Archive | April 2007

Almost owned (0wn3d/Pwn3d)!

Tonight as I was driving to Bible Study Fellowship in San Gabriel, I almost got into an accident on the East LA Interchange (10 East to 5 North to 10 East).

I was trying to merge into the #3 lane from the #2 lane in front of a red BMW E46 M3 Coupe who was going from the #4 lane to the #3.  I was traveling about 65-70 mph.  I passed him safely and had my right blinker flashing the entire time.  I began to make my lane change and the car that been in front of the M3, a white late-1980s to mid-1990s Mitsubishi Galant (I think), started to come into the lane I was already moving into.  The fine fellow driving the car did not signal whatsoever (or it did not have a working one).  I already was well in front of the chap–his left front fender was adjacent to my right rear door.  Because I was looking over my shoulder while making the lane change, I was able to quickly snap the car back to the left to return to the #2 lane to avert what seemed like what was bound to be sure contact.  I’m glad that the car didn’t get unsettled at all during the sudden maneuver!  I didn’t hit the brakes at all (which probably would’ve unsettled the car by shifting the weight to the front while it was accelerating laterally) and only had to steer the vehicle to avoid the other car.  It happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to think, just react.  This reminds me of a line from my favorite movie, Top Gun, where Maverick (Tom Cruise) says as he’s getting critiqued in a debriefing session, “You don’t have time to think up there.  You think.  You die.”

I was able to safely make my lane change in front of this guy 5-10 seconds later once I was totally in front of him.  I will confess I raised my right hand to gesture, “What are you doing?!” after I had safely taken up the position in front of the car (I know.  Shame on me!).  He then made another lane change to his left to get into the #2 lane and sped off in what I think was an unsafe manner.

Thanks to God for watching over me in this incident!  It also makes me think again about the “gut feeling” I sometimes get when I feel like something is going to happen (refer back to one of my mid-August 2006 entries).

You know you’re a part of the rat-race in your commute when…

  1. You regularly see the same vehicles traveling on the freeway in the opposite direction
    -There was a blue 1998-2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe I would regularly see in the #1 lane of the 10 East.  We would always wave to each other when we saw each other.  Sadly, I haven’t seen this “brother” in a few weeks.
    -I still see a red 2003-2006 Mini Cooper S Mark II with a red with white stripes livery and a rally racing-style number on its doors
    -I used to see a red 1993-1997 Chevrolet Camaro with a dent in its front bumper area everyday
    -I spot a red 1994-1999 Toyota Celica with a USC front license plate frame, a USC parking permit in the left front corner of the front windshield, and a license plate number starting with “3K.”  When I first saw it, I thought it might be Lisa Higaki (Xanga: higakichan), but realized she wouldn’t be driving that way at that time.  The lady inside it also doesn’t look like Lisa.
  2. You see the same vehicles traveling with you in the same direction
    -Motocycles who ride by – I can tell the fellow “rats” in the rat race because they zip by me regularly with the same riding jackets (Alpinestars, Red Bull Moto GP, etc.)
    -Other vehicles with stickers on their rear windshield and/or license plate frames I recognize I’ve seen before

So even though I’m a part of the rat-race in my ~24-mile (old tires…new tires ring up about 23.65 miles on the odometer each way) commute, I don’t mind being one of the rats since (by the grace of God) I am usually looking forward to going to work that day!

A little late but worth the wait…

He (Jesus Christ) is risen!!!

I just got the new Geoff Moore album, Speak To Me, today in the mail.

I also received new Ferodo DS2500 front brake pads to use for the track day I will be going to later this month.

A legend has been reborn – the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX

I also wanted to give thanks and praise to God for finding out yesterday Angela Lin (Xanga: sarkie12) and her long-time boyfriend, Steven, are now engaged!  Steven used “If You Could See What I See” by Geoff Moore & The Distance (song written by Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman on the album Ev-O-Lu-Tion) to propose to Angie.  The man has definitely got good taste!!!

Birthday Greetings for today, April 6, 2007, go out to Ted Low (Xanga: Strikezone), Karen Jeng, and Jason Lau!

Most importantly, today is Good Friday.  It was “bad” for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but “good” for all of His followers.

Philippians 2:1-18 (New American Standard Bible)

Be Like Christ

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

Once again I look upon the cross where You died
I’m humbled by Your mercy and I’m broken inside
Once again I thank You
Once again I pour out my life

Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross, my Friend
Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross, my LORD

You’re listening to “The Wonderful Cross” off Chris Tomlin’s The Noise We Make album.  If you can’t hear it playing, you can listen to the song here.

The Wonderful Cross
Words by Isaac Watts (who originally wrote “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”), Chris Tomlin

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near and bless Your name

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all

More 2008 Subaru Impreza Photos

Impreza 2.5i hatchback

Impreza WRX sedan (Yes, I know it looks like a Toyota Corolla. )

Impreza WRX hatchback

Quick rant:

Why do so many members of our church choose not to attend quarterly business meetings and/or last Friday of the month prayer meetings?  It is a privilege and honor to partake in God’s business!  By the turnout I see everytime, it’d so discouraging and disheartening to see the number of people that are there pales in comparison to how many could (as in are able to) be there, especially with the number of people who are members of our church.

It just doesn’t make sense to me!

It was cool to hear Pastor Ted (Xanga: deadkau) refer to dying for Christ like I kind of mentioned in last night’s entry.

Who wants to go with me to try to see and hear Geoff Moore in concert on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at Loma Linda University Church at 7:30 PM?  I am going to try to see if I can start work early (7:30 AM) and leave early (4:30 PM) so I can try to make it out that way.  I haven’t seen Geoff since the summer of 2003.  I miss him a lot!  It would be very nice to see him again-as if I was being reunited with an old friend!

I’m feeling the need…the need for speed!

I’ve been getting the track day itch again and I think I’m going to scratch it.  I plan on signing up for Redline Track Events’ track day at Buttonwillow Raceway on Saturday, April 28, 2007.  I’m interested in seeing what kind of lap times the Bridgestone Potenza RE-01Rs (P225/45R17) will produce compared to the Bridgestone Potenza S-03 Pole Positions (P215/45R17) I used the last two times I went to Buttonwillow.

Here’s a photo of me braking for turn 1 at Buttonwillow in May 2006:

Who would like to come along with me?

Speaking of the track, I went to California Speedway last Wednesday with some of the editorial staff to observe them conduct vehicle testing.  I got to drive the company’s long-term 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS home Tuesday night and to the track on Wednesday morning and a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser from the track on Wednesday afternoon to home and back to the office on Thursday morning.  The testing itself was conducted by Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton (who previously came from Motor Trend), and Senior Road Test Editor, Josh Jacquot (who previously came from Sport Compact Car).  We used the vast expanse of one of the California Speedway’s parking lots and its dragstrip behind the north end of the track.

The vehicles tested were a 2007 Lexus LS 600h L, 2007 Lincoln Mark LT, 2007 Cadillac Escalade EXT, 2007 G35 Sport Sedan (6MT), 2007 Kia Amanti, 2007 BMW X3 3.0si, 2007 Land Rover LR2, and the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS.  Chris tested the first four vehicles on the list and Josh tested the last four.  Each driver stayed with the same four vehicles for all the tests.

The tests conducted were acceleration (0-60 mph, 1/4 mile), braking (60-0 mph), slalom, and skidpad tests.

My favorite shot of the day:

Chris Walton drifting the G35 Sport Sedan around the skidpad (Gotta love the graffiti-ridden railroad cars in the background!)

Josh was cool enough to take me in the G Sedan through the slalom a couple of times and drifting around the skidpad.  That was so awesome!!!   Chris and Josh both have amazing car control skills!  I also had a great time talking to Dan Edmunds, our Director of Vehicle Testing, who used to race a Honda CRX and a spec Mazda Miata.

My Photobucket album from the test is located here.

Here’s a sample of some of the things that went on.

First, all of the vehicles were weighed.  Here’s the Outlander tipping the scales:

Chris driving the Lexus LS 600h L around the skidpad:

Here’s Chris giving the Escalade EXT the same treatment because even ballers need to know how well their vehicles can handle when they need to hustle and flow on the go (Chris tested the Lincoln Mark LT before the Caddy, but I felt taking photos of it was not worthy of the camera’s memory card storage space.  You can also see the FJ Cruiser I drove back to the office in the background.):

During the slalom test, OnStar actually called Chris to make sure he and everything was okay!  Chris thinks the countersteering/opposite lock he used going through the slalom might have prompted the call thinking the vehicle had been in an accident.  It was interesting to see that the Lincoln Mark LT fared better through the slalom, but couldn’t match the Caddy in terms of lateral grip around the skidpad.  Before Chris tested them, I incorrectly assumed the Caddy would be better in both tests.  The Caddy’s stability control may have been another reason why it was hampered in the slalom test.

Chris muscling the G35 Sport Sedan (notice how the car is a little sideways) to the slalom finish (light transponder on the ground by the cone):

Josh then came over (I didn’t watch the acceleration and braking tests) to put his four vehicles through the “wringer.”  I felt the Kia Amanti was not worthy of being photographed.  Here’s Josh circling the skidpad with the BMW X3 3.0si Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV and not SUV, as BMW wants you all to think of it as):

The X3 put up quite impressive numbers through the slalom and skidpad!  I was expecting it to do well, but was honestly surprised with the times it turned.

Here’s the Land Rover LR2 (a.k.a. Freelander) zigging and zagging through the slalom (just leannnn into it!):

Here’s the Mitsubishi Outlander XLS going through the slalom and around the skidpad.  As far as I know, I believe he tested the vehicle in its FWD (front-wheel drive) mode and not any of its AWD (auto or 50/50 lock) modes.

The new 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX hatchback sure has been receiving a lot of flak for its look over the course of the last week.  Here’s an article on Inside Line on all the (negative) buzz it has created on the Internet – 2008 WRX Takes Heat.

Have I ever mentioned I LOVE working at Edmunds?!  Thanks to and praise God for His sovereignty and grace!

Two entries in one day!  This must be important!

I just watched The Passion of the Christ for the first time tonight, the eve of Palm Sunday.  I thought it was a pretty good movie with some artistic license used here and there.  I think the creepy-looking evil dude and the freaky baby could’ve been done away with.  That’s not in the Bible!  I can’t imagine having to write a screenplay with dialogue between characters that’s not in the Scriptures.  I also don’t understanding why subtitles weren’t used for everything being said.

Seeing how Jesus Christ suffered for me and all those who received Him, those who believe in His name (John 1:12), made me realize one thing, I don’t know squat when it comes to suffering for Christ.  Watching the movie, I also thought about what it would be like to die for my faith.  I’m pretty confident I would never renounce Him no matter what, but when push comes to shove, would I really?  It’d be easy to die quickly.  That wouldn’t be a problem.  But what if I was tortured to renounce my faith?  Would I have the “guts” to not deny my Lord and Savior?  I actually tried to visualize losing a finger.  Just imagine if Jack Bauer was trying to make you renounce your faith in Christ!

This reminded me of one of my life verses I’ve had since my junior year in high school.  Philippians 3:10-11 (New American Standard Bible) says (boldface added):

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

I miss hearing the song “Lord, I Want to Know You More” played during musical worship.

I also wanted to give a birthday shout out to my man, Yoshio Osaki (Xanga: yoshi329) who turned 26 on Thursday, March 29, 2007.  We’ve been great friends since Kindergarten at Pilgrim School.  Without hesitation, I’d say he’s the best friend I had at school for 12 years of my life (I went to Punahou School in Hawai’i for 7th grade).  I love him like a brother and am privileged and honored to know him and be his friend.

“Birthday greetings” (if you grew up in the First Chinese Baptist Church system, you’re probably familiar with this little tune) also go out to Jonathan Lim who turned 15 today!

The Florida Gators took care of business tonight.  I am pleased.  I’d say more, but I would like to respect my Bruin brethren out there.

In closing, I would like to officially say:

I HATE eating rice pretty much everyday!!!

Just think of all the rice we consume and how that could go to those starving around the world!

Good night!  Fight on and God bless!

Fight on to victory
Fight on for ol’ JC