Columns, Live Performance, Miscellaneous

Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Propane and Propane Accessories to Crime

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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!

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit a few days late, but Happy September. We are down to 5 weeks of work until the opening night for Addams Family: The Musical. This week we have been working on Act 2 of the show and I’ve been dancing my little butt off. Found out the other night that at 59 yr I am the oldest member of the cast. The youngest is 13. If any of you will be in CA desert weekends in October, come see the show. Tickets are only $12 adult and we do have senior and military discounts. You can book online at theatre29.org.

This week’s pics are of the Theatre 29 building and a memory wall that the theater has started in a side patio area. You can sponsor a tile and it is going to help pay for the electronic sign that the theater purchased for its events. We have a tile on the wall. This is a small community theater that relies on donations, grants and ticket sales. We can’t afford all of the bells and whistles of a Broadway show, but damn, we make up for it with the talent. Actors cut their teeth in theaters like this. Please support your local community theater.

Big news around town this last week was that a guy tried to burn down our Walmart. This rocket scientist got a gallon of gas at the local gas station, stopped and got fast food and then hit Walmart at the Garden center area where propane tanks are stored for sale. Poured gas on tanks and voila, fireball. Needless to say he was on every business surveillance camera and was caught shortly after the bonfire. Dumb – as there are better ways to get room and board. But I bet he has his now covered for the next few years at taxpayer expense.

So anyway, now on to the mind-probing questions you all have presented for my consumption this week.

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Robert Thomas:
My one and only (to date) experience with jury duty, I got a check in the mail for, like, $27 or something, but that might’ve been because I was selected and then excused. Totally made up for the sixty or so bucks I would’ve earned at work.

Yep, up here we get $15.00 per day after 2nd day of service. Wow. Now mind you, currently minimum wage is what – $8.25 per hour? So you are at court for say 8 hrs that’s $1.88 per hour. Then you have to get to court and bring or buy your own lunch. Works out again for a net loss.

If I were retired I would love to sit on cases, as the judicial system is fairly interesting. I love to watch a couple of good lawyers spar at each other and see how they make points. So if you take retired people, those who employers pay and those on public assistance you would have a pretty well round pool for selection. Why take a person who is self employed, losing pay and will be very pissed off at being at the court. How that helps get you a well rounded pool – unless you look at non pissed off and pissed off making a good pool – I don’t know. Remember it is a jury of your peers. Well, I guess if you have been arrested you fall with the pissed off group. Just don’t understand how a guy who has been arrested is anywhere near my peer – gee, I have them over for dinner at least once a week.

John Zoidberg:
Question: Can you not send a bill to the court to reimburse you for lost work/wages? I know they are supposed to pay you a stipend if you are on a jury and are sequestered, etc… seems like they should be required to make sure you are compensated for even the bother of potentially having to serve.

Don’t I wish that I could send a bill to the court. Unfortunately, they don’t care. The court up here even makes new mothers who are nursing show up. Have been in the waiting room a couple of times with these new moms: they could not afford a sitter, and brought the baby. That’s pretty low for the court system too. It is one thing when you have an employer who legally is required to let you off work and pay your full salary – the bills still get paid. But to be self employed you are so screwed.

James Polk:
Ms. Ppraisal,

Would you favor a system with professional (or semi-professional) jurors?

They would be people who want to be there, can be held responsible for paying attention during the trial, and who can be screened to ensure they have basic reasoning skills.

Would there be any legal objections to such a system? Would the US constitution stand in the way?

I would be in for a professional system. We are supposed to have a jury of our peers, but I really don’t see that we are following this very important part of the system. The only peer thing is that we are people. Thus any human should do, I guess, so why not a pool of volunteers? That leaves many people who can serve. I live 10 miles away. There are people who are retired, on public assistance, and or have employers who pay for them to go to jury service.

Why do you need someone who is self employed and is going to cost them, as in my case, $1300 to be available? Gee, under that case I would not want me as a juror. How am I to be impartial when you the defendant has already cost me this much in wages? At least if I were being fairly compensated I would be much more receptive to hearing your case. Under the current system I’m pissed and annoyed when my foot hits the door.

Gallen Dugall:
there’s a good QUESTION!!! Given that bees are scientifically incapable of flight what do you think propells them through the air – are they just incredible jumpers? technorganic contagravity? or perhaps it’s just the power of friendship?

I know. I have always wondered at how they get those big (for them) unbalanced body up in the air and then hold still to pollinate. The hummingbird is fairly aerodynamic but the bee – nope. So I will go with the power of friendship. The poor things try to drink out of the pool all of the time, and get wet so they can’t leave. I can pick them out with my hand and they will just walk on my hand until I can get them to the edge of the pool and put them on dry land. So I know they understand I have not been trying to hurt them.

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Thank you all again for the questions. Don’t be afraid to ask – gosh, as my regulars know I take on just about any topic. If you don’t want to say who you are that is ok to. You can email Topless Robot and just ask not to use your identity or you can email me directly at boydappraisal -at- yahoo.com and just not ask me to use your name. As always, I’m also sending a pic of Frizzy and Pirate being cute on the window seat.

Be good to each other this next week and Huggs my friends.

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