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Week ending May 25th, 2008
What up G? Funny, I started saying that again when I began this new job and (I've been there 16 months so so I guess it's not new anymore) whenever my friends at work come by to say hello that is the greeting they give me. "What up, G?!" I guess the people you hang out with DO rub off on you!

Busy week and a busy Sunday today. I got a lot done in the garage, cleaning it up, arranging it the way I like it and making more room to wrench on the bikes. The Bandit got a tune up and a thorough washing/waxing. I may ride to Palomar in the AM just to run it through the paces. The more I look at the paint job the more I am disappointed with it. The clear coat is bubbling up all over the place and I can't polish it out. I may see if I can find a local painter who is willing to take on the job on of repainting it -- and the wheels too. The bike runs just fine (it screams as a matter-of-fact, as do most four-bangers, haha) so I don't need to worry about the engine.

The RR needs some love too. I need a new set of rubber and then I'll see about going to Pahrump or Buttonwillow here soon. Haven't been to either track in a long time and I remember how fun they are. I've gotta ring up the bros and see what they are up to. Not you, John, Mr. Wedding Guy. (SUCKER!! - j/k)

Work was busy as always this week and we've made some headway on the major projects. We finally got our new boss as well so that's good. He's a pretty easy-going guy and seems genuinely concerned with whether we're able to do our jobs (versus the administrative stuff we have to do) and if we like what we do. He actually paid me a compliment on my -- what he calls -- "forward thinking" in regards to the long term storage needs of the customer. "You think like an Architect" he said. "Ever thought about being a Lead Engineer?" Uhhh.... heck yeah! We've really got to change our storage philosophy. I've already put my ideas out there and everyone so far seems to be on board. These projects could be crucial when it comes to re-bid time. One thing is for sure, I am going to have my hands full here soon -- and that's the way I like it. Challenges make for fun, interesting work. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't back away from a challenge.

Yesterday Mr. Lee Strobel paid a visit to Horizons. If you don't know who Lee is, pick up the book "A Case for Christ" which is one of the first Christian books I ever read and had a major impact on my faith. He makes a very strong case for Christianity and how the facts, the witnesses and the historical evidence does in fact prove that Christ rose from dead on the third day. The Church was jammed packed. I even got there early and still had to park at the Catholic church next door (oops). It was mostly standing room only in there. But the message was great and I really enjoyed listening to what he had to say, especially in regards to his overwhelming transformation from atheist to "God Fearing" man. If you ever had doubts, read his book!!! And Eric, I got your message you left on the guest book. I hope you get back to Church soon my friend and hope all is well.

Also, I would like to express my condolences to the Steven Curtis Chapman family. One can only imagine the pain your family going through right now. The song "What Now?!" really meant a lot to me and the words alone tell the story of your adoptions so clearly. May God ease the pain.

That's it for this week. Hope you guys are doing well and remember the mantra: "Keep 'er shiny side up!"


Week ending May 18th, 2008

Yep. That's right. Our company was purchased on Tuesday for the cool sum of 12.9 BILLION (yes, with a B) dollars by a very large computer manufacturing company. Apparently this company wants to compete with IBM and as such, they needed an IT firm like ours. So, I have a new employer. It's all good, I think. What we do is vastly different than who bought us so we hope there aren't many changes to personnel. Either way I think most everyone will be ok as we have some very diverse and hard to come by skills.

It's hot today. I just got back from making a grocery run (haha, yeah I do buy groceries) and man it was super hot outside. I was thinking about hitting the pool but I had so much music related stuff to take care of today that I didn't get to it.

I've been riding the Bandit to work every day this week. The weather has been superb and I am saving a ton of cash versus taking my Tundra. Speaking of which, my lease is up in February and I trying to decide if I want to keep the truck (most likely option) or if I want to go with the newer version of the Tundra. Mine is an 06. So yesterday on the way back from an appointment I stopped by the Toyota dealer and took a look. I like the crew cab but the rear door is really large on that thing. Even the rear seats can lean back. If I start a family one of these days, I suppose I would have all the room I need, lol.

I didn't end up driving a new truck home since I still have 9 months left of my lease. I did kind of chuckle a little bit with the dealer. They were talking about the new Ford ads where they say they have finally matched Toyota's quality While I doubt that, it does say something about Ford itself. Aren't they basically admitting that their vehicles have been below standard for many years? It sure sounds that way to me. That is what has kept me from buying American made cars for years. Not that I always keep my vehicles but I want to know my truck isn't going to leave my stranded and with Ford, Chevy or Dodge, I never really had that sense of reliability (and I've owned them all).

On the riding side, I am looking at perhaps Buttonwillow or Pahrump here soon. I haven't been to either track in a while and given I am feeling pretty good (especially after getting some lessons from Dowie) I feel like I should go try some other tracks and see how I fair. Last time at Buttonwillow I did in the 1:50s and at Pahrump I wasn't too far off the race pace so it's all good.

Church was great on Saturday. We had a guest speaker and he was pretty awesome. Hopefully he comes back soon and finishes the stories from Africa.

Well that is about it for now. I recorded the MotoGP races so I want to check and see how my boy Hayden did. Hopefully he's not getting his "front end tuck" habit back. (Boo Pedrosa-bot! haha).

Have a good week!

PS: My phone died this weekend so I had to get a new one (It has GPS, WOOT!) So if I don't call you for a while you know by now that I've probably lost your phone number.

Week ending May 11th, 2008
How busy can it get? Well, I'll tell you...

First off, this has been a GREAT week. It started off when I headed out Sunday night to the track. The BIG, FUN track called Willow Springs. You know, the one where I broke my collar bone and got the concussion? The one I race on? Heh. Well anyway, I stopped in OC and met up with Alex for a little while. I actually got there kind of early (around 8pm) so I had some time to read and watch a little TV before hitting the sack.

I made it to the track at around 7:30am. I really don't pay attention to where I park. I just find a spot and start unloading. Well this time I ended up right next to Robbie Dowie. If you don't know him, he's a super fast WSMC racer. He has a brand new Toyota Tundra that he won racing, so you know dude is fast. Anyway, I pitted next to him and we got to chatting a bit about racing. He followed me around a few sessions (before Brant showed up and they had a little friendly sparring on the track). Anyway, he gave me a lot of really good tips and before I knew it I had gone as fast as my race times....on shagged tires. That says something. All I need to do is focus and be smooth and the speed comes. It's when I think about going faster that I end up going slower (kind of like my golf swing, when I think about it, I slice.) So the next time I race, on new tires, I think I'll be able to bust that 1:29 mark I've been toying with. Not bad for a 600 that is mostly stock!

Anyway, at one point he was following me and out late-braked me deep into turn one. To be a smart-aleck, he wheelied his ZX-10 (a much more powerful bike than mine) out of the turn heading into turn 2. As I watched (the squid inside me loves wheelies -- whether I do them or someone else does) I happened to look up (not a good idea when doing 100+ MPH) and what do I see but a B-2 Stealth bomber. That's the big one that looks like a giant bat. Anyway, my first thought was "HOLY CRAP! A UFO!" Then I laughed out loud at myself. I thought "Hmmm, turn 2 is coming up fast, better pay attention" and proceeded to lay the hammer down. Exiting turn 3 the rear tire lit up good and the bike got all sideways on me but I managed to save it. It was near the end of the day, the tires were way past hammered and I decided to bring it on home.

I managed to get a full day of riding and I learned a lot more about what has been slowing me up (mostly bad drives out of corners). Either way, I had a BLAST. The weather was perfect, the tires stuck (for the most part), I rode fast, only got passed by a few super-fast guys in the race group and I felt back at home. Nothing clears my mind like getting my aggressions out on the track.

Tuesday when I showed up to work I had to catch up from taking a day off. I have a really big project that is due for certification so I ended up working 12 hour days to make up the time. The project was completed, it's ready for certification and it will make a really big impact on the Storage for our company. Needless to say this week was full of accomplishments and of course, there is always room for improvement. One big one down, many more big ones on my plate. It's ok, I enjoy the challenge and love what I do for a living (for once!)

I'm working on learning a few songs for this band that wants me to fill in. They know that I am helping them out and that I am not interested in a long term gig. I decided long ago that the night club environment wasn't healthy for someone so new in the faith and I stand by that decision. It's one of the best I've made for many, many reasons. :)

That's about it for this week. My legs aren't sore anymore from the track (learning to use my legs more for braking and cornering) so I am ready to hit the gym tomorrow and work my tail off. You guys take it easy and John, yeah the date is coming up fast. Remind me where you are registered so I can get you both a wedding gift, mmmk?

Happy Mother's Day to my mom. May she rest in peace.
And happy Mother's day to all you moms out there.

See ya!

Week ending May 4th, 2008
Howdy everyone! How's it going? Today is Sunday (when I usually write my blogs) and I am packing up my stuff and getting ready to head out to Big Willow tonight for a day of zipping around the track.

Things have been going really well lately. Can't complain about anything. As usual work is keeping me extremely busy and that's a good thing. All my projects are in for certification so that's a really good thing. I am going to be working with the test team starting on Tuesday through the rest of the week to get everything done. One sad thing about work is I have a friend who no longer works there. He's the guy who recruited me so it's going to be a bummer not seeing him around.

Yesterday morning I got up at the crack of dawn to go play some golf at Admiral Baker close to downtown (in fact, it's about a mile away from the Charger's stadium). I actually did pretty well for someone who hasn't played much in the last 8 years. If you remember, I hurt my hand pretty badly back in 2000 when I was in my "golfing prime", playing 2-3 times a week. My handicap was around 12, so on average I was shooting an 80-84 (8-12 over par). Yesterday I shot an 88. It was funny because I was terrible the first 4 holes (double bogey on each) and then all the sudden it clicked. From then on I shot 10 over through 14 holes. Not bad considering I never shot worse than bogey on a hole. So overall an 88 isn't too bad all things considered. My golfing partner, Jack, shot an 80. He's real good and even he was surprised at how my game has improved. That's all the motivation I need to play more. haha.

Everything else is going well. I went to the Men's group on Monday at Horizon but to be honest the format and discussion, although good, I just couldn't relate to. There's a couple other groups I will try out and see how that goes.

I've been riding the Bandit to work and saving a ton of gas money in the process (not to mention I cut my commute time down significantly - well maybe not THAT much, haha) I go from about 14mpg to 42mpg. I can go a week and a half without having to fill the bike up so at $4 a gallon I am saving a ton of money. That just means MORE RACE TIRES FOR ME! XD

Well I should finish packing and stuff the RR in the trailer. I'll definitely watch where I park the bike so I don't have another incident like last time. He really smacked my bodywork good. So much for all that hard work on the paint job. I was going to repaint the bike but that will have to wait until I either find a sponsor or just stick to doing track days. And to be honest, I think I like track days better because you're not waiting around all day to get one or two sessions in. You can ride many sessions and get your money's worth.

Stay safe out there and if I like the photos from tomorrow I'll post 'em up. Have a good rest of your week.


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