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Week ending August 26th, 2007
This week I went to grab something to eat with a friend whom I haven't seen in a while. He's known me now for about 10 years. He knew the "old" me, saw me perform in my bands, etc. We've kept in touch over the years and lately since I moved to SD we've had plenty of time to catch up. We jump in my truck and the conversation goes something like this:

H = him
M = me

H: "Hey man, how's it going?"
M: "Great thanks, what's up?"
H: "Not much. Nice bible..."
(One of my bibles was on the passenger seat.)
M: "Yep."
H: "Oh yeah, I've heard you're a Christian now. I'm frankly quite surprised. You and I used to think so much alike." (He is agnostic).
M: (Nodding)
H: "I've heard your kind of a (bible) 'thumper' now..."
M: "A thumper? (laughing) Oh -- you mean bible thumper. That's good to hear."
H: "Yeah. Well not so much a thumper, but you're not hiding it. That's really weird man. I mean, I can see the change. And don't get me wrong, I like it. You're a better person than you used to be. Night and day. It's just weird, you know, seeing you like this."
M: "Umm, like what?" (laughing again)
H: "You know. The opposite of what you used to be. You used to wonder if there is a god. Now you know? You're much calmer, you don't interrupt conversations anymore, you're a LOT less animated. Calm, cool and assured. I mean, I like the new you...but are you really a Christian?"
M: "I'm not sure what you mean by that..."
H: "You know. Are you sure you didn't do this for that girl you used to go out with?"
M: (laughing again) "I've been a Christian for three years now. She's been gone a long time. I did it for me. Besides, I was ready. It was time for a change. I realized how much I needed this when my mom died. That was really the most convincing thing."
H: "Oh yeah, I remember that. Sorry.
Me: "Thanks..."
H: "Wait a minute. Three years?"
M: "Well almost. This October will be three."
H: "Wow. Is being a Christian what you really want?"
(As he asked this question he looked me square in the eyes and I could tell he was searching to see if I was being honest)
M: "Of course. I'm happier than I've ever been and quite content."
(I returned his intense eye contact making sure that he knew I was serious.)
H: "Damn." (with a grin he says) "I guess I won't be seeing you in hell...."
M: (laughing) "There's still time to change that you know...."

The converstation was more in depth but that's the important parts. It was a really interesting chat. No, I don't hide it, but I don't think I'm much of a "thumper" either. When asked I don't shy away from it, but I also don't force my view on others. It was good we had this talk. I think that he understands better where I am coming from and why. It has separated me from some close friends (I was aware that might happen) and I am ok with it because it's made my true friends even closer. It doesn't mean I am lame or don't have any fun. He's gotten to see the fun part of my life as well.

On to the rest of the week:

What a week at work. I was part of a small but important presentation on Wednesday to some big-wigs from the Navy. I had the responsibility of presenting one piece of software and my teammate the other. We gave them a really good show. In fact, the Director of our entire group stuck his head in to say hi. That was some great exposure. My boss wrote me a note later that afternoon to say "Good job, they really were impressed!" Made my week for sure.

Speaking of work, I'll be in OC all day on Tuesday for my NetApp certification at Irvine Valley College. I took classes there back in '97/'98 so I know the campus fairly well. I'm looking forward to this certification because this plus having my EMC credentials will really boost my value to the company.

On the gym front my schedule is back to normal. I found a 24 Hour close to work that has the free weights I was looking for. Now I can work out during the week and have my weekends mostly free again. I tell ya, after missing the gym for basically three weeks straight I'm sore all over. But sore is good. Oh yeah, my weight is still going up too. :)

For a while there I was considering selling the RR and getting a 250GP bike. But after talking to a lot of pro riders I've decided I'm on the right bike. The problem isn't the bike, it's me not getting enough seat time. When I was doing the Saturday practices I dropped my time around 7 seconds per lap. In fact, my first Pro race I broke my personal best lap time three laps in a row. But since I stopped practicing it's really set me back. I was trying to make my tires last but I'll have to stop being frugal and just buy two sets per race weekend. I'm not going to be the king of the middleweight class and that's ok. I'd just like to be a lot closer to the guys up front. That will come when I get more seat time.

It was great to wake up to the rain this morning, by the way. We haven't had rain in a long time.

Lots of NEAT stuff happened over the weekend but I don't think I'll be posting about that. Some parts of my life need to remain private, as it should be. :)

See you next week and RIDE SAFE!

Week ending August 19th, 2007
This has been one for the books that you just have to laugh at.

Ever have one of those weeks where it just seems not much is going in the right direction? Well, lol, that was my week in a nutshell. In the past I used to get easily frustrated but lately I've been learning how fun it is to just laugh it off.

On Friday DirecTV finally shows up to install my dish. Turns out the first tech that came out basically didn't want to install it because it was late in the day and he wanted to go home. heh. Anyway, the guy installs the dish and we go to turn my TV on and it pops, smokes and dies. I have to buy a new TV which I did on the way back from Willow. Before I left I set the TiVO to record the MotoGP races. I get home, un box the new TV, plug it in and everything works. Great! Now for racing! NOT!!!!!! For some reason the DirecTV recorder did not record the race even though as I searched through the recording settings it's there, set to record.

Friday night I get a call from a friend. Haven't seen her since I moved. She leaves me the following VM message. "Hey, what are you doing this weekend? I'll be down in SD and wanted to see you while I'm there..." I'm thinking - "Well I'll be in Rosamond racing when you arrive. Have fun :)" I like being spontaneous as much as the next guy but not when I am racing. (See the racing page for this month's racing news which compliments the rest of this week's blog.) I finally had a chance to call her on the way back from Willow so we rescheduled for later.

Speaking of racing, on the way back one of the tires on the trailer literally EXPLODED right at the I-5 and El Toro road. I mean there were chunks of tire going everywhere. As I was pulling over on the off ramp I glanced in the side view mirror and had to admire how the tire grandiosely gave up it's life. No problem, right? I'll just grab the spare in the trailer and get going. So I pull the blown tire off and get ready to slap the spare on and --- it doesn't fit. D'oh. Now who sells a trailer with a spare that doesn't fit? (Or better yet: Who buys a trailer without checking to make sure the spare fits??? haha) I made the decision to leave the trailer there and go in search of a new tire. Firestone? Nope. Sears? Nope. Just Tires? NEGATIVE! I finally ended up an hour later at Pep Boys not far from where I used to live. $180.00 and two tires later I am back on the road.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling under the weather but I decided to race anyway. As you'll read on the racing page, that probably wasn't the best of ideas. (no, I did not crash, haha!) I didn't bring back any trophies but when you read why I was gridded at the back of the pack you'll laugh with me too.

What is going well is work AND the ride TO work. One of my co-workers lives on the way and we've been carpooling all week. It's been great. Saves gas, nice conversation and it allows me to enjoy my "Coffee Bean" coffee on the way. No complaints there.

As for the new place, the neighbors are extremely quiet and I hardly ever see them. At my old place in Foothill Ranch all the neighbors were very cool. They were always hanging around outside and were generally friendly. In fact, when I left one of them told me she loved me and was going to miss me a lot. I'll miss them too. The new neighbors are older and keep to themselves. Even when I got home late one Friday night -- not even a peep out of them. My guess is they are all retirees. :) haha.

That's it for now. I hope you got as big a laugh out of this week as I have. :)


Week ending August 12th, 2007
It's been really busy so this week's blog will be shorter than normal.

I have several "urgent" projects at work that need to be completed like -- yesterday so I've been buried. It's very similar to fire-fighting where I get one project after another and all are emergency fixes. I'm happy because it keeps me engrossed at the office so I don't even notice how late it is when I leave. And to top it off, I spend a good majority of my time in the lab which I really enjoy.

We went out after work on Tuesday. I played foosball which I haven't done in a long time. I was really rusty but it was good to hang out, eat and relax. It's one of the ways we build teamwork at the office. (And it's a great way to blow off steam too, haha).

Didn't get a chance to take the Bandit up to Palomar this weekend. Apparently I tore the heat wrap on the lower section of the headers when I loaded it in the trailer to move so I need to either pull the heat wrap all together or fix it. That requires pulling the lowers so it will have to wait until after I get back from WSMC next weekend. Definitely looking forward to that. It'll be good to get back out on the track.

Other than that, I am back into my normal gym routine. The first 24 Hour I went to down the street is too small. They don't have very much in the area of free weights so I am going to try the one closer to work. I'm also going to try working out at lunch time on M/W/F to see how that goes. Should save me time over the weekend to hang out with friends.

Church on Sat was great. I switched to their 6pm Sat service which works out great. The congregation is much less crowded and everyone there is really friendly. I think I'll keep going to this one. After that I cruised down the street from home to check things out. Have to say...this area is pretty nice. Looks a tad like the old place a little, only a lot closer to the beach. That reminds me, I have to jog down there in the am and catch the sunrise!

That's it for now. Sorry for the short update but I've been really busy and getting out more often. I'll try and write more later in the week if I have time....


Week ending August 5th, 2007

My first week in the new place and everything is perfect. The only real problems have been a neighbor who doesn't like me starting the Bandit at 7:00am (The association told her pretty much to "deal with it...") and DirecTV coming out yesterday but not installing my dish. The technician said that I don't have a decent view of the southwestern sky but the readings on the dish said that my signal is 80% (it's above the minimum of 70% DirecTV recommends). DirecTV said they'd send someone out again soon to install it so all is good. Can't miss my WSBK, AMA and MotoGP races!

I also got my internet connection set up on Thursday. Now I am wired and have access again. The cable here is faster than back in OC so that was a nice surprise. Now with the new connection I was able to fix the errors I had on the blog from last month.

Friday our company had a big picnic/BBQ by the beach in Mission Bay so we got a 1/2 day off. We played volleyball, football and basically hung around and stuffed our faces. It was good to chat with people away from work. Lots of really cool people.

After that me and friend stopped by Fry's where I basically bought a new computer - new motherboard, CPU, memory, video card, etc. I have a "top of the line" PC now. Testing it over the weekend it's in the 95th percentile of all the home based computers tested online. Now that's fast :) Definitely a huge upgrade compared to what I had before.

I got up early this morning to go check out a new church. It was pretty good. Definitely different than Saddleback but I expected it to be so. It's more along the lines of what I was looking for (Engrossed in the word, bring your bible, mmmk? If you don't, they hand you one). Everyone I met was very friendly and made me feel welcome.

I have basically unpacked everything except my room. The next thing after that is to sort out the garage and I'm all settled in. I think I mentioned it before but I really like the layout of the place. With my desk in the living room it gives me a ton of space in my bedroom. I even have a REAL dining room to put my kitchen table in. It looks like a real home and not just a bachelor's pad, especially since I junked so much stuff. haha. I'll post up some pics once everything is all settled. The view from the pool is awesome and I have yet to take a jog down to the beach. May do that early in the AM tomorrow.

Once I get my place situated I'll have some time over the weekends to run the Bandit up to Palomar. It's been -- sheesh -- about a year and half since I've been up there. Racing has sort of curved my street riding time (so did that long commute to work) but now I'll have time to go hang out and get a little FUN street riding in.

I also have to find a new 24hr Fitness around here. I think the closest one is not too far from work. I don't want to miss too much time at the gym since I've gotten into a groove and really seen some marked improvement.

Happy Birthday to my brother, Joe (Aug 3rd). Hope you and the wife had a nice time. (I can still kick your butt....haha)

This coming Tuesday would have been my mom's 60th birthday. I know all of us will be reminded of how big of a hole her loss has left in our lives.

That's it for now. I'm hanging with friends later tonight so we'll check back in with you later.


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