Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Father’s Day, Slender Man, Pikachu and Hedgehogs


Luke’s mother-in-law is former LAPD, a licensed property appraiser and a self-described crazy cat lady. None of which has prepared her for TR readers. All questions and answers are real.

Hey de ho all. It’s Thursday again. My, how the week just flies when you are having fun. Father’s Day is in a few days. So in honor of my husband, Julia’s dad and LYT’s father in law I have included a pic of 2 large yellow rocks that he found on one of his rock hounding trips. I thought they looked like flames and we had the pair of metal candle holders. They so work together. I have also included a pic from the garden of my prettiest tomato plant. LYT will be getting some of these tomatoes soon.

Any questions? Of course you have some…

Hi Mrs. LYT in law,
Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. My question is who would win in a fight, the zombie formerly known as Rob or LYT? What wrestling moves you expect LYT to use?

Well, as I have never met Rob, I will put my bet down on LYT. LYT is 6ft + and a pretty strong guy. I can see a good choke hold would be in the bag of tricks.

I can relate to a knowing rock hounds. My grandfather began with a hitched trailer and over the course of 20 years built an entire home using mostly stones from the area ( Flamingo Heights). My bus stop in the area was right below the old lava flow hill in pipes canyon ( right on the corner of old woman springs road). He often loaded the truck up with lava stone to use for some project or another. For the large lava rocks we climbed to the top of the flat top in Flamingo Heights ( good spot to see local wild life).

Wow, that’s the same place that lots of our rocks are from; we also have them from Lucerne and up the road to Barstow. Did the house make it thru the Landers Earthquake? Hope so; it sounds awesome.

Have you experimented with concrete cloth forms? I read of a process involving dipping an old towel into concrete and forming it to the desired shape. I question the stability of say a planter made in this manner. Is this something you have tried?

I have never tried this, but it sounds like it would work ok as long as you don’t try a lot of weight in it or expecting it to hold it up. Sort of the same idea as working with papier mache which, when dry, is pretty strong. Would assume you might need to use some sort of form to hold the shape while the concrete is curing.

Why do I miss the smell of wet creosote bushes every time it rains here in the Midwest? They have a musky smell that one should not miss, yet after all this time away from the area every rain storm has me thinking about that smell. Why is that?

Yes, the desert does smell wonderful after a rain. I think it is because we get so little rain that is is more memorable then in an area where it rains all of the time.

Finally, in a death match between Harry Mudd, Gaius Baltar, Dr. Zachary Smith, and a hedge hog, who would win? What sorts of spectacular action would we be witness to? What if C3-PO was thrown into the mix?

The hedge hog would win. The rest of the group are whiners and womanizers. Not a one is a good fighter. The hedge hog would bite their ankles and they would all run away like little girls. Action – lots of running. Toss in C-3PO and he could just talk the hedge hog to death.

My mom consistently kills all of her plants, but she insists on buying more. Any advice about how to politely suggest she should stop?

Start buying her artificial ones before she has the chance to buy another live one. I tend to kill all of the indoor ones, but have decent luck with the outside ones. So that is what we did. Even on special occasions when my husband wanted to send something live, he finally learned to send fake.

Did you see the meteor shower two weekends ago?

Yes, it was wonderful. That is what is so nice about living in the desert. Almost any night you can sit outside and see meteors.

People say that heroes are dull wish fulfillment (which when they are perfect is kind of true) and anti heroes are the more complex ones but do you think that when gone too far with anti heroes doing whatever they want and never being held accountable for their actions and destruction they cause where they can be an ass to everyone do bad things but are shown as justified or just the most awesome guy ever its just a different kind of wish fulfillment the wish fulfillment of being a jerk

I think they should be held accountable for actions. The movies, TV and video games are in some part have helped to create the culture today that we have with a lot of people going off the deep end and hurting others. For example, the current case of the 12 yr-old girls who stabbed their friend 19 times to please Slender Man. In so much of this media people die and come back to life, like the new Tom Cruise movie. Some minds can not handle this and life becomes a video game. If the media also showed the consequences to the action this might help.

Kyle Andrews:
How can one get ‘all our base’ back? Because I’m pretty sure they are belong to us, not you.

Sorry, I’m lost on this one.

Is the age of owning media (CDs, DVDs, etc) over?

I still have VHS tapes and even a few casettes and – how about this – 45’s. I do have to get my VHS’s converted to at least CD’s before they waste away. But no, we are always going to want to record and keep.

Will this current nerd renaissance come to an end? The term ‘Nerd’ becomes harder to define as more people start to define themselves as such. And more people are finding niches to claim themselves as nerds. Will this lead to a point where when everyone is a nerd, no one will be?

Nah. I think there will always be geeks and nerds in some format. Both have been around forever. They will just get redefined in years to come. I think everyone already is some kind of geek and or nerd already.

I love this column. Makes my day.

Thank you – I love that LYT lets me do it. But I think he thinks I may not feed him if he does not let me write. Surprisingly, he does not edit me very often. Which I guess is pretty lucky. He says he likes my style.

My question:
If it’s cold enough to see your breath, is it also cold enough to see your farts? I have farted outdoors on many occasions thinking I was getting away with it. If it looks like I’m engaging my boosters or something, I will stop.

No, I think you are fairly safe on this one. It is a different type of gas.

Aaron Dennis-Jackson:
How many Tifas can you hit on at Comic-Con before it gets creepy?

I guess as many as you want until one of them punches you out. For sure I would not be seen with more than 1 at a time as you may be in the middle of a battle as they fight it out.

Brando L:
If the battery in the PokeDex Ash uses dies could he just plug it in to Pikachu to recharge. and would this work for his I-Pod too?

Sure, Pika is so full of energy.


Happy Father’s Day to all. My dad died shortly after Julia was born some 25 years ago. He served in the Army Corp of Engineers under Gen.Patton and then became an Engineer at MIT and worked on the space program. My husband served in Vietnam as a Green Beret and was there for 3 years. He then went into police work. So Happy Father’s Day to them. Also Happy Father’s Day to all of you who read Topless Robot. The world needs more great dads, so keep up the good work. Until next week, as always, Huggs.

If you’d like to add your questions to the pile for Luke’s mother-in-law, leave them in comments below.

Also, be sure to check out her previous columns.