Archive | January 2006

Here is a video (http://videos.hspn.com/index.php?videoid=16) of the EXACT track configuration (#13, clockwise) I drove at Buttonwillow Raceway on January 14, 2005.  The footage was shot from the front passenger seat of a heavily modified 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STi (details here).  The car in the video turned about a 2:05 – 2:06 lap…on a warmup lap!  My best lap was a 2:12.678 in my fourth session which I think was still very good for the car I was in and for being unfamiliar with the track (http://www.redlinetrackevents.com/times/1_14/int3.pdf).  I KNOW I can go faster!!!


Btw, I dedicated my last entry to those three men because:



  1. Pastor Jerry (said with full acknowledgement that he is a sinner like me and all of humankind) was formally ordained on Sunday, January 22, 2006
  2. Pastor Ted (also said in the same way above) had surgery last Monday, January 23, 2006 and is still fighting the good fight through the grace of God
  3. Edwin Fung went back North for his second semester on Monday, January 23, 2006

In closing, wasn’t 24 good tonight like it is week in and week out?


Take care and God bless, everyone!

It’s been way too long since my last entry!  I will TRY to keep this as short as possible since I have work later this morning (start of entry: ~ Midnight).


I will publicly thank and praise GOD for three people who have blessed my life below:


Jerry Hwang (Xanga: scaryhairyjerry)


I first met Jerry in April (I think) 2002 at a church on the west side where he spoke from Acts 20 about leadership passing the baton as in a relay race.  I’ve never heard of leadership being handed down in that way before.  Most people usually would call it the passing of the torch.  As ESPN’s College Gameday’s Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast, my friend!”  Little did I know that Jerry was not “most people” as I would later find out over the next few years.


Jerry and Jackie first came to FCBC Walnut in the summer of 2002.  The thing I remember the most about Jerry when we (USC Asian American Christian Fellowship core leadership) were introduced to him other than his speaking from Acts 20 was that he said an interesting about him was that at that time, he had been married to Jackie longer than he dated her.  Jerry was actually the second contact I had made through serving with USC’s AACF that God brought to serve at our church.


Over the years, I have continually grown in appreciation for who God has made Jerry to be.  Jerry is “s-m-r-t, I mean s-m-a-r-t” to quote the one and only Homer J. Simpson.  But beyond being knowledgeable about a vast array of things, God has also given Jerry a tremendous amount of wisdom.  Now being knowledgeable and wise are great for starters, but the real kicker is that Jerry is well…real, or genuine with you.  Those who have interacted with him personally can all vouch for that.  And for those who haven’t, “let me tell ya something” to quote Fire Marshall Bill of In Living Color fame (do you all remember when Jim Carrey played that role?  I probably just dated myself with that reminder.), Jerry is as straight as they come…not as an arrow because if I would say that, that would be too cliche, how ’bout more like a quarter-mile drag strip like at the Pomona Fairgrounds.  I think that will do nicely.


Some memories I have of Jerry:



  • Taking him to a Padres vs. Dodgers game where the Pads won and a drunk fan threatened me as we were leaving the right field pavillion…where the true blue collar fans sit…and watch the Dodger$ lose regularly!
  • Snowball fight at Winter Retreat 2002
  • Playing football in the snow at Winter Retreat 2003
  • Jerry not having gum on his plate at Winter Retreat 2004 and the ensuing chaos started by Thea (Xanga: SeeYaThea) after Ted Low (Xanga: Strikezone) won the game
  • Surprise party for Jerry’s birthday on November 5, 2004 when Jerry walked through his garage door and the first thing he said was, “Oh no.”
  • Teaching and sitting in 12th grade Sunday School with Jerry throughout the 2004-2005 school year…whoever thought you could play a baseball game on a dry erase board?
  • Taking Jerry to his first live Steven Curtis Chapman (and MercyMe) concert with Steve and Hanley on December 10, 2005…on our way to the Great Western Forum, I made one right turn at a modest rate of speed and Jerry said, “I believe.”
  • The atomic watch…’nuff said
  • Throwing some pitches to him on Thanksgiving Day in 2004 and 2005
  • Having Jerry speak at a USC AACF large group meeting during the Spring 2003 semester at USC the night after USC beat UCLA at basketball.
  • Letting Jerry drive “Devoted Dan” one night in the summer of 2005…he didn’t stall everyone and he did better than some other people who have driven Dan!
  • And others I can’t think of at this time!

I love Jerry, Jackie, and Josie and thank and praise God that He has blessed all of us with their presence.  I don’t think I’m the only one out there that can simply enjoy watching Josie do her thing!  The “thing” is we also don’t really see when she’s crying and pooping.  Show your love (think Showtime at the Apollo) to Jerry and Jackie when you see them and may you be encouraged to love others like they have loved and touched us!





Ted Kau (Xanga: deadkau)


I first met Ted in January 2001 when he was the retreat speaker for the 2001 USC AACF winter retreat.  Little did we know we would end up seeing much more of each other over the next few years as well.  I think it was April 2001 that the Kau family first started coming to our church.  After English service had ended, I still remember greeting and welcoming him and his family in the aisle closest to the exit doors by the men’s bathroom in the Multi-Activity Center (MAC) – I think it’s the NE corner of the MAC, someone please correct me if I’m mistaken.


Ted is simply one of the most caring people I know.  I honestly don’t know how he’s been able to handle so many things going at what seems like 200 miles per hour all the time.  His love for Chris, his wife, and his kids, Samantha, Renee, and Isaac inspire me to love my future family in a similar way.  I believe he is an excellent parent (at least from what I’ve seen) in that he wholly loves his kids and at the same time, they don’t get away with doing what is wrong and are disciplined lovingly by him.  I haven’t spent as much time with Ted as I have with Jerry which probably just happened because of the things I was involved with at church.


Some memories I have of Ted:



  • Sharing about his kids’ “happy song” and dance during one of his messages at USC AACF winter retreat 2001
  • The discussion that was sparked as a result of him sharing about courtship at that same retreat
  • Riding in the blue eggmobile (Toyota Previa, folks) to San Diego on November 22, 2003 when TURF went to visit UCSD students and also gave out care packages to some homeless people in Downtown San Diego…USC beat UCLA at the Coliseum 47-22 that day for their fifth victory in a row in that rivalry…at times, Sammy slept on my left shoulder and Renee on my right during the trip down to SD.  I rode shotgun on the way back up.  That night, Ted shared with me about how his father used to interact with him and things along those lines if I remember correctly.
  • Witnessing Ted officiate Ryan & Lisa Chan’s wedding
  • Sharing my “Oh, no, dear.  She’s left-handed!” golf joke I originally heard from my high school baseball coach with Ted
  • Riding in the Chevrolet Express van on unpaved Mexican roads!!!  YEAH!!!
  • Partnering with Ted in the initial construction at the Templo Cristiano de la Nueva Jerusalem in August 2005…witnessing him use bits ‘n’ pieces of Spanish when interacting with Cyrillo
  • I think that’s all that’s coming to mind right now…it’s almost 1 AM!

We’re all praying for you and your family, Ted!





Edwin Fung (Xanga: DEAD_ED_WALKING)


Finally, someone at church who understands why Settlers is an awesome game!  Even before learning of Ed’s love for Settlers, I have always enjoyed his presence.  He is usually pretty laid back like I am.  He also has a great smile!  More importantly, it’s awesome to see how he has developed a heart for others in conjunction with some of his peers such as, but not limited to, Jon Ng, Jason Lee, Preston Fong, Nick Lui, and probably some other guys I’m forgetting (my apologeties to those of you who know who you are….please let me know and I’ll edit this puppy).  While he’s away, let’s continue to pray for him to be the light of Christ to all those around him in San Francisco.


Some memories of Ed (not nearly as many as Jerry and Ted):



  • Playing football in the snow at Winter Retreat 2003 – I tackled him and Preston all day long…that’s right…ALL DAY LONG, BABY!
  • Riding next to him to Pine Summit on the way to Winter Retreat 2005
  • Playing broomball on at least one occasion if I remember correctly
  • Playing Settlers with him as Nick’s partner along with Elmer (teh winnAr of that night’s 2 hour, 20 minute or so game) who was paired with Hanley,  and Jason who was paired with Leslie.  The 7 that I think it was Jason rolled with the dice and the way that Ed reacted will forever be etched and impressed in my memory.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more animated than that ever!
  • Watching his antics on the basketball court
  • Thinking of his shoe collection (I don’t know if it still really exists or not) reminds me of my cap (as in hat) collection…he only has one pair of feet yet he has (or had) a lot of shoes…the same goes for me…only one head the last time I checked, yet I can be a man of many not faces, but hats
  • Reading about his DIY Toyota Camry left front window regulator repair adventure
  • Being reminded of “The Tint Shop” every time I see the green Camry and its rear license plate frame
  • Knowing he is a fellow Oakley X Metal Juliet wearer…I’ve had mine since June 1999…it’s definitely seen better days
  • Forgiving the fact that he likes UCLA…we can’t always support the winning team I guess…hehehe

Thanks for sharing the life God’s given you with us, Ed!  We can’t wait ’til you return!





Well, it looks like Tyrone is going to have some seat time behind the wheel of a new BMW 325i sedan and Raymond is going to have some behind the wheel of a new Acura TSX.  To be honest, I don’t think it’s a good idea for them to be driving cars like these at their age with their experience.  Then again, I’m not their parents nor would it ever be my place to tell parents how to parent their children.


2006 BMW 325i


2006 Acura TSX


Here’s my take/my concerns:
-These cars have 200 or more horsepower at the crank (TSX – 205 hp@ 7000 rpm, 164 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm and 325i – 215 hp @ 6250 rpm, 185 lb-ft of torque at 2750 rpm) – these cars can get these guys going much faster than they should be going
-Both cars are capable of handling well, but come standard with all-season tires – a bad combination…dangerous if a driver becomes overconfident in his/her driving abilities and/or the car’s abilities…beyond the laws of physics
-Statistically, most people get into an accident (not necessarily their fault as was the case with mine) with the first car they drive…I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a beater car get smashed up (in my case, a 1993 Oldsmobile Achieva S) than a nice car (2004 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan – definitely not as “nice” as both the 325i and TSX…but a whole lot faster )
-TSX is a front-wheel drive car.  If not driven properly, things can go from bad to worse quickly
-BMW is a rear-wheel drive car.  It generally would not understeer nearly as much as a TSX. Then again, the 325i is shod with all-season tires from the factory.  As long as the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is left on, spinning this rear-wheel drive car shouldn’t really happen because it’s a pretty effective electrical nanny.  The driver of an E46 BMW M3 Coupe definitely vouched for DSC keeping him from spinning on the same wet track I spun on two weeks ago in a cold, wet morning session.


To make a long story short, please be in prayer for these guys!!!  I definitely will be!  I may also need to explain some things about vehicle dynamics with them as well.  That is, if they want to learn.  I won’t force them to learn anything, although it could definitely help them.  This is not to say I’m not an expert or professional by any means, but by the grace of God, I’ve received a fair share of positive comments on my track driving abilities by drivers of faster cars on paper (E46 M3, WRX STi, Porsche Boxster, and Acura NSX to name a few).


End time – 1:30 AM!!!  D’OH!!!

Please continue to pray for Ted.  Even though the fight is not over, the victory is the Lord’s!  This entry is in rememberance of that.


Keep fighting on for ol’ JC, Ted!!!


Victory signs up, everybody!!!


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FIGHT ON FOR OL’ JC!
FIGHT ON TO VICTORY!
FIGHT ON!!!

PRAISE GOD Ted’s surgery was a success!


Psalm 115:1 (New International Version) – Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.


Going down the front straightaway


Nailin’ the apex


Going the right way…right away

Thanks and praise be to God for Jerry Hwang, Ted Kau, and Edwin Fung.  More to come later!  Let’s be in prayer for them throughout the day!

Jack’s back!  The last two nights of 24 were great!


However, I’m hoping the new movie “End of The Spear” will be even better!  (Movie Trailer Guy’s voice – btw, who is he/what is his name?) Dare to make contact…just like Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, and Pete Fleming did 50 years ago.  Their story of the Waodani becoming God followers is probably one of my most favorite stories of God working in people’s lives because of the amazing things He did to bring a formerly savage tribe (the Aucas) to Himself and turn them into God followers who love and worship Him.  And like we are all called to do, they share who God is and what He’s done in their lives to neighboring tribes inviting them to see the markings on the trail and become God followers too.


For more information, visit: www.endofthespear.com.


I put Dan’s new shoes on with the help of my Uncle Milton on Sunday night after I got home from high school small group at church.  We did the change in about 45 minutes.  It sure helps things go out quicker with another pair of hands.  We changed both of the rears first and then the right front and then the left front.  The front of the car is too low to get my Craftsman 2-1/4 ton floor jack undernearth the front.  Dan’s new shoes will be his beater/daily driver/LA commute wheels and tires.




To see some pictures of Dan and other Subarus (and other cars through another link) taken at Buttonwillow Raceway this weekend, you can go to: http://www.printroom.com/ViewGallery.asp?userid=bvzphoto&gallery_id=317685.  I ordered a few prints for myself earlier tonight.

Back from a great time at the track!


I’ll have more details later.


Cliff Notes:
-Ran four 1/2 hour sessions (usually they give us five but things got started late )
-Session 1 was on a wet and cold track
-I spun twice off the track and onto the mud in Session 1.  No problem getting out though with Subaru’s All-Wheel Drive.  Cause: Rear tires only had 3/32 to 4/32 of tread going into the session because they were my front tires at my last track day plus the car is setup for light oversteer on throttle lift and when turning in and braking.  It’s an AWESOME setup in the dry, not so awesome in the wet.  All-Wheel Drive can’t defy God’s laws of physics when turning (or any in other situations for that matter), folks!
-Session 2 – I had an owner of an Acura NSX ride as my passenger and he said he learned some things from simply riding along with me.
-Session 3 – A new friend I met, Brian (or Bryan), rode with me.  He said I gave him the best ride of the day (he rode in a STi and another faster car that day).
-Session 4 – Another new friend, Clariss (EDIT: correction), who I actually had met at a wedding reception I went to on November 20, 2005 (he was at my table), rode with me and he really loved it too.
-The most fun I had was driving hard behind and in front of a 2004 Mazda Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata (those things are no joke!) in Session 3 (off and on rain in the beggining of the session made things interesting) and a 2004 or 2005 BMW M3 Coupe w/ SMG and Brembo brakes (I don’t know what else he had) in Session 4.  I would press hard behind them to see how I matched up and then they would let me by on a straightaway to see how well they would fare behind me.  The driver of the M3 and his friend with a 2004 STi that was heavily modded gave me “mad props” afterward especially since the car I drive is fairly stock (compared to theirs).  I suppose you could say the car I drive is mildly to moderately modified, but far from heavily modified.
-Cool thing of the day – A lot of the guys I spent time around at the track today attend New Song.  If I remember correctly, they used to be in the same small group and were now spread throughout different small groups.  I think only I and Nick Lui are the only people at First Chinese Baptist, Walnut that have done open track days/HPDE’s (High Performance Driving Events).  With small groups named G.A.S. (God’s Anointed Servants) and M.A.C.H.O. (Men Approaching Christ’s Holy Obedience), to only have two guys who have done tracks days is not where I want us to be!  Btw, ladies are more than welcome to participate as well!


Before playing in the mud


After



A few speeds around the track from the Start/Finish Line going clockwise:
~105 mph before braking for Sunrise (~60 mph left turn)
~85-90 mph before braking for the Cotton Corners
~90 mph going into Riverside
~70-80 mph through the early part of Riverside, ~80-85 exiting
~100-102 mph before braking for the Lost Hill
~95 mph before braking for the Sweeper
~90 mph before the last left of the Esses
~110 mph before braking for Sunset (~50-55 mph left turn onto the front straightaway)


The following is from Brian’s (Xanga: ping9pong) latest entry that he got from someone else.  Can you see what’s wrong with the picture below?

Off to the racetrack…

FOX Sports.com: Heisman winner Bush decides to turn pro


Thanks for the memories, Reggie!  Remember your roots and to give God the glory in all that you do!





HIGH OCTANE!!!


Good small group tonight!  We went through Daniel 3 and mainly discussed and reflected on the amazing faith Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had when they were told to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s image that he “had set up.”  When the going got tough, the tough didn’t get going.  They trusted in God regardless of what the outcome would be.





I self tech inspected the car tonight.  It looks like there’s a good chance of rain on Saturday.  This would be both good and bad for me at the track.  Bad because I’d definitely have to be more careful the entire time.  Good because my full-time AWD should level the playing field in terms of running with cars that are definitely faster than me in dry weather.







Ed Fung (Xanga: Dead_Ed_Walking), I’m still trying to get Settlers of Catan for ya before you go back up!!!  I’m working on it!!!

Wow.  I just read through Angie’s (Xanga: sarkie12) most recent entry that John Piper has prostate cancer.  Let us pray, let us pray (everywhere in every way) for this soldier of the Lord and brother in Christ!


John Piper and Cancer


“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting.
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
-1 Corinthians 15:54-57


Remember, the victory is the Lord’s!!!





The More You Know…


Today’s Automotive Tip of the Day is about brakes.  More important than going fast, stopping quickly, in as short of a distance as possible, and consistently should be of the utmost importance to any driver.  Yesterday (Saturday), one of the techs at work changed my front brake pads (Ferodo DS2500 pads to be exact) and bled the brake system (using Motul RBF 600 brake fluid) with me in the car the “old school” way.  This was done in preparation for my track day this Saturday at Button Willow Raceway.  The last time I went to the track, I used EBC Red Stuff Ceramic front brake pads and those suckers got cooked/overheated at The Streets of Willow Springs.  At the first track day I went to in March 2005, I was on the OEM Subaru 4-pot front brake pads.  I’ve read many good things about the Ferodos being able to do “double duty,” that is being used both for everyday driving and track use, a tough task because of the different demands required for each.  I’ve also read that Ferodos are used by actual race teams (Vermont Sports Car (www.vtcar.com) uses the DS3000 pads on their race cars and recommend the DS2500 for track use) as well; thus providing me with a little more confidence regarding how they’ll hold up on the track.



I almost rear-ended a previous generation Honda Civic sedan with a USC Alumni license plate frame this afternoon driving my uncle’s 1992 Toyota pickup truck on the 101 North.  I think I fell asleep for maybe a second while Jars of Clay’s “Flood” was being played on The Fish 95.9 FM (www.kfsh.com).  My Uncle Milton said something like, “Hey!” and I stomped on the brake pedal as hard as I could.  The car in front of me was almost at a complete stop.  I was traveling maybe 70 mph in the fast lane (there was on and off traffic here and there) and it was an awesome thing I had left a LOT of room in front of me.  I thought for sure I was going to hit the car and was already consigned to face the consequences that would ensue.  The truck stopped without hitting the car and I thought, “What?!  I was supposed to rear end that car!”  There probably was only an inch or two at the most after I came to a stop and a whole lot of tire smoke.  His truck doesn’t have anti-lock brakes so when I locked them up, things got “exciting” to say the least.  It is often said that when brakes lock up, you are supposed to pump the brakes.  However, everything happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to think, much less panic.  I just stomped on the pedal.  I didn’t try swerving because I didn’t know if there were any cars to my right and if your brakes are locked up, an attempt to steer would be hopeless and probably increase stopping distance.  If I would have pumped the brakes going in a straight line, that probably would’ve increased stopping distance as well.  I really don’t think there was anything better I could’ve done than what I did (other than not getting sleepy behind the wheel).  If you know of any way I could’ve handled the situation better, please let me know!!!  I know for a fact that things wouldn’t have been so close/dramatic if I were in the WRX (ABS + rally race-proven brake setup + max performance summer tires would’ve all helped even though the car’s heavier than the truck) I originally was planning on driving out to Reseda solo but when I was walking to the truck, I saw my uncle outside and asked if he wanted to go for a ride since I don’t think he had anything else to do.


Here’s the important thing: about a minute into my drive, I told my uncle the brake pedal felt soft/spongy.  If your brake pedal feels like this, get your brakes checked out ASAP.  It could possible be one or both of two possibilities. 1) There is air in your brake system.  You should have it bled as soon as you can.  BMW recommends replacing your brake fluid every 2 years.  I’ve already bled mine four times in the 2 years I’ve had the car.  Then again, the average person doesn’t take his or her car to the track.  The interval also depends on the type of brake fluid you use and how easily moisture can affect it.  2) Your brake pads are worn making it feel like they’re “low.”  Worn brake pads can often be determined by a) simply trying to look at how much pad is left (minimum spec on Subaru brake pads is 1.5 mm and 3 mm on BMW brake pads) and b) listening for brake squeak and/or squeal while braking.  Regarding b), it isn’t uncommon (yeah, it’s a double negative, but then again, it isn’t exactly common…just don’t be surprised if it’s the case) for high performance brake systems to squeak and/or squeal under normal use with brake pads and rotors/discs in fine condition.


Dan’s New Shoes

I went to Reseda to purchase a used set of 2006 WRX stock wheels and tires for my car.  That set will now (actually, after my track day) become my daily driver/beater wheels and tires for the everyday grind.  They are 17″ x 7″ with Bridgestone Potenza RE92 (P215/45R17 M+S) all-season tires.  I plan on throwing these on and putting the gold 17″ x 7″ Prodrive P1s with Bridgestone Potenza S-03 Pole Position (P215/45R17 M+S) max performance summer tires into storage.  I will then sell my set of 2004 WRX stock wheels and tires (16″ x 6.5″ with Bridgestone Potenza RE92 (P205/55R16 M+S) all-season tires) with less than 10,000 miles on them.  Why did I get the 2006 WRX wheels and tires?  In January 2005, I had Subaru’s 4-pot/2-pot brakes (standard around the world except the North American market) installed on my vehicle.  Who knew Subaru would do something that actually made sense and put them as a standard feature on the 2006 WRX?  The old 2004 WRX wheels wouldn’t clear the brakes unless a 3mm (or more) spacer was used in conjunction with them.  The new 2006 WRX wheels will clear the brakes just fine.  These tires should give me a little softer and more comfortable ride than my summer tires and would also be able to give me a decent amount of traction in the snow or gravel if I ever take the car onto those surface.  The Bridgestone Potenza RE92 is poorly regarded in terms of tire wear and maximum grip ability.  After I go through this “new” set, I plan on putting some Pirelli P Zero Nero M+S tires of the same size on the car.


Still recovering from Wednesday night…


FIGHT ON!!!