Columns, Food & Drink, Miscellaneous

Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: She’s the Sheriff’s Department



Martha Boyd 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.

Hello hello. Happy almost St. Patricks Day. I will be having some corned beef and cabbage next week for sure. I love boiled cabbage, potatoes and carrots in a good corned beef broth. Then served with lots of butter on the veg and a good mustard on the corned beef, yummy in the tummy. Followed up with a good Bailey’s and coffee. We have no pubs out here so it will be served from my kitchen.

Well, since last we spoke, I am now officially a citizen volunteer with the Sheriff’s Department . I am the baby of the group. Ah, to be a rookie at my age. Until the Academy in May I can’t go out on patrol, but they are trying to find things around the station that I can do. Luckily I have experience in communications and at the front desk thus I may be able to help with answering the phone and may working with the YANA program. This is where you call shut-ins and make sure they are ok. We are only required to volunteer 8 hrs a month so this will not be too hard to do while I am still working full time. Looking forward to this adventure.

This week I have posted a couple of the first blooms in the yard. More pics should be happening soon. The National Park is saying it is going to be a good year for flowers and I understand the Yucca trees are starting to bloom in the park. My trees are not blooming yet but I am a bit lower than the park.



QUESTION! I was listening to an early Steven Martin comedy bit recently when it occurred to me that it might not be possible to actually manufacture “cat handcuffs” as cats don’t have conventional wrists like a hu-man. So do you think cat handcuffs are a possibility or does the flexible feline form make them an impossibility?

Well, little metal ones would not be very practical – however flex cuffs would work quite nicely and they already come in a wide number of sizes.


QUESTION: I have a bunch of marshmallows I need to use before they expire, but every time I try to make fudge or rice crispy treats, they take forever to melt. So what’s the best way to melt marshmallows when making things like fudge or rice crispy treats?

The fastest is the microwave, but you need to be careful. When I do this I microwave in 15 sec segments, stirring after each 15 seconds. The more traditional way is in a bowl over boiling water, but this does take a bit longer.


Maybe the Topless Roboteers may kickstart a fund to buy LYT’s Mother-In-Law cruise tickets?

Ahh, how nice of you to consider this. Maybe we should see about some sort of theme cruise where we have a meet and greet and TR things to do. I think though we might have to get quite a large group together to get this off the ground with a cruise company. It would be fun if one of the cons did a cruise and TR could have sort of an event.



hi hi mamasan,
hash browns or home fries?

I do like a good hash brown when cooked correctly, and you are so correct that most of the times they are served fairly raw. They do need that nice brown crunchy top and bottom. When I do Sunday breakfast at my house I do home fries. This is a recipe that my grampa taught me. You need a cast iron pan with bacon grease. Thinly cut potatoes (1 per person), diced onion, garlic power, season salt, green peppers diced (optional). You fry all of this until brown (not burnt) but nice, brown and crunchy. Serve it right out of the pan grease and all.


Being a police woman in the time you were, how big of an issue was sexism? How did you deal with?

A big deal. My first few times in the field it was wearing a skirt, until we got that issued settled with the chief (1970s). The younger guys were more open to having a women in the car. You learned pretty fast who you did and did not want to ride with. Some guys, if they got stuck with you, could make an 8-hr shift very long. But generally I was put with experienced, but younger officers. You, however, had to break them of wanting to open doors for you. We also from time to time had to deal with jealous wives and girlfriends. Please – there is nothing you can do in a marked unit with all of that gear on – it is a totally safe area so they had nothing to worry about. Also the uniform is not terribly attractive and or sexy.

I had one training officer when I went down to LA who felt that women should be home barefoot and pregnant only, and had no place walking a foot beat in skid row. I was made to walk several paces behind him all shift. Several years later I saw the same officer with a male trainee who was wearing an earring – he was even more paces behind then I ever was.

Men and women handle police work a bit differently. Women tend to talk more, so I was pretty effective in getting male suspects to go with the program, whereas the male officers tended to fight a bit more. I had one incident in LA where there were 4 male officers trying to get a suspect into the car. I walked up, yelled “Stop it!” and wiggled my finger in the guy’s face and asked him how would his mom like his behavior. He started saying he was sorry to the other officers and got in the car. The guys made me go to booking as I had the guy under control. The suspect later in the jail told me that his mom taught him not to fight with a woman and his mom would have killed him, but with the guys it was a macho thing.


As former PD, is there any good reason to argue against dashboard cams for police cars? It seems like they help prevent police abuses but they seem pretty unpopular to the police themselves.

I mean, other than it being a bummer to have your daily job recorded and watched. Not exactly the same thing but I’ve been in that situation and it wasn’t fun.

There are good and bad points to the dash and body cams. Like anything, if you are doing your job in policy then having a camera is no big deal. The body cam some don’t like, as it is one more thing you have to wear. With all of the junk you are already wearing one more thing sometimes gets to be just too much. Dash cams have saved many a cop’s bacon. But if you are one of the few that does not like policy, then you probably don’t like the cameras.

One thing they said in training was that if you are going to not use the baton correctly and in policy make sure there are no news cameras around as you will get hung. If you are doing things correctly, it makes really good evidence in court. A picture is worth a 1000 words and just might really make your case.


Hello! One thing as an older fan I’ve observed which worries me for fandom is the 1% vs. everyone else convention. There’s a pro-con in my area, which, while open to the public, offers VIP tickets that are the only way fans can see one guest in particular (David Tennant). The VIP tickets are hideously expensive. I love David Tennant, but I can live without paying that much to see him. I’ll stick to the more fan-run cons which have diverse things I can go to. I just feel sorry for younger fans who have the love, but not the cash….

Totally agree. I have had to pick and choose who I would see based on price to the private event. Sometime those you can volunteer at a con and get into some pretty good things for free. For example, I am volunteering at Contact in the Desert in a few months. Aside from the event pass, which is pretty pricy to start with, they have additional seminars, luncheons, parties etc for extra prices. I got into several of these as I worked the door or used my volunteer pass after working. For every 6 hours worked you get 6 hours. Last year I worked the George Noory lunch. So I had to hand out drinks and pick up trash after. I got to hear his entire talk, got pictures with him and even got to eat leftovers – not bad.


Well that’s about all for this week. The pictures of the peacock are from an appraisal I did this week. The client has 3 of them in the yard. They followed me around just like the dogs did. I spent a lot of time just looking at them. So far, no new info on the JT Film Fest. The projector dying may be the death of the fest. Keep those cards and letters coming in – oh you know what I mean, questions LOL. As always be good to each other this next week and HUGGS.

If you’d like to add your questions to the pile for Luke’s mother-in-law, leave them in comments below. No topic is off-limits.

About Author

Luke Y. Thompson has been writing professionally about movies and pop-culture since 1999, and has also been an actor in some extremely cheap culty and horror movies you will probably never hear much about (he is nonetheless mostly proud of them, as he met his wife on one). As editor of The Robot's Voice since 2012, he can take the blame for the majority of the site's content, all of which he creates because he loves you very, very much. (Although he loves nachos more. Sorry.) Prior to TRV, Luke wrote for publications that include the New Times LA, Los Angeles CityBeat, E! Online, OC Weekly, Geekweek, GeekChicDaily, The L.A. Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Nerdist