Archive | March 2008

Note to self: I’m no Josh Jacquot

I like to think of (Senior Road Test Editor) Josh as Edmunds’ “Drift King.”Unlike Josh, I lack skill and experience when it comes to driving a car sideways.At my fourth visit to Buttonwillow Raceway (Configuration #13 Clockwise) last Saturday, I was unable to catch my car in a slide—something Josh probably could have done while holding his kid in one arm and changing a diaper. Thankfully, my day didn’t end there as I was able to enjoy a full day at the track.

I spun in Turn 1, a.k.a. Sunrise, on the third lap of my first session.Setting the rear Koni strut inserts too stiff was what I believe did me in.Running at the track with Japanese STI springs (257 lb.-in. front/217 lb.-in.) and Koni adjustable strut inserts for the first time, I erred by setting the front and rear strut inserts to almost “full firm” states.I incorrectly assumed stiffer settings would be the optimal ones.In hindsight, I probably should’ve started with a “full soft” setup and stiffened the inserts up according to how things went on the track.

Some people said maybe my tire pressures were too high or my tires weren’t warm yet.The tire pressures were the same as what I usually run at the track. Regarding the tires not being up to temp yet, the Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R tires seem to produce my best laps on the second and third laps of each session.In addition, when I spun, I didn’t even enter the turn at a full clip.

As the car initially broke loose, I thought it would regain its composure with minimal steering correction.Once I realized the slide was becoming more pronounced, I cranked in some opposite lock, but it was “too little, too late.”I even laid into the gas hoping the power to the front wheels would pull the car out of the slide.Unsuccessful in my attempt, the car spun about 270 degrees without any major drama.

After the first session was over, I removed the rear seat from my car using a 12mm ratchet wrench to undo the two bolts for the lower seat and four for the seat back.Seat removal was necessary to access the top of the rear struts where adjustments could be made to the Koni strut inserts.I changed both of the rear Konis to a 50% firm setting hoping that would provide the car with more rear grip and thus, keep it from breaking away from me.

The car handled much better in the second session, but I never got fully comfortable with it.It was still a little too skittish in Turn One and slid more than I’d like exiting the right-hander while descending the hill out of Cotton Corners.To remedy the former situation, I softened the right rear a little bit more.I stiffened the left rear to try to reduce the slipping and sliding through the latter situation.

From that point on, I didn’t need to make any more adjustments to the car for the rest of the day.In the fourth session of the day, I turned a lap at 2:11.745, which was 0.470 sec. better than my previous personal best of 2:12.215 on April 29, 2007.I honestly don’t think there’s much left in the car (maybe a ½ sec at the most?), but wouldn’t mind if Chris or Josh would like to prove me wrong one day.

Full photo gallery here:

For your viewing pleasure, the in-car videos I recorded may be watched below.

Note: There’s a lot of wind noise because the organization running the track day required all windows to be down to minimize the amount of glass that would shatter in the event of a rollover.

Video of my first session at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on March 29, 2008. Because I had set the Koni strut inserts too stiff, the car was looser than what I’m accustomed to running on the track. As a result, I spun in Turn 1 at around 5:00 into the clip.

Best lap – 2:25.804

Video of my second session at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on March 29, 2008. In-between the first and second sessions, I removed the rear seat and softened both of the Koni rear strut inserts. Because of the number of cars, it was difficult to get a clean lap. I was glad I was able to get one in this session. I still wasn’t fully comfortable with the car in Turn 1 and Turn 5. In T1, the car wasn’t as stable as I’d like. In T5, the car was sliding too much, which slowed my exit out of that turn and into the “bus stop.”

Best lap – 2:12.917

Video of my third session at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on March 29, 2008. I was late getting onto the track because I got gas late. During the lunch break, I asked to transfer from the “regular” intermediate group to the fast intermediate group so I could get more clean laps. This was my first session with the quicker group. In an attempt to improve the car in Turns One and Five, I softened the right rear strut insert a little and stiffened the left rear strut insert. That was the last change I made to the car’s setup that day. :o) The lap time didn’t show I was happier with the setup, but I felt more comfortable pushing the car with the new settings.

My new friend, John Reynolds, who owns a 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI and came to the track with a bunch of Mk IV R32 people (he used to own one), rode shotgun.

Best lap – 2:14.027

Video of my fourth session at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on March 29, 2008. This was my best session of the day as it provided a lot of clean laps. As a result, I was able to record a new personal best lap time.

Best lap – 2:11.745 (New personal best – previous PB was a 2:12.215 on 04/29/2007)

Video of my fifth session at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on March 29, 2008. I got held up by a few cars in this session. At the same time, it’s a good video of how “passing” works at an open track day. I was really suprised I turned a high 2:11.

Best lap – 2:11.879

This, the power of the cross

The Power of the Cross
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend 
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev’ry bitter thought,
Ev’ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
“Finished!” the vict’ry cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Thank You, Jesus, for fighting on to victory!


Help wanted

I’m looking for a ride from’s Santa Monica office to LAX on Tuesday afternoon.  I’d like to get to the airport around 3-3:30 PM PDT.  What’s in it for you?  I’ll treat you to lunch or dinner, whichever you prefer.  Please let me know ASAP if you’re interested in helping me out.  Thanks!

I’ll be heading to Buttonwillow Raceway for a track day on Saturday, March 29th.  I’ve booked a two person (two queen bed) room at Motel 6 for Friday night if anyone is interested in tagging along.  If you want to ride along, you’ll need to wear a SA2000-rated or later helmet.

Nintendo Wii Table Tennis – Go Dave!

Check out fellow Trojan Dave’s cool video about getting into Table Tennis for the Nintendo Wii!


More information here –

David Crowder is my friend

He can be yours, too!  His Xanga is emprise34.  I submitted a friend request and he (or whoever manages his Xanga account) was kind enough to add me.

I took Francis Chow and Josh Chen to see the David Crowder Band and Tyrone Wells last Saturday night.  It was a pretty cool concert!  My arms got tired recording the DCB’s entire performance.

David mentioned that the band would be in the foyer after the concert for people to meet them.  I figured it would be cool to be selfish and try to meet them.  I mainly wanted to meet David and Bwack, the drummer (who I found out is left-handed).  When I met David, I just said I was grateful for what God has done through the band’s music, specifically how God helped me focus on Him through the song “Foreverandever Etc.”  I also mentioned I was at DC/LA 2000 which was one of their first major gigs.  He replied saying, “So you’ve been following us from the early days,” or something to that effect.  After that, I said, “Hi,” to Bwack and told him he rocked.

Here’s Tyrone Wells performing “Sea Breeze.”

If you end up watching some of the other clips I shot, you’ll hear me singing along as the DCB performs.  Warning: I don’t sound good at all in them.  But what really matters is I tried my best to praise God!

Watch where you’re going

Tip of the Day: A person will usually steer his or her vehicle to go wherever he or she is looking.

Here’s a video of my run down Glendora Mountain Road back on February 18, 2008.  One “issue” I had during it was looking ahead with my eyes instead of looking at the rear of Jon Mak’s 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.  This gave me greater respect for professional race car drivers who need to focus on the racing line and keep track of the other cars in front of them at the same time.  I basically had to mentally force myself to keep looking ahead instead of the rear of his car.

Here’s an excellent article on Inside Line by Mac Demere about using your eyes properly as a driver.

The Eyes Have It: Visionary Tactics for Smooth, Quick Driving

See how I’m not looking ahead into the turns and beyond.

Here are some examples of professionals looking ahead.

Al Unser, Jr. at Long Beach in 1991

Gil de Ferran entering the Corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?

Last weekend, Larry Norman died at the age of 60 in Oregon.  He wrote one of my favorite songs, “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music”.

Below is a video of Geoff Moore & The Distance performing this song in their hey day with a cameo by Mr. Norman himself.  Geoff celebrated his birthday back on February 22nd.  You can check out what he’s been up to at

Why Should the Devil Have All The Good Music
Written by: Larry Norman (1977)
Album: Small Corners (1978)
Geoff Moore & The Distance Album: Ev-ol-u-tion (1993)

I want the people to know
That He saved my soul
But I still like to listen to the radio
They say that rock and roll is wrong, we’ll give you more chance
I said I feel so good I gotta get up and dance

I know what’s right, I know what’s wrong, I don’t confuse it
All I’m merely trying to say is
Why should the devil have all the good music
I feel good every day, I don’t want to lose it
‘Cause Jesus is the Rock and He rolled my blues away

They say to cut my hair
They’re driving me insane
I grew it out long to make room for my brain
But sometimes people don’t understand
What’s a good boy doing in a rock and roll band

There’s nothing wrong with playing blues licks
If you’ve got a reason tell me to my face
Why should the devil have all the good music
I’ve been filled, I feel okay
‘Cause Jesus is the Rock and He rolled my blues away

I ain’t knocking the hymns
Just give me a song that has a beat
I ain’t knocking the hymns
Just give me a song that moves my feet

I don’t like none of them funeral marches
I ain’t dead yet 

Jesus told the Truth
Jesus showed the Way
And there’s one more thing I’d like to say
They nailed Him to a cross
And they laid Him in the ground
But they should’ve known you can’t keep a Good Man down

I feel good every day
I don’t wanna lose it
All I wanna, all I wanna say, all I wanna say
Why should the devil have all the good music
I’ve been filled I feel okay
‘Cause Jesus is the Rock and He rolled my blues
Jesus is the Rock and He rolled my blues
Jesus is the Rock and He rolled my blues away

Who wants to see the David Crowder Band at Azusa Pacific University next Saturday (March 8th) at 7 PM?  Please let me know ASAP if you’re interested.

The disappointment of not getting the Associate Editor position at hasn’t been a big one.  God has ministered to me a lot through the band’s song “Foreverandever Etc.”  The chorus of the song has had a huge effect on me.

The clip below appears to be from Harvest Crusade 2007 at Angel Stadium.  Check out the KEYTAR(!) David is playing!

Foreverandever Etc.
by the David Crowder Band from the album A Collision (©2005 Six Step Records)

Love so incredible to know
It’s never gonna go
You’re never gonna go
Love too impossible and true
For anyone but You
For anyone but You

I think I’m on the brink of something large
Maybe like the breaking of a dawn

Maybe like a match being lit
Or the sinking of a ship
Letting go gives a better grip

I’m finding everything I’ll ever need
By giving up, gaining everything
Falling for You for eternity
Right here at Your feet, where I want to be
I am Yours

Love so indelible to know 
It’s never gonna go
You’re never gonna go
Love too unthinkable and true
For anyone but You
For anyone but You

Forever and ever and ever and ever and…