Pokemon, where have you gone to? – Part 2

If you find yourself at a dead stop behind a non-moving vehicle in the middle of parking lot, there’s a good chance the operator of the vehicle is playing Pokemon Go. This happened to me and my son the other day. The woman was staring down into her lap, obviously trying to hide something, her eyes bugging out of her head with enough concentration to burst a dam. Could it be? Of course! she’s playing Pokemon Go!

This determination is common and even more severe than anyone could have imagined. The headlines are rife with tragedies and mishaps. Players falling off cliffs, crashing into cop cars, and getting stabbed. On the lighter side, I read a hopeful story about the rescue of a stray kitten, later named Mewtwo (yes, from the game). Poor, little Mewtwo was stuck in a tree with injuries and couldn’t get down. I’m betting it was Pokemon Go players who drove the poor cat up the tree in the first place, arriving in hoards, stepping on her tail or something much worse.

And did you hear the news? (Although it’s hard to top Mewtwo.) Nick Johnson, a New Yorker, has caught all the Pokemon! Yes, really. He did it in two weeks with a little help from Uber. No crashing into cop cars here. He caught them in two weeks with little or no sleep. It kind of feels like he got the Golden Ticket. He still needs to catch the rare creatures who only exist in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. And what luck! Marriott Rewards is going to partner with him to help him locate the last remaining Pokemon.

My son shouts, “Mom! We should have done this!” For free trips to all these places, I totally would have done this. Just picture the headline:

Mother and Son TEAM catch all the Pokemon

I mean, doesn’t that have a better ring to it?

So far, my progress is dismal. I’m at Level 6. And my son? He’s watched some YouTube video that’s shown him how to hack into the game and play Pokemon Go from a horizontal, resting position on the couch (i.e., he doesn’t have to GO anywhere!). He tells me this game is for people who need to get out and he already gets out enough.

So, he’s playing the game as if he’s walking around San Francisco and he’s catching a lot of fish. As you might imagine, this has put a damper on our Pokemon bonding experience. But he’s busy because you need to capture 132 fish to evolve one of your fishes. You need to capture like a whole school. And what will he tell his cousin, whom we’re meeting in San Francisco when he’s already caught all the Pokemon there? His secret will be out!

Meanwhile, back at that ranch, I got a new line on an old phone given to me by mother-in-law so my younger son has a Pokemon device. Sprint requires not only your account information but also your first-born and a DNA sample…and still, they won’t unlock the phone! It turns out they won’t unlock iPhones. What a bust.

My family and I have been in San Jose over the past few days for the Junior Olympics Water Polo tournament and, in between games, the hotel was a flurry of Pokemon Go activity.

Our hotel, in fact, had a PokeStop. It was this Oasis:

Calm and peaceful. A perfect place for a PokeStop.

This made me wonder if the game makers sought permission for naming their PokeSpots. While the hotel might appreciate the free advertising, it may be a tad disturbing to their paying guests to have all these extra “guests” while ensconced poolside at their hotel. My son assured me that no one has given any permission for any PokeStop and that that trespassing is rampant. In fact, people are walking into the backyards of people’s houses looking for PokeStops. What could be a PokeStop in someone’s backyard, I wonder.

Perhaps it’s a fountain like the one we saw at the De Anza College campus in Cupertino, California:

This gets PokeStop status.

Or a sculpture:

Here we have the Omubaka Ambassador Sculpture and, apparently, an Ambassador to the PokeStop.

I vote for this turtle, who wasn’t a PokeStop:

What gives?

Sometimes, a PokeStop truly is deserving, like this plaque celebrating an English professor. My son remarked that the quote was nice. Indeed:


It reads: In the shooting lights of thy wild eyes…from a verse from William Wordsworth.

My son used my phone to play and we let the game track our every move, which doesn’t seem to bother anyone anymore. Not in the case of Pokemon Go. Me, I’m betting there’s some other game probably already in the works. You know, like something darker out of a dystopian novel, like play or be eaten. Although what could be darker than enslaving Pokemon to fight until they fade and pass out while fighting in that innocent, healthy arena called a “Gym.”

My son ran around with his buddies later in the week. Without their devices. They were playing a game you may have heard of. Hide-and-Go-Seek.

Yeah, they did. It’s a classic.

News at Your Fingertips

I enjoy The Huffington Post and usually explore the headlines on my smartphone. Many of my blogging friends have had articles published on the HuffPo, and when that happens it’s a truly special day. Celebrities are in my midst, mind you, celebrities who will talk to me. Special, like I said.

But on a typical day, I attempt to read what seems like a countless stream of headlines. Where is the end of these stories, I ask, only to discover in total bewilderment moments later, I’m still not at the end. This begs the question, what are the headlines these days? They are whatever you like them to be, silly. Don’t you know? You decide what’s news, what’s important, and how you want to spend your precious time.

In the interest of time, and those nifty “Quick Read” buttons that HuffPo has with each article, getting through the news has never been more efficient.

Much of the story, for example, can be garnered through the headline alone. Let me show you. As far as selected headlines go, work with me here. I never said they were highly valued, significant headlines. Who cares about that? The important thing, friend, is that you are satisfied.

Settle in, but don’t worry…this won’t take but a minute. Included in this list of headlines are, wait for it…Actual Headlines. Here they are:

1. How To Feel More Relaxed This Week


All right, this is a no brainer. Lay on the grass and you shall relax. Oh, not so fast. When I click on this news story, I find another headline, and it’s this: 7 Ways To Feel Less Stressed Using Brain Games

That’s a bit misleading, huh? I have to activate my brain now and play brain games. Excuse me, but I can’t think of way to feel more stress.


2. “Nobody is Truly Ready” for Sea Level Rise

Florida Coast Line At Greatest Risk Of Rising Sea Level
Inside scoop on the next page. Guess what? It’s a no brainer. ‘Nobody Is Truly Ready’ For Rise Of Seas

It’s confirmed. Nobody is ready. Not you, not me. We’re all falling into the ocean.


3. A Formula For Making Any Relationship Thrive


This one is simple: More sex. That is the formula. Does this couple look happy? Yeah, yeah, it’s sex.

Inside scoop: There’s a video and, better yet, it’s Dr. Phil. So, I went straight for the “Quick Read.” Dr. Phil has this to say:

If all you ever deal with in a relationship are problems, you’re going to have a problem relationship.

Let me see if I got this straight. If you have relationship problems, your relationship is a problem. Shall I dig deeper, because certainly there must be more.

Dr. Phil also has this to say:

The formula for success in a relationship is a function of the extent to which it’s based on a solid underlying friendship, and it meets the emotional needs of the two people involved.

As I said, more sex.


4. Dingaling’ Puts Glow Stick In Microwave, The Obvious Happens (VIDEO)

There is no need to watch the 4 minute video, although I’m afraid I tapped into it, and I wished I hadn’t. All you really need to see is this bit here. I do feel pretty bad for the “dingaling” with the awesome shirt, who happened to have a glow stick explode in his face. The father cared but a whiff about his safety, but I did learn the following from HuffPo. It’s this:

The chemical inside most glow sticks — dibutyl phthalate — is low in toxicity and causes only minor irritation if swallowed or in contact with the eye.

Good to know.


5. These Foster Kittens Love Being Bottle Fed So Much They Can’t Stop Wiggling Their Ears

Things have deteriorated rapidly. Just under the exploding glow stick are the kitties with the wiggly ears.

FYI: These foster kitties, known as the “breakfast bunch,” are named Waffle, Pancake, Muffin, Hash Brown, and Biscuit.

Of course, you will watch. How can you not? I won’t tell.

[Sorry, the video has been deleted. Trust me when I tell you this kitty was darn cute!]

Do you get distracted by news that is less than important?  Relax, but I wouldn’t recommend any brain activity games unless, of course, that’s your thing.

Photo credits:  jacilluch via photopin; What else? Huffington Post