Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Jury’s Out


Got questions? Martha Boyd has all sorts of answers. A desert-dweller, self-proclaimed crazy cat lady, former LAPD officer and widow to a Green Beret, she’s seen and heard things crazier than you’ve imagined. And is ready for whatever odd questions you have, so bring them on!

Hey all, another week bites the dust. LYT and Julia were at the TR desert lair for a few days. That was fun. They did a toy photo shoot and we did a food review so you may see more of the place in future posts. We tried out a couple of restaurants in Yucca Valley and found them both to be good. One of them is a hookah place; yep, we have one out here in nowhere land. The other was BBQ, which was also very good. When they come to visit LYT spends more of his time working and Julia sees her friends. In between things we eat all kinds of goodies. They even had time to take in a movie at our cheap desert theater vs. LA prices.

This last week I got called for Jury service again. Second time this year. The first time was in January and it got canceled the night before. Now my first appraisal appointment for the day is 8 a.m. So is court – so the day I am scheduled I have to close the business and can’t book any work just in case I get stuck on a case. So January cost me about $700. Now I get recalled for 8/26 same thing applies, can’t book anything for 8/28 + until I find out on 8/27 if I was canceled again. Got canceled but I had to turn down $1300 worth of work – thanks so much.

I’m all for the jury system, but this is nuts where people who are working basically get fined for the pleasure for sitting on some idiot’s case. I already give 8 hrs a week of free community service to the county. But that is my choice. Frankly I think they should have a pool of those who want to serve on a jury, retired people, and people getting public funds. At our court I have even seen new moms with babies in the jury pool – that’s not fair either. Thank you so much for this week’s soapbox.

Rehearsals are going well for The Addams Family musical – we are having lots of fun and the cast is getting along well. I have a really pretty dress to wear and I love it.

Questions for this week are as follows.

You’ve never had a chocolate pecan pie?

Nope, I have never had chocolate pecan pie. Wow that has got to be really sweet. I’m a straight pecan pie person. Maybe we can try the chocolate version sometime.

Jeff Mindbender:
Hi Martha:
The house my wife and I just bought has 30 AC outlets, but only about five of them are properly grounded. I would like to ground all the outlets but I keep getting conflicting advice:

1) Just ground the outlet to the box. Running a ground wire for the entire house is a waste of time and money.
2) Only an IDIOT would ground the outlet to the box! The only way to do it is to follow IBEW/UL/AIA/OSHA guidelines and run a ground wire for the whole house even though it may be complete overkill! Face palm!

What would you do?

There was a major kitchen renovation last year and all of the outlets in the kitchen are grounded so I’m assuming that there is a ground wire around here somewhere that I can hook into.

I would probably go with the IBEW etc guidelines – yes, it may be overkill, but on the other hand if something goes wrong and you have an electric fire or something I would bet you insurance would be easier to get along with. I would also have an electrician do the job and pull any necessary permits – again, just in case something happens.

Also something else you may want to think about is put in a few special outlets just for computers and electronics. I have that in my house. They are marked with orange plate covers, and they have additional protection for computer systems. We have these in our house.


Gallen Dugall:
Do you know what kind of bee they were? The amateur entomologist in me wants pics – spread the wings. We get carpenter bees around here. They’re an invasive species and they eat into wood siding and overhangs.

The bees [as mentioned in last week’s column]were small, fairly docile with bee yellow/black stripes. They are the same ones that I see in my plants and rescue from my pool. I was able to get a pic – not a very good one the bee was so small. On the ruler only about ? inch. But the pic is attached.


Bryce Upchurch:

Thanks for the pic of your cat. Yes, they do look very much alike.

I just saw a story about the mysterious “Yucca Man”

Do you know anyone who has ever seen him? Or was it John in disguise on a secret mission?

Yes, I have heard this story before; some it comes from young Marines coming home after RR so you can kind of guess where that one is going. People see all sorts of weird things out here in the desert due to the heat – mirages come to mind at the start. John? No, doubt it; have you ever seen him in anything other than jeans, cowboy shirt and boots? Now if it was wearing boots I might buy into this theory – but no boots – no John.

Well, as noted above I got canceled on the jury thing. But the work I lost can’t be replaced. Wish I could just attach a note to my bills and say gee I’m not paying you because the county prevented me from taking work. Yeah, let’s see how far that one would go. There just has to be a better way to do the jury system.

So this week you all get dead bee pics and I pulled out a cute baby pic of Lovey and Pirate for the top of the column, from when they were just little ones living in the garage. The cat to the side (right) is the mama. Well, that’s it for this week. As always be good to each other this next week and HUGGS

Got questions for Martha? Yes, you do. You can either post them below in comments, or email them directly to boydappraisal at No topic is off the table.