Person of Interest, Edwin Roy Hall

I am not sure what perturbs me more, that this crime happened right here in town or that the sick “person of interest” in the case has a MySpace account where his general interest include “eating small children and harming small animals.”

Kelsey Smith was abducted around 7:00 P.M. on Saturday from the local Target. I heard about it on the news Monday morning and felt really bad for the family. Surprisingly there was a lot of information about the “person of interest” since he was captured walking out of the same Target after Kelsey did.

I never met Kelsey, but one of my friends has a babysitter that knew her personally. This is not just close to where I live, she lived a mile from my place, and I have visited that same Target plenty of times.

Tuesday afternoon a couple of girls were going door to door handing out fliers with pictures of Kelsey and her car, which was later found parked in an adjacent parking lot to the scene of the kidnapping. The kidnapping was also caught on camera.

Wednesday morning her parents were on the Early Show talking about their daughter and pleading for someone to come forward with some information about her kidnapper. While I ate lunch I watched the news and caught a word that alarmed me while listening to the Police officer give the news conference. He said the “late” Kelsey Smith. At that moment I figured that they had already found the body and were just waiting to get the guy before they released that information.

Wednesday afternoon they announced that they had found a female body, later confirming that it was Kelsey’s. Later that night they announced that they had in custody the person of interest everyone was looking for.

I am not sure what troubles me more, that he was married and had a 4 year old son, or that it happened so close to where I live. We all like to feel safe and one of my considerations when moving to a new place is that it is a nice “safe” community. Crime can happen anywhere, but it is really sick when it happens to someone that was just going to buy a present for a classmate to celebrate their high school graduation.

There is still a lot of speculation going on as to a motive. Her father used to be in law enforcement and it could have been a retaliation type of motive. While this might provide a clue, it would still never justify anyone taking this girl’s life.

TH to Just Cara for posting such good information. The power of the internet, you can even take a look at the official complaint (Murder in the First Degree and Aggravated Kidnapping) against Hall.


The Video Library is Closing!

While I do enjoy the cheap prices at Walmart, I do believe in supporting local shops. Whenever I find a local computer store I try to get things from their store rather than online, or if there is a local coffee shop I would rather go there than Starbucks. I always prefer an LFS (Local Fish Store) to a petsmart or petco for my fish.

I was so excited after a friend told me about The Video Library which is a local video rental store here in Kansas City. I really wanted to not just go there but post about it online… but then I met the owner. I’ve had horrible customer service experiences but this one was one of the worse.

When I first moved to the US and was still learning English one of the people that helped me the most in understanding idioms and meaning was the owner of a local video store. I used to hang out at Steve’s shop all the time renting movies and video games but also chatting about pretty much anything. He was very patient with me even though I did not know much English then and really made me feel welcome there. I think that is the way to run a business.

I expected some of the same from the owner of the video library but I was met with rudeness, one of the worse I have ever experienced. I almost felt like if I should feel honored to be allowed to walk into his store or something. He was also very vocal about hating his job. I felt almost sorry but then I figured he did not deserve any free publicity. I learned a while ago about the power of a simple blog post.

Even though I did not want to post about it, I still felt like I had to give them business over my belief in trying to support the local guy over blockbuster. That and movie rentals have gotten more and more expensive. I even went as far as to cancel my online movie subscription. I started to rent movies from there about once a week even though I would have to pass the local blockbuster every time I went there.

I was very surprised when I pulled up there this weekend and saw huge red signs saying closing sale. I walked in to see if you could still rent a movie with no luck. Everything is for sale and the store is closing as soon as everything is liquidated.

I am not sure if the owner finally had enough of the crazy schedule or if the local people considered him a den of perdition because he also carried porn. I do know that he was probably losing clients because of his awesome personal skills and brilliant customer service. I am a little sad that everything is going to franchises now, and will have to go back to blockbuster to get my movie fix.

No Pr0n for YOU!

I am not one to post about the news all the time, but this time I just have to. It is almost ironic that as one local mega church is accused of pocketing money, other churches are out on a witch hunt over porn.

I am not a fan of porn, I like the real thing a lot more, but I am not against it. I think that as long as you are not abusing it (kind of like everyone mentioned about alcohol), it is not going to lead you into the road to perdition. I believe that if your belief system tells you that porn is wrong and sex is only for marrige, more power to you… don’t go into the sex shops.

I think they should be more worried about churches ripping people off. Why not lead an investigation into how much they are pocketing from the 10%+ they are taking from their paritioners.

One of my problems with organized religion has always been the whole give us your money part of it. A pastor tells their congregation, you do not need money, give us your money and you will be debt free (Yes, I have heard this first hand.) and see them driving on Mercedes while the rest of their people go home in their economy cars. Same people that wear armani suits and their wife’s with fabulous make up and more hairspray than should be allowed. That has always angered me a little bit because I rarely see any money going back to the comunity, it is mostly to make the church more mega.

I guess the funny thing is that First Family Church is being trown under the bus by their webmaster. Go Jesus Geek GO! He was a little concerned when building the church’s online store he figured the money was going into a for profit entity…

I should borrow Greg’s monkey to flip the switch on what became Church week here at the blog!

Some Jesus with your Party?

Bible ThumperDON`T WAIT till Judgement Day To Believe the BIBLE BELIEVE & OBEY NOW!

This was the scene this past weekend when I was hanging out with some friends at the party area full of sinners. Once I saw the sign, actually first the other side that said, you are all going to hell, I told my GF to take a picture. The dude took this as an invitation to SAVE me.

I am allergic to crazy, and I was not going to have this dude hand me his little pamphlet. I said, no thanks dude I already GOT JESUS! he insisted on telling me how much of a sinner I was for being there. My patience for crazy was used up a while ago so I insisted on saying, no thanks man. Then he struck a cord, go ahead and get drunk and sin. I turned around and told him, dude Jesus turned water into wine, and even though he could have came back with the whole it was a wedding, he decided to say that back in Jesus day, wine was more like grape juice. Then to add insult to injury he starts telling me about the drunks from the Bible. I was not drunk, neither was anyone in my group. We had just been in the museum all afternoon at the happy hour on the sculpture terrace and went to Westport for just some food, a single drink for some, and actually cookies and milk.

So I guess going outside of my house to anywhere but a church is consider sinning, actually not just that I am going to hell. How dare I consume alcohol or walk around in a place of sin? I personally think the biggest sinner was the dude holding the sign who obviously believes in a very fundamentalist way and its looking at all the girls dressed in very provocative clothes… what a sinner.

The guy embodies my issues with religion. Pushy people that have higher standards than me and therefore are living messengers of God telling me, dude you are not one of the 4400. Almost like Nelson from the Simpsons laughing at me saying, you are not worthy!

The winner of the Logtar award for cleverness and hilarity goes to the dude holding the other sign with my favorite punctuation sign (…ellipses…) , which read… Holding a sign got me NOWHERE…

KS DMV, Back to the past?

This is the third state I have lived in and it was time for me to get a Kansas license. I first obtained my license in IL where I took the test when I was 18. I did not really have the need for a car until then. My Dad was actually all upset that I passed the test the first try after it took him a couple of times. I guess he was overconfident when he took the driving test since he had been driving for years in Colombia. If you have driven in Colombia, Chicago driving is a Sunday stroll.

My coworkers started to tell me how I was going to have to take the written test again, which I have not done probably since I got my license. I was thinking, oh great… study the rules of the road one more time… then I heard it was an open book test. I decided to take some time off work to get it done since some people were talking about a two hour ordeal.

The first problem I encountered was that there is no consolidated website for information. The information is all there but it is in like 3 different places and even though it is not conflicting, it is not really concise. After I figured out what I needed to take and how much money I headed out there. I knew from experience that most DMV’s did not take credit cards, so I had cash ready. I knew where the place to get new license plates was, and assumed since the address was very close that it was the same place. I was wrong, the place to get your license is a separate building and it was like going back to the 80’s.

The place did not scream high tech at all, and I started to realize how local government was really not at the same level as some of the other states I have lived in. If it was not for the great service that I was provided I would probably have had a pretty bad experience.

As I walk in, there is a lady that checks to see if you have all the document required which I thought was a very convenient way to check people in. The line was not horrible but it was a little slow. I think their computer system was back in the green screen days but I cannot confirm it. After the eye test I was informed that I had to take the written test which I already knew. I was only worried about making sure that I retain my motorcycle endorsement. Since Michigan uses the endorsement CY for motorcycle instead of M like many other states, she had to look it up. Not only that, she had to print a piece of paper with proof of what she looked up which to me screams non integrated systems.

She was pretty quick and answered all of my questions. She then sent me to the payment lady who was very friendly and gave me the test. She handed me a folded one page test and a very small pamphlet. She then told me it was open book, and I asked her where is the book. She looked at me and then my hand and I realized that the little pamphlet was “the book”. I tried to answer the test without looking at the book and I was about to answer everything but two questions. Thanks to one of my coworkers that had to “prep” me for the test with the 500 ft question, “Thanks Jordan”, which confused the heck out of me. I was able to look it up and finish up. I ended up getting one wrong, I don’t know which one. I also filled in my voter’s registration card which I had not done before. I know, I have not voted here… but I do have the excuse that I have spent most of the last 8 months traveling.

I was off to the picture station where a dude that did not seem pretty happy about taking pictures made me sign on a digital signature pad. I was excited, finally some technology. He told me to smile at Mickey Mouse which made me more uncomfortable than amused (the camera had a little toy Mickey attached to it close to the lens.) I then started to read a notice about a temporary license… that was when I felt like I was in a movie about the past.

I have always received my license right at the DMV in all the other states I have been in. I also happened to work with the MO DOT and I know that they also give you your license the same day. A lot of people in KC have the attitude that it is better to live in the KS side than the MO. I did not care either way until now… KS has one strike against it… I did not expect to have to wait for my license to arrive in the mail.

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