Archive | December 2005

One of the greatest videos I’ve ever seen (broadband only)!  It’s a video of the 2006 Subaru Impreza WRC rally race car in winter testing.  I have it on a loop right now just to listen to its music…the music of a race-spec machine stretching its legs like a world class athlete…like Reggie Bush will do all day against the Texas Longhorns.

Let’s try to get all of ya’ll out there in Xanga-land caught up on my adventures and insights.

Christmas – I had a simple one going to church in the morning and spending the rest of the day with my family.  I didn’t do any Christmas shopping this year because I just felt so worn down from work and church involvement.  If you think about it, it’s such a luxury to give to those we love and care about.

My friend from USC’s Asian American Christian Fellowship (AACF), Jon Mak, joined the Subaru family/community on Christmas Eve by taking delivery of a steel gray 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI (that’s right everyone, it’s spelled “STI” for 2006 and not “STi”).  The car pictured is not his particular car, but is basically a mirror image of it.  It makes me want a STI!!!  300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, a sport suspension, and sticky max performance summer tires all come with the STI from the factory.  The cool thing is he went to Irvine Subaru in Lake Forest after I told him not to get a car from Sierra Subaru in Monrovia.  He and his dad and mom went to Irvine Subaru planning to look at WRXs.  The STI caught the attention of his dad and the rest is history!  They dealt with Desiree Farey and her son, Jeremy.  Jeremy commented that it was cool that Jon’s dad, Rudolf, or Rudy, was buying a car on Christmas Eve!  For those who may not know, Jon’s dad is a full-time employee of Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) International (  It was on December 29, 2003 that my family and I purchased “Devoted Dan” from Irvine Subaru.  I will post my tribute to “Double D” later.

Speaking of lusting after getting an STI for myself, I started thinking about how “nice” it would be to have a “comfortable” life – one consisting of a nice family, a nice house, nice cars, a good-paying career, etc.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized what a waste that would be in the sense that accumulating all that still would not allow me to do what would be the most fulfilling thing – making much of God explicitly through my vocation.  I don’t exactly know what His plan is for me (especially how He’s going to get me out of college loan debt any sooner…USC, as great as it is, isn’t free, folks!  Well, if you get a full scholarship from them or have parents that work there to qualify you for tuition remission, you’re an awesome exception.), but my heart strings definitely got a good tug from Him this past week.  My thoughts can best be summed up by Casting Crowns’ song “American Dream.”

I got a Rose Bowl ticket today with the help of my good friend and fellow southpaw, Steve Quon, also an acquaintance formed through USC’s AACF.  Let’s just say I paid a pretty penny for it.  Call me crazy but keep this in mind, USC will win an unprecedented third straight national championship on Wednesday, January 4, 2006!!!  The last (and only) bowl game I went to was on December 25, 2001 where Pete Carroll’s first-year Trojans lost to Utah 10-6 in the Las Vegas Bowl.  That is definitely a taste I want to get out of my mouth!  I’m confident the good guys will prevail on Wednesday!  FIGHT ON (for ol’ SC)!!!  BEAT THE LONGHORNS!!!

I’m going on my church’s annual youth winter retreat this weekend as a high school guys’ counselor!  Here’s to God taking the fight to the evil one through His people!!!  The theme is fighting spiritual warfare from Ephesians 6:10-20.  Let’s fight on for ol’ JC!!!  Please cover us in prayer as we learn how we can partake in the Lord’s victory over sin and evil!

Devoted Dan
December 29, 2003 – Present (Production Date: 09/2003)

“Devoted Dan”, or “Double D”, has been one of my best friends the last two years, or over 40,600 miles.  I’ve spent more time in him commuting and driving here and there than I have with a lot of the close friends I’ve interacted with over the last two years.  It’s kind of sad, but I’m simply saying it’s probably true.  I named him “Dan” because Daniel means “God is my judge.”  There is no doubt that God is my judge and is in sovereign control of my life.  I threw “Devoted” in there because I wanted something that would allow me to jokingly call him “Double D.”  I actually can’t really say that I call him that though.

Dan’s been totally unwavering in his service to me.  He may not be the fastest, best-looking, or most refined, but he is what he is!  I would say that description I just made on the fly is similar to what I would probably say about myself.  The things I’ve done to him is what I feel is a personal expression of myself.  Every time I enter the car, I feel at home as soon as I sit into the sport bucket seat that fits like a glove!

In his service, he’s been driven fairly aggressively at times.  He’s carried me through two open track days, two top speed (140+ mph) runs (Shhhh!  You didn’t read that here!), and Southern California traffic/pandemonium.  I’ve never had any problems with him other than a slightly annoying minor rattle with the B-pillar interior trim panel making contact with what I think is a seal.  The rattle isn’t noticable most of the time so it’s not that a big deal.

Below is a timeline of Dan’s journey and evolution:

  • December 29, 2003 – Purchase of Dan for $26,046.08 after tax.  Left at Irvine Subaru to have options installed (WRX spoiler, upgraded speakers and subwoofer, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) STi short-throw shifter, security system, and armrest extension).
  • January 3, 2004 – Still reveling in USC’s beatdown of the Michigan Wolverines in the 2004 Rose Bowl two days earlier, my family and I picked up Dan from Irvine Subaru.
  • Late Febrauray 2004 – Slightly damaged right side of the rear bumper that caught on a high curb (think storm drain type) when I was parallel parking and backing in at an angle.  One of those “D’oh!” moments for sure.  Oh well.  The car wasn’t going to stay new anyway.
  • March 2004 – Put on a set of 17″ x 7″ Prodrive P1 wheels (made by O.Z. Racing) with Bridgestone Potenza S-03 Pole Position P215/45R17 tires a little after 4,000 miles.  Also received my “vanity” plates.  See profile picture.  The plate basically means “USC Trojan for Jesus Christ” – USC 4 JC.  I chose the plate with Wyland’s whale tail because my dad is a big fan of Wyland’s work (he has one original painting and a good number of prints) and I thought the blue went well with the car.  I also like how the whale tail fits nicely between “USC” and the “4”.  To top it all off, it’s cool that the vanity plate fees go toward protecting California’s coast.
  • April and May 2004 – Spun (I think it was a 1040) on the 60 West between Crossroads Parkway and the 605 interchange going around 70 mph dodging tire debris from a blowout a pickup truck had about 10-15 seconds before I came along.  I didn’t hit anything and came to a stop facing the direction I originally was going.  What caused the spin was my application of the brakes while turning to dodge some of the debris.  This caused the rear of the car to get really light (think weight transfer, inertia, etc.) and come around.  When it happened, I simply put the car in neutral and got on the brakes hard while trying to somewhat guide the car through the spin.  It all happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to panic.  This happened driving home from small group.  In May, another vehicle kicked up debris that dented the right front fender while I was driving to small group.  It also scratched the right headlight lens slightly on the side.  I figured this was as good of an excuse as any to “clear” my headlights.  I took the orange reflector pieces out of my headlights to give my car the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) look.  Because of that, my car’s headlights honestly are not U.S. DOT (Department of Transportation) legal.  Not to fear my friends, the same day I bought turn signal bulbs that glow amber/orange to retain the same stock-looking blinker flash!  I also installed OEM painted sideskirts some time before this.

    1280 resolution photo similar to the one above can be seen here:
    My special “custom” wallpaper can be seen here:
  • November 2004 – The modding (as in modification) bug strikes!  I originally planned on not really doing anything to the car until I was out of its warranty (3 years or 36,000 miles whichever comes first).  Then I thought, “What gives?  Waiting until I’m out of warranty is taking away time and miles I could be enjoying my car even more!”  It was a slight risk, but there’s a saying, “You gotta pay to play.”  I bought a Prodrive axleback muffler and installed it to give my exhaust note a deeper, “bassier” boxer rumble.  I still love the music it makes every time I hear it.  It doesn’t buzz like a lot of those other aftermarket mufflers.  It has a nice rumble almost like a V-8 engine sound but with the Subaru rumble and putt-putt sound from the flat-4 boxer engine mixed together.  Prodrive is also the company that runs and organizes Subaru’s World Rally Championship racing team’s efforts.
  • January 2005 – Prodrive springs, STi Group N strut tops, Goodridge stainless steel brake lines and JDM OEM 4-pot/2-pot brakes were installed on the car by Aerosim Research, Ltd. ( in Costa Mesa.

  • Febraury 11, 2005 – Another spin without hitting anything!  I’m tired now.  For more information, read that day’s post.

  • March 5, 2005 – First track day on the infield road course at California Speedway.  What an awesome experience!

    Above: My favorite photo…ever?
  • April 1, 2005 – Received my COBB AccessPORT to re-flash Dan’s ECU (Engine Control Unit).  It’s advertised to give me 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque (from the stock 227 hp and 217 lb-ft) through the Stage 1 upgrade.  (Turbo) Boost pressure also went up from 13.5 psi to 15.1 psi.  The AccessPORT also takes care of transition from closed loop to open loop fueling problem on 2004 and newer WRXs.
  • April 29, 2005 to May 2005 – Curbed my right front wheel street parking that morning (also was Hanley’s 24th birthday, folks).  I got the wheel re-painted, but the place that did it painted over the “O.Z. Racing” lettering, so I relegated that wheel to full-size spare duty after purchasing a new wheel.  I also bought my 2nd set of Bridgestone Potenza S-03’s and had them mounted.
  • June 3, 2005 – I received my first ever speeding ticket on Garvey Ave!  It was a bummer to get the first one!  At the same time, I knew my right and I were deserving of the first one a long time before that occasion.  In a way, I knew I was “overdue.”
  • September 23, 2005 – My second track day at The Streets of Willow Springs was another great experience!
  • November/December 2005 – Installed the 2006 STI rear diffuser and JDM fender sidemarkers.
  • The future: I’ve registered for a track day at Button Willow Raceway on Saturday, January 14, 2005!  The “mod” bug is probably going to lay dormant for a while.  My last payment for Dan will be on January 12, 2006!  After he’s paid off, I am going to put a lot more money toward my college loans!  Dan still has yet to taste any snow.  I really want to get him into a big, empty area covered with snow to do some donuts!  I don’t know when that will happen though!  I’m looking for factory OEM 2006 WRX 17″ wheels to use as an everyday set of wheels with all-season tires (probably Pirelli P Zero Nero M+S) and putting my gold Prodrive P1’s into storage.  After I can secure a set of those, I would then sell my set of OEM 2004 WRX stock wheels.

If anyone has read everything up to this point, I’m impressed!!!  Have an awesome New Year’s and God bless!!!

Merry CHRISTmas, everybody!!!

Work load at work is CRAZY!!!    I would definitely appreciate your prayers!  I’m feeling so burnt/worn out…like the light bulbs BMW use in their turn signals and tail lights/brake lights.

I will post a 2-year tribute to Dan (for those who didn’t know, “Devoted Dan” is what I named the car I drive) at a later date when I have time.  He has held up amazingly well considering some of the things I do.  The only non-maintenance work I’ve taken him in for was to try to fix a minor rattle in the B-pillar.  It’s still there sometimes, but I can “fix” it myself by simply applying pressure on the plastic trim cover that’s there.  I think the noise is cause by it oscillating and “tapping” the seal right next to it.

Dan and I attacking the front straightaway of the infield road course at California Speedway on March 5, 2005 (Is anyone thirsty after seeing that Pepsi billboard? )

On a different note, praise God for a lot of the music that Chris Tomlin has written and sung over the years!  Many of the songs help me praise Him to the max!  I think my favorites are “Not to Us”, “The Wonderful Cross”, “Holy Is the Lord”, “How Great Is Our God”, “Unchanging”, “Famous One”, “Forever”, “Enough”, “We Fall Down”, and “On Our Side”.  I may have very well left a song or two (or few) out, but thanks be to God for this music!  What I love most about Chris (and Geoff and Steven Curtis Chapman as well) is they seem like normal people like you and me, not celebrities.  They’re just people who have been blessed by God to minister to thousands/millions of people through the music our Creator inspires them to write and sing.


That’s how many miles “Devoted Dan” had on the clock when I parked him tonight.  There is some error involved because he rides on 17-inch wheels and tires (P215/45R-17) instead of his stock 16-inch shoes (P205/55R-16).  I will share some of the memories I have in our time together later.  Saturday, January 3, 2004 was the day I took delivery of him.  It’s definitely been a “great adventure” since that day!

Please be in constant prayer for our church’s Mexico missions team that will be returning to Ensenada from later today.  They will be returning Monday afternoon/evening.  The task set before them is to build a 2-story structure that will serve as classrooms for the Templo Cristiano de la Nueva Jerusalem.

Pray for their:
1) Preparation
2) Passion
3) Compassion
4) Physical well-being/safety

Pray also for:
1) Unity
2) Humility
3) Creativity/resourcefulness
4) Victory (FIGHT ON for ol’ JC!  FIGHT ON to victory!  FIGHT ON!!!)

Thanks to those who gave me feedback on the “series” I should start!  I think I will do both automobiles of the day and driving tips of the day depending on what mood I’m in or what I feel I need to say.  I probably won’t ever do both in the same entry, but who knows what could happen.

Today’s Driving Tip of the Day:

Know what the drive wheels on your vehicle are!

Front, Rear, or ALL wheels

This is a pretty elementary tip.  However, it is extremely important to know this for other tips that will follow.  Knowing what the drive wheels are your vehicle are will aid in knowing how your car will probably handle when driven on the edge of the performance envelope as well as things like installing snow chains on your vehicle.  If you don’t know what the drive wheels on your vehicle are, please ask me and provide me with the make and model of the vehicle you drive.

My sister, Leilani, is returning home to southern California on Monday!  It will be great to have her home again.  All of you who talk to her, please help me convince her she should move back here and forget living in Hawai’i!!!

Na na na na
Na na na na
Hey hey hey


Mitsubishi Terminates WRC Program

Written by: Cassio Cortes Rugby, UK – 12/14/2005

Mitsubishi became the fourth manufacturer to withdraw from the 2006 World Rally Championship season, as it confirmed this Wednesday that it is suspending it WRC program without a certain date to come back – although it intends to be able to mount a return by ‘08. The Mitubishi Motors company has been struggling financially for the past few years, and is expected to again lose money in its worldwide operations in the 2005 fiscal year.

The Japanese firm thus joins the likes of Citroen, Peugeot and Skoda in departing the sport, leaving only Ford and Subaru to battle for next year’s manufacturer’s crown. Citroen will return as a full works effort in ‘07, while Peugeot will focus on an assault at Le Mans and Skoda will offer partial support to a new Red Bull-backed team that will contest only the WRC’s European rounds next season.

“With the Mitsubishi Motors Revitalization Plan as a basis, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has made a solid start toward revitalizing its business operations,” the company said in a statement.

“However, to strengthen and build upon this base, MMC realizes that it must focus management resources on the continued promotion of the revitalization plan. Mitsubishi hopes to return to the WRC form 2008, after the completion of the three-year revitalization plan, which covers fiscal years 2005 to 2007.”

Mitsubishi’s withdrawal means drivers Gigi Galli, Harri Rovanpera and Gilles Panizzi join the unemployment ranks. Other 2005 works drivers still looking for rides are Peugeot’s Markko Martin, Citroen’s Francois Duval – tipped for one of the Red Bull-Skoda seats – Ford’s Toni Gardemeister and Roman Kresta and Skoda’s Colin McRae.

For those of you wondering why it took me so long to “fall back,” it’s because my watch (Swatch Irony Diaphane Chrono) is a pain to set precisely.  I can only set it at the top of an hour.  Getting the seconds’ hand and the minutes and seconds dials to work together like…well, clockwork, is not easy to do!

I’m thinking about trying to do a something similar to what Alex Kwan (Xanga: TenThousandPoetWarriors) used to do (and still does?) with his entries.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with what he does, he used to go through letters of the alphabet or numbers and share thoughts on the respective one he had selected for the day.  I’m thinking about doing something along those lines but with automobiles or my cap (as in headwear) collection.  I’ve also entertained the thought of trying to share driving tips with all of you out there in Xanga-land or Stong Badia.

Here’s how you can help me help you.  Please vote:
1 – Automobiles
2 – Caps/Lids/Hats
3 – Driving tips
4 – Other (sports stories?)

Here’s a quick sample of each:

Automobile of the Day:

Photo from

The Dodge Stealth R/T was the first car I fell in love with around 1991-1992.  It had a twin-turbo 3.0L 24-valve DOHC V-6 producing 300 horsepower.  It also had all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering.  Some of you may know that it used the same chassis and powertrain as the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4.  My love for the Stealth did not last long however.  The fourth-generation 1993 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 soon knocked it off the top perch.

Cap of the Day:

The cap pictured above is similar to one of my favorite caps.  The one I have is blue San Diego Padres cap with the same Stars and Stripes on it.  Here’s a larger picture (courtesy of Ted Kau) of me wearing it.  The cap I have has the autographs of Geoff Moore (obtained May 26, 2002) and Steven Curtis Chapman (obtained February 26, 2003).  The neat story behind it is that Steven actually recognized Geoff’s signature on it!  That made my day!

Driving with Fog Lights On When No Fog is Out:
Simply, don’t do it!  Please!  There are few things more annoying than receiving the glare of fog lights from oncoming traffic or seeing the same glare in your interior rear view mirror.  If you vehicle has a switch for it, please turn them off.  I understand that some cars automatically turn them on with low beam headlight usage.  For those of you who can control it though, please help all of us.  The 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan I drive has a separate switch for the fog lights!  By keeping them off, you preserve the fog lights’ bulb lives.  ***More importantly, driving with your fog lights on focuses your eyes on the road immediately in front of your vehicle instead of on the road well ahead where your eyes should be constantly scanning and analyzing the environment around you. Keeping your eyes further up the road enhances one’s situational awareness and would do a lot more toward avoiding any potential accidents than having your fog lights on would ever do 99.9% of the time.***

I finally fell back!!!

Well, I set a new record for myself in that I just turned my watch back an hour to put it back to Pacific Standard Time.  My previous record was around a month after the time change.

I went with Steve, Hanley, and Jerry to the Steven Curtis Chapman and MercyMe concert at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, CA on Saturday night.  I just lost it and broke into tears watching the video for “All I Really Want For Christmas” below (if you would like to see it in a higher resolution Windows Media format or RealPlayer format).  Some of the kids in the video appeared on stage as Steven was wrapping up the song.  If I could, I’d adopt a kid right away!  For more information on how you or someone you know can get involved in God’s miracle of adoption, please check out  Shaohannah is the name of Steven and Mary Beth Chapman’s first adopted daughter.  Steven says her name is a combination of Chinese words that mean laughter and gift of God.  My man, Geoff, is also a member of the board of Shaohannah’s Hope.  He and his wife, Jan, have adopted two Chinese girls, Anna Grace and Ashley Rose, through Bethany Christian Services (link below).

Cool articles I just stumbled upon:
Steven Curtis Chapman in Asia Sharing CCM and Vision of Shaohannah’s Hope
Surprised by Joy – An Interview with Mary Beth Chapman (she even mentions a crazy flight to China she took with Jan Moore)

Here’s a little blurb on Geoff’s web site ( about adoption:

If our paths have crossed in the last few you years you have not doubt heard me ramble on about my dear Chinese daughters, Anna Grace and Ashley Rose. As many of you know, this was not something I ever planned on doing. Adoption was a nice idea for other people. I’m in my forties. I have two teenage sons. I want a bass boat!!! But, we have a God who loves us enough to give us what we need even when we don’t know it. God has used the adoption of these girls to dramatically impact the way I look at almost every facet of life. Is there a more accurate, appropriate metaphor for the Gospel? I don’t think so. You may have heard me say that I believe that God is, “in the adoption business.” I fully believe that is what He is willing to do for all of us. He finds us and takes us, as we are, and makes us His daughters and sons. He gives us the inheritance, the birthright that only He can give.

If God is in the spiritual adoption business then I think His followers should be in the physical adoption business. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to guilt everybody into adoption. I’m probably just like you, I hate it when somebody that never did any thing gets on some band wagon and starts cramming it down your throat! I only ask that you would have an honest discussion with God about how you should respond to the call to care for orphans. If you’re a Christian, it’s not if you can help, it’s more a question of how. For some of us it may be in giving, giving of our time and money. For other, perhaps unsuspecting souls, it may mean bringing home a child to their family forever. I’ve included some links to organizations and ministries that have really helped Jan and I in our journey. We’ll be praying for you.

Bethany Christian Services
Bethany is the agency that we used for both of our adoptions

America World Adoption Association
Brain Luwis and the team at AWAA have been a great help to us with ministry in China and will help you wherever God may be leading you.

Shaohannah’s Hope
Founded by dear friends Steven and Mary Beth Chapman. I’m honored to serve on the board of this foundation that gives grants to individual families to help with adoption expenses.

Here’s to our great God being a Father to the fatherless!  All I really want for Chirstmas is for all of you reading this to be reminded of how He gave His only begotten Son so that He could adopt us as His daughters and sons.  May He compel you to share His love with all as you carry out His effort to reach every single one.  It’s time to…

Wake the neighbors
Get the word out
Come on, crank up the music
Climb a mountain and shout
This is life we’ve been given
Made to be lived out
So la, la, la, la LIVE OUT LOUD!!!

“Remembering You” Music Video from The Chronicles of Narnia–Steven-Curtis-Chapman

Your 2005 Heisman Memorial Trophy Winner – Reginald “The President” Bush, Jr.


“Top Gear – Pagani Zonda, Ford GT, and F430 get stuck in Paris”—Zonda-Ford-GT-and-F430-get-stuck-in-Paris

That clip made me glad I don’t have a supercar!

Look at all that ground clearance (stock springs on stock struts)!

Lower lower, lower lower lower lower lower lower, stomp Satan lower (Prodrive springs on stock struts with Subaru Group N STi strut tops) – song reference = “Cast Your Burdens (Onto Jesus)”

Bonehead move of Sunday night: I accidentally formatted my D: drive trying to add a new hard drive that was the exact same model (Western Digital Caviar SE WD2000JS SATA 200 GB hard drive) as the existing D: drive to replace my C: drive (WD1200JB EIDE 120 GB hard drive).  I lost a LOT of data.  I was able to recover some documents.  Oh well.  Life goes on.  Lesson learned for next time I do something like this!

On Friday, November 25, 2005, 2001 World Rally Driver’s Champion Richard Burns passed away from a brain tumor he had been battling for the two years.  He won the 2001 WRC Driver’s Championship driving for the Subaru World Rally Team.  Here’s a photo of him driving his Subie/Scooby in the Rally Finland.

I’ve got a crazy next few days in front of me.  Here’s to depending on God to get me through ’em!


The Walls of Jericho going up:

It’s amazing how when I first read an e-mail Steve Loo sent today (Xanga: rice4krxst) with those words in the Subject line, I was utterly confused.  Walls are supposed to go down!!!  After reading the above article, I understood what he was saying.

For you wrestling fans, yes, the “Walls of Jericho” is/was Chris Jericho’s submission move as well.  Well, folks, don’t tap out!!!

I filled out a DCLA 2006 application tonight!!!  LA 2006 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 8-11, 2006.  Here’s a picture from LA 2003 (which was held at the Sacramento Convention Center of all places):

Geoff Moore, me, and Dana Weaver (Geoff’s guitarist, also played with the original Sonic Flood and Smalltown Poets)

Three entries in less than 24 hours!  I guess I’m making up for lost time.

A day that will live in infamy…

Let us never forget…