Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: How to Mess With Phone Scammers


Martha Boyd is not just Luke’s mother-in-law – she’s also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. But be nice. Being nuts is okay, though. We’re all mad here.

Happy first week of November. Wow, it is already November – how time flies. Well, I hope you all survived Halloween and got your day-after 1/2 price candy – I did. Only a few more weeks to Turkey Day and then Christmas. Last weeks events had their ups and downs. Starting last Thursday, Edison (our power company) turned off the power from 8 am to 5 pm. Such fun on a work day. So the night before I had to work late and then after it all came back online I had to work Thursday night to make up of the lost day of work. Such fun. But hey, it finally all worked out and I did get caught up. Learned that LYT survived Hello Kitty Con; there was no doubt that Julia would. Friday was Halloween – I stayed home and watched It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Then Saturday was the 1st Saturday breakfast at Copper Mountain – yum yum.

Most of the week we have had wind, and temp has gotten down into the 50s most nights. I have the water around the property turned off and pipes drained to prevent freeze burst. I hope I found all of the values. This is the first year I have had to do this as generally this was the husband’s task. Luckily I know how to split wood and build fires to keep warm for the winter. We use a combination of heating methods at the house: I have normal FWA units on each end of the house. Then the fireplace in the living room and just in case, I have 3 quartz room heaters. Oh yes, and the best 5 cuddle kitties in the world.

Master Chef Jr started again on Tuesday night – love Gordon Ramsey and he is very nice to the kids. Also watched the Marvel 75th anniversay show – pretty good, I do say. Anyone looking forward to Big Hero 6? Looks sort of fun.

Saw something funny on the road today – but could not get a picture. I am used to seeing tanks on the highway, as we are a military area. Two flatbed trucks heading toward the base with 4 wooden tank models on them – I guess the budget got cut. They were cheap, basically boxes with a tube for the front gun and black painted on wheels. Looked like something a kid would play with.

Now let’s see what you kids are up to.

Dear Luke’s MIL,

This isn’t very geeky, but I’ve been thinking a lot about death with dignity lately thanks to Brittany Maynard – now deceased – publicizing her story and her decision to end her suffering on her own terms. My mind was made up on the subject many years ago, but I’m curious what your thoughts on the matter are, and if they’ve evolved over the years.

Hi, and never don’t ask a question if it is not geeky. I am more than happy to talk on any subject. I have pretty much always been pro death with dignity. I think people should be able to choose when and under what terms they leave this earth. I have seen too many times where people had no quality of life, could do nothing, did not remember any loved ones, could not eat on their own, etc., they were kept on life support merely for the family feelings. I have seen families pushed into poverty sometimes over this.

I don’t mean pull the plug to save money, but after a certain point in time people need to let go. You need to put the person who is suffering ahead of your own feelings. Brittany Maynard knew she was terminal, she did everything she wanted to do and had quality family time before she passed. Why should she be made to make her family watch her die in a prolonged manner?

My husband always told me that if he was to get to the point of where he had to be put in a home, did not know anyone and could not enjoy life he wanted to go on a camping trip and just not make it back to the pick-up point. He wanted to go out on his own terms and not just linger around. He cheated death many times in serving his country – so he knew what he wanted.

Dear LYT’s Mother-In-Law,

What are your thoughts on nerdy baby names? No, I’m not planning on having any rugrats of my own anytime soon, but my mom said that when she was a teenager she wanted to name her daughter (Which would mean myself) Cassiopeia after a character from the original Battlestar Galactica. She would later change her mind and give me a a more common name.

Do you think it’s a good idea for their kids to bare the names of the favorite characters of their parents? I’m kinda worried that the kids would be bullied for their names (The mythology lover in me would love to name a daughter ‘Persephone’, but I have no idea how kids would pronounce that).

I do not like the trend of catchy, etc names for kids. It may be cute to start, but when they hit playgroups and school, look out world. Yes they will be teased for the name and little kids can and will be cruel. Kids tease anyway, but why given them an opening? Also, the parent has to think even farther in the future – what happens when they go into the work force? Some of these funny names can have a bearing on what job you may be able to hold. Can you imagine a doctor with the name of Mopsey or Moonbeam? Ouch. You also need to watch the initals that are formed with the name as kids will pick up on this too. When parents name the kids they need to think back to their childhood and carefully consider the outcome.


Why haven’t we gotten rid of daylight savings time yet?

I don’t know, but I am totally in agreement that we need to get rid of this habit. Now I am still at work at 5pm and it is dark. Should be home when it is dark, not just thinking about getting there now in the dark. The electricity has to be on longer – how does that help with conservation? I have to burn more propane and firewood to keep warm – no help on that end.

I heard on the news the other day that most don’t back the time change anymore. Not even the farmers – who everyone said it was done for. Heard about the only ones in favor of the time change are golf course owners who can start earlier tee times. There have been studies in states that don’t change and no energy savings were made at all.

Yep,lets dump it now!!!!!

QUESTION! Around here there are a lot of anti-Halloween types. Enough so that the door to door trick or treating is openly discouraged. The Southern Baptists drive around in vans to “invite” trick-or-treaters they spot to hop in and head over to their church where they have pretty much a micro neighborhood set up in the parking lot where the kids can fill up their bags with candy without having to walk around a neighborhood. They’re sometimes pretty pushy about the whole thing. I find this creepy attempt to smother the holiday to be… creepy. What do you think?

Unfortunately in today’s world, if I had kids of trick or treat age I would think twice about the door to door thing, unless I knew all my neighbors and only went to those houses. Even when Julia was little we took her to her gramma’s house and only went on gramma’s street. Myself, husband and generally grampa or an uncle would tag along and closely watch the door as she got her treats. The churches in our area and the park/rec departments have parties and the kids go booth to booth and collect candy and play games. This is probably the safest thing today.

Unfortunately today we don’t know a lot of our neighbors like when I was growing up. Sort of a sad comment on society. The churches that do the festivales out here are pretty good about not pushing the church on that night. I don’t really care for the van trying to get kids to hop in the van. That violates parents telling kids don’t talk or go with strangers. If they went around in the van and handed out flyers then that would be one thing, but I would be real uncomfortable with my kid hopping in the van.

Speaking of Halloween, when you were a cop, did you ever see one case of a kid being injured by poisoned candy from a stranger?

Yes. Unfortunately. The local hospitals always invited parents to bring candy to the ER and have it checked out for objects with the X-ray. Every year we would get calls that candy had been found with pins, razors etc. Sometimes the parents had kept track of which house provided what candy and we were able to get the creep. When we took our daughter out we always inspected candy before she got anything. If it was even slightly open or homemade (unless we knew the provider) it went right into the trash.

What’s the best way to screw with an annoying and persistent phone-scammer?

Great question. I assume this has been happening. Time is money to these idiots. I keep them on the line as long as possible. To start with I get them from “Microsoft” mostly. Why would Microsoft waste time calling all windows users? They do weekly patches – just download the darm things. Every time I have had to have a tech take over my computer I have to go to a program and grant permission. I generally started the call so I know who I am calling.

I have done some fun things and generally they are too stupid to hang up. I play that I am really dumb on the computer and keep asking them to repeat things. Keep saying what they are asking me to do is not working. I always ask to speak with the supervisor. One time they told me I had a bug in my computer. I said I was very afraid of bugs, I started screaming and saying I was going to kill them. I started banging on my desk like I was killing the computer. I have told them my portable phone was dying and I have to find my land line so I put the phone down and just leave it sit for a long time. And here is a good one. I will go thru all of this and if they haven’t hung up yet I say oh – I have an Apple computer no wonder it is not working.


Well, that’s about all for this round. Going thru town this morning I found a gas station at $2.95 per gallon. Have not seen under $3.00 in ages. Hopefully it will stay down for a bit. Tonight I am going to the Sheriff volunteer meeting, thinking of seeing about volunteering at our local sub station. I was something I had talked about when I finally retired, but why wait, might as well go now and check it out.

Anyway as always be good to each other next week. Have a great weekend. Huggs

P.S. keep the questions posting.