Thanks to everyone who’s praying for me and for your encouragment.  I still care about this person and ultimately want God’s best for her.  I don’t know whether I should remain optimistic and perservere (and trust God) or just throw in the towel, move on, and trust God.  At this current point in time, I believe she is worth pursuing still.  I believe she’s a woman of good character, genuinely kind, and God-loving.  We’ll see. All I want is for God to work in me and accomplish His good will through me one way or the other.  All I know is that God is in control (cue Twila Paris’ song here).

As the late Harry Caray would say, “CUBS WIN!  CUBS WIN!”

I went to the rubber game (the “rubber game” is the deciding game of a series…the Cubs won Monday night’s game backed by a masterful performance by “The Professor”, Greg Maddux, now 40 years young and the Dodgers won last (Tuesday) night) of the Cubs vs. Dodgers 3-game series in LA tonight.  The Cubs beat the Dodgers in their own house 5-4 to win 2 out of the 3 games in the series.  It was a close game throughout and I’m glad the Cubbies pulled it out in the top of the 8th inning by scoring 3 runs.

My co-worker, Roy, invited me to tonight’s game.  One of his friends works for WESCOM and got free tickets to tonight’s game.  We had seats in section 38A, Box 3, Seats 3 and 4.  Seating chart here.  The seats were within one of the newly added baseline field boxes for the 2006 Season.  It felt weird because I had never sat so close to the field in a professional game before and the viewing angle is so low.  I’d actually say it’s not one of the best viewing experiences I’ve had at a baseball game.  On the drive there, I asked Roy about his younger brother’s, Jorden’s, experience at church over the last few years.  Jorden and his cousins actually go to Jeremy’s (Xanga: jeremywu) church.  Please pray God will continue to work through me in ministering to Roy.  Pray also that his younger brother (he’s a junior at Mark Keppel High School) can also actively share about God with Roy as well.  Btw, Roy’s 26 years old.  At work last Saturday (ugh), I asked if he was busy for Easter and he said he might visit his brother’s church.  I don’t think he made it out.  Anyway, I will not relent in praying for him.  I would appreciate ya’ll in joining me in prayer as well.

Today (technically yesterday since I started this entry before midnight but now it’s past) was Al Unser, Jr.’s birthday.  I e-mailed his mom who used to run his fan club last night with birthday greetings (no, I didn’t type out the song).  He was one of my two childhood heroes/idols growing up.  The other was Wally Joyner, first basemen of the California Angels 1986-1991 & 2001, Kansas City Royals 1992-1995, and San Diego Padres 1996-2000.

I first found out who Al Unser, Jr. was after I purchased his video game for the original Nintendo Entertainment System.  That was a great, fun game (Al Unser Jr. Arcade Racing for the PC was not.  I never played Al Unser Jr.’s “Road to the Top” for the Super NES either)!  It was pretty easy, but had its challenging moments.  I still remember getting it from the Toys ‘R’ Us in Rosemead and it cost something like $29.99 or $29.95 if I remember correctly.

In 1992, Al won the Indy 500 by 0.043 second over Scott Goodyear.  It was and still is the closest finish in Indy 500 history.  I remember watching this race on the TV in my family’s 1991 Chevy conversion van while we were in San Francisco for the Memorial Day weekend.  This was the race that got me hooked on Al and open-wheel racing.

In 1994, Al joined Team Penske to win his second Indy 500 in 1994 and second CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) championship in 1994 (he won his first driving the Valvoline Lola-Chevy indy car in 1990).  Al had an amazing year in 1994 winning 8 out of 16 races en route to that year’s championship.

In 1995, Al won 4 races and finished second in the championship to current Sauber BMW Formula 1 driver, Jacques Villeneuve, despite failing to qualify for the Indy 500 because of a struggling Penske chassis superspeedway package (which was later resolved as was evident in his 2nd place finish to Andre Ribeiro at the Michican 500-mile race (Honda’s first ever win in CART)).

I joined the Al Unser, Jr. Fan Club (don’t laugh!) in 1996 and got to meet him for the first time in 1996.  My dad was with me when I met him and snapped a picture of us.  I also found out he was left-handed that day.  Ever since then, I’ve worn my watch on my left hand even though I’m left-handed because I first noticed that was how he wore his watch.

Here’s a picture of us at his 1998 fan club meeting at California Speedway in Fontana, CA.

The 1997 California fan club meeting was held at Speed Zone in the City of Industry.  My dad and I went to that and I got to race on the Slick Trax against Al.  I led most of the race until I got caught up in lap traffic.  Al also had a kart that was clearly faster than everyone else’s because his kart would just eat people alive on the straights.  He passed me by bumping my kart out of the way and going by, but I didn’t mind because I was having a great time and I knew he was too.  Plus, I can always say I was beat by the kart, not the driver in that race! j/k

From 1996 and on (to 1999) in CART, Al was winless mainly because of the tires and engine Team Penske was using.  He basically ran for “best of the rest” in many races.  The Honda engines were the class of the field all those years except for 1997.  Cars on Firestone tires easily outran the Goodyear-shod cars on any given weekend.  Al and Gil de Ferran, one of my other favorite drivers who drove for Team Penske 2000-2003 (2000 & 2001 CART champion and 2003 Indy 500 winner), often were the top running drivers on Goodyear tires.

In 2000, Al went to the Indy Racing League and re-united with Rick Galles, his owner from 1983 to 1984 and 1988 to 1993.  Al won 3 races in the Indy Racing League from 2000 to 2004.  A few weeks ago, he announced he was coming out of retirement to run the 2006 Indy 500.

Despite all the accolades and achievements, Al is still just a mere mortal human being. He divorced his wife Shelley and fought alcohol addiction.  He has four kids, Alfred (sometimes referred to as “Just Al”), Shannon, Cody, and Joey from his marriage.  “Just Al” is currently racing in the 2006 Toyota Atlantic Championship.  His life reminds me that you can “have it all” without having it all.  I don’t know where he really is in his relationship with God other than I know he believes in Him.  I am inclined to think his mom is a fellow believer in the way she responds to my e-mails.  Either way, I’ll keep praying for whenever I remember to.  One of the ways I am reminded is when the Long Beach Grand Prix comes into town every year.  Al won it a record 6 times (1988-1992 and 1994-1995)!

For more information, you can check out
Wikipedia – Al Unser, Jr.

Yeah.  I know I still need to share about my week in San Diego (March 20-24) as well.  God is good!

Let my lifesong sing to You…

And though my heart is torn, I will praise You in the storm…

And now my lifesong sings…And now my lifesong sings to You…

Blessed be the name of the Lord.  For He alone is worthy…of all glory, honor, and praise.

About USCTrojan4JC

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

4 responses to “”

  1. Alex115 says :

    haha, sweet. I like the subtle 1st part of this entry as well

  2. randomranting says :

    Hey Bro, you deserve better…God is Sovereign, I would like to meet this girl for the purpose of polemics, I am sure she is a great gal, and you are a good sport about everything! At the same time, what does a BSF gal know about men? I am sure she has bad hermenuetics as well (Just kidding). Still, She is far from a GOC gal! – thats why she doesn’t know a Godly man when she sees one; and you know that I will straight give it to her to from the Word! (Speak softly, carry a Big Bible). p.s. one of my sister’s is still single =).

  3. kaumama says :

    as usual, hanley cracks me up. you are blessed with good friends. your knowledge of al unser is impressive.

  4. Strikezone says :

    I have another friend that was at the Cub/Dodger game last night and was telling me about the great seats he had too. I am jealous. As for the girl and sticking to the baseball theme…you have 3 strikes. Based on your last post, you’re only 0 and 1.

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