Ask Luke’s Mother-in-Law: Robots, Revivals and No More Reboots!


Luke’s mother-in-law 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.

Well, while you all were not looking, I went out of town and back to Mexico. Stayed again at the Melia resort in Puerto Vallarta. I will have to say things have improved since the comments I made in March 2014. This time we had a clock and coffee-maker in the room, better ocean view and my mom had rice pudding restored at the desert table. She was very happy this time.

Anyway, I want to give a shout out to the Activities staff at the resort. They work so hard and are very friendly and helpful. You should see the smile on this one guy named Raul. Raul reads Topless Robot and likes X-Men. The regular staff was training high school kids on summer break and all seemed to be going well. While at the resort, I got to meet Dino the Dino from The Flintstones (above) – he is the big purple one and I’m the big yellow one (no, I’m not Big Bird).

So now let’s see what my minions have come up with for questions this week.

It’s been several weeks now, so what do we call you?
Luke’s Mom-in-Law?
Your majesty?

You know, I don’t think it was ever decided. Your majesty really sings – but is a bit formal. This piece is sort of like questions you don’t generally ask your mom and/or mother in law. So I think mom would be somewhat fitting. Maybe Dear Topless Robot Mom or TRM for short.

I was bummed out to see community and super fun night be cancel after this season. Were there any shows that you were disappointed to see get the axe

Totally agree – both of those shows were pretty funny, especially Community. I don’t think Super Fun had enough time to really roll. Yes, there are shows that I was disappointed in losing. Totally the Star Trek franchise and Battlestar Galactica (’70s). I also miss real cop shows like Jack Webb used to produce, and I’m up in arms over the canceling of all of the afternoon soap operas. So sick of B and C list personalities doing talk shows and they seem to have the same guests so the talk is the same. Bring back my afternoon soaps!!!!! Big fan of One Life to Live and All My Children.

What is your hot and spicy limit when it comes to food? The most I’ve been able to stomach is 300,000 Scoville from a bottle of Dave’s Insanity brand hot sauce.

Well, generally when I go to Indian or Thai food I get the 3 or 4 on the 1-5 scale. At most home meals there is a bottle of Tapatio or Louisana Garlic hot sauce on the table. My garden has peppers that I have to soak in Tequila before we can even try to eat them. So hot and spicy is good.

Here’s a question on the topic of political nerdery. What type of governmental system do you feel the U.S. has. As far back as high school I’ve been involved in conversations about whether the USAlund is officially a democracy or a republic and what are actual system of government is in practice rather than in rhetoric.
Princeton University recently released a study declaring that the U.S. of A. is closer to an oligarchy or a corporatocracy than a republic or a democracy. What word would you use to describe our system of government?

Well, as you know religion and politics are 2 topics that most say one should not discuss in public. I know our government speaks with forked tongue, just like all govenments do. I have worked in government and know that many times what comes out to the public is how they wish to spin the issue and is generally off from reality.

I know that LYT may edit this comment out but what we are being told now about how America leaves no prisoner of war behind is not quite true; however, it makes a great sound bite.

I got completely fucked up last week. Starting on Monday, I had 150 bucks cash and sobriety. By Sunday, I had 23 bucks, a stack of new comics, numerous business cards, and a new internet girlfriend. I remember nothing after Masterchef. Do you have any idea what the fuck I did?

Lets see. Mondy thru Thursday you appear to have a handle on. That is if Master Chef come on Thursday as it does in my TV market. So Friday and Saturday appear to be the time warp. So count your comics – this will give an idea on some of the $127 dollars missing. Did you get the Internet girl on a dating site? That may have cost some dollars if you had to become a member of the site. The balance may have gone to well drinks at your local bar and that could account for the business cards. Sounds like Friday and Saturday were pretty good nights.

So i’m a nerd from brazil that dont like football(or as you guys call it, soccer) dont like to watch the games, dont even have a soccer team and nothing like that, usually i dont care about it at all, but this year i’m feeling excited about the world cup being here (today is the opening) and i even think that it is mostly a waste of money…

is that normal? being excited about something you dont even like simple because the majority ofyour country is? is that being a hypocrite? should i be worried for feeling like one of the regular people?

and what is your and/or regular american perception of this year world cup?

Hello and glad to know we have a reader in Brazil; hope we have lots of them. My sister-inlaw is from Rio and her parents still live there. What we have been hearing here in the US is that the Brazilians have been protesting as the government has spent millions on the stadium for the games and they should have been spending more on public services like schools and housing. Hopefully spending the millions on the stadium will have a bigger return for the county in the tourist and license revenue that it brings to the country. So it may have been a good investment. If it does not pay for itself and turn a profit then it was not a good thing to do. We will have to see after the accounting is done after the games.

I think a month of world cup is about 2-3 weeks to long to be held in one place. Our football and baseball etc playoffs last about the same lenght of time, but they are played all over the country and not just in one spot. Not until we get to the final then the local in down to only 2 cities and only goes for the best of 7 games in general.

I don’t think it is strange not to like or even care about soccer. I don’t care for hockey or basketball. Baseball is ok and football I watch for the Super Bowl, but mostly from the kitchen as I am cooking for everyone watching the game on our big screen tv.

It is normal to feel excited about a big game in your country, even if you don’t really follow the sport it is exciting and there are generally lots of activities going on around the event. I do the same thing with Super Bowl and World Series. Even when I was on vacation in Mexico the hotel was playing the games on the big screen in the theater and set up a buffet of food and drink for those watching. It was fun to be in Mexico when they won the first game.

Ms. Ppraisal,

You’ve talked about classic television’s Adam 12 before. I’m curious to know if you ever followed the series Emergency! which followed paramedics as they rescued people dangling from cranes and stuff.

Which paramedic was your favorite? Young buck Johnny Gage with his wacky schemes and his wild emotional swings? Or Roy Desoto, his older, calmer, but more boring partner? Did you ever notice how it was always Johnny who had to rapell down the cliff to get to the plane crash victims while Roy was just reporting vital signs to Rampart on the radio?

Also which Emergency! doctor was your favorite: Grandfatherly Dr. Early, or intense Dr. Brackett? What was up with Dr. Morton, who just kind of showed up at random?

Yes, I sure did watch Emergency. It is still playing on MeTV in my local market every day at 5pm. The street scenes – rolling to a call and the fire station are real Los Angeles. If you see calls in neighborhoods most of those were on the Universal Studios back lot. If you look carefully you will see the Leave it to Beaver and the Munsters houses in many shots. Some of the rescue shots were also done at the studio as there are hills right behind it.

This show was started to promote the fairly new paramedic system in Los Angeles. It was a Jack Webb show and as you know Mr. Webb was very promotional for both the LAPD and the LAFD with Emergency. Many of the actors crossed over on these shows. Anyway, it was a new idea in LA to have firefighters/paramedics and until then the firefighters just did basic first aid and the Paramedics were better trained in emergency aid to stabilize and transport to hospital. If you know the LA politics at the time you will hear many references to getting this program off the ground and accepted in the early days. Today, thankfully, the program is very accepted and allows the FD to roll a smaller piece of equipment to a medical emergency then the larger fire equipment.

As for my fave Dr on the show. I liked Brackett the best because he was used as the pushing force for the paramedic program and I liked the relationship between Brackett and Dixie. Joe Early was the father figure which was good to help keep Brackett grounded in pushing for paramedics. Morton was a token.

What do movie adaptions of books/comics owe to the original source?
Should they be strict about following the original plot or can the adaption do its own thing?

I think if it is the first movie adaptation it should hold pretty close to the storyline in the source. Then even if you do other movies and there is still original source you should stick to that; only after the original material has been completed then you can take the charactors off to extend the story. Now basically since JK Rowling has stopped writing Harry Potter a new movie still could be written, but stay with the characters at their present ages.

Question: With Hollywood being so into remakes and reboots these days, are there any classic you’d like to see given a new take? Any movies that you feel should be left alone?

Yep – don’t think a remake of Gone With the Wind would be a good idea. You can’t mess with perfection. I generally don’t like to see or even bother to spend my money on a remake. Have generally found them not to be very good. I even resisted the remake of Star Trek; just could not see anyone else as Kirk and Spock. Took me months and a lot of badgering from Julia to even watch it. I was glad that they started before the TV show time period – that made it a bit easier to swallow.

There are so many good writers in LA that I don’t know why there is not more original content, but sometimes I think the studios get lazy. Thank heavens there are independant film makers who generally do bring us original work.


QUESTION: Given tha someone created robots that can give birth for educational purposes in spite of the fact that people already do this in large and easily studyable quantites do you think the robot’s expression should be considered on of bewilderment at its own existence?

The expression is priceless. I think the money could have been better spent on a robot for other medical purposes, because as you noted we have lots of women giving birth so there are many to learn with. However, it also does have a good use to learn on situations that are emergencies – as you only have one shot at getting it right in that situation. I think robots are getting too human looking. I really do not look forward to the day when we can not tell the difference between a human and a robot walking around on the street.


QUESTION: There’s been a lot of talk about ground swell and a recent increse in earthquakes beneath the super-volcano that is Yellowstone national park, do you think another eruption is imminent? If so do you have any plans for any volano ejected boulders that land near your home? Is making them a pet-rock named Rocky a viable plan?

Yes, I think we are well overdue for Yellowstone to blow. I remember Mt Saint Helens. The earth has to releave pressure and hopefully it does it in less populated areas. Yellowstone is beautiful and I would not like to see the destruction like with Saint Helens, but better there then a quake or volcano in a major population center. I don’t think any major rocks would land here in Southern California, so don’t think I will be having new rocks in the collection.

Hearing about more earthquakes in the US in places other than California, which does also cause concern. We have an earthquake plan and have tents, Months worth of extra food and barrels of water. Hopefully we will never have to use them.


QUESTOIN: A recent report from the national Research Council says that NASA is a lost cause, between gross bureaucratic ineffeiciency and the gols that change completely every few years so my question is what do you think we the people should do about/with NASA:

NASA was great when it started, but the trouble with this portion of the government is that it is under-funded and is linked to changes in the administration. We have not had an administration in many years that was interested in space exploration. I mean it is really dumb that we are paying Russia so much money so we can get to the space station. We should have advanced the shuttle system and not just killed it off. How did we think we were going to get back and forth? – oh yea give Russian or China lots of money.

So get rid of NASA and put the funding toward the private US firms like Space X who have picked up the dropped ball and are going forward with getting the US back in the space race.

Well, that’s it for this weeks opinions and answers to your questions. I have heard from our fearless leader LYT that my rants will not be available next week as those who are taking over while he is out of the country do not want to run this item. Pooh on them. I offered and it was declined. Please address any complaints to them anytime after Friday of this week. [Editor’s note: please be nice to Keith and Chris. They’re just trying to make it their own when they’re in command – LYT] So please still post your questions where you generally post them and I will answer again starting in July.

And now I’m stomping off in complete amazement that I will not be able to speak with you at all next week; after all when I was in Mexico we did this! As always, be good to each other until we are back on line. Love you all, love the questions. Huggs.

If you’d like to add your questions to the pile for Luke’s mother-in-law, leave them in comments below.

Also, be sure to check out her previous columns.