Archive | April 2007

Happy 26th Birthday to Hanley Liu!

Below is how I will choose to honor him tonight!  They are photos of the cars he’s driven (not the actual cars)!


The Padres lost to the Dodger$ today (Sunday) in 17 innings.  The Pads totally did not deserve to win today’s game.  This season, the “bad” blue crew has won 4 out of 6 games so far from the “good” blue crew.  The bright side of this is I think the Dodgers won the first series or two from the Padres last year and then the Padres ending up winning 13 out of the 18 meetings between the two teams last season on their way to a second consecutive National League West pennant (there was no tie last year.  Dodger fans are the only ones who think there was.)  I don’t bleed Dodger blue.  I bleed Padre blue!


I’ve been trying to get a little more exercise lately.  I joined a Sunday night basketball team and my company’s Monday night co-ed softball team.  I’m just out there to have some fun and get some exercise.  I don’t subscribe to the Al Davis “just win, baby” mentality.  I’ll just say I was a lot better at basketball when I was in high school than I am now.  That’s not to say I was any good in high school; I’m just saying I’m pretty bad now.  It’s hard not knowing all the intricacies and strategy of the game.  Then again, this is coming from someone who believe “bball” should only refer to baseball because it’s the original “bball.”  My knowledge of the games of baseball and football are exponentially greater than my basketball knowledge and familiarity.  On the softball diamond, I’m not as good as I am playing baseball because of the major difference in what’s needed to hit successfully (generate your own power versus using the velocity of the incoming pitch, wait (forever) for the ball to come to you, etc.).  We’ll see how things go!

It’s crazy to think I used to be fast (while not driving an automobile).

Mission accomplished…for today!  For life, God’s still working on me and others!


I turned a 2:12.215 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park (config #13 clockwise) this afternoon in less than ideal (read: hot) conditions.  My previous best was a 2:12.678 on a cool day.  The transponder I was using didn’t record any lap times for one really good session I had.  I may have gotten into the 2:11s, but none of the laps from that session were recorded.  Nevertheless, I’m still very satisfied with setting a new personal best!  I would have to say the greatest difference was the grip provided by the Bridestone Potenza RE-01R tires (P225/45R17) I was using (previous tires were Potenza S-03 Pole Position in P215/45R17).

Some of you out there may wonder how my interest/enthusiasm/passion for automobiles, mere worldy objects, may give God glory.  I believe the people in these circles such as my workplace, the local Subaru group I’ve lately been trying to hang out with on Wednesday nights, and track day people, are all people God can use me to be His light to and love.  They’re a great crowd and I just want to see them have the same awesome relationship with and life in the one and only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  These circles make up what I believe is my mission field for now.

Photo Gallery here: http://s79.photobucket.com/albums/j121/USCTrojan4JC/04-28-2007%20Buttonwillow%20Raceway%20Track%20Day/?start=all

GO PADRES!!!

Look what just got installed in the game room at work today!

(the actual units we have are not pictured above)

EDIT: Don, we have two units which allow for head-to-head competition.  I set the fastest time for the Vegas track already!

It’s not a realistic driving game/simulation, but it’s sure better than nothing!

The 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI?  (Note: the pictures below are merely “photochops” from Road & Track)

I love it!  Road & Track‘s preview comparison of these two vehicles from their June 2007 issue can be read here: http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=31&article_id=5211


I did a tech and safety check on the car tonight after I got home from small group.  I’m pretty much ready to attack the track on Saturday!


The Dodger$ have lost four in a row!  The Padres had their chance to capitalize by failed last night (Wednesday night) and tonight (Thursday night).  They remain one game behind the Dodger$!  How about those San Francisco Giants though?!  Go Bruce Bochy!  They’re now tied with the Dodger$ after completing their first three-game sweep of the Dodger$ at Dodger Stadium in five years!

Mark Prior had season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Tuesday. 😦 Here’s to a smooth recovery process until next February!  Even if a pro baseball career doesn’t work out for him, he still has his USC business degree to “fall back on.”


Another one bites the dust!

Today, Jon Mak told me Steve Mar got a 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX Wagon.  He got a nice black one from Santa Monica Subaru.  Welcome him to the Suby/Scooby/Subaru family!

Speaking of my Subaru family/community, I’ve been going out to dinner with them on Wednesday nights.  They’re a great bunch of folks–some more “interesting” than others. 😀  I just hope God can continually use me to be their friend and His light to them.

I brought a kid home with me on Thursday night…

I’ll try to make this a quick entry since things are slow here at work for now.

During Geoff’s concert, he shared about the continued efforts of Compassion International around the world.  Listening to him, I thought about the good situation that God has currently placed me in and figured it wouldn’t be a burden at all to sponsor another child through Compassion.  So I went to the table during the intermission and started talking to Dana Weaver, Geoff’s guitarist.  He didn’t remember me from DCLA 2003 in Sacramento in July 2003 which was okay.  I don’t blame him since he’s seen thousands of people since we dropped him and Geoff off at the Sacramento airport.  What finally jogged his memory was that a friend and I made a late night In-N-Out run to get him something after he and Geoff performed because he didn’t have dinner yet.  I guess In-N-Out food can have a lasting effect on some people who can’t get it like we can!

At the table, I knew I wanted to get another boy from Brazil because Brazil and its people appreciate good race car drivers and racing.  I picked a kid named Felipe (just like Ferrari’s Felipe Massa) whose bio mentioned he enjoys playing with cars.  No, I didn’t read his bio before I selected him.  I only had two criteria.  The child must be a boy (sorry, girls) and from Brazil.  Now that I’m sponsoring him in addition to Jardel, I really need to get on the ball and write to these kids!!!

After the intermission, Mark Harris, who used to be a member of 4Him, performed.  He was pretty good and was definitely very passionate about the music he played and sang.  It also made me think I should pick up some of the group’s older albums.  As a finale, Geoff and Dana came back out and those of us in the crowd (pretty small – 50-60 people I’m guessing) all sang “How Great Is Our God.”  I thought about recording it, but figured that song is all about God and I should focus on worshiping Him over trying to get some video of Geoff, Dana, and Mark performing it.

Once the concert was all said and done, I waited around for Geoff for a few minutes.  When he came out, the first thing he did was give me a big hug!  I guess Dana had told him I was there.  Geoff told me he went jogging earlier in the week wearing the USC t-shirt I gave him in 2003 and that he wondered what I was up to because of that.  We caught up a little, but other people wanted to talk to him and I didn’t want to take him away from that either.  After he was done with them, we chatted some more and he signed a CD for me “for old times’ sake.”  I wanted him to sign a few more that I could give to others, but it was already pretty late and I understood that he and Dana both have had a long day as they flew into LAX from Nashville earlier the same day.

The drive home was nice and wide open.  Getting to the church earlier in the night was a different story.  I left Santa Monica at 6 PM (even though I originally was planning to leave at 4 PM) and got to Loma Linda (about 75 miles east) around 8 PM when Geoff was just starting.  While I was going through downtown LA on the 10 East, I was pretty tired behind the wheel and basically feel asleep for a second or two (I woke up early that day to get into work early which I did, but got buried with a request for advertising which kept me there until 6 PM).  The car began to veer slowly toward the center divider (I was in the number 1 lane going maybe 20-25 MPH in traffic).  When I’m tired or lazy driving, I usually place my fingers at the lower two spokes (there’s four on 2002-2004 WRXs, three on 2005-later) at the 5 and 7 o’clock positions (yes, I know that’s not the proper 9 and 3…btw, folks…10 and 2 is WRONG, even if the DMV handbook says it’s right).  I had a muscle spasm like the ones you get when you’re trying to fight falling asleep and somehow ended up honking the horn of my car.  If I had a 3 spoke steering wheel, my fingers probably wouldn’t have depressed the airbag cover and thus caused the horn to sound.  That honk woke me up so I could rein the car back in.  After that, I’m sure my heart rate shot up quite a bit and you can be sure I was WIDE awake the rest of the drive out there.  Getting out there in 2 hours was a very nice surprise because I was expecting it to take 3 hours had I left at 4 PM.  I also just missed a big accident on the 10 East at Baldwin that I heard about on the radio just a handful of minutes after I passed the Baldwin exit.

Now to quote a line from one of my favorite movies of all-time, Cool Runnings, “You know what Sanka (the push cart driver played by Doug E. Doug) always says?  Get back to work!”

I have today off!  Thanks to God!

I had a long day at work yesterday (Thursday), but the night I had more than made up for it!  I’ll write about the details later.

April 2007

July 2003

Listen To Our Hearts – Live

Every Single One – Live

God used the aftermath of the Columbine shooting for His glory (Cassie Bernall, Rachel Scott).

God used the aftermath of September 11, 2001 for His glory.

May God use the aftermath of yesterday’s (Monday’s) tragic shootings at Virginia Tech for His glory as well.

God causes all things to work for good for those who love Him, according to His purpose/will.

Romans 8


Who wants to go up to Buttonwillow Raceway with me next weekend?  I plan on driving up Friday night and staying at the nearby Motel 6.  I will drive back down to LA Saturday night after the track day is done.  I’d like to book the room soon so please let me know ASAP if you’re interested.


I went to Sunday night’s Dodger$ vs. Padres game where the Dodger$ won, 9-3, on Jackie Robinson Day (I will continue using the $ sign until the Dodger$’ payroll is over $100 million).  The First A.M.E. Church gospel choir sang “O Happy Day” and replaced every mention of “Jesus” with “Jackie.”  I’m tempted to e-mail the church.  Should I?  I would think someone in the choir should’ve said something about how wrong that was!

I will post at some other time about the degeneration of sports fans.  Many sports fans just have no class these days.


More YouTube goodness for ya’ll!

How Great Is Our God – Chris Tomlin (Psalm 104)

To go faster, first you must stop better

My friend and former co-worker from Pacific BMW, Hanh, helped me changed the front brake pads and bleed the brake fluid of the car this afternoon.  Replacing the front brake pads was actually easier than I thought it would be!  The awesome thing is that this will save me a considerable amount of money that would be spent on labor in the long run!  The new brakes pads that went in are a set of Ferodo DS2500 brake pads that have served me very well the last two times I went to Buttonwillow Raceway.


I meant to post this awhile ago, but never got around to doing it (there are a few other things I know I still need to post about).  On March 12, 2007, Leslie (Xanga: BreadPlease) mentioned she really enjoys watching videos on YouTube.  So do I!!!

What does it feel like to be filled with the Holy Spirit?  Your mileage may vary.  Here’s what I think it’s like to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  There’s just something about live worship and praise with thousands of people that’s so awesome!  When I watch these videos, I often get a feeling I can’t totally describe.  It’s like getting goosebumps, but totally not goosebumps.

David Crowder Band @ Harvest 2006

There Is No One Like You


O Praise Him

Harvest is also really important to me because God used it to bring me back to Him in August 2007.  As far as I’m concerned, it was when my relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ really took off.  My best friend Steve (Xanga: rice4krxst) accompanied me on to the field that evening that changed my life forever.

I also got this same “feeling” during our Good Friday service.  The songs weren’t really any of my favorites.  The execution of the praise & worship band wasn’t especially good in any way.  I was just overcome by what I think was the Holy Spirit.  I felt like I had a weird tingle in my arms, especially during “Amazing Love.”

Now this “feeling” isn’t something that I feel often. I’d say I experience it less than five times a year.  But when I do, it’s so awesome!  Sometimes it leaves me literally speechless that I can’t even sing along to the song.  When I am left speechless, I’m reminded of the song “Speechless” by Steven Curtis Chapman and Geoff Moore.  Its chorus says:

(And) I am speechless
I’m astonished and amazed
I am silenced by Your wondrous grace
You have raised me
You have saved me from the grave
I am speechless in Your presence now
I’m astounded as I consider how
You have shown us
A love that leaves us
Speechless

There was also a time in the summer of 2001 when I was praying with a group in the Serve Folsom (as in the city Folsom, CA) project that I felt like someone placed their hand on my back while we were praying.  After we were done, I looked to see if anyone had been behind me and nobody was there.

Something else that is really dear to my heart is worshiping God through music in my car.  There in my car, I feel a freedom I don’t really find anywhere else.  After all, it’s my home away from home!  Seriously though, in my car I am free to sing, clap, and shout as my act of worship to God.  I really wish I could say I feel the same freedom at church, but I don’t.

It bugs me (probably because I’m a stickler on a lot of things) that we sing songs with words such as “stand”, “lift up our hands”, “bow down”, “dance”, and more while we just sing those words as if they’re just mere words and nothing more.  So if any of you reading this ever feel the same thing, “Don’t hold back!”  If you’re sitting and you sing the word “stand” and think and feel, “This isn’t right.”  Be compelled to break out of the mold and follow your heart and mind to give our great God the worship He alone is worthy of!

I invite you to stand and lift up your hands in front of your computer (not to worship the PC, but God (because we all know Macs are whack! j/k) or bow down and worship Him now in conjunction with this sweet video!

Holy Is the Lord – Chris Tomlin (Nehemiah 8:1-12; Isaiah 6)

So today’s question of the day is:

What does being filled with the Holy Spirit mean to you?

I’m sure there’s a wide range of ways you all can respond to this question.

Pressed but not crushed…

The Los Angeles Dodger$ walked all over the San Diego Padres tonight by a score of 9-1.  The Pads will get them back tomorrow and on Sunday (on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball)!


Pet Peeve – Clapping on the off-beat

People clapping on the off-beat drives me crazy!!!  What I really can’t figure out is how people can clap on the off-beat when drums are being played.  If they just matched the timing of the snare drum (in most cases), they’d be okay!  I’m sorry to say even members of our church’s choir were clapping on the off-beat during worship songs on Easter Sunday.  I thought those who are more musically-inclined/skilled would be a lot less likely to clap on the off-beat.  I obviously thought wrong.

My church’s grade for clapping on-beat (from A+ to F-) is a Z-!

This rant has been made in jest for the most part although clapping on the off-beats really bugs me…a lot!

GO CLIPPERS!!!

The stiff arm: Not just a football move anymore.  Corey Maggette: Step aside, son!  Let the man come through!


I saw the driver of the Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe I previously mentioned yesterday (Wednesday) during my morning commute and we exchanged customary waves!  I didn’t see him this (Thursday) morning because I went in to work early so I could take a long lunch to attend the “Beyond the Road” event at USC put on by a marketing class participating in Subaru’s Project Acceleration challenge for the second straight year.

SCoobys on SCampus!

Gallery can be viewed at: http://s79.photobucket.com/albums/j121/USCTrojan4JC/04-12-2007%20Beyond%20the%20Road%20at%20USC/?start=all

Speaking of commuting, tonight when I left the office, there was still heavy traffic on the 10 East (it took me about an hour to get to Downtown LA from Santa Monica – it’s usually a quick shot if I leave the office at 7 PM or later).  I listened to KFWB 980 AM (and its “traffic on the ones”) for at least 40 minutes hoping to hear something about an accident or incident on the Santa Monica Freeway.  They didn’t say a thing about the heavier than usual congestion.  On one hand, there weren’t any accidents or incidents that should slow down traffic.  On the other hand, perhaps they think it’s okay to not say anything because they assume most people who use it regularly accept the congestion as a given.  Not cool KFWB!  Can anyone reading this relate?


Good idea…Poor execution

Has anyone seen the new 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer (not Evolution) commercial?  I must confess.  The car is styled quite aggressively and I like how it looks even though it represents “The Dark Side” (Mitsubishi Lancers and Subaru Imprezas are like UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans – don’t play well with each other! j/k).  In the commercial, two guys keep driving through freeway on- and off-ramps for fun because the car handles so well.  Good idea!  How is it poorly executed you ask?  Every right turn the car makes shows its occupants leaning to the left due to centrifugal force.  That’s supposed to happen you say?  If the driver and his passenger really knew what they were doing, they’d be leaning into the turns as demonstrated below.


Just leannnnn into it!

Getting back on track (pun intended), we had a Mitsubishi-supplied Lancer that looked just like the one in the phot above for evaluaion purposes last week and this week.  Inside Line (http://www.edmunds.com/insideline) Executive Editor Michael Jordan said, “The Lancer is a nice thing to be inside — the low cowl gives good visibility and it is just the right size.  It kind of leans hard on the outside front tire and lifts the rear — a kind of measure to compensate for its long wheelbase, yet feels very good.  And I agree, it looks very, very good.  The Evo X is pretty spectacular, despite the big grille.”

We haven’t published our Full Test of the new 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer yet, but you can keep checking Inside Line regularly to see when it does go live!  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll see some other things you like as well!


Ford Recalls More Than 500,000 Escapes for Engine-Fire Risk

Ford has some great names!  I like to say, “Driver Returns On Foot,” which is Ford backward.

Some other great ones:

  • Fix Or Repair Daily
  • First Out on Race Day
  • Found On the Road Dead

But it’s not just Ford’s name itself we can have some fun with!  They’ve had some great model names over the years.  My favorites include:

  • Ford Explorer, which became know as the “Exploder” to some after the Firestone tire chaos surrounding it.  Matt Quan (Xanga: mattyq) even survived a rollover in one (Firestone tires were not the cause of it)!

  • Ford Escape – If its engine catches on fire and you can’t escape from the vehicle, that would be tragic irony indeed.

  • Ford Flex – Basically Ford’s renamed Fairlane concept, you can almost guarantee Funkmaster Flex is going to get his hands (not that he needs to with the seemingly useless junk on the vehicle already)…and name on this one!  You can read Inside Line‘s article about the 2009 Ford Flex
    here.
  • Ford Five Hundred – For Model Year 2008, the Five Hundred becomes the “new” Ford Taurus.  What a sad way to resurrect a name.  At least Chevrolet’s 2009 Camaro will live up to its name well.

I better hit the sack!  Fight on (for ol’ JC) and God bless!