Archive | June 2006

Happy Birthday to Tyrone Li (Date: 28th), Jon Sum (29th), and Jeff Kao (29th)!


Here’s a new photo I just got today from my track day on May 20, 2006 at Buttonwillow Raceway.  It’s a photo of me braking from only 105 mph or so for Turn 1 (~60 mph 90 degree late apex left turn).  No big deal, right?





I received a call back from my contact at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. yesterday (Wednesday) morning.  She will try to schedule an interview for me on Monday!  Praise God!!!

Continuing with the soccer/football theme, this is for my little, big brother David Wong


Enjoy!


Goalkeeper Goals (I think the song is in Portuguese.  I understood a few words that I knew in Spanish. e.g., corazon = heart)







I went to Sierra Acura this morning and had an interview with the president of the Sierra Group, Peter Hoffman.  The service director at Sierra Acura said Mr. Hoffman liked me.  I asked the service director if he was still talking to any other candidates and he said he was not.  He actually told me he wanted me from the first time I met with him.  I guess that’s cool.  I didn’t get a good opportunity to mention the recent development mentioned in yesterday’s entry.  Some people say it’s good that I didn’t mention it.  A part of me still wishes I did, especially if things go well with American Honda Motor Co., Inc.  I have yet to hear back from American Honda again.  We’ll see how things go and keep trusting God!!!


In the meantime, the start date the service director and I agreed upon was July 17, 2006.  It’ll be nice to get some time off!  I hope he will remember that I said I would like some time off without pay in August for Summer Retreat and DCLA 2006.  The time off to make it easier to work things out with Honda if God gets that ball rolling.  I also had over 14 days of vacation accumulated at my current job that I probably could’ve taken, but chose not to as a sacrifice to spend the month of June training newbies/n00bs.





I should start a new movement on the Internet – Jesus Christ FOR THE WIN!   Perhaps my next vehicle’s license plate should be “JC FTW”!  What do ya’ll think?  Btw, if someone can photoshop that for me, it’d be awesome to see what that might look like!

Thanks to everyone who wished me well today!  Praise be to our great and glorious God who was, and is, and is to come!





For those caught up in the World Cup hoopla, here’s a classic game for ya’ll to enjoy!


 
Nitendo World Cup for the Nintendo Entertainment System


It was easily one of my favorite games to play growing up.  Part of it is because the characters’ eyes pop out when they get tackled/slide-tackled (See the screenshot on the right)!





Tomorrow, I will return to Sierra Acura to finalize what should be my new position there.


However, there’s a twist!


I received a call from a lady who works at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. this afternoon regarding a position I had applied for two weeks ago.  The position is for a Customer Relations Analyst.  I think I fit the job description quite well.  The lady I spoke with made it sound like I’d be on the opposite end of what my service director at Pacific BMW does with BMW of North America Customer Relations when dealing with buyback (a.k.a. repurchase) or trade assist situations on “lemons.”  When she called, I was surprised and very eager to see if God could perhaps open this door for me!  After all, I wanted to leave dealerships and get my foot into the door of a national automotive corporation!


Pros
-Larger company
-Better benefits
-Not a dealership/National organization
-I think I would enjoy doing it a lot more


Cons
-MUCH longer commute (Torrance, CA)
-$0.28/hour less in pay (not really a big deal)


Please pray for God’s wisdom and discernment in handling this recent development with Sierra Acura whom I told over the phone I would like to take their job last Tuesday (June 20, 2007).  Praise God again from whom all blessings flow in His provision of another possible opportunity!







I forgot to add my congratulatory remarks regarding the Oregon State Beavers winning the 2006 College World Series.  They beat the University of North Carolina Tar Heels 3-2 tonight.  Get this, folks.  The Beavers went 6-0 when facing elimination.  Talk about being resilient!  Congratulations again to the Beavers!





Bring the Book (God’s Word)!!!


Not merely literally, but with your lives.  Let His Word dwell in you and bring forth a greater magnificent obsession to love and know our God more and love others and make Him known to them.


There’s an old saying that goes, “You can’t teach common sense.”  Well, we humans may not be able to teach it to each other, but God is able!!!

Isaiah 6:1-7; Nehemiah 8:1-12 (ESV)

Isaiah 6:1-7

Isaiah’s Vision of the LORD

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”   


And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” 

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.


Nehemiah 8:1-12

Ezra Reads the Law

And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly,[b] and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.


This Day Is Holy

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.





My “song of the weekend” was “Holy Is the Lord” by Chris Tomlin.  It was played on Friday night at the Unikoi High School Core Leadership retreat at Uncle Tony Firth’s house in Huntington Beach.  When the Word was presented to us from Nehemiah 8:1-12, I noticed Nehemiah 8:10 said the joy of the Lord is the Israelites’ strength.  It was something I had never noticed before and I thought was really cool!  I never realized that part of that song may have come from Nehemiah.  I pasted below what I found below on Chris Tomlin’s web site: http://www.christomlin.com/2004/media/SongbySong.pdf.


Holy Is the Lord


This song was inspired by the picture of worship around the throne of God in Isaiah 6. The heavenly creatures sounding this anthem back and forth to one another….


Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
The whole earth is full of His glory


Louie Giglio helped complete the thought with another picture from Nehemiah, where the people joined in a mass assembly…A great example of corporate worship. The Bible says they raised their hands to God at the hearing of his Word, they bowed with their faces to the ground and together made this statement… “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”


So here’s the song below…


Holy Is the Lord


We stand and lift up our hands
For the joy of the Lord is our strength
We bow down and worship Him now
How great, how awesome is He


And together we sing
Everyone sing


Holy is the Lord God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
Holy is the Lord God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory


It’s rising up all around
It’s the anthem of the Lord’s renown
It’s rising up all around
It’s the anthem of the Lord’s renown


Holy, holy is the Lord Almighty
Holy, holy
Holy, holy is the Lord Almighty
Holy, holy
Holy, holy is the Lord Almighty
Holy, holy
Holy, holy is the Lord Almighty
Holy, holy


If you have this song, let me encourage you to listen to it sometime soon!





In the world of baseball…


Mark Prior and the Chicago Cubs got roughed up again on Saturday, this time by the Minnesota Twins, to begin the season 0-2.


The San Diego Padres lost two out of three games to the Seattle Mariners while the Los Angeles Dodgers swept their former skipper, Jim Tracy, and the Pittsburgh Pirates to take a one game lead in the National League West.


I’ve kind of given up hope on the Anaheim Angels.


The Cal State Fullerton Titans were eliminated by the University of North Carolina Tar Heels a few days ago.  It was a good run!  For now, I’m cheering for the Oregon State University Beavers, a Pacific 10 Conference team, to win it all.  They lost to UNC last (Saturday) night and came back from a five run deficit tonight to beat UNC 11-7.  The key turning point was a 7-run inning they had.





In the world of motorsports…



Team Penske driver, Sam Hornish, Jr. won the Richmond Indy Racing League race Saturday night.



In Formula One, Spaniard Fernando Alonso won the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal today.  This upcoming weekend, Formula One comes stateside for the United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Let’s hope this year’s race isn’t the farce that last year’s race was.



Up in Sonoma, CA, Jeff Gordon won today’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway (formerly known as Sears Point Raceway).  With nine road course victories, he is the all-time leader in road course wins for a NASCAR driver.



Northern Californian A.J. Allmendinger won today’s Champ Car race at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio.  It was the second Champ Car win of his career to follow his maiden win last week at Portland International Raceway.



The FIA World Rally Championship has been on a break since the end of the Acropolis Rally of Greece the first weekend of June.  However, Subaru has renewed its contract with driver Petter Solberg and co-drvier Phil Mills until the end of the 2009 season.  The next rally isn’t until August 11-13 when the Rally Deutschland in Germany will be held.  Hopefully, Subaru will either drop Pirelli as its tire supplier or Pirelli will get its act together for the next few years so Petter and Subaru can be competitive.  For the last two seasons, they haven’t been able to keep up with Michelin/BFGoodrich.





On Saturday night/Sunday morning at Uncle Tony’s house, some of us watched Tommy Boy and Cool Runnings back-to-back on TBS.  Cool Runnings is easily one of my top 5 favorite movies of all-time!  I think I cried the first time I saw it at the end of the movie.  Those who haven’t seen it yet, GO WATCH IT!  It also reminded me that I really should try to start playing my guitar again.  How?  My guitar is named “Cool Runnings” which means “peace be the journey.”


Yul Brenner: Look in the mirror.  What do you see?


Junior: I see Junior.


Yul Brenner: I see PRIDE!  I see POWER!  I see a bad…who don’t take no [stuff] from nobody!


That’s all for now!  This is my last week of work at Pacific BMW.  Here’s to it being a good one and my departure amicable and glorifying to God!


Fight on for ol’ JC and God bless!


Feel the rhythm
Feel the rhyme
Get on up
It’s bobsled time
COOL RUNNINGS!

Sad news from yesterday


Worker killed at construction site
-Man dies in second accident in nine months at location of new-car dealership on Brand Boulevard
http://www.glendalenewspress.com/publicsafety/story/48657p-74241c.html





I went to tonight’s NASIOC.com Southern California Impreza Club local weekly meet.  We met at HK Cafe near the corner of Baldwin and Las Tunas in Arcadia.  I met a new person and also got to some another new (last week was his first time at our weekly meet) person a little bit better.  The latter also happens to be left-handed as well!


I didn’t see Benson (Lam) tonight.  I talked to him for quite a bit last Wednesday night when we were at The Hat.  He’s been going to FCBC LA since 1978 (if I remember correctly) and actually had Hanley and Adam in his cabin group at junior camp!  He even was well aware of the “old Hanley”.  I then shared with him what God has done and is currently doing in Hanley’s life.  I hope Benson can visit sometime and see what God’s up to!  We talked a good bit about being single, his years at FCBC LA including some of the people he grew up with (Auntie Darlene Wong, who was one of my Sunday School teachers when I was young, is the same year as him.  He said a bunch of them grew up together at the LA church.  He also vaguely remembers Uncle Ted and Auntie Nora.), and of course, cars.


Benson owns a bicycle shop to make a honest living.  I asked him last week if he had a business card for me to give to Jonathan Ng (Xanga: j0nathankng) because I figured he could hook Jon up with parts and/or information if Jon ever needed help with his new Giant bicycle.  Benson was actually wearing a Giant bicycle T-shirt when I talked to him last week.  I asked Jon if he knew Benson last Friday night and Jon said he bought his new bicycle from him!


More photos of Benson’s ride from his own web site:

Benson installing mud flaps before taking the Forester out to play/rally (that lift is actually one of the lifts at Suby Specialties in Monrovia, CA – where I take Devoted Dan for services beyond oil changes and regularly scheduled services (7,500 mile, 15,000 mile, 30,000 mile) such as brake jobs and spark plug replacement)
.




Small world?  No.  God’s world?  YES!!!





EDIT: I just read Cal State Fullerton lost in baseball yesterday to the University of North Carolina.  It was a good run!


But the San Diego Padres now have a 2 game lead in the National League West! 


Mark Prior will make his 2nd start of the season for the Chicago Cubs on Friday in interleague play against the Minnesota Twins and their left-handed ace, Johan Santana.

For Jerry, Jackie, and Josette Hwang


Acts 20:17-38 (English Standard Version)


Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders

Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. And when they came to him, he said to them:


   “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.


For the Sake of the Call


Nobody stood and applauded them
So they knew from the start
This road would not lead to fame
All they really knew for sure was Jesus had called to them
He said, “Come. Follow Me.”
And they came
With reckless abandon they came

Empty nets lying there at the water’s edge
Told a story that few could believe and none could explain
How some crazy fishermen agreed to go where Jesus led
With no thought for what they would gain
For Jesus had called them by name and they answered

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call

Drawn like rivers are drawn to the sea
no turning back for the water cannot help but flow
Once we hear the Savior’s call we’ll follow wherever He leads
Because of the love He has shown
Because He has called us to go we will answer

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die

Not for the sake of a creed or a cause
Not for a dream or a promise
Simply because it is Jesus who calls
And if we believe we’ll obey

We will abandon it all for the sake of the call
No other reason at all but the sake of the call
Wholly devoted to live and to die
For the sake of the call

written Steven Curtis Chapman c1990 Sparrow Song (a div. of The Sparrow Corp.)/Careers Music, Inc. (BMG)/Greg Nelson Music (admin. by Careers Music, Inc.) (BMG) (BMI)

Behind the Song:
(Matt 4:18-22; Jn 12:26)





I received a call from the service director at Sierra Acura this afternoon.  I told him I would like to join them and fill the position.  He has arranged for me to meet the Owner and President, Peter Hoffman on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 at 7:45 AM at Sierra Acura in Alhambra.


I never heard back again from Goodrich and all the other positions I applied for that I was really interested in I never heard a word.


Some of you may be thinking this is a very foolish thing for me to do.  I’ll just say you’re entitled to your own opinion.


I will say this though, my goal is not to climb the corporate ladder, make a name for myself, or achieve a comfortable lifestyle.


For those who may not know me too well, I still would much rather have a career that truly allows me to be used by God to explicitly make a significant difference in people’s lives for His glory.  Everything else I do before that are just a means for me to keep paying college loans and being a light wherever He takes me.  I still desire to serve Him explicitly in some capacity.  As to what exactly that is, that still is not crystal clear to me and He will reveal it in His time.


It is also good to keep in mind that the above is “my plan” and not necessarily “God’s plan” for me.  All I know is that I am to trust Him, rely on Him, and do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him.


Anyway, I won’t be seeing any more broken BMWs soon.  Instead, I’ll be seeing broken Acuras!  I  my Suby!

I hope you all had a Happy Father’s Day!  For those of you who may not have a father around, please remember that this is God the Father’s world and that He loves you very much.  I know it’s easy to say that, but His Word says so!  If you kids need someone to talk to, we’re (unikoi high school counselors) always here for you.

I thank and praise God for my dad!

If it wasn’t for my dad, I probably wouldn’t be as interested in sports as I am.

Some of my earliest memories of him actually are of him disciplining me when I would be fighting with my sister in the back of the car.  It’s pretty scary when I think about it.

However, the best memories I have of my dad are seeing him happy when he’s playing softball and his team is playing well in a game.  Thanks and praise be to God for allowing us to have recreational activities such as that!  The important thing is not whether you win or lose (after all, winning isn’t everything…it’s the ONLY thing! j/k!), but how you play the game (with good sportsmanship, class, and HUSTLE) and that you have fun doing it.

I am also EXTREMELY proud that he served in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Remora.  I’d join the Navy too…if they’d let me become a fighter pilot.


Go see Cars!!!

In scenes where Sally is driving away, you can actually hear the boxer rumble from her flat-6 motor!  Pixar put in some amazing detail throughout the movie!

I’ve been wondering about animated cars and their eye placement.  Which do you prefer?

Animated cars with their eyes on the windshield?

“Doc” Hudson voiced by Paul Newman (who has blue eyes in real-life)

Animated cars with their eyes on the headlights?

Personally, I’d say having the eyes on the windshield gives the “car” a lot more personality.


Diesel power for the win (FTW)!!!

The Audi R10 won the 74th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (24 Heures du Mans for those who parlez-vous francais) this weekend.  The #8 Audi R10 driven by Frank Biela, Emmanuele Pirro, and Marco Werner led from start-to-finish completing a new race record 380 laps (5,187 kilometers or 3,223 miles).  The Audi R10 Le Mans Prototype is powered by a 5.5 liter V-12 with twin turbochargers producing about 650 horsepower and > 811 ft-lbs of torque.


Onto the world of baseball…

The Cal State Fullerton Titans are still hanging tough in this year’s College World Series!

The San Diego Padres beat the Anaheim Angels today to move into a first place tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West (Worst).

Mark Prior made his first start of the season today for the Chicago Cubs and got rocked by the visiting Detroit Tigers at Wrigley field.  He threw 88 pitches in 3-2/3 innings giving up 8 runs (7 earned) and 4 home runs.  I’m hoping he’ll be able to rebound nicely.


Yesterday (Saturday) I had two dents removed from Devoted Dan’s right front door (decent size) and left front door (small one courtesy of a Chevrolet/GMC Suburban in the church parking lot last year) by one of the guys on NASIOC.com (North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club).  I met him at the Lowe’s on 1500 Lemon St. in Fullerton off the 91 freeway.  He does paintless dent removal as his day job as well as on the side for some of the guys on the message board.

Here are a few pictures of him (his name is Marvin) in at the 2006 Rim of the World Rally in Lancaster, CA:




I doubt many of your cars, trucks, or SUVs could handle that!


Congratulations again to all the high school seniors who graduated!!!

I’m sorry, seniors, but my favorite moment of Saturday night was watching Josie take some unassisted steps!  She doesn’t even cry when she falls down!  I think she’s beginning to feel the need…

The need for speed!!!

Big Story
Words & music by Steven Curtis Chapman from the album All Things New (©2004 Sparrow Records)

I hear the rumors of another world
Like distant voices in the wind
They say there is a story being told
Bigger than I can comprehend
And in the rumors I can hear an invitation calling

This is the big story
There is a God who’s in control
Telling the big story
And He wants us to know
We will find ourselves
When we lose ourselves
In the bigger story
Come and take your place in the story

We all live in this place called the here and now
We see what’s right before our eyes
But right here, right now heaven’s coming down, all around
God’s story is coming alive
And in this moment, if we listen, we can hear Him calling

This is the big story
There is a God who’s in control
Telling the big story
And He wants us to know
We will find ourselves
When we lose ourselves
In the bigger story
Come and take your place in the story

Captivating, fascinating
All consuming, never concluding
The One and Only, ever unfolding
Story of stories
The big, big story…

Thanks to “King Joe” (not Joe Momma) for being God’s messenger and reminding me not to strive for success in the world’s eyes.  Everyone else is usually telling me that I need to do a, b, and c and x, y, and z because that is what’s (conventionally thought of as) best for me.  I totally appreciate their care and concern.  I guess it’s just not the way I do things.  I don’t roll like that, yo!


I also got to see my Cousin Steph’s son, Kyle, on Saturday for the first time.  He was born on April 28, 2006.  I also saw where she and her husband, Dan, had moved.  Their place is only a few blocks from Uncle Tony’s house!  Kyle’s a pretty big boy and he was basically falling asleep when I got there; I didn’t really try to talk to him or play with him at all.

I tried to go karting afterward.  Dromo One had some private party races going on and were pretty booked well into the night.  I’m still looking to get my karting fix.  Anyone interested?


The job hunt update…

1. I still have not heard back from the Goodrich Corporation in Chula Vista, CA.

2. I visited Sierra Acura in Alhambra, CA on Friday morning and spoke to their service director.

Here’s a quick recap of where I stand.  All of the companies I’ve applied for so far have not contacted me.  The two companies listed above both somehow found my resume and contacted me.  My main objective is to get into something I’m really passionate about and would enjoy doing.

My ultimate desire is to do whatever gives God the most glory – Because that’s what matters most!

I’ll try to list the Pros and Cons of both below

1. Goodrich Corporation
Pros
-Working for them would actually allow me to utilize some of what I learned in school (B.S. in B.S. j/k! B.S.in Business Administration with an Information Systems emphasis)
-Knowing they’re a major Fortune 500 company is cool
-Most airplanes have a variety of Goodrich components on them
-Pay would be better than what I currently make
Cons
-Relocating to Chula Vista/San Diego – away from family, friends, and church
-Not being interested in Information Systems/Information Technology anymore (after all, if I could do college again, I’m pretty sure I’d try to get into mechanical engineering)

2. Sierra Acura
Pros
-Located closer than Pacific BMW in Glendale
-Size of the dealership is a lot smaller (think: less chaos).  For example, they only have 11 technicians whereas Pacific has around 40.  Also, I was told they’d submit only about 12-15 warranty claims a day versus the 40-50+ we handle at Pacific.  This in itself may be a nice change of pace
-Part of the Sierra Group – Maybe I could get employee prices on parts for some of you out there (Steve’s Honda Accord was purchased from Sierra Honda, Edwin Fung’s Mazda 3 was purchased from Sierra Mazda).  Perhaps (selfish me thinking out loud here) I could get a 2009 Subaru Impreza STI at a discount down the road.
-It’s something I’m confident I should be able to do well
-Serving at church would be unaffected by switching to this (EXTREMELY important to me)
Cons
-One of the main reasons I’m leaving my current job is that I don’t enjoy doing warranty administration anymore
-It’s still an automobile dealership (I was hoping to get away from dealerships and get into something larger like American Honda, Toyota, Mazda North America, etc.)
-I’d be the main warranty administrator there.  If I were to go on vacation or get sick, there wouldn’t be anyone else there to handle it.  On the other hand, it’d be a good challenge and a growing experience for me.
-Same question I asked myself at Pacific, after warranty administration, is there anything else I would be able to move up into?  I don’t really think so.

Again, the million (actually infinite) dollar question is “What would give God the most glory?”

As of now, I’d say the frontrunner is option #2.  At the current moment, I’m learning toward committing myself to taking that position if they offer it to me.

What do ya’ll think?  Again, I most care about what you think would give God the most glory and help me make much of Him, His love, His mercy, and His cross.


Well, it’s taken me more than an hour to get to this point.  Since it’s after midnight, I’d also like to give a shout out to my fellow Trojan and fellow Wong, Christi Wong (Xanga: cRaZY_cHruSTi) for her 19th birthday.  Those of you who know her, send some birthday greetings today!


Jerry, Jackie, and Josie, we will miss you!  We love you all and God bless!

Josie’s GANGSTA!!!  Hanley, did you teach her the “3-in-1” before she leaves us?!

Ka-CHOW!!!


Life is a highway…


Get your kicks on Route 66!


Okay.  Here we go.  Focus.  Speed.  Faster than fast…quicker than quick…I am Lightning!


Thanks, Uncle Ted (Xanga: Strikezone) for letting me watch the movie with some of your small group’s families last Saturday morning!


To date, this is my favorite movie of the year!  I laughed, got the urge to go driving (not racing), and almost cried at the end!  It was a GREAT movie!  I already intend to get the DVD of it.


I give the movie 5 lug nuts (out of 5).  There is a great story told with a great lesson to be learned.  The movie is not just about NASCAR-style (not my favorite) stock car racing.


GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!





Congratulations, Class of 2006 Graduates!


This is a quick shout out to all those who recenlty graduated/will be graduating.


A special mention goes out to the high school seniors from Hanley & my high school senior class at First Chinese Baptist Church, Walnut.


This Saturday, I’m going to try to go karting at Dromo1 in the early afternoon.  You all (and my seniors from last year as well since none of ya’ll went karting with me last summer except for Tim) are most than welcome to join me as my treat.  In other words, I would gladly pay to get you into a go kart for about 15 minutes.  It’d be cool if your a parent (or parents) came along too!  I won’t pay for them though.  If you’re under 18 years old, there’s waiver information below.


From www.dromo1.com:



Dromo One (D1) is located in Southern California, D1 offers a one-thousand foot track and racing machines built in the USA fully loaded with 270cc custom built honda engines. To say the least, these karts do more than just “go”.



RACING QUALIFICATIONS
No training or previous experience is necessary. The only requirement for drivers is a minimum height of 5 ft. (60″). All racers will need to sign a liability release form; an accompanying parent or legal guardian will need to sign for those under 18 years of age.


Upon signing into a race, D1 provides a thorough briefing session, a racing suit, full-face helmet with headsock, neck brace and gloves. All racers are required to wear closed-toe shoes; no tank tops.


CONSENT OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN
Dromo One requires that for Drivers/Spectators under 18 years of age — a Parent/LEGAL Guardian with a valid ID* complete a Liability Release Waiver. The .pdf Waiver can be downloaded, filled out completely, signed, and then brought in with the consenting accompanying Parent/LEGAL Guardian.


Waiver here: http://www.dromo1.com/D1%20Waiver-under-18.pdf





Speaking of graduation, I went to Diamond Bar High School’s (DBHS) graduation ceremony last Thursday night.  Thanks to Raymond Tay (Xanga: VitalManhattan) for inviting me and getting the ticket for me.  After the ceremony, I was able to find Jeffrey Wu, Michael Hwang, and Alison Yeung and all of their respective families.  I also quickly passed by Katy Tan while I was searching for my kids in the masses.  I also ran into Cynthia and Beatrice too.  I saw Tyrone (Xanga: AznLzyGuy) later in the night when we went to dinner at Banana Bay.


I really appreciated being able to witness some of my kids’ graduate because I wasn’t invited to any high school graduations last year.  Thanks again to all those who included me to some extent in what God’s done in their lives throughout their high school career/sentence.  Hehehe.


The one thing I hate most about those graduations is how the speeches are always about you, you, you, YOU.  It really should be about God, God, God, GOD!  The only time I heard God mentioned throughout the ceremony was during the pledge of allegiance to Old Glory (the American flag).


The one thing I LOVE most about graduations is seeing people all jazzed up that they’ve completed that particular chapter of their lives.  How much better will it be when Jesus will read our names in the Book of Life?!?!  That’s what I’m talkin’ about!!!





On Friday night, Pastor (hehehehe) Jerry “The General” Hwang (Xanga: scaryhairyjerry) shared God’s Word with the high schoolers from Revelation 2:1-11 and 3:14-22.


The greatest “gem” God spoke to me was when Jerry said, “It’s not about devotions; it’s about devotion.”


Two questions Jerry said we should ask ourselves is (No, “Do you feel lucky, p____?  Well, do you?” are not any of them):


1. Do I love Jesus?
2. How am I doing spiritually?


It hit me like a lightning bolt
I saw a different dude from me
And I heard somebody say, “Let’s go!”


Saddle up your horses!


On Saturday night, I went to the Yeung residence where we had a farewell party for the Hwangs, Jerry, Jackie (Xanga: wackijackie), and Josie (Xanga: TBD/TBA – j/k!).


This is a wonderful family who I believe God is leading in abondoning it all for the sake of His call!


I LOVE watching Josie as she moves around, plays with objects (sometimes trying to stick them in her mouth), and drinking (because she holds her breath as she drinks).  It really makes me wish I was well on my way toward settling down (in other words, seeing someone and getting married) and having a kid or two or three (in the long run of course).


My favorite picture of Josie:


She’s a masterpiece that all creation quietly applauds
And she’s covered with the fingerprints of God


Before we know it, she’ll be walkin’ and talkin’…(hopefully) drivin’ (it depends on where God leads Daddy and Mommy)…and then bringin’ home boys to meet Dad who will make sure they know their Greek New Testament or he might end up throwing the Book at them…the Good Book that is!





Happy Birthday Greetings to Alex Kwan (Xanga: TenThousandPoetWarriors)!  His birthday was last Saturday for those who didn’t remember.  It wouldn’t hurt to send him a belated birthday message if you forgot.


After all, it’s better late than never…or is it…always late, but worth the wait? j/k!


Thanks and praise be to God for this brother of ours!  He’s been blessed with many gifts (the “fool” is smart!!!) and a heart for people.  Tell him to put more photos of himself on the Web because I couldn’t find anything to steal to slap onto this entry.  N/m!  Thanks to Josh’s (Xanga: zoshyii) flickr site, I now have a photo of his mug I can slap onto here!







Who wants to see Steven Curtis Chapman in concert on Friday night, June 30, 2006 at the Grove of Anaheim?  If there isn’t a Unikoi staff meeting that night, that’s where I want to be!!!  For now, I’m just trying to gauge interest.  Or how ’bout having our Unikoi staff meeting AT the SCC concert?!   The last time I saw him perform/help lead us in a little worship was at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood back in December 2005.  It was a little weird that it was a Christmas concert put on SCC and MercyMe.





Job search update:


Please continue to pray for God’s provision of work for me as I leave my current employer at the end of this month.


I’ve got two (2) things kind of going for me…


1. Goodrich Corporation in Chula Vista, CA (near San Diego, ya’ll) – I received a call last Monday afternoon saying that they were looking for someone with my qualifications and skills for a Business Advisor Associate I or II.  That position basically is a fairly entry-level job working with SAP R/3 with this Fortune 500 organization.  On one hand, I’d actually be using the education my parents spent much of their hard-earned money on if I were to get the job.  On the other hand, I’d have to move down to Chula Vista/SD.  Another thing is that I’ve lost most of my interest in Information Systems/Information Technology since I’ve been out of school for three years already.  Being a fighter nut, see my previous super-long entry, the fact that Goodrich has technologies on most airplanes in use today, is ultra-cool.


What’s also cool is that I didn’t even apply for anything at that organization.  It seems that a person working in their HR department found my resume on Monster.com and decided to contact me.  I spoke with him for about 25 minutes last Friday morning and he said he would pass along his notes from our conversation onto a hiring manager who would then probably contact me.  Again, the biggest “hurdle” with this situation would be moving out and down to Chula Vista/SD.


2. Sierra Acura in Alhambra, CA – I received a call from a person who seemed like he was their Senior Warranty Administrator yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.  This also was something I did not apply for.  The position they’re offering would be doing the same thing I’m doing right now without the crazy workload.  The dealership is also closer than my current one.  The problems with this are the reasons I’m leaving my current work is that I am wanting to get out of warranty and dealerships because I didn’t enjoy doing it anymore and because I wasn’t cool with some of the things that went on in the warranty process.  The person I spoke with straight up asked me how much I was currently earning and said that they would match it, if not give me $1/hour more.  That surprised me because this was our first conversation ever.  It sounds like they need to hire someone as soon as possible.  I setup to meet with this gentleman on Friday morning to talk about things a little bit more.  Sierra Acura is a lot smaller than Pacific BMW and I know for sure that they are constructing or expanding at the current moment like Pacific is with its new building.  I also am not thrilled about the idea of working with more technicians and service advisors and parking “Devoted Dan” on the streets again.  We’ll see how this pans out.  There’s a part of me that really wants to give this a shot hoping that “things” will be different at this other dealership.  After all, I’m not looking to make a name for myself and make a lot (think “American Dream” by Casting Crowns).  All I want is Jesus (yeah…I got that from a Geoff Moore song on his A Beautiful Sound album) and to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God (Micah 6:8…think of “The Walk” by Steven Curtis Chapman).


On the other front, all of the jobs I’ve applied to by sending resumes, I still have yet to hear from.  All I know is God is sovereign and He is in control (think Twila Paris song here)!  What happened today was cool also because I said a quick prayer for God to provide as I was walking (I parked Dan about 2-1/2 blocks away this morning, due to street cleaning on one side and parking simply being a pain to find) in to work.





Another long entry is now in the books, folks!  This one took me about two hours.


Some other things:


Go Cal State Fullerton Titans in the 2006 NCAA College Baseball World Series!!!


For those who want actual evidence of my lap times back in May, you can go here:



Saturday, May 20, 2006 – Intermediate Group Lap Times
http://www.redlinetrackevents.com/times/mazfest/redline_Ggroup.swf



Sunday, May 21, 2006 – MazdaFest Mixed Lap Times
http://www.redlinetrackevents.com/times/mazfest/mazdafest_Sun.swf


At that second link, you can see some of Pastor Ted’s (Xanga: deadkau) friend’s (Brent Chun – blog) lap times.


Comparing my times in Dan to Brent’s in his 1994 Miata would not be a true apples-to-apples comparison because of the huge differences between our cars and the different track layouts used between Saturday when I went and Sunday when he went.  As you can see, in the configuration Brent drove (config #1 counter-clockwise I think), the Star Mazda Turn in the lower right area of the diagram.  I drove config #13 clockwise which didn’t use the Star Mazda Turn.


That’s all for now!  Fight on and God bless!

Introducing the Prodrive P2


More info here:
Autosport International Coverage: World Premiere of the Prodrive P2 – Subdriven.com
Prodrive Creates Impreza-based P2 Sports Coupe – Subdriven.com








Prodrive P2 Technical Specification

Layout and chassis
Front engine, all wheel drive
Steel monocoque chassis
Composite body panels

Performance
0-100 kph in Engine
2.0l DOHC 16v flat-four turbo charged with ALS
Power : 349 PS
Torque : 575 Nm

Transmission and drivetrain
All wheel drive fitted with ATD
6 speed manual gearbox
Differentials
– Front : open
– Centre : active LSD
– Rear : active LSD

Steering and suspension
Electric power assisted steering
Double wishbone front and rear
Adjustable coil over dampers
Front anti-roll bar

Wheels and brakes
Wheels : 19″ x 8.5″
Brakes
– Front : 355 mm discs, four pot monobloc calipers
– Rear : 330 mm discs, four pot monobloc calipers
Tires : 235 / 35 ZR19

Dimensions
Length : 3910 mm
Width : 1855 mm
Height : 1310 mm
Wheel base : 2500 mm
Track : front 1530 mm, rear 1590 mm
Weight : 1100 kg


Top Gear video of the Prodrive P2







Regarding Ted’s (Xanga: deadkau) earlier question of the day asking what country do I have an interest, concern, or compassion for, I’d have to say Brazil!



Why Brazil?


1. Great heritage of race car drivers (Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, Gil de Ferran, Helio Castroneves, Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan, Nelson Piquet, Felippe Massa, Felipe Giaffone, and many more)

Here’s a photo of Gil de Ferran and me at California Speedway in 2001.  Gil won the 2000 and 2001 CART Champ Car World Series Championships and also the 2003 Indy 500.  In 2000, he set a closed-course world record by running a qualifying lap at 241.428 mph at California Speedway.  He currently is the Sporting Director for Honda GP Ltd. (Honda Racing F1 Team).


Wallpaper anyone?  Photo below from Speedcenter.com – HERE


2. Great soccer/football players/teams (Granted, I don’t know much about ’em, but they’re always fun to root for!)


3. Last, but most definitely not least, Compassion International has a significant presence there!  The last child I sponsored and the current child I sponsor are both from there!  May God continue to work in the lives of Brazil’s children and their respective families!




Won’t you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion International today?


Change a child’s world.
Your tax-deductible support of just $32 a month connects your child with a loving, church-based program that provides:



  • Educational opportunities
  • Health care and supplemental nutrition, if necessary
  • Opportunities for safe, healthy recreation
  • Opportunities to learn about important life skills
  • Most important of all, sponsoring a child will allow your child to hear about Jesus and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.

Our Child Sponsorship Program allows you to become a friend.
Many children in poverty feel unloved and worthless. Your letters, photos and prayers will mean more than you can possibly imagine.


Sponsoring a child will profoundly change the future for your child — and will change your own life in the process.


Compassion is highly rated.
At least 80 percent of all ministry expenditures are used on programs helping underprivileged children, and we consistently receive the highest ratings for financial integrity and program excellence.

Classic post coming up…in other words, saddle up your horses, ya’ll, this entry is gonna be long!


Worlds/Roads Apart


Outline
1. My week in San Diego…back in March!
2. My visit to Irvine Subaru on April 1, 2006
3. Mini-tribute to Hanley Liu whose 25th birthday (quarter-life crisis anyone? j/k!) was back on April 29, 2006
4. The 90th Indianapolis 500
5. Hitting 50,000 miles on “Devoted Dan” on May 29, 2006 and what I was doing when it happened
6. Trying to integrate myself with fellow Subaru enthusiasts and being a light to them while doing so
7. What I did today, June 3, 2006





San Diego…home of my beloved San Diego Padres (they’re coming back!)


I spent the week of March 20, 2006 to March 24, 2006 with my old roommate for the summer of 2002, Warren Den (Xanga: OSUBaller).  My place of employment sent me down there for the week for a Crystal Reports training course at Procede Software, the developer of the dealer management system (DMS) software (it’s called Excede…or as I like to sometimes call it Recede…hehehe ) our dealership (Pacific BMW in Glendale, CA) uses.


When we were arranging my “crashing” at Warren’s place, I found out that the person Warren is living with who also owns the house, was Clariss, Donny Chen’s friend from UC Irvine.  For those of you who may remember, back in mid-January, I gave Clariss a ride in Devoted Dan as we tore up Buttonwillow Raceway and played a littled cat & mouse with a mildly modded (brakes at least from what I could see) E46 BMW M3 Coupe at the end of the day!  Some people say, “It’s a small world.”  I believe that’s “hogwash”.  It’s God’s world! (Think of the song “This Is My Father’s World”, which Geoff sings very well on his album Every Single One: Part One.)


In hindsight, it’s a shame the money spent by my company to train me on that hasn’t even been put to any use!  That, my friends, is a bummer.  They could’ve at least installed the Crystal Reports (v8.5 for those of you keeping score…yeah it’s old) software on the computer I use and given me some small assignments.  I even had a few things I knew I already wanted to do in terms of tweaking some forms.


I had a nice time staying with Warren, Clariss, and their other roommate, Michael (I think that was his name) for the week  I got to catch up with Warren just chatting before we turned in a few times.  I slept on my sleeping bag in his room the whole week.  It totally reminded me of the summer of 2002 when I stayed in Mike Yeun’s room on a mattress and my sleeping bag the entire summer while I was interning with Sempra Energy.  On Friday morning, I tried to leave Warren & Co. some money for letting me stay there, but I didn’t make a clean/quick enough getaway and Warren gave it back to me.


I met up with Lillian To (Xanga: LiLtO) 2x on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.  On Tuesday night, we met up with some other people from her church and tried to evangelize to some of the homeless in downtown San Diego.  I met two people, Kentucky and Miles (or Myles).  Kentucky didn’t really want to engage in a conversation of spiritual matters.  He shared about how he came out to SD and struggled with drugs.  Miles on the other hand, talked to Lillian, her friend whose name escapes me, and me for a long time.  In the end, I was brokenhearted that he staunchy stuck to his belief that he can earn his salvation by being a good person.  Lillian shared Ephesians 2:8-9…maybe verse 10 too with him.  Well, writing about this now has reminded me about much of this experience and that I should try to remember him in my prayers whenever I’m reminded of this.  Here’s to him being one of God’s elect.  God is sovereign.  All we tried to do was plant His seeds.  By the way, I also meant Vincent Cuevas (of USC’s Asian American Christian Fellowship folklore, Class of 2002) brother, J.R.!!!  It’s like Vince was there, but he wasn’t!


On Wednesday night, I had dinner with Lillian at the Souplantation and we got caught up on things for the most part.  The next time I’ll see her will probably be at SLow’s (Stephanie Low’s…I also used to call her Grace, because she was so graceful going around the place…fumblin’, stumblin’, etc. (think Chris Berman voice for those of you who are sports fans)…lol) wedding in mid-July.  She was my right-hand woman when God allowed me to be core coordinator of USC’s AACF my senior year.  I thank and praise God for her friendship and sisterhood.


On Thursday night, I met up with my old elementary, jr high, and high school friend, Wendy.  We had dinner at a medium-sized Thai restaurant just to get caught up on things.  She shared about her interest in the culinary arts and wanted to eventually have her own bakery.  According to the timetable she gave me at that time, she’s moved back up here in the LA area by now.


Later that same night, I also met up with Shellyn Wong, Kellyn’s younger sister.  As far as I know, we’re not related, although I think I had her believing that at one point!  We had dessert and played catch-up regarding each other’s latest adventures in life.


Between meeting up with those two people, I roamed around the University Center while I had some down time.  Being the cap/hat connoisseur that I am, I walked into “Lids” and browsed for any potential additions to my collection.  I looked at a few Padres caps, but none really compelled me to invest in any of them.  Then, I noticed some Alpinestars caps and was reminded of one that one of the technicians at work had that I really liked.  They didn’t have it there, so I asked the only person working there if they had any more in the back or if there were more I could choose from online.  He said they probably should have more online.  I noticed that this fellow had a W.W.J.D.? bracelet on and I asked if he was a believer.  He replied that he sure is and we started talking.  He said he went to The Rock (the church pastored/shepherded by Miles McPherson) and was telling me about their move out of San Diego State University and some other things.  By the way, his name is Steve.  I told him what I was doing down there.  I noticed he seemed to be studying from a notebook and asked where he went to school.  I was wrong in assuming he was a student at the University of California San Diego (UCSD).  He is a student at Mesa College or something like that.  As I left the store (no, I didn’t purchase anything), I told him, “God bless,” or something like that and Steve said something like, “If I don’t see you again on earth, I’ll see you again in heaven.”  That, my friends, is going to be SWEET/SICK/TIGHT/insert-other-positive-adjective-of-choice-here!!!


On Friday afternoon, I fought traffic up the 15 North to drive back to church.  That was certainly not fun!  Anyway, the week as a whole was still a nice time away from work.  The sound of freedom (F/A-18 Hornets powered by two General Electric F404-GE-402 (18,000 lbs/thrust each) or in the newer ones, F414-GE-400 (22,000 lbs/thrust each) turbofan engines).  Praise God for a great week, especially since I had a lot more free time than usual to simply spend time with Him!


The F/A-18E Super Hornet…not quite as cool in my opinion as the ol’ F-14 Tomcats, but still a great precision instrument of our military





Devoted Dan’s 45,000 mile service at Irvine Subaru


On Saturday, April 1, 2006 (ain’t no joke, ya’ll), I took Devoted Dan in for his 45,000 mile service (he was at 46,302 miles).  While I was waiting for the work to be completed, I worked on my Sunday School homework for Uncle Jimmy’s class and some of my Bible Study Fellowship homework (yeah, I know…shame on me).  A woman sat next to me while her Subaru Forester (the *best* small SUV out there (don’t only take my word for it…try Consumer Reports’ and Car & Driver’s as well)…better recognize, ya’ll!) was being service.  She noticed I was working on something church-related and we started talking.  Her name is Laura (if I remember correctly) and she was actually getting some maintenance service done on the Subie/Scooby before she moved out to Arizona to be closer to her daughter and her grandkid(s).


As we sat there and kept to ourselves, the service advisor came to her and told her that her rear brakes needed replacement and that the battery was leaking.  He said the rear brakes were at 10% left.  By God’s grace, my work experience and knowledge of dealership service departments would actually be good for something here.  After the advisor left, I told her she easily had a decent amount of miles left on her brakes and shouldn’t have a problem holding off on them until she relocated.  At that time, she then could go to her local Subaru dealer or a less expensive independent shop and get the work done.  As for the battery, I said it wouldn’t hurt to get that done.  I know I took away some money from the dealership, service advisor, and tech, but I felt I should say something after the advisor told her how much it would cost and I heard the sound of concern in her voice when she responded.  Anyway, she started asking me about what I was working on and it turns out she was a Bible Study Fellowship goer as well.  She had a book called House (More info here) with her that I knew nothing about until I later saw it in a New Life Christian Bookstore or Lighthouse Christian Bookstore catalog.  Well, that was that and the work on Dan was finished and I went on my way.  I left with a “God bless,” and we’ll see what God does from there!





I think I’ve been writing for at least an hour and a half already if not two hours plus.  I’ll try to pick up the pace a lil bit.


Hanley Liu, Talbot School of Theology Class of 2006 Graduate

Photo courtesy Josh Lun (Xanga: zoshyii)


I just wanted to say that this brother has been such a blessing to me in the last couple of years that words cannot explain how much he means to me.  It’s amazing how we never really knew each other extremely well growing up.  I was a nerd (probably still am…don’t agree with that last statement too quickly, folks) and he was the epitome of cool…Joe Cool…Joe Mom…I won’t go there tonight.  Over the last couple of years, I have been personally blessed by his preaching, teaching, and authentic brotherhood through and by God’s grace, love, and mercy.  Sometimes when God’s doing His thing through him, I feel like it may have felt similar for the Jesus’s twelve disciples as they spent those 3-1/2 years with the Master.  Now I’m not saying Hanley is Jesus-*far* from it.  But we can all surely agree God is gracefully making Him more like Christ through the signs of life (think Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “Signs of Life” here from the album of the same name).  From John 15:1-8 last night we learned about the purification and production that should naturally happen in the lives of Jesus’ followers (God followers!!!) and how removal and retribution will happen in the lives of those who never really knew Him (Matt. 7).


I also love shopping for Hanley’s birthday gifts!  It’s one of the most fun things I look forward to every year!  Although, I think I’ve pretty much exhausted stuff from Reformerware.com.  Next year will be a challenge-one that I’m looking very forward to!





The 90th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 28, 2006


2006 and 1992 Indy 500 finishes, respectively


What a race!!!  The result was the second closest finish in Indy 500 history (0.0635 second)!  The closest finish was the 1992 Indy 500 when Al beat Scott Goodyear to the famous yard of bricks (the start/finish line) by 0.043 second.  This year’s race sure reminded me of it.  It was the first time the lead ever changed hands on the last lap of the race.



My star of the day was 19 year-old Marco Andretti, grandson of Mario Andretti and son of Michael.  This kid is going to be awesome to watch in the next few years!  Before the dramatic finish even unfolded, when I saw his save exiting turn 4 early in the race, that’s when I knew the kid had “mad skillz” and that I want to be a fan of his.  I was torn whether I should root for him or not because Andretti vs. Unser was a big rivalry during the 1980s and 1990s and I usually would cheer for the Unsers.  However, this year, I knew Al’s car wasn’t fast enough to challege for the win (FTW!!!), so I kind of wanted Michael to finally win the Indy 500.  After all, his misfortune in the 1992 Indy 500, a race he *dominated*, turned into Al’s fortune and first Indy 500 win.  By the way, the Unsers have nine Indy 500 victories to the Andrettis’ one.  I was rooting for Marco because of what I wrote earlier.  I was rooting for Sam Hornish, Jr. because he drove for Team Penske, my favorite open wheel race car team since Al first drove for them in 1994.




Mad props to Sam Hornish, Jr. and Team Penske for being resilient (they had a major miscue in the pits for which they received a drive-through penalty and almost went one lap down) and doing what they do best-winning!  I’ve been a fan of Team Penske since Al Unser, Jr. joined them in 1994 and ran with them until the end of the 1999 CART season.  With Team Penske, Al won 12 races (including the 1994 and 1995 Long Beach Grand Prix and 1994 Indy 500) and the 1994 CART champ car/IndyCar championship.




Tough break of the day went to my man, Al Unser, Jr. (bottom car in the photo above).  He was having a decent race two laps down (far from competing FTW) when he ran over some debris exiting turn 2.  That debris punctured his right rear tire or damaged his right rear suspension and he crashed entering turn 3.  If you race fans (you know who you are) think about it, the full course caution that came out for his accident set up the great finish we witnessed at the end.



For you Danica Patrick (Car #16) fans, I’m still not convinced she’s all that and a bag of chips.  I actually think Katherine Legge in the Champ Car World Series is a more talented driver than DP.  DP is just a lot more marketable.  Danica struggled all month because the Rahal-Letterman (as in David Letterman) Racing team is the only major team that uses the Panoz (formerly G-Force) chassis.  Those chassis are simply slow compared to the Dallaras that the other 90% of the field or so have.  You can tell them apart by the angle of rake on the nose.  In the photo above, Danica and her teammate, Buddy Rice, in Car #15 are using the Panoz chassis and Townsend Bell in Car #90 is using the Dallara chassis.


EDIT: Scott Dixon just won on Sunday, June 4, 2006 in a Panoz chassis which Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Car #10 driven by 2005 Indy 500 Winner and Indy Racing League Champion, Dan Wheldon and Car #9 driven by 2003 Indy Racing League Champion, Scott Dixon) uses on road and street courses instead of their Dallara chassis.  They feel the Panoz chassis is very good on those circuits.  They also believe they have good data from the last few seasons they’ve used them that will help keep them competitive.





Devoted Dan passed 50,000 miles on Monday night.  He’s been in-service since January 3, 2004 for those of you keeping track.


Here’s how it happened.  I was driving Danny, a kid…well, a very big kid…6’5″ 280 lbs…he seemed to fit into the front passenger seat of Dan pretty well…at least I heard no complaints from him…or Dan…from First Chinese Baptist Church of Los Angeles, home after David Wong’s (Xanga: eww_itx_david) (belated) birthday party.  Danny caught many people’s attention because of his sheer size.  The fact that he was wearing an authentic Matt Leinart #11 home jersey didn’t hurt as well!  David invited Danny to his birthday party, but Danny didn’t have a way to get there.  So how did he get there?  He caught the MTA bus from Chinatown to Walnut.  Wow!!!  I talked to Danny as we consumed some red meat served up by Uncle Joe and asked him to share his story of God’s story and how His story became his story (make sense? ).  I shared a little of His story and how it wrote my story as well.  Three story evangelism, baby!  Thanks Youth For Christ!  He shared about how he grew up going to VBS multiple times and receiving Christ multiple times (not really possible, folks).  It wasn’t until an aftershool tutor started talking to him and inviting him to Hi Koi that God really got a hold of him (think Geoff Moore & The Distance’s song “Godgottaholdonme” from their Evo-Lu-Tion album).  He’s been a God follower for the last year and a half or so.  Let’s pray God helps him stay spritiually strong (physically, God won’t need to intervene..j/k) as he walks the trail God marked for him in his life that’s surrounded by things tugging at him from every which way.  Dan hit 50k as we drove along the 60 West as I headed to get some gasoline from the Shell on Peck Rd and Durfee and then to his place in Chinatown.


As I drove, it was amazing to hear how “worlds apart” his life is from many of his peers at FCBC-LA.  I wish it weren’t the case!  The difference between the kids who grow up in Chinatown and those in the middle-class/upper-middle-class/upper-class suburbs in the San Gabriel Valley is crazy.  It’s saddening too.  Hopefully, the staff at FCBC-LA are well aware of everything and are already addressing it.  We can help by taking it to our God in prayer at the very least.


After I dropped Danny off, I thought it would be a cool job to be a shuttle driver for people who simply need to go to church!!!  Would anyone like to donate a lot of money to me to make it happen?  All I would do is drive all day and all night if necessary!!!  God could use me to bring others closer to Himself!  That would be awesome!





Lately, I’ve been trying to get to know some fellow Subaru owners better.  I’ve been going to meets on Wednesday nights throughout the San Gabriel Valley.  My desire is to be a light to this community of mostly unbelievers and simply befriend all of them as well.


I’ve had a pleasure talking to and more listening to one guy in particular the last few weeks.  His name is Benson and he drives a pretty rad Subaru Forester.  He’s very knowledgeable and is an awesome storyteller.  Last Saturday, May 27, 2006, I went to the Streets of Willow Springs (about 1-1/2 drive from Monterey Park…it’s all the way out in Rosamond off the 14) to hang out with Benson and a few others from NASIOC.com’s Southern California Impreza Club, or SCIC.  NASIOC stands for North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club.  Boy, that’s a mouthful!


I e-mailed Benson and a couple others some photos I shot with my n00b-ish photo-taking skills on Sunday night.  In his reply, he ended his e-mail with “btw you go to church?” (btw is “by the war” for those of you who aren’t l337).  Wow!  Jon Mak says it’s probably because I closed my e-mail with “God bless”.  I replied back to him basically asking if he needs help with anything or information, I’d like to try to help.  We had our meet this past Wednesday night at The Macaroni Grill on Huntington in Monrovia.  He replied later to me on Thursday night saying he noticed the fish emblem on my car (not the plates?!  LOL) and that he goes to FCBC-LA!!!  WOW!!!  Praise God!  It’s not a small world!  It’s God world!!!


Will all that said, here’s some photos of Benson tearing up the track in his Forester:










And down the stretch they come!  We’re on the homestretch, folks!


Today, I went to Irvine Subaru for my 48,750 mile oil service.  Of course, I was already at 50,2xx or 50,3xx.  I had an appointement scheduled for 9 AM PDT, but didn’t make it there until 9:15 AM.  There were still able to do it in under an hour and I also got to see and talk to their Service Manager, Rich, for a lil bit.  He always takes great care of me when I’m there!


After they were done with Dan, I went to my barber I’ve been going to since I was a little kid.  His name is Dan too.  I’ve been calling him “Uncle Dan” for years.  His place is called Dirty Dan’s Clip Joint and it’s near the corner of Garfield and Graves.


After I got buzzed (not literally), I went home and ate lunch and showered.  Then, I headed up to Vromans Bookstore (sounds like Romans…Trojans!) in Pasadena to buy a couple of cards and wish a friend a happy birthday.  Since Vromans didn’t have any boxed cards that I was looking for, I went to New Life Christian Bookstore in Alhambra and picked some up there.  I actually bought a lot more there than I had planned.


I came home and spent some time with God and in the Word…not Microsoft Word…God’s Word!  And then I began what is probably and easily my longest entry ever (or evAr for some of you ‘Net savvy, folks).