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Week ending April 29th, 2007
The flight and car rental has been paid for so it looks like I am flying home at the end of June. It'll be good to visit my family as I haven't seen them (except for my sister) since my mom's funeral. Dude, I seriously need to get home more often. Sorry, gang! Looks like fun in the sun is on the agenda. Golf, swimming in the lake, fishing and a trip to Bush Gardens (woot!) along with some meeting and greeting of old friends and a big BBQ!

It's going to make my schedule a tad tight as I am staying in OC until the end of July. I'll miss it here but I'm really excited about the move and the direction my life is headed. I've already made a bunch of new friends at work (they're all really good people and have taught me a ton about SANs in such a short time). It was pretty easy to find those who share my faith as well. In fact one of the guys has invited me to attend his non-denominational Church to see what it's like.

This week I picked up two new assignments. One is relatively easy (HBAs) and the other is a lot tougher (SQL database requirements). The work really has me excited and engrossed in what I do. Lots and lots of time in the lab (which is huge and contains rows and rows of servers) make the days fly by. I can't remember a job that felt like a hobby as much as this one does, even when I put in 12 hour days. Granted, working on (or racing) bikes would have been the ultimate but while I did have an offer to be a shop manager for a large dealer, the salary left a lot to be desired. I have to think long range for the benefit of my family. I'm really happy with my job, the company and the location (San Diego is a great town!).

My neighbors are so cool. They keep reminding me I am leaving and say they will miss me. I like them too but the 84 mile one way drive (or ride in my case) is just a tad much. It's forced me to switch my workouts to the weekend as I just don't have time during the week. Add in Church on Saturdays, race weekends, lots of biblical reading (finished 2 books already in the past month) hanging with friends, golf, bike work, dinners with friends, dating, etc and my schedule is packed.

I also plan on a few track days at Buttonwillow and Pahrump and may try the Streets WSMC series at least once this year since I've never been there. The RR is well suited for Streets (so they say) and the participation is smaller so that makes for a good race weekend.

Off to get some sleep. I am driving to New Mexico tomorrow. Should take me about 11 hours to make the trip then I have to rush and catch a flight back. Busy week indeed.

Later, Gators! :)

Week ending April 22nd, 2007
Two funerals in the span of three weeks.

Not good...

Last weekend at the WSMC races my friend, Chris McCauley, crashed in turn 8. He was launched off the bike, over the turn 8 wall and onto the access road for Streets of Willow. He never regained consciousness and died the next day at the Hospital. The funeral was held this past Thursday and was a fitting tribute to a good man. A man of God, a great husband, father and friend. There were about 600 people there and I did take the opportunity to say a few words on Chris' behalf. I had not know him for a long time but he made an impact on my life.
May his family find comfort, peace and solace in their time of loss. It's extremely heartbreaking to look into the eyes of a child who just lost a father.

Though I did OK at the races and scored my first top 10 finish in one of the most competitive classes (I'm a small fish in a very big pond), I could not find any reason to celebrate. Losing a friend (friends even) certainly puts life in a different perspective. Racing is fun but not at the expense of your life when you have a family that is depending on you. I've already made a promise to my friends and family (who did ask me to quit racing by the way). I told them that if I go now, I go with a smile on my face doing something I love (Chris did too). But if I one day have a family I will put away the racing leathers. I will not stop riding but I will try and reduce the risk. I would not want to leave my kids fatherless.

As for life in general, I have no complaints. Things have been great. In fact, I'm having a have a hard time remembering when life has been so good. Though the recent tragedies have been an eye opener in many ways, I know God has a plan for us all. His plans for me are good and I know that. I've been blessed in so many ways that I find myself constantly saying "Thank you." I've been walking around with this big smile on my face and people are wondering why.

Things just aren't like they used to be and that's a good thing. My attitude, my perspective - all has changed for the better. And all simply because I've placed my faith where it squarely belongs...

There are pictures up from last week's WSMC races (No, I am NOT flipping off the camera guy, I was giving him a thumbs up!). The racing page also has the lowdown on the race.

See you next week.

Week ending April 15th, 2007
This past Thursday I received a very surprising call. It was from the man who the drunk driver I chased down last fall hit (read the full story HERE). The call was very unexpected. "Hi Brian, you don't know me but...." It was great to hear from him. He is doing well. His Prius was totaled in the accident and I guess he had good insurance because he said he was well taken care of. The woman that hit him did NOT have insurance and was driving (drunk, mind you) on a suspended license. He said he wanted to thank me and all I could say was that he was welcome and The Lord was watching out for him, his wife and his three kids. I still don't think what I did was out of the ordinary even though he insisted it was. I just did what I think anyone would do in the same situation.

Work has been going great! I spent all of this week in the lab (Tues-Thurs) working some solutions to our SAN 3 and SAN 4 product offerings. What I have learned is I have stepped into some amazing technology at the right time. The things I am learning are on a very high engineering level and it's going to take a lot of time, patience and studying to get it all down. I've been taking the Bandit to work every day (it's cool to come out for lunch and see people gawking at it saying "What is that?!" and "That's not a Honda!" haha.) and have been averaging 44 mpg. Not too bad! It takes me about 1 hour and 5 minutes to make the trip (one way). I've been wearing headphones (bad, I know) so I can listen to the radio. That makes the ride more bearable.

The status with my apartment is still the same and my work has been very understanding about the situation. Unless I want to blow my savings (of which the moving expenses are tax deductible) they're OK with me staying here until the lease is up at the end of July. Maybe this is a good opportunity to give me more time to seek out a nicer place or go ahead with the plans to purchase a condo. If I do buy, it will definitely need to have a two car garage. I plan on setting up a personal bike shop in there :)

This was WSMC weekend and the race report can be found on the RACING page. I arrived at Willow at noon on Saturday and only got in a few practice sessions. Jeff Tigert helped me with my setup. That was great as he is always busy but managed to find time for me. Thanks, Jeff! I made the mistake of getting my Devonshire reservations too late and they had no rooms so I had to stay at a Motel 6 in Lancaster. Bad idea. Apparently that's the "party" hotel. I'll say no more about that. Just don't stay there if you need sleep.

Also, some of my friends came to support me this week and they had a great time, even if the weather was terrible and they had to wait all day to see me race. Thanks for coming, gang!

As always, pics will be on the site when they are available. Have a great week!

Week ending April 8th, 2007
After days of trying to negotiate with the complex I live in, it seems they are bound and determined to make me stay in my apartment or pay a huge fine to leave -- and I don't have much of a leg to stand on. Apparently I am stuck here until the end of August unless I can find someone to take over the lease before then. Even so I would still have to pay what amounts to an extra month's rent. That's like, three plus sets of racing tires I could buy instead - LOL. The bad part is I had a really nice place picked out close to the ocean with a big back yard (so I could have a dog), a place to store my trailer and yes, even a bigger garage.

The good news in all this is that my new employer is very understanding and is going to allow me to work remotely on Mondays and Fridays and travel the rest of the week to the office until I move. I need to be there so I can spend more time in the lab. The lab is just flat out awesome because every new (and old) piece of equipment is in there for me to experiment with and come up with new solutions. Some of the people I work with actually have patents for their designs. I work with an amazing group of very intelligent and experienced co-workers and they're all very cool.

To follow up on the story last week, my friend is hanging in there as best she can. I've been chatting with her every other day and keeping her in my thoughts and prayers. I wish there was more I could do.

Pastor Rick brought up a good point this weekend about faith and those who don't believe. He was in a debate with an atheist and during the conversation he said "Would you say that of all the knowledge in the Universe, man has been able to grasp only about .01% of it?" (In other words, 99.99% is still unknown to man). The atheist replied "Yes, of course. There are many things we still do not understand." Rick replied "So based on only knowing .01% of all there is to know in the Universe you mean to tell me you are absolutely 100% positive there is no God?" Kind of hard to argue with that point, huh? :)

See you next weekend at Willow Springs. I'm excited! Going to try and make it through these next few races without being hit and/or crashing so I can move out of "nervice" class. I had lessons from an AMA racer last weekend in which he said my lines and form were fine, I just need to apex later and stand the bike up sooner. He said I am losing 3-5 seconds per lap on that alone. I'll practice that on Saturday and hope it translates into better lap times.

Week ending April 1st, 2007
This has been a tragic week for a very close friend of mine. I pray that she and her family find comfort and solace. I'm at a loss for words to explain what happened or why. In fact, I'm just simply at a loss for words.

I'll be headed to Willow Springs early tomorrow morning for practice. My trainer-to-be had a minor incident and can't make it so I'm flying solo.

Talk to you soon.

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