Here's Johnny - Gotta catch 'em all?
Saturday I was walking to the gym under the early afternoon sun when I came upon a lad, 13 years old or so, who was standing on a sidewalk, looking at his phone. "Gotta catch 'em all?" I asked. He looked up from his smart phone with a puzzled expression. "You know, Pokemon - the song to the cartoon, 'Gotta catch 'em all!'? You're playing Pokemon Go, right?" I asked. No, he answered patiently. He was trying to reunite baby ducks with their mother. I suppose he was texting a friend or parent for advice, or Googling "how to reunite baby ducks with their mother," but I was too embarrassed to ask. The boy explained that on the other side of the street, the ducklings had somehow gotten into a culvert too steep for them to climb out of. Their mother had returned several times to try to lead them out, but they couldn't make it up the hill. I told him I'd be back after I worked out and in the meantime, would try to figure out a way to help. Weights were lifted and set down again and I walked back to where I'd seen the lad. This time he was on the other end of the street. He'd managed to steer the ducklings through the culvert under the street where, presumably, they could walk out and Mom could find them, but she'd flown off. He wasn't sure what to do and I wasn't either. We looked for the ducklings in thick brush around a creek - well, he did, mostly. They were gone. I'd like to think Momma Duck returned later and found them and all was well, but I don't know if that happened. I do know I met a young boy who spent at least an hour in 90-degree weather trying to do a good deed. I didn't even get his name. Trouble at the DNC Having spent last week's column poking fun at the goings-on at the Trump National Convention, a few jibes at their counterparts seem in order. The day before the Democratic National Convention began in Philadelphia, hackers dropped a load of embarrassing emails involving officials at the other DNC (the Democratic National Committee). Turns out, Sen. Bernie Sanders wasn't being paranoid when he accused Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others of stacking the deck in favor of Hillary Clinton. They were, indeed, out to get him. Then, high-ranking Democrats began to suggest that because experts said the leaks almost certainly involved Russian hackers, Russian President/Dictator Vladimir Putin might be responsible. Putin and Republican nominee Donald Trump have a mutual admiration society, and some worry that President Trump's America-first policies would enable Russia to more easily work its will on the rest of the world. Lest we forget, Trump's not the first Republican to praise Putin. The first was President George W. Bush, who looked into Putin's soul and found a good man. Of course, time and events have since proven that Putin is not only not a good man, but also may have no soul. Anyway, Sanders followers are angry, Schultz didn't gavel open the convention and stepped down as DNC chair, and a poll showed Trump with a six-point bump out of the Republican convention. Maybe the Democratic National Committee should have used Hillary's personal email server. It might have been more secure.