a prescription. I left my dogs in the car (setting it to Dog Mode, of course, even though it was a cool morning) and stepped onto the University Avenue sidewalk.

A few paces later, I noticed a fine-looking German Shepherd. I’ve always thought they were terribly handsome animals, even though I’ve never really wanted one (their fur is kind of coarse for my liking, and I tend to like my dogs on the goofy side, whereas Sheps seem sort of serious and focused).

Anyway, since I consider every dog on the planet to be at least a little bit my own, I did my usual dog greeting, which usually is some silly baby-talky stuff, normally flanked by assurances of what a good boy or girl he or she is. The moment I said it, though, the human holding the dog’s leash snarled at me: “Don’t you talk to my dog! This is my service dog!” She was absolutely furious, practically foaming at the mouth. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an angry face.

I was taken aback, but I instantly recognized this woman. She was one of Palo Alto’s never-changing homeless population, and I had seen her squatting around downtown for years, most often with a cardboard sign stating that she had cancer. I can only assume it’s an especially benign cancer, since the same lady has been downtown for years on end, in no obvious state of physical decline, telegraphing her purported ailment.

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