Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: A Mom’s Favorite Commercials


In which ex-cop/crazy cat lady/mom-in-law Martha Boyd answers your questions from the coziness of the Joshua Tree desert.

Boy, I saw a survey on TV this last week that I can’t believe: 48% of people surveyed said passengers should not bring food on an airplane. What? When I was little and flew, food was part of the ticket price and you were served a meal, sometimes 2 depending on the length of the flight. Today you are lucky to get an ounce of mixed nuts. The prices of food on the plane are excessive for what they serve in the little plastic box, oh and the planes will only take a credit card – no cash. I still fly several times a year. Always bring food as I refuse to pay $10.00 for a fruit plate.

Granted, I can see an objection to some foods that totally stink up the entire plane, so when I travel I bring food that has no grand, in your face smell. Typically on the flight I bring cookies, chips and some sort of sandwich – chicken, ham / cheese, PBJ etc. I love tuna but leave it at home as it does tend to have a smell. I pack it in a small lunch pack with an small ice block. I even have small travel containers for the food so I am not making additional waste with wrappers and disposable plastic containers. I think until airlines improve service we should be welcomed to pack a lunch. Okay, that’s my soapbox for the week.

Well, we made it thru Super Bowl. No more football for a few weeks, cry, cry. Made the traditional Super Bowl guacamole, also did pizza, chili dog and soda, but this year for one, and whatever the kitties could con me out of. They enjoyed the guac and the pizza toppings. It is tradition for the 4th quarter that we make ice cream sundaes. My creation was peppermint stick ice cream, caramel and whipped cream. Miss Felix enjoyed the whipped cream; the others decided not to partake. Darn good game right up to the end. I think the Seahawks blew it by giving the Pats back the ball with to much time on the clock. Think they could have run down time better on their last possession. Oh well. On to next year.

Loved 1/2 time with Katy Perry. I think it was one of the best I have seen. Loved “Firework”; wow, what an ending to the show. Also, where do I get one of those polka dot swim suits – too cute. The opening was also great with “Roar” and the huge tiger.

As I mentioned on the Monday “TR 17 superbowl commercials” post, my good and bad would be out today. The gang in LA did not consult with me – they got some of them right. Anyway, here are my picks without the fancy commercial embedded.

The ones I really liked:

1) Mt Dew Kickstart (the full version was great)
2) BMW with Katie Couric and Bryan Gumbel – loved how they started in 1994 with the Internet and ended in the all electric BMW
3) Budweiser – the lost puppy returns and how his friends saved him from the wolf – big ahhhhh moment
4) Coke – spills the Coke on the Internet and blows up the world of hate speak to words of love and encouragement
5) McDonald’s- paying for meals with call and actions of love
6) Mophie – what happens when God’s cell phone dies – what a chuckle
7) Bud Light – live Pac-Man, that was done in LA with a real person from what I understand. Pac-Man on a large scale – how fun
8) Doritos – loved how the kid got the Doritos when he made a pig fly with a rocket strapped to his back
9) Mercedes – The tortoise and hare race – great twist on the old fable
10) Lexus – drift parking
11) Game of War (video game)

This year there were a lot of offerings with really positive messages, for example the “Like a girl” spot – really nice spot. Also all of the very positive dad commericais (Dove and Nissan) show how important that dads are as role models. The domestic violence one was also very good especially considering the NFL’s recent issues. I related to this as I have worked in the dispatch center for police departments and you really do get calls like the one in the spot.

The ones I think flopped:

1) Carls Jr: Natural Burger, such a let down. Also we had seen this several times prior to the game. Sorry, but since Mr. Karcher (I knew Mr. Karcher and the family) the commercials have gone down the turns and are just sexy based. The chain would have never put these types of products out while he was in charge.
2) Esurance: Sorry, I love Bryan Cranston (was in a movie with him yrs ago) – he is a good man and a great actor. I did not like how this company used LiLo as a mom (driving) considering her records and the Walter White character as a pharmacist.
3) Geico with Izzy Wood. They need to stick with the cute gecko
4) Turbo Tax – please, the American Revolution was stopped by not paying to file your taxes?
5) Carnival Cruises – what have we come to – President Kennedy selling cruises?
6) Nationwide – dead kid – really poor taste

Were there more than usual movie trailers and show promos this year? Seems to me there were.

Anyway, don’t know whose list you all agree with, but of course as I am mom I am correct LOL. Naw, not always. It was a good Sunday afternoon and evening of fun.

Now on to the world-changing questions that you have given me for this week.


I’ve lived in Maryland my entire life. Anyway, I was just wondering if you’ve ever been to my neck of the woods before?

Yes, I was in Maryland several years ago and just love the big buckets of crab. I even have an “I’m crabby” coffee mug. I was born in Boston, MA and spent several years living in Acton, MA. Still have some family on the east coast. We moved to CA when I was in the 4th grade. My dad was transferred out to CA when I was in the 1st grade and we came out summers for a few years. Then summers after that they shipped me back to MA to see my grandparents for the summer.



QUESTION! Do your cats eat potato chips?

They don’t eat the chips in full – however they love to lick the flavoring from the chips. The favorite is sour cream and onion chips and ranch Doritos. After the flavoring is gone the chip is left behind. They also like guacamole, onion and ranch dip.


Here’s a thought that ran across my mind the other day… would you be up for doing a weekly video or audio file to go along with the text? Having something to listen to would be neato, and a video could get more traffic the site via a youtube archive.

I would love to. Last week LYT started doing a podcast for the site. I don’t know the type of equipment you need to do a podcast. Maybe when I am in LA or they are out here we can record something together. Julia and I did a food review last year for TR that was video. We reviewed OREO cookies and Star Trek wine. We also talked about a video of me cooking one of my recipes for TR sometime. LYT is very willing to try new things for the site, so I’m game if he can do it or teach me how to do it. After all he did teach me how to resize my photos for the site so I am capable of being trained.


What are your thoughts on Conventions and Cosplay? My wife and I got into a debate on the topic because as a regular genre lover, I love cosplay and appreciate the work people put into it but my wife finds it “sad” that someone needs to dress up to escape reality. She also finds the whole “con” concept to be a little strange as well.

Does she also dislike Halloween? You dress up for that. I have a good friend who I have put up pics of in his Star Wars character. Cons, cosplay etc are good clean fun. People put a lot of work and creativity into the attire. Why not? If you can afford to do it then I don’t have an issue. Don’t see it being any worse then playing golf every weekend, being in a sports league etc. It is entertainment.


Is it a good idea to buy a foreclosed house? Seems like a good value but people might wreck the place on the way out…

Over the years we have purchased foreclosed homes, repaired and resold for profit. Yes, people do sometimes wreck the home on the way out. But generally they are out before the bank or FNMA puts the home on the market. So if they wrecked it on the way out you already know that, and the appraiser doing the work on the house for the bank has already written a report and provided an estimated cost to repair the property to habitable condition.

The place where you make the money is if you can do the rehab yourself. My husband was a contractor and did all of the rehab work himself and sometimes I was the helper. If you have to hire out the work, your profit margin goes way down if you are flipping. We also got rental units this way. We have a 4-plex that we bought in foreclosure for $20,000 back in the 1980s. Today it is worth about $160,000, but has been producing income for many years. I bought a house in the 1990’s for $5000, and a month later I flipped it for the land value of $25,000. It was much easier for it to sell when there were no bank conditions surrounding the property.

Most real estate MLS (multiple listing) have public access areas where you can go in and find all of the listings in an area. I have found you get the best prices in the MLS. The homes you find on the FNMA (Fannie Mae) or Freddie Mac sites are generally priced higher. They want to get top dollar in the market so they tend to be a bit pricier.


SpaceX has 16 more launches scheduled for 2015, 9 feb. is next. this schedule allows for more opportunities to land the 1st stage section. do you think SpaceX will successfully land a 1st stage this year?

That would be great if they do. So fingers crossed for them to figure out how to get it to happen. I just love the private space companies, especially as the US government seems to have totally dropped the ball in the space program.


Hi Martha:
I always pictured the movie of your life being like Angie Dickinson in Police Woman.

Good thought. I loved watching this show.

Anyway, QUESTION! If I wanted to become a home appraiser, how would I go about doing that? Are there classes or do you just kind of fall into it?

To be an appraiser used to be fairly easy. Back in the 1980’s when we started we purchased a franchise and took their class. There was no licensing and all you had to do was get a bank to accept your work. The franchise had the bank connections. Then if you wanted you could take extra classes from the Appraisal Institute. The Institute still provides excellent training and they have classes in every state and in some foreign countries. Since licensing came into play, every state has their own office of real estate appraisers. You can Google you state for the office and then contact them for the exact qualifications.

Currently in California to be an appraiser you have to have an AA degree and that is going up to a BA degree. Any subject will do. There are classes you need to take and then pass the state test, pay fees etc. Also you have to do about 2 yrs of apprentice hours with a licensed appraiser. This is pretty much 2 yrs of slave labor as you will not make a full fee while you are doing the 2 yrs (so have another job). In CA we have to renew our license every 2 yrs for $435. Every 4 years we have 56 hrs of continuing education. Another good place for your approved classes is Some you can even take online. Make sure you only take your classes from approved providers. It’s not a bad job, and unless you work for a large appraisal firm or a bank you are independent and can take as much or as little work as you want.


QUESTION! Why do film studios move movies they expect to fail to February? Seems like they’re announcing “don’t see these films” which sort of becomes a self fulfilling prophesy to my thinking.

Yes, I agree. Seems like things that come out right after awards season are pretty much DOA. Seems to be where they put the movies they had to make for some reason, but don’t really expect much out of.


Dear Ms. Ppraisal,

I read with interest that you’re as interested in the Superbowl advertising as the game itself. This is also my attitude. Once, my brothers and I created commercial bingo cards so we could mark off and score our favorites.

That sounds like a fun game to play.

But it seems like these days they’re running some of the ads for at least a week before the game. Or posting them on YouTube and Facebook. Don’t even get me started on the “best Superbowl commercials” wet kiss to themselves every year.

Why do you think they feel the need to ruin the commercial nature of this event by finding horrible new ways to commercialize it?

Yes, I don’t like seeing the commercial a week or so before the game. It used to always be that you waited in anticipation for the commercials. Now a lot of it is just bathroom break time, because you have already seen the commercial. If you are going to play your commercial before the game – why are you paying the big bucks for the game slot? No one will be watching because they have seen it already and they are in the potty. Dah. This year I was waiting to see some of the commercials as they have not played yet. But I was more looking forward to the half time show. Hope you enjoyed my list of the good and bad.


Thought you would enjoy the pics of Mr Frizzy and how he watched the game. He took his spot in the daddy chair. This is the chair my husband watched TV from and Mr. Frizzy is the only cat that seems to sit in this chair now. Of course Frizzy and dad used to cuddle up in this chair to watch TV every day. The only two guys in the house stuck together. Yes, Frizzy’s eyes are open and he is facing the TV – this is how he spent most of the game – I guess it looked better to a cat upside down. He moved from the chair when new food arrived and he needed to check it out, then back to the chair.

That’s about all for this week. Saturday is the first Saturday of the month breakfast at Copper Mt Mesa so I will be going for my biscuits and gravy. Yum. Keep the questions heading my way. As always be good to each other this next week and Huggs.

Ask your questions below!