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Week ending March 25th, 2007
Late this past Thursday night I received a call from a friend. She was audibly shaken and very upset. She had a major issue going on in her life. My immediate reaction was to ask her if there was anything I could do to help. She told me she couldn't talk over the phone about it. I asked her if she wanted me to come over and be there for her but she declined saying she needed a female friend to talk to. Someone to sit with and comfort her. She didn't want to involve her family (or me for that matter) and she didn't have a lot of close friends.

I understood. Though my intentions are always well meant, I am no superman nor am I always the best person to talk to. I thought about it for a second and remembered a mutual friend (and a strong woman of faith) who would definitely be the best person to help her. Thankfully our friend did not hesitate to offer her help.

God works in His own special way - on a plateau that mankind just does not understand. I do know that whenever I feel like I have it bad on a particular day (such as a minor bruised leg), God reminds me there are others who are in much greater need. I can't even begin to speculate why bad things happen in our lives but I do know with absolute faith that He'll never give us more in our lives than we handle.

In other news I found out Friday morning I was approved for a home loan so that's great. I have started looking at a few places to buy versus rent. It seems that if I want an affordable home I won't be able to live as close to the beach as I'd like. No worries, the important thing here is to stop wasting money on rent and plan for my future. I'll either figure out a way to keep racing WSMC or put it off altogether. That would be a bummer but there are more important things in life than racing.

I've also started looking into some new Churches. As much as I love Saddleback, this relocation is coming at the right time. My desire to go deeper in the word isn't being met currently. Maybe that was another reason all the chips fell into place the way they have lately. He sensed I needed positive change in my life and therefore has guided me into a new city, a new job, a new home, new friends and eventually, a new Church.

Whatever His ultimate plan is, I have absolute and complete faith that everything is going to work out in the end.

Week ending March 18th, 2007
Hope your week was as fun and interesting as mine. I've been delving into work, sitting in on conference calls, ordering myself some new technical books and preparing for lots of lab time. I'm really enjoying the lab! There's so much stuff you can work with and it really feels like I am making progress. For the first time in a long time, I show up to work early and leave late. Gotta love it.

Of course I am continuing to look for a new place. Target move date is May 1st and I'm really excited to get this going. So far I'm not finding what I want. There are some good places, just not in the kinds of areas I want to live in. I'm trying to find a place close to the beach so that's what's making it harder. I've filled out a few mortgage applications and will probably use my VA Loan from my time in the Marines. If I buy, it may end up causing me to cut down my racing significantly but on the other hand, it puts me in really good position later on in life for me and my future family.

On Thursday night I headed down to WMSC for Friday's "Advanced Racer's Clinic". (Pics are HERE for the non race stuff) I stayed the first two nights in the trailer which felt a lot like camping. On the third night I decided that I needed a shower - badly (...sniff... "What stinks?!"), so I went to the Devonshire and camped there for the night. I have to admit it was pretty cool sleeping in the trailer...listening to the wonderful sounds of nature such as the Coyotes howling at the moon and the pleasant hum of hundreds of power generators - haha. Sleep?! Who needs sleep?! Let's RACE!

Saturday's practice was fun. I got myself back into the 1:33 range which is what I was running before I broke my collar bone. I think with a lot more hard work I can cut those times down even more. Amazingly it wasn't what I learned from the ARC class but from my pit neighbor - Jason Perez. He looked at my tires, asked what my lap times were, looked me in the eye and said "Dude, you just need to open up the throttle some more..." so I did and the lap times started dropping. I think some of that has to do with getting more seat time and being used to race speeds again. Before WSMC in February I had a total of one track day in seven months.

During all the down time between sessions and at night I managed to complete Job and am 1/3rd of the way through Psalms. God was definitely with me over the race weekend. Our race was the last of the day and it was quite eventful. Click the RACING page to read the full report.

More to come later but I wanted to thank my friends for helping me out this weekend. I had a blast and can't wait to do it again next month :)

Week ending March 9th, 2007
Life is good :)

Most of my time this week has been spent reading up on SAN technology and really coming up to speed with the kind of equipment I am going to be working with. It turns out most of it is larger versions of the stuff I've been working on for years so that's good. There's some familiarity that makes the transition a bit easier.

This week I got to spend some time with my friend, Derek, from Saddleback. (Might I add a NEWLY appointed Pastor/Staff member - congrats, amigo! He served many years as an intern for that spot and it was well deserved.) We worked on his bike and then he and his wife took me to Natraan's for Indian. WOOT! I was starving but even if I hadn't been the food was great as always. It was neat to peer into his life a bit and see where he has come from and where he is now. Great job!

This week I got not one but TWO games of golf in. One solo, one with Pastor Clayton from Saddleback. He's such a cool guy to hang around and it's neat to see him outside of Church. While he's every bit a spiritual man, he does have a great sense of humor and it quickly rubs off on you. Who says if you become a Christian life stops being fun!? If anything, Pastor Clayton and Derek both prove time and time again life just becomes BETTER! Let's get one more game in before I move, ok???

After golf I headed to the gym and worked out. I've changed up my routine adding in some new exercises (such as dead-lifting, squats, etc) to help shake the rut I am in. I gained 10lbs of muscle over the past 4 months (BFI went down, weight went up) and then hit a plateau so I was told to change things up and eat more. That, in addition to the new whey protein isolate I am taking (With water mind you! It has very little milk in it -- and if you know me even a little you know milk and me just don't get along, at all...haha!) is helping a lot.

Over the past couple of years God has a way of helping me reach others through "incidents" such as the lady I helped who rolled her Volvo on Ortega right in front of me, the homeless last summer, the DUI Hit and Run driver last fall and the following. With that in mind, let me tell you about something that happened today...

I leave the gym, hop on the Bandit and head home. As I come to the corner of Bake and Portola, ready to turn left, something catches my eye. It's an older woman to my right standing on the other side of the road. She's holding a sign, upside down I might add, that reads "Destitute. Homeless and jobless. Won't you please help me???" She was not dressed in rags nor pushing a shopping cart. On the contrary she looked like she went through a lot of effort to look the best she could.

I know some might be thinking "Yeah it's just a trick lazy people use to get out of work, druggies use for drug money or alcoholics use to buy liquor." Maybe. But for every one who is faking it I'm willing to bet there are 100 who are not. I'd rather take the chance and help someone (at the risk of losing a few dollars) then possibly leave them to starve. And if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a woman in distress. Call me a sucker, a sap, easily manipulated -- whatever. I don't care. I answer to a higher authority. That's someone's mom out there. Regardless of her situation, she needs help and a little kindness. Quickly I throttle over to the bank, grab $20.00 out of the machine and zip back to see if she's still there.

She was.

I pull over to the curb and give the bike a quick honk. She doesn't turn. Ok, it's a Bandit. Maybe she doesn't realize I am honking for her. I honk it again. She turns, slightly startled that I appeared out of nowhere. I wave her over.

I try and remember whom I represent as I open my mouth - no mincing words: "Do you believe in Jesus?"

"No..." she said, struggling to see my face through the helmet. "I just don't believe in that stuff."

Undaunted I reply "Did you know that you could get help from Saddleback Church, just down the road? They offer counseling services and they can get you connected with people who can offer assistance."

She looked at me as if I was about to give her a lecture. I understand. Not everyone is willing to listen to the good news and not everyone is open-minded. I've learned over the past few years that you will never force someone to come to know Christ. That's something they have to be willing to accept on their own. You just have to live your life with God as your co-pilot and others will want to know what makes you so care-free and happy. I know, I've been there before. I was a non-believer for most of my life thinking I did not need the "crutch" that God provided and could do everything on my own.

How wrong I was.

With a grin that sported a missing front tooth she replied "I just don't know, I'm not into that stuff."

As genuinely compassionate as I could be I replied "They are there to help you. You are under no obligation to stay, to take a bible or commit to Christ. They're there to help you get back on your feet."

"I just don't know..." she said, now with a noticeable frown.

"Here..." I replied, handing her the folded up $20.00 bill just retrieved from the bank. "Please go get something to eat and then walk the few blocks that way (pointing towards the Church) and ask to see a Counselor. They will help you."

She looked down, unfolded the bill and realized it was twenty dollars. It's not much, I know, but to someone in need it means a lot.

"Thank you!!!" she said, obviously happy with the fact my stop was not a "lecture" but indeed "help." I can't walk away from people in need, male or female, but after losing my own mom I couldn't ride away -- acting as though I didn't see her.

"It's not from me..." I said, with a smile"...it's a small gift from God. You know where the Church is. God bless you."

"I hope He blesses you too...." she said.

I wave goodbye, turn to look over my shoulder, drop the Bandit into first and quickly meld into the heavy traffic already clogging up Portola.

"He already has..." I say aloud to myself. Shifting though the gears the words echo off the walls of my helmet.

"...many times over..........."

Week ending March 4th, 2007
What a really great week. I am diving into the new career and liking it a lot. I've kept extremely busy and am trying not to get too inundated and keeping focused on soaking up as much as I can.

I've started earnestly looking into finding a new place. All I really want is a two bedroom with an attached garage (two car would be ideal) so I can set up a recording studio and remote office in the extra bedroom. A two car garage would give me plenty of room to store and work on bikes.

This week I got a game of golf in. I had been thinking about playing for a long time and just haven't managed to get around to it. This time I got off my duff and went and hacked away at that little round ball. Well -- I think I did more hacking of the fairway and rough than I did the ball itself. I am sure CMG&CC's groundskeeper is not too happy with my feeble attempts at intimidating Tiger Woods. I was more like "James Woods" on a bad acting day. hah. The funny thing is I used to play there a lot before I hurt my hand and I recognized the starter and a few other people who work there. Most of them have been there for 15+ years. It's was nice to chat and catch up with them.

Oh, I ended up buying some stuff for WSMC as I am now required to have a fire extinguisher handy (or they say they will ask you to leave!). So I bought one along with a cot and a new 10x12 shade. I was thinking I may try converting the trailer into a semi-camper/bike hauler. Not that I am too cheap to pay for a hotel but it makes sense for when I want to go to dirt biking as well. I can do some riding, camping and bring my telescope to do some star gazing. How cool is that?!

As for reading, I'm up to 1st Chronicles. I've also been reading up on my networking material. You can say that I'm up to my ears in reading but I am enjoying the peace and solitude.

That's it for now, have a great week! As always, any news and updates will be posted on the front page.

PS: For those asking "What's the deal with sword on your front page graphic?! Are you now a Rossi fan?!" - NO! haha. The sword does represent a new beginning. A change in life, conquering your fears, overcoming obstacles and basically making the most of the life God has given you (for His glory). The sword is symbolic of the determination to give God complete control of my life...


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