Archive | November 2006

Another thing I’m thankful for is the fact that my left shoulder’s rotator cuff is pretty good now after it was nagging me during the summer!  Praise the Lord!

If you left something at Snow Creek Park in Walnut yesterday, there’s a high probability it’s in the trunk of my car.

Here’s a rundown of some of the items I “collected” (There was a bit of trash Joseph Chan and I cleaned up as before we left as well.  Let’s remember to always leave places in a better condition than they were when we arrived.  The most “bothersome” thing was picking up a styrofoam cup in left-center field that was brought out there during the football game.):

  • Black Nike warmup pants left in the “high school” dugout
  • Red bag containing a picnic mat or something like that
  • Two soccer balls and one jelly ball
  • Three baseball/softball gloves

Ending on that “note”, here’s my public service anouncement for the day.  If you throw with your right arm, you use a “right-handed” glove that is worn on your left hand.  If you throw with your left arm (like me), you use a “left-handed” glove that is worn on your right hand.  It bugs me how many times I heard right-handed people say, “I need a left-handed glove,” yesterday.  Then when someone actually provides what is technically a “left-handed” glove, the person who requested the glove realizes the glove is wrong.  After all, if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit!

Softball was fun!  High school lost because we didn’t have timely hitting (I certainly didn’t help) and were suspect on defense at times (I didn’t contribute here though).  I had an “O-for” day.  Basically, I was 0-for-3 hitting.  I grounded out to Preston at 2nd base, flied out to Eric Lau in right field, and grounded out to Jason Lee at 1st base.  Defensively, I had fun taking care of business on the few balls that were hit to me.  Uncle Peter Gin pitched pretty well and consistently for all of us.

One more thing, in baseball/softball, “runs” are scored, not “points.”


Playing football yesterday was fun too!  I had a couple receptions and a “throw-off” return.  I would’ve like to get more touches, but it’s really okay as long as everyone had a good time.  I feel like my speed is wasted sometimes like keeping a sports car in the garage.  I remind myself that the game isn’t just for me to have fun, but everyone playing.  I threw one INT a play after what should’ve been a long TD pass (pass not caught) and I also just barely missed (overshot John David Booty-style) on a HB pass I threw which would’ve been a TD.  I also was wide open (like a Bible when one is listening to a sermon) a few times that could’ve resulted in TDs.  Oh well.  I’ll have my high school memories to always re-live a la Al Bundy who scored four TDs in one game for Polk High.  My team didn’t deserve to win the way we played.  The other team also simply outplayed us!  I give mad props to Gene and Benson.  Gene can throw the ball pretty well and Benson just goes up there and gets it.  He has a good knack for pass-catching!

I had a weird dream last night/this morning.  I dreamt the Dodger$ played a World Series Game 7 in Mexico and lost in the bottom of the 9th inning.  It was a good dream! 

FIGHT ON!  BEAT THE IRISH!


The next Subaru Impreza?






Artists’ renditions/”photochops” of what it may actually look like:

And for those who think it’s a Mazda 3:

Its debut is scheduled to be in April 2007 at the New York International Auto Show.  Subaru is scheduled to announce something at this year’s (second) Los Angeles Auto Show on November 30th.  This year’s auto show will be open to the public December 1-10, 2006.  For more information, go to www.laautoshow.com.  $2.00 admission discount coupons should be available at your local Chevron station and automobile dealerships.

Here’s an oldie but goodie!  It’s a 1988 Saab Scandinavia promotional video!  Enjoy! :o)  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone, giving thanks and praise to our great and awesome God!!!

Classic (read: LONG) entry ahead, folks!

Fantasy football > me

This is my first season playing fantasy football.  On my fantasy football team that looked good on paper from the get-go, I had Donovan McNabb and Shaun Alexander.  What is one thing these two have in common?  They both were on the cover of EA SPORTS’ Madden franchise video games.

Why is that worth mentioning?  Because there’s a “Madden Curse” that seems to strike those who “grace” the game’s covers with their presence.  Shaun Alexander suffered a broken foot in his third game of the year.  McNabb suffered a season-ending knee injury yesterday.

Here’s an article from ESPN.com with a good sidebar breaking down “the curse.”
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2602571

Here’s an article ESPN.com did on “the curse” last year:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2232084

I went “shopping” for quarterbacks this morning and dropped Donovan McNabb, who tore his right ACL yesterday, and picked up Michael Vick.  I opened up Vick’s profile and noticed he has the same birthday as me, but is a year older!  So now, I like him even more!  I liked him before simply because he was left-handed (and a strong arm) and has some pretty crazy ability to run the ball.  I’d say I’m still a bigger Carson Palmer, Brett Favre, and Reggie Bush fan than Michael Vick, but he’s now “up there” on my list.  I also still like Kurt Warner because of who he is off the field as much as on it.  I never was a “huge” Matt Leinart fan even though he was a lefty Trojan quarterback.  I might’ve been if it weren’t for a #5 in the same backfield.


Father knows best

At this time, I will attempt to breakdown my work situation since May.  As Steve Quon (Xanga: GR81stud) mentioned in my original entry giving God praise for His provision of the new job, He worked things out better than I imagined.

May 2006
I wasn’t enjoying being  a warranty administrator at Pacific BMW because of the work I was doing, a conviction that some things didn’t sit well with my personal beliefs and values, and some of the “junk” some of the technicians/mechanics there were giving me.  I decided I had to go even though I didn’t have anything lined up because it wasn’t good for me to be there.  I wanted to quit at the end of May, but was asked to consider staying for a little while to give them time to hire a replacement(s) and train those who would fill my vacancy.  I told them I would stay until the end of June as a gesture to help the company.  Ironically, one of my replacements quit in August and is now doing something completely different.

End of June/Early July 2006
As I was finishing up at Pacific BMW, a couple of things crawled onto my plate.  I received a call from the service manager at Sierra Acura in Alhambra for their open warranty administrator position.  I didn’t apply for the position and I guess he found my resume through Monster.com.  At the same time that was going, I was setting up an interview with one of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s contractors for a customer service position.  I thought that would’ve been so great!  God didn’t give me that job (my best guess is because of my lack of actual customer service experience even though I would think I would have a better idea of what goes wrong with vehicles because of my warranty experience) and I’m sure He has His perfect reason or reasons why that didn’t pan out.  So I took the position at Sierra Acura which was my “Plan B” thinking it might work out okay to do the same thing with a change of scenery so to speak.  I started my stint at Sierra Acura in mid-July not knowing what exactly was going to happen next.

Late July 2006
I started thinking it’d be awesome to become a California Highway Patrol Officer!  I still think it’d be awesome to be one!  I started finding out more about it and what the steps in the process of becoming an officer were.

Early/Mid-October 2006
Working on a repair order (the paperwork showing the repair performed on a vehicle) that had a problem I’d seen many, many times before, I told myself, “That’s it!  I need to find something else to do!”  So I started looking on Monster.com again for any cool jobs where I could do a lot of driving without have a Class B or Class A license or getting paid not very much to be driving around.  After seeing a job posting sent to one of my e-mail accounts from the USC Alumni Association’s inSCircle sub-section, I decided to take a look at its job forum.  I browsed through postings dating all the way back to July.  I saw one that said Edmunds.com was hiring and contacted the poster via AIM (Thank God for AIM!) that same night.  A recruiter contacted me two days later and it was cool to see that God had gotten the ball rolling again for me.  The highly-touted Trojan network/family finally became something personal to me more than three years after graduating.  Some people kid and say “USC” can also stand for the “University of Social Connections”.  Let’s just say this Trojan (me) will never “kid” about that again.

The cool thing was the recruiter who contacted me was the same one who e-mailed me in late June after I submitted my resume to Edmunds.  In mid-July, I replied to her e-mail (yeah it was a few weeks after she sent it) letting her know I had just started a new job and wanted to get a feel for it.  By this time in October, I had definitely gotten a feel for it and let’s just saying I didn’t like what I felt.  This time around she was contacting me for a different position that was in the same department as the position she first e-mailed me about.  After learning about this position I’d be interviewing for, I figured I’d be a great fit, a virtual shoe-in, for the position.  I went to the interview and really liked what I saw in the organization and its people.  I felt confident after going through the interview and was very optimistic at the thought of being offered the position.  The week passed and I found out from my fellow Trojan that I didn’t get the position because it was given to someone internally.  That was a tough pill to swallow because my connection thought I was a great fit (and so did I) for the position.  It was also a little “weird” finding out I didn’t get it before the recruiter actually told me I didn’t get it, because my inside source knew the person they hired internally to fill it.  On one hand, I don’t have a problem with them selecting “internally” because that’s their perogative and I don’t blame them one bit for doing what they did.  On the other hand, it was tough to swallow because I was told earlier in the week by my source that I was the frontrunner only to not get the job.

Because the recruiter was so busy, she wasn’t able to get back to me when she had originally told me the company would.  I left her a voicemail on the afternoon of Friday, October 27th, wanting to know what my status was even though I already knew what it was.  She e-mailed me back that same evening saying she would contact me after the weekend.  Again, that was tough because I knew “bad news” was coming.  When my inside source broke the “bad news” to me the previous Thursday night over AIM, he told me there was a posting for an Associate Business Analyst position that I could express interest in upon receiving the “bad news.”  Fast forward to the afternoon of Monday, October 30th, when the recruiter was able to call me.  She told me up front that she had some “bad news” for me and some “good news” for me.  Being the kind of guy I am (straight shooter, folks!), I wanted the “bad news” first.  She told me that they did indeed choose someone within the organization to fill the position even though I was the top candidate (which the ego and my pride liked to hear…which shows I’m a sinner just like every person who’s ever lived/will live).  She then asked me if I’d be interested in interviewing for the Associate Business Analyst position to which I replied I definitely would be.  I had actually planned on lobbying for this had she not brought it up because I already had the mentality that I didn’t want to stay at my current work feeling “stranded” after I had gotten all worked up only to be let down.  I felt I needed a way out as soon as possible.  So she was kind enough to pass my information on to one of Edmunds’ other recruiters.

The other recruiter (#2) contacted me shortly thereafter and set up a phone interview with me and the person who will be my manager once I start.  To be honest, I don’t think I sounded like I was someone he wanted to hire while we were talking over the phone but by God’s grace, he extended an opportunity for me to come in for an interview with him and a couple of his people.  So the recruiter (#2) worked out all the details and I went in two days later to interview for the analyst position.  I had a gut feeling it was going to be a lot more challenging to “land” this job, but I think it may have also made me rely on God more than I did for the previous position (which is not to say I didn’t rely on Him at all earlier).  I felt I wasn’t as great of a fit for the position according to the job description and requirements and qualifications.  To be honest, it was hard to feel very confident about getting the job.  The job itself is also more challenging and demanding than the first one I interviewed which scared me a little, but after further thought, made me realize it would be even better for me to do it if God gave it to me.  At the interview, I felt I hit it off really well with two of the people, but still wasn’t sure if the manager was sold on me.  At that point, I just told myself everything is in God’s hands.  The recruiter told me I would be contacted on Monday (this interview took place on Thursday, November 2nd) and the wait began…again.

Monday came and the recruiter called me up asking for two more references because one of the ones I gave him was “being difficult” with him over the phone.  This caused me to think two things.  1) It’s probably a good thing that he’s at a point where he’s checking my references.  After all, why would someone check the references of an applicant they didn’t give the “green light” on?  2) Why would he need two more references?  That transpired Monday morning and I didn’t hear from him the rest of the day.  I thought, “Okay.  They’ll get back to me tomorrow.”  Tuesday came and went without a word.  Some of you may be thinking, “Why didn’t I just call them to find out if I got it or not already?”  My reasoning (I’m human and it may very well be flawed) was I didn’t want to seem impatient or feel like I was “forcing their hand.”  I also didn’t want to come across as desperate as well.  On Tuesday night after talking to a friend, I decided I would wait until Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM PST at the very latest until reaching out to touch someone.  So 11:30 AM came and I called the recruiter (#2) who did not answer his phone.  I left a voicemail message requesting an update on what my status was regarding the position I interviewed for.  A few minutes later, the Director of Human Resources called me to extend the job offer.  I was surprised the recruiter (#2) didn’t call me back because when the HR director called me, I noticed her telephone number’s prefix was the same as everyone else’s at Edmunds.  While she was talking to me, she said she could “see” the smile on my face!  I shared with her how elated I felt that I was being offered the job.  I turned in my letter of resignation the next day and as a result, Wednesday will be my last day at Sierra Acura and I will start at Edmunds right after the Thanksgiving weekend!

This Thanksgiving, I will be thankful for God, Jesus Christ-His Son, the Holy Spirit God used to convict me of my sin and bring me to Him, the life He’s given me, my family, my friends, and my situation in life (things God has provided – roof over my head, work, transportation, etc. – my life is far from perfect, but far from being a fierce storm…but definitely one covered by grace and mercy).

In closing, I will share again the verses God placed in my heart to help me get through the “trial” of getting a new job.

Philippians 4:6-7 (whole chapter, New Amercan Standard Bible)

Be anxioius for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.



Trojan fans, ESPN’s College GameDay built by The Home Depot is coming to our CI-TAY!!!  Who will join me this Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 7 AM PST to show our support for ol’ SC?

BEAT THE IRISH/BRUINS!!!  Fight on for ol’ SC!  Fight on to victory!  Fight on!

Did you know?
USC’s “Fight On” song was used to inspire combat-bound troops in the Aleutians Campaign during World War II.

FIGHT ON FOR OL’ JC!!!

Time to give my buddy, Geoff Moore, some love!  I was inspired to put “In Christ Alone” up after seeing Anthony’s (Xanga: heyjuke) entry.  Without further ado, here‘s “In Christ Alone” sung by Geoff Moore and Adrienne Liesching (a.k.a. “Mrs. Jeremy Camp”).  I was originally going to put up “Creed” by Rich Mullins as performed by Third Day on their Offerings II album, but that song starts out pretty loud which might startle some of you out there.  I wanted to put “Creed” up because The Apostles’ Creed was mentioned today during Jonathan Bates’ baptism “service.”

In Christ Alone
Sung by Geoff Moore and Adrienne Liesching

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again (YEAH!!!!!!!)
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand


Cal (UC Berkeley) fans are worse than UCLA fans (your mileage may vary)

Yesterday, I went to the Cal vs. USC football game thanks to Don (Xanga: udonoogen).  They said so many nasty things to me.  I was in a Cal fan section with my #3 Carson Palmer replica jersey, red USC hooded sweatshirt, and red USC cap.  As I was walking up the aisle (by myself) to my seat before the game, the Cal fans chanted “Take off that red shirt!” (Technically, I was not wearing a red shirt.  The last time I checked, a jersey is not a shirt.  I guess that shows how intellectually superior they are to me.) and called me an “a-hole” simply because I was wearing what I was wearing.  They were quiet when all was said and done though.

For comparison, I was in a UCLA student section last year that wasn’t nearly as rude and classless.


Praise God for His lordship and salvation in Jonathan Bates’ (Xanga: yutaka731) life!  Today, Jonathan made a public profession of God’s faithfulness and work in his life by getting baptized.  For those of you who are believers who haven’t been baptized yet, don’t worry about being “ready.”  I encourage you to simply follow God’s command to be baptized.  You also don’t need to worry about being able to answer questions others may ask such as, “Why does a loving God allow evil to exist/happen?”  The important thing is God uses it all for His glory and His will to be done whether you want to believe it or not.

Jonathan became a believer/follower of Christ his freshman year at USC through God working through InterVarsity Trojan Christian Fellowship (IVTCF) and his roommate, George Deur (Xanga: DrAku34).  I remember meeting him at “Frosh Frenzy” in Fall 1999.  We sat in an oval and shared something unique about ourselves.  Jonathan said something along the lines of “I’m the only one here who weighs over 300 pounds.”  I sat there and thought, “Oh man.  That’s not cool.  He shouldn’t be thinking along those lines.”  As God drew Jonathan closer to Himself, He gave Jonathan a better understanding of how much He loves him and who he (Jonathan) is in Christ (alone).  It’s been a pleasure and privilege to be there from “the start” and it’s even better knowing there will never be “an end.”  Praise God for who He is, what He’s done, and what He will do in Jonathan’s life!


Jonathan went with my family and me to Las Vegas for Christmas 2001.  We went to the Las Vegas Bowl which USC lost 10-6 to Utah.  It is one of the two reasons I have placed a self-imposed ban on myself at USC bowl games.  The other is the 2006 Rose Bowl against Texas that USC lost 41-38.  There will be no more mention of these sad days in the Pete Carroll era.  The cool guy in the middle of the above photo is Jason Lau who is another dear brother of ours from IVTCF.  Man, I miss that guy a lot.


Shock therapy

Daily Bruin: Student shot with taser by UCPD officers

YouTube (video contains violence and foul language): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g7zlJx9u2E

Here’s my take on the incident where an UCLA student was tasered in Powell Library after not leaving because he didn’t have his ID.

“You do the crime, you do the time!”

Let me explain myself.  He was asked to leave a few minutes prior to when the video was shot because he didn’t have his ID.  The incident began when the officers returned to remove him from the premises for not complying with their request to leave according to the rule the library has in place for people who are not supposed to be there.  He could’ve gone back home or wherever his ID was and come back if he really needed to stay and use the facility.  Since he didn’t have his ID, he technically shouldn’t have been there.  The situation was easily avoidable.  Yes, the officers used excessive force.  However, we need to remember that the situation was easily avoidable.

Should I make a “Don’t taser me” sign for the USC vs. UCLA football game? j/k The only people that will be shocked at the Rose Bowl will be the UCLA fans who just witnessed their eighth straight defeat to the USC Trojans after thinking the Bruins had an actual chance to win.

BEAT THE IRISH/BRUINS!  FIGHT ON!!!


This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful to God for who He is and all He’s provided me.  I will elaborate more later on how He’s especially been faithful to me concerning my work situation since May with a detailed (yay!) analysis of His goodness.

It’s after Midnight!  I failed to meet my targeted time of completing this entry before it became Monday.  Oh well!  I know you all love reading my entries and listening to my music anyway.

Call to Prayer/Arms

I cannot help but to think the things going on at our church and to its people are a call to prayer.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (link is to the entire chapter, English Standard Version) says,

if My people who are called by My name humble themselves; and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven will forgive their sin and heal their land.

This totally reminds me of the song “America” on Chris Tomlin’s The Noise We Make album.

America
Let your glory fly
If My people will humbly pray
Turn from sin and their wicked ways
I will hear them and heal their land
And show My glory and power again
Lift your eyes up
Look to the sky

The Lord is coming, coming to America
Can you feel the fire
Can you see the wind
Blowing through
Coming to America again

Go and tell them the blind will see
The lame will walk and the slave is free
Shout the news that the lost are saved
In the name of Jesus the dead are raised


Below is an example of one of the few computer problems I’ve never been able to figure out.  Ever since I upgraded to Microsoft Office 2003, what you see below happens every time every incoming e-mail is scanned by Norton Antivirus (happens with both 2006 and 2007 versions).  Symantec Customer Support was of no help to me whatsoever with their non-native English speaker on the other end.  At one point I said, “You’re kidding me,” and the person had no idea what I meant.  Yeah, I was frustrated with the person on the other end.  I can live with it.  It just makes things a little more difficult when you’re typing in another program/window and the “Windows Installer” window pops up on you nullifying your most recent keystroke(s).

Microsoft_Office_Outlook_2003_Windows_Installer_pop_up


For those who don’t know what the job God hooked me up with is, it’s an Associate Business Analyst position with Edmunds.com.  Below is a copy and paste from their job listing.

Associate Business Analyst

Do you have the drive? Edmunds.com, the leading authority for automotive information on-line, is seeking an outstanding candidate for the position of Associate Business Analyst to direct the Business & Marketing Analysis team.

Job Description:

  • Analyze and report on various business segments, which include total web site traffic, Advertising, New Leads and other revenue generating products.
  • Ownership of OEM and 3rd partner lead counts, revenue and advance analytics metrics
  • Work with the business owners to optimize the site performance.
  • Ownership of key site metrics and reporting to be delivered to upper management.

Skills and Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience is required.
  • 1 – 2 years of relevant business analytic experience preferred.
  • Strong software analytical skills (MS Office, Database Reporting).
  • Ability to meet aggressive deadlines and provide quick turnaround in a rapid growth/high change environment.
  • Solid attention to detail.
  • Must be able to work in fast-paced, hands-on team environment.
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal & group presentation skills.
  • Resourceful problem solver.
  • Ability to multitask, work well under pressure, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Flexible, open minded and solution oriented with the ability to adapt to the fast paced Internet environment.

About Us
Sure, our name ends in “.com” but we were founded as a publishing corporation 19 years before our Web site was even launched! While Edmunds.com has the best consumer automotive content on the Web, we’re more than just an ‘Internet’ company. Our comprehensive set of data, tools and services are also licensed to third parties and used by over 15,000 car dealers. We also supply content for the auto sections of AOL, CNN.com, NYTimes.com and About.com.

Benefits
Edmunds.com offers a cutting edge technical environment, competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package including: 100% paid medical, dental, and vision coverage for employees; 3 weeks of vacation; paid holiday and sick time; matching 401K, stock options; 2 flexible spending plans, tuition reimbursement, and a fun, friendly, casual environment.

So if you’ve got the drive, come help shape the future of how millions of automotive consumers navigate the market with confidence and traction.

If you live or anyone you know lives in Santa Monica and are/is looking for a roommate, I’d be interested.  We’ll see how the commute is once I start working there.


Why the Subaru Impreza WRC (World Rally Championship) race car > Lightning McQueen


Just a preview of things to come…

BEAT THE BEARS/IRISH/BRUINS!!!  FIGHT ON!!!

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Praise God from whom all blessings flow

PRAISE GOD!!!  God gave me the job!!!

I didn’t hear back from Edmunds.com today like I was supposed to.  It’s really hard not to be anxious.  I just have to keep trusting God and His sovereignty.

I constantly have been trying to remind myself of Philippians 4:6-7 (English Standard Version).  For proper context, you should minimally read verses 2 through 9.

6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Cars comes out on DVD tomorrow! 


Election Day is tomorrow.  I don’t really know what’s going on.  Can anyone point me in a good, Biblical direction?


Jerry Hwang‘s birthday was yesterday!  Just in case you missed it, it’s never too late to drop “The General” a line!  I’ll have more on Jerry later.

As figured, I failed the CHP physical abilities test (PAT) this morning due to the “gift” (sarcasm is on, folks) of poor vision.  It was pretty fitting that out of the seven stations that were setup there, that was the first one I had to go to was the vision one (station number 1) because we counted ourselves off 1-7 and I ended up as a “1”.  For a “1” like me, it’s hard not to instinctively say “8” after the person next to you just said “7”.  One person did and they were totally riding the person for that.   It was surprising to get a glimpse of what things in the academy would kind of be like in that they were totally yelling at people and giving some people a hard time.  I didn’t get yelled at because I didn’t provide them with any reason to yell at me.  I actually thought it was pretty cool to be in that pseudo-military environment.  Shouting “Yes, sir!” and things like that felt pretty good.  I felt like I was in the “system.”  There was one guy with a WRX who got there late and “deferred” his PAT to a later time.  The CHP officer totally ate him up for breakfast.  I knew he had a WRX because I could hear the distinct boxer rumble of the ReX.  I don’t know what it looked like because I was standing at attention and looking at the back of the head of the person in front of me the whole time.


I forgot to post the following information earlier although I did e-mail some of you here and there.  It applies to Honda and Acura vehicles around the turn of the millenium and their automatic transmissions.

It’s regarding a class action lawsuit against American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and affects the vehicles below.  You can go to www.hondatransmissionsettlement.com for more information.

Car

Model Year

Honda Accord

2000-2001

Honda Odyssey

1999-2001

Honda Prelude

2000-2001

Acura 3.2 CL

2001-2002

Acura 3.2 TL

1999-2002

Certain Acura 3.2 CL & TL *

2003


Regarding USC’s loss last Saturday at Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon, I was one of probably many who saw a loss on the horizon.  I’m glad it was against Oregon State and not in any of our big games in the month of November.  The encouraging thing is if we see the same 2nd half Booty-rockin’ everywhere, our offense will be that much better!  We’ll see how things go today at The Farm against the Stanford Cardinal.  Fight on!  BEAT THE CARDINAL!


I shared a brief spiel last night during High School Bible Fellowship/Unikoi/Insert-other-name-here (since I like being funny, how ’bout we name it “Friday Night Lights” based off 1 John 1:5-10 and/or Matthew 5:14-16?) about how much I thank God for Uncle Tony Firth because his birthday is November 5th (he also made sure we all knew his spirtual, or as he calls it, his real, birthday is August 28th).  I realized I forgot to share one of the most important things I wanted to say.

Because of who God is and all He’s given Uncle Tony, Uncle Tony has given so much of himself to me and many others. Because of that, I am inspired to give of myself to the youth of our chuch.  Hopefully God can use my measly offerings to encourage our current youth to invest themselves in the future youth.  Remember, it only take a spark to get a fire going.  And soon all those around…  Some of you may know the rest to that.  And if you don’t, just read below!  For those of you who remember the days of awesome MIDI songs, you can listen to the song here.

It only takes a spark to get a fire going,
And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing;

That’s how it is with God’s Love,
Once you’ve experienced it,
Your spread the love to everyone
You want to pass it on.

What a wonderous time is spring,
When all the tress are budding
The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming;

That’s how it is with God’s love,
Once you’ve experienced it.
You want to sing, it’s fresh like spring,
You want to pass it on.

I wish for you my friend
This happiness that I’ve found;
You can depend on God
It matters not where you’re bound,

I’ll shout it from the mountain top – PRAISE GOD!
I want the world to know
The Lord of love has come to me
I want to pass it on.

I’ll shout it from the mountain top – PRAISE GOD!
I want the world to know
The Lord of love has come to me
I want to pass it on.

For those of you who weren’t there last night, I took a page out of Uncle Daniel Lim’s playbook and decided to make an acronym, yes-me the acronym-hater (sounds 1 Timothy 1:12-17-ish), out of his name.

Without further ado, here it is…

  • True
  • Original
  • Neat
  • Young

For “true”, I used the photo below of Tony the Tiger (They’re Grrrrrrreaattttt!).  I selected the word “True” because Uncle Tony is dependable, reliable, and faithful.  He took my sister and me to church on Friday nights coming from San Pedro and dropped us off at home afterward for about a year to a year and a half.  He also doesn’t hesitate to go out of his way when we are in need and he knows of a way he can help out.  He shared a story with me of how he helped a couple get married (the groom was someone who became a believer through God working in our high school ministry) a few years ago.  I know he also has helped some of us out on staff when the unexpected arises through his prayers and sometimes, financial support.

For “original”, I used a photo of a Cadillac Seville STS, because Uncle Tony used to give me rides in his Seville.  Since he was rockin’ a Caddy, we all know Uncle Tony was a baller, shot-caller, right?!  Uncle Tony is GANGSTA!  He’s OG!  j/k!  He’s not really a gangster.  Unless you want to call him a “Gospel Gangster”, I don’t think the term fits him that well.  I selected the word “original” because there is no one like Uncle Tony at our church.  For one, he’ll often share some pretty novel ideas.  When Uncle Tony speaks, we (the staff) automatically stop and listen.  His mannerisms and speech are one-of-a-kind as well as the love he has shown…because of the love he was shown by our God.

The next word, “neat”, is a word I selected because Uncle Tony never, and I mean, never looks like a mangy bum like sometimes I can be (j/k or am I?).  He is always very neat and proper in his appearance, dress, and conduct with others.  All this however, doesn’t mean Uncle Tony doesn’t know how to have fun!  For “neat”, I selected a photo of an Acura MDX.  Everytime I see a black previous-generation (model year 2001 to MY2006) MDX, I quickly and simply thank and praise God for Uncle Tony.  People’s vehicles are the best reminders for me of the people God’s placed in my life.  For example, a green Pontiac Trans Sport will remind me both of Uncle Joe Wong and Jon Mak.  A green Honda Accord previous-generation sedan will remind me of Steve Quon.  A silver current-generation Honda Accord Sedan will remind me of Steve Loo, although that one is a little more specific because the 2004 model has a “wide” reverse light section on the tail lights, the 2005 model has a “skinny” one, and the 2006 model now has LED tail lights instead.  A white Toyota Camry sedan from two generations ago will remind me of Hanley.  Back on track, the word “neat” is also fitting because I think his 2004 MDX is neat because of the navigation system in it and the rear DVD entertainment system it’s equipped with.
MDX_wallpaper_07_1024x768

Our last word, “young”, was selected because Uncle Tony is young at heart!  He is someone who has the need…the need for speed every now and then!  I think his 2003 Ford Mustang GT Convertible is pretty cool.  I’ve also followed him to a retreat surprised at how fast (yet still completely safe at the same time) he was traveling (we were in the carpool lane on hwy 60).  He enjoys playing golf and then and is also able to carry a conversion on most sports.  He relates well with most of the youth, but more importantly, is a living, vibrant example of God’s love, grace, mercy, compassion, kindness, and Word being lived out.

Wallpaper anyone?


Sunday, November 5, 2006 is also Jerry Hwang‘s birthday!  Although “The General” is in Wheaton, IL, we can still celebrate the life God’s given him through good ol’ Xanga.  I’ll try to put up a blurb tomorrow thanking and praising God for him.

The coolest thing happened today before my interview.

I had just parked my vehicle and put my coat on.  I pulled out the mobile phone I use from my pants’ left front pocket and saw a little strip of paper was stuck to the phone.  I separated the paper from the phone and read it. It said, “For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. -Psalm 100:5”  It was a strip of paper from Jonathan and Stephanie Lin’s wedding back on July 15, 2006.  I guess I never extracted it when I emptied my pockets on previous occasions.  That was just wanted the doctor (God) ordered!  It was a fantastic way to kick things off before I took my place in the hot seat!

I think the interview went very well!  I’m confident I hit it off with at least two of the four people (I was scheduled to meet with three-one was totally unscheduled and impromptu) who interviewed me.  I will hear back from Edmunds on Monday.  We’ll see what God has in store!


Last night, I forgot to mention I really enjoyed the fact that Chris Tomlin would bring his Bible and read from it when he shared about the inspiration God gave him for some of the songs.  The concert also felt incomplete without a message from Louie Giglio of the Passion movement.

Praise God for His Word!  It endures forever among many, many other things!

Some other things that have been going on…

I went to see Chris Tomlin and his band in concert back on October 22nd at the Gibson Amphitheatre.  I’m surprised Ray hasn’t posted any photos.  The seats we had were actually pretty good, but tight.  I stood “offset” from David Wong on my left and Chris Woo on my right.  Fellow partyers were Steve Loo, Hanley, Dann Chen, and Tyrone Li.

The best part of the concert was the beginning when we were all reminded that the night is about praising God and worshiping Him who is our audience of One!  There was no intermission which was a surprise because I was hoping to go looking for people I know who said they were going to be there.  I’m guessing they omitted it because the concert started at a time of 8:15 PM.  It’s cool we keep running into Steve’s sister and her husband at concerts.  They should stop following us!  We also saw (fellow Trojans) Uncle Calvin and Justin Joe there and some other First Chinese Baptist Church of Los Angeles (FCBC LA) people there as well.  I think Chris (Tomlin) & Co. played a little over half of the songs of the new album, See the Morning.  He also shared his thoughts and stories behind some of the songs…and threw in some quick jokes here and there too.  I started to lose my voice pretty early on when “Indescibable” was being played.  It was a great time of worshiping our King!

So when (for most of you…just think about it…”when” and not “if”) you wake up in the morning, take at least a quick moment to reflect on who God is and His faithfulness in even giving you another day of life to praise Him…from creation to Creator.


My public service announcement for the day: Late Turn-Ins and Proper Cornering Technique – It’s not just for racing, folks!  I think this will help a good number of you out there whom I’ve observed turn-in too early when making left turns and/or parking – the situations where I believe late turn-ins help the most (provided you don’t turn too late).  The link below should provide ya’ll with enough information to make you all experts!

http://www.turnfast.com/tech_driving/driving_cornering.shtml 

Bad!

AWESOME!

I’ll try to express this in American for ya’ll to understand.  For starters, automobiles don’t pivot at their centers, but at their front axle (Yes, I am well aware some vehicles have four-wheel steering.  Those vehicles however, still have most of the steering lock being generated at the front axle.).  If you turn-in early, the probability you’ll have to make corrections when completing the turn is much greater than turning-late.  By turning-in late, you get a majority of your turning done earlier resulting in being able to straighten the vehicle out for your exit earlier (and also getting on the “GO” pedal earlier too once you’ve reached the apex of the turn, which is usually NOT the geometrical apex).  There’s a saying in racing called “slow in, fast out”.  The theory entails going a little bit slower in the early part of the turn to go faster throughout the rest of the turn.  Once you’re more advanced, you’ll be able to go “fast in, fast out,” which is even better!  Many turns on racetracks dump vehicles onto straightaways.  A lot of time and ground is made up or lost on straightaways which is why proper corner exit is crucial.

There’s a lot more I could say, but I feel it’s already getting late.  Again, the link above is fantastic!  It may very well transform you guys and gals into Unsers and Andrettis!


Here’s a visual list of the vehicles I drove on Saturday afternoon at the Mazda Zoom-Zoom Live event at California Speedway in Fontana, California.  It’s the same place where I did this in March 2005:

Mazda RX-8

Mazda 3s 5-door

Mazda Mazdaspeed6

Mazda CX-7

(Trust me.  The vehicle above is not fun to drive.  It makes me want to test drive an Acura RDX to compare the two.)

I just checked the Mazda Zoom-Zoom Live web site and my official time for the Mazdaspeed6 challenge was 34.745 seconds.  There’s so much more I could’ve got out of the car!  Oh well!

Here’s the photo they took of me entering turn 1.  Notice how I’m looking ahead.  Looking ahead is very important for cornering properly.  Actually, it’s important for any and all driving you do because it increases your situational awareness and gives you a better opportunity to anticipate the unexpected.  It’s been said where you look is where your hands usually will direct the vehicle.

“I think Cowabunga says it all.  Cowabunga!” <- What movie is that from and what was going on when that line was said?