I’ll try to keep it short. I should be in bed by now.
Here’s a quick rundown on what’s going on regarding my job search. I received a call back from the recruiter at Edmunds.com on Monday afternoon with mixed news.
Bad news first (since I’m a pretty straight shooter, that’s the way I like things):
She said they decided to fill the position internally even though she said I was the top candidate. I actually found this out from my inside source (a fellow Trojan who referred me in the first place) on Thursday night over AIM because he knows the person who was hired and gave me the skinny. I had been waiting for the recruiter to call me back to give me the 411 on my actual status before letting you know what the dealio was/is.
She said she is going to pass me along to one of their other recruiters for an Associate Business Analyst position that is currently open. That position would probably make better use of my abilities and skills and would probably be more challenging (hopefully more exciting) as well.
As Twila Paris sings, “God is in control!”
On Saturday, October 21, 2006, I took Devoted Dan to Sierra Subaru in Monrovia for service since I’m eligible for employee pricing as an employee of Sierra Autocars. Let’s just say I won’t be taking Dan back there again. More to come later. The bottom line is I would rather pay more for a job well done.
While I was there, a lady (I’m guessing late 50s to early 60s) noticed I was doing something related to the Bible. I had my trusty MacArthur New King James Version (NKJV) Study Bible, New American Standard Bible, and English Standard Version Bible all open on the table and Microsoft Powerpoint running on a laptop PC. I was working on my Sunday School lesson for the next day on Romans 2:1-16. She was a Jehovah’s Witness. I had never had a conversation with a JW before. I had just heard things about them through others (mainly Steve Loo). I knew that they didn’t believe in the deity of Jesus and that was what the next few minutes of our conversation revolved around. The awesome thing is God’s message (Colossians 1:15-17) presented the previous night through Hanley equipped me to share appropriate passages of Scripture. I also brought some Greek into the equation too (logos) in looking at John 1:1 and Colossians 1:15 (ESV – “firstborn of all creation”) and told her the importance of the original language. All in all, we basically agreed to disagree and that was that.
I guess the coolest thing about taking the car in for service is the few spiritual conversations I’ve had with others in the waiting area.
Last Tuesday night, I found out the woman I’m interested (yes, it’s the same person I’ve liked since February) is a Yankee fan. That might be the “deal-breaker” right there. I jokingly asked her if she was a hardcore Yankee fan and she said it’s only because her dad (Trojan alumnus) and grandfather are Yankee fans. I think I can live with that. I’m still bitter at them sweeping the San Diego Padres in the 1998 World Series. The fact that I have the same birthday as Derek Jeter (June 26) and wore #2 on my high school baseball jersey isn’t cool either.
Hanley shared something at our High School Fellowship staff meeting at Thea’s house last Friday night that I thought was great. He said when dealing with feelings for a person of the opposite sex (Is that right, Ted? Or is it sex? Corrected: Thanks, Preston, a.k.a. masterpkf!), he mentioned praying the feelings would go away if God wills for that person to be someone else’s spouse. I’ve been trying to practice that-it’s just so difficult, especially when you think you care about the person so much.
The St. Louis Cardinals won this year’s iteration of the Fall Classic (the World Series). It’s nice to know my Padres lost to the eventual champs. 5’7″ (probably shorter) David Eckstein, a former Anaheim Angel, was the World Series MVP. He is officially the shortest World Series MVP ever. He came through with more than his share of clutch hits throughout the series. Other former Angels on the Cardinals include centerfielder Jim Edmonds and IF/OF Scott Spiezio (remember he sparked the Angels’ miraculous comeback in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series). What about those Dodgers? They got swept by the Mets who lost to St. Louis. Therefore, the Padres are definitely better than the Dodgers! 😀
On Saturday afternoon, I drove the Mazda RX-8 (manual transmission), 3s 5-door (a black one like Ed‘s!), Mazdaspeed6 (only available with a manual transmission), and CX-7.
- The RX-8 has a lot of grip-so much that I didn’t really get close to pushing in during the short time I was driving it (the course they had set up was way too short). Its shifter action is very smooth unlike my notchy gear shift action (probably due to the OEM STi short shifter installed in Dan).
- I drove the Mazda 3s 5-door at the “matched time gymkhana”. The time to shoot for was 27.000 seconds without going under. In the 3, I put the shift lever in “D” and to the left thinking it’d give me its sport mode. I found out I was wrong when I hit the rev limiter in 1st gear on the short back straightaway. It turns out there isn’t any “sport” mode by putting it to the side like a BMW Steptronic transmission. I had actually put the transmission in “manual” mode. That time on the rev limiter actually helped because I turned a time of 26.953 seconds. Since I was under the objective time however, the proximity of my time to the goal didn’t matter. The closest time recorded in the hour I was there was 27.014 seconds. The event staff said that someone turned a 27.000 earlier in the day. The course was too short to get a decent feel for the car. It seemed like it handled fairly well. After driving it, I still have a very position impression of the Mazda 3.
- The Mazdaspeed6 seemed like a pretty good vehicle. I wasn’t impressed with its acceleration or handling in particular, but the overall package and presentation are great. The target time was 34.000 seconds and in this case, it’d be great to go under. 2000 Star Mazda Series Champion, Bernardo Martinez, was there and turned a couple of low 32-second laps while I was waiting in line-one of the laps was with three passengers! On my lap, I missed my upshift from 1st to 2nd gear. I realized it when I let off the clutch pedal and got back on the gas after I thought I had shifted into 2nd. The engine just revved with no increase in acceleration-I was in neutral because the lever didn’t go all the way into the gate for 2nd gear! Instinctively, I rev-matched and shifted into 2nd gear but probably lost 1/2 to 1 second because of my mistake. I finished with a lap of 34.7xx seconds which I was still very pleased with because I knew I lost time because of the missed shift. I was still happy to be under a second off the target time. One more lap (after an hour plus wait I didn’t want to endure) should’ve been enough to get me under 34 seconds.
- The CX-7 simply was not fun to drive. Enough said! 240 hp via a turbocharged 2.3 liter inline-four simply wasn’t enough to move the SUV around in a spirited manner.
Overall, the Mazda Zoom-Zoom Live event was pretty cool. The time spent waiting in line was pretty long and the courses seemed too short. The Mazdaspeed6 course was decent because it had a variety of turns and provided a person with the best opportunity to get a glimpse of what the car is capable of. I also will say the time I attended (2 PM is when I got there) may have been more of a “peak” time in terms of the number of people who were at the event and thus, waiting in the same lines I was also waiting in.
For those who haven’t seen it yet, here are some spy shots of the 2008 Subaru Impreza hatchback/wagon. This is why I no longer want to get a Mazda 3.
The greatest blessing, highlight, and joy of my weekend was God carrying our brother, Anderson Chen, through emergency surgery at UCLA Medical (Tiff, you and I both know you should’ve taken him to LA County USC! j/k!) to remove a malignant tumor!
Here are some things I love about this guy:
- His birthdate is the day after mine – 06/27/1981 (Mine: 06/26/1981)
- He’s one of the very few people at church I can talk to about baseball
- He’s one of the even fewer people at church I can play catch with, pitch to, and hit off of (Tim Seargeant is pretty much the only other guy at church who can throw me pitches to hit)
While I was down from Thursday night and on about not getting the Incentives & Rebates Data Editor position at Edmunds.com, God used this to remind me of how much more there is to this life…than living and dying…more than just trying to make it through the day (part of a Steven Curtis Chapman song).
I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And I fall down again
I can sing ’cause You pick me up
Sing ’cause You’re there
I can sing ’cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I’ll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!