Tuesday, December 30, 2014

State Farm Classic

Today my niece's basketball team took home the girls championship trophy of the State Farm Classic. It was a very fun game to watch.

Congratulations Jessica!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Dinner at John and Bei's

After seeing Kyle off yesterday, we headed over to John and Bei's for a post Christmas dinner and some family games. A great time was had by all.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Kyle

Today was the day that Kyle shipped out for the Air Force. It was a bitter sweet day for us. We couldn't be happier for Kyle as he begins the next stage of his life, but selfishly, we didn't want to see him go. Kyle has been like a son to us for the last year and a half.

Nick, Alex, Evan, Connor, Sarah, Kyle, Justin, J.T. Caleb, Brandon

Going Away Party for Kyle

Last night was Kyle's going away party. We were all hiding and waiting to yell surprise when Kyle surprised us by walking in a different entrance than the one we were expecting.

It was a great send off for Kyle.

Front row: Zak, Caleb, J.T., Justin, Brian. Back row: Kyle, Tyler, Austin, Alex, Jack, Drew, Alex, Nick 

Karen, Connor, Kyle, Don

Molly, Andrea, Kyle, Sarah, Regan

Belle, Justin, Kyle, Tyler, Paul, Arleta

David, Alex, Kyle, Nick, Michele

Tyler, Caleb, Justin, Alex, J.T., Nick, Austin

Hector, Katie, Nick, Alex, Austin, Justin, Andrea, Kyle, J.T. Caleb, Tyler, Mitch

Hector, Katie, Caleb, Justin, Kyle, Andrea, Tyler, Molly, Nick, J.T.,Regan, Alex, Maddie, Sarah, Mitch, Austin

Sarah, Kyle

Michele, Kyle, David

Kyle, Sarah

Christmas in Sioux Falls

On Christmas eve, my younger brother and I made the 9.5 hour drive to Sioux Falls. And it would have taken us 9.5 hours to get to Sioux Falls had I been paying attention and not accidentally headed South on I-35 for 60 miles before noticing that I was on the wrong road.

Even with the extra two hours of travel time, it was a fun drive, and an all around great trip. We got to see a lot of people we hadn't seen in a while.
Bruce and Rebecca

Selfie with Rebecca

Ron, Mike, Steve, Shane

Mike, Rita, David

Kayla, Kris, Grace, Rebecca, Patrick

Josh, John

Kris, Grace, Mike, Karen. Kayla, Bob, Rebecca

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jason Plays Hockey, with Class

Never in my life have I seen a sorer bunch of losers than a group of high school aged kids on a hockey team out of Morton, IL. They were losing 6 to 0 with around three minutes left in the game, and rather than accept that they were outplayed, decided to lash out like a bunch of common street thugs. Things started to get so out of hand that the officials decided to call the game early.

I hope the players on the Icehawks are embarrassed. Shame on you.

With that said, I'd like to congratulate our good friend Jason on his team's well earned victory, and their exemplary sportsmanship.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Stupid Criminals

This story would be absolutely hilarious if it didn't include callous, senseless violence by a group of stupid street thugs. For proof of their stupidity, look no further than the following photo:

This picture was taken about an hour after these thugs invaded a home, beat two of its occupants using a pistol and a pair of brass knuckles, and then made off with cash and various pieces of electronic equipment.

The thugs, just to clear up any possible confusion, are the three guys on the right.

What these idiots didn't realize as this picture was being uploaded to Snapchat, was that one of the occupants of the home they had just terrorized was friends on Snapchat with the girl taking the picture.

Since the two guys in the back were not wearing masks, they were immediately recognized, and this photo was captured and turned over to the police.

Prior to this event, I didn't give much thought to a phone app called Snapchat, but now, I'm a huge fan.

Timeline of Events Related to this Crime:

Dec 13, 2014 (Saturday) at approx. 1:50 am - Home invasion begins. Lasts about 10 minutes. The first occupant the thugs encounter as they enter the apartment is punched by the thug with the dreadlocks who happens to be wearing brass knuckles. After the occupant drops to the floor, the thug begins kicking and stomping on him. When other occupants in the room begin to rise in defense of their fallen friend, the thug on the right aims his gun at them and orders everybody to lie on the floor face down. The thugs then demand to know who lives there, and when they are told that he is in the bathroom, the two thugs in the back break through the bathroom door and drag that individual to one of the back bedrooms. They then demand that he tell them where the "stuff" is. The thugs mistakenly believe there is a large stash of drugs somewhere in the apartment, and when the victim is unable to produce this "stash", he is stomped on and beaten on the side of the head with the thug's pistol. When the thugs finally conclude that no drugs are present in the apartment, they confiscate and leave with the occupant's wallets, purses and phones, as well as some laptops and gaming systems.

Dec 13, 2014 (Saturday) at 2:10 am - Police respond to call for help, and log the following crimes: Home Invasion, Aggravated Battery, Armed Robbery.

Dec 13, 2014 (Saturday) - Snapchat photo taken.

Dec 13, 2014 (Saturday) - Two of the thugs are recognized in the Snapchat photo as the thugs from the armed robbery. The photo is captured and turned over to the police.

Dec 13, 2014 (Saturday) - One of the thugs has been identified as a football player at a local University.

Dec 16, 2014 (Tuesday) - I contacted one of the detectives working this case to ask why an arrest had not yet taken place. We've known the identity of at least one of these thugs for 3 days now, and when you consider his propensity for violence, it seems to be in the public's interest that he be taken off the street. The detective assured me that this case is a priority, and that as of today, there are interviews that still need to take place, including interviews of the two Snapchat girls. When I mentioned that individuals in the apartment had positively identified one suspect through the Snapchat photo, the detective dismissed the photo as not really proving anything, as they don't have any information about when the photo was taken.

Dec 18, 2014 (Thursday) - In the Privacy section on the Snapchat web site under Message Deletion, I found the following passage:

"A few final words on deletion: We can’t guarantee that messages will be deleted within a specific timeframe. And even after we’ve deleted message data from our servers, that same data may remain in backup for a limited period of time. We also sometimes receive requests from law enforcement requiring us by law to suspend our ordinary server-deletion practices for specific information. Finally, of course, as with any digital information, there may be ways to access messages while still in temporary storage on recipients’ devices or, forensically, even after they are deleted."

So, it seems odd that the detective would say that he can't tell when the photo was taken, when that information is available to him should he decide to seek it.

I also asked one of the individuals who lives in the apartment if the police had done any fingerprint analysis, since the thugs were not wearing gloves. His response: No.

Not very confident in our local police at this point.

Dec 22, 2014 (Monday) - Discovered through a bit of digging that in September of this year, a Civil Suit was initiated against at least one of these thugs by his landlord. Seems he was behind on his rent payments. Also discovered that satisfaction of that debt was filed with the court on Dec 17th, which was exactly four days after the armed robbery. Coincidence? Not sure.

Due to the discovery of the civil suit, I now believe I know the identity of all three of these guys.

Bonus find: some interesting posts made to facebook on the day of the robbery by the thug pictured on the far right (we call him short eyebrows guy):

Dec 13 at 3:06 pm - Stressing tryna get this situation resolved...
Dec 13 at 3:26 pm - Trynna figure something out...I don't knew what plan God has good me right now but it certainly seems like the devil had the scale slightly shifted in his favor...
Dec 13 at 6:29 pm - This shit is crazy... I don't know what to do at this point
Dec 14 at 2:35 am - Up thinking about a lot...

Dec 23, 2014 (Tuesday) - Met with one of the detectives working this crime. He told me that only one of the individuals in the picture could be identified consistently by the victims in the apartment the night of the robbery (dreadlock guy). What this might mean is that two of these guys are probably going to walk, unless dreadlock guy decides to implicate them. Doesn't make me happy, but that's the reality of the situation. The detective also told me that an arrest probably won't happen until after Christmas, since dreadlock guy has left town for the holidays. We also talked briefly about the snapchat photo, which the detective said was confirmed to have been taken at 3:35 am on the 13th of December, which was about an hour and a half after the robbery.

Future Event - Arrest of suspects and the posting of their mug shots.

August 30, 2015 - No arrest was ever made. I've lost all confidence in our local police. Pathetic.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Alex is Back in Town

Alex is home for Christmas break, which means that many of his friends that we haven't seen for a while are stopping by the house.

This group is lucky to be alive. I'll post information about that incident in a later post.

Surprise Birthday Party

Our good friend Krissy turned 50 recently, so we surprised her with a birthday party. Krissy was very surprised. Those are tears of joy:

The girls wanted a photo with Krissy, so of course I obliged them:

Monday, December 08, 2014

Miracle on 34th Street

Recently, our good friend John played Fred Gayley in the Seedling Theatre production of Miracle on 34th Street. John's performance was epic.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Last Holiday Concert

A lot of lasts will be occurring this year now that Nick is a senior in High School. Last Thursday was Nick's last Holiday concert. The songs featured at this year's concert were from Frozen, Polar Express and The Grinch who stole Christmas.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Alex Came Home for Thanksgiving

Alex made a short appearance over Thanksgiving weekend. Unfortunately, the weekend went way too fast.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rob Plays Hockey

I discovered last week that a friend of mine, who is probably the greatest athlete I've ever known, plays hockey, so naturally I had to drop by a game to see him in action. I wasn't disappointed.

ISU Tailgate

One of our last tailgates of the season. We had a big crowd at this one.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nick in Concert

This isn't a timely post, this was the Halloween concert, but better late than never.