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!!!

About USCTrojan4JC

God Follower, husband, father, USC Trojan alumnus, Mazda employee

10 responses to “”

  1. LiLtO says :

    yeah– i did! you are funnY!
    stop being so material! just kiddin!
    miss ya loren wong =D

  2. scaryhairyjerry says :

    wow, rudolf mak was a mentor of mine who told me to go to seminary back in 1998! very cool.

  3. number7436 says :

    oh nice, rose bowl!

  4. sup_cuz says :

    DD seems to have been a very fun car so far haha. have fun and be safe at retreat

  5. lilonani says :

    hehe… yes, shotgun shooting… nice pictures

  6. Alex115 says :

    Woah, I actually read all of it. hahaha. Time to watch that video

  7. ilovecats says :

    how do you know Gabe? 😀

  8. khai123 says :

    Congrats on the Rose Bowl ticket!!! It probably cost you and arm and a leg but to be able to be there will be worth so many memories!!!

  9. Anonymous says :

    happy new years!

  10. GR81stud says :

    Thanks for the plug…gonna be fun tomorrow at the Rose Bowl.  Fight On!!!

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