Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Audi Driving Experience

This year's Audi Driving Experience was much better than last year's. Instead of just one measly lap around the race track, we were able to drive about 3.75 laps around the Auto Club Speedway track with the new 2009 Audi A4's. Also, we were able to drive around an autocross track in the parking lot with the A4's along with their direct competitors: the BMW 328xi, Lexus IS250 AWD, and Mercedes C300 4Matic AWD. Last year, we just drove the Audi line-up around the autocross track. It was kinda chaotic because you have to quickly get in and get out of the cars so that everyone can get a turn driving the cars within the short time allotted. This year seemed better organized.

They split the group into 2 different autocross tracks while another group got to drive around the Speedway Track where some NASCAR races are held.

One track went clockwise while another clock went counter-clockwise. I liked the counter-clockwise course better. It seemed better laid out. I had no problem on that one and was able to drift around the first big turn.

The clockwise track was a different story. This course seemed to be laid out entirely wrong. The turns were just not proportioned properly for great drifts. I love stomping on the gas pedal and really making the cars scream out in pain. Unfortunately, when I was driving the BMW, I mashed the throttle trying to drift around the last turn but the car understeered horribly into the cones. I got a scolding by one of the instructors. Hopefully, I'll be invited back next year.

All the cars were All Wheel Drive (AWD) so that we can compare the Audi Quattro system to the competition. The Mercedes C300 4Matic was last place in my book because of the soft suspension. The car seemed to fishtail around corners. The Lexus IS 250 AWD was 3rd. They should have had the IS 350, but they said that would make it much more expensive. So, we got the underpowered IS 250 which was sluggish getting to the first major turn. In 2nd place was the BMW 328xi. It was excellent handling (except for the part when it understeered into the cones), but the Audi A4 Quattro performed the best. Their new Audi Drive Select System is awesome. You can select between comfort, auto, and dynamic. It can also automatically sense changes to your driving and accommodate the input accordingly. You can also manually change individual settings like accelerator response, shift points for the automatic transmission, amount of power steering assistance, steering ratio, the electronically adjustable shock absorbers, and a number of other chassis settings just like in a race car. There is a ton of technology packed into this car. The new 2009 model looks elegant on the outside, and I still think that Audi's have the best looking interiors out of all the other manufacturers.

The Audi A4's handled pretty well along the Speedway track. I love the way it handled. If only I could have driven the RS4 or the R8. That would have been awesome.

After driving the awesome new A4's around the track, we were able to sign up to drive a different car from Audi's line-up. I was able to drive the TT and the A3.

I had an absolute blast drifting around the turns in the TT. That little sports car is a ton of fun to drive. The track was just perfect for testing out the handling capabilities of the car. About 4 cars followed closely behind the instructor in a paceline. The TT was just so nimble I was able to flick it around turns and mash the throttle for some drifting action. The A3 was pretty good too for a station wagon. I'm sorry I think it likes to be called a sport wagon, especially since it was Audi's S-line, which is their sporty line.

This was definitely a fun event to go to especially for car maniacs such as myself. Last year, I was able to drive the S5. The new 2009 A4 looks like it was modeled after the A5/S5 except with 4 doors. I can't wait for next year.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pasadena Marathon

There were no actual fires in Pasadena during this latest batch of L.A. wildfires, but the Marathon was canceled due to very poor air quality. The afternoon before the race, you could see smoke across the entire sky of L.A. I went to the Marathon Expo the day before and nobody said anything about canceling. The air quality got worse as the day progressed. There were so many fires going on at the same time: Montecito, Santa Barabara, Yorba Linda, Brea, Corona, Diamond Bar, Placerita, Sylmar. It seemed that L.A. was in a warzone with all the smoke in the air.

I still biked to the marathon bike tour by 6:00 a.m. When I got there I saw people on bikes, but there weren't that many people. When I asked when the race was starting, someone told me it was canceled due to the smoke. I think it's going to be rescheduled to another date. I had some time, so I biked to church by 7:00 a.m. and then biked back home in the late afternoon. There was so much nasty smoke in the air, it felt like I smoked a pack of cigarettes after my bike ride.

I feel bad for the thousands of people who lost their homes in the fires. This a tough time with the economy falling apart and now the fires burning L.A. County. Most of the homes that burned down are located near the mountains. Now I know never to buy a home in the hills...if we can ever afford to buy a home in L.A. Homes in L.A. are still ridiculously expensive despite all the foreclosures.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

2008-2009 Sunday School Classes

The Sunday School Faculty: James JDSN, John, Ji Yeon, Pearl, Hye Jin "Grace Bae", Soo Jin, Tony "PonJin", Jun, Eun Jung, Sarah, Kate, HeeJin "Irene", Grace Lee, Michelle "MJ" "Moon Jung", Jenny, Sharon, David.

5th Grade Class: Teachers: David, Jun, Michelle.

6th Grade Class: Teachers: Eun Jung, Kate.

1st Grade Class: Teacher: Jenny.

1st Grade Class: Teachers: Grace Lee and Grace "Hye Jin" Bae.

4th Grade Class: Teacher: John Moon.

3rd Grade Class: Teachers: Tony "Pon Jin" and Soo Jin Koo.

3rd Grade Class: Teachers: Sharon Park, Pearl.

2nd Grade Class: Teachers: Sarah, Ji Yeon, Whoony (Not Pictured).

Also not pictured: Joseph Teacher (4th Grade).

Here are the pictures of this year's classes. Everyone looks really great! Thanks to Jay for taking the professional pictures. Click on the pictures to view a larger image.

4th Wedding Anniversary

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary. I can't believe it. The years go by so fast. It's like a dream. On one hand, time went by so quickly. On the other hand, it's hard for me to imagine my life without Sarah. I can hardly remember what life was like before I married Sarah. My single years are like a distant memory now. Well, I've always had a bad memory. I'm always thinking about the future and not the past. This blog helps me to remember the things I've done in my life.

Since Sarah works until late at night on many weekdays, including today, we went out yesterday when she was not scheduled to work. We went out to one of our favorite local Japanese restaurants. After that we ran some errands at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. Whenever we go shopping, it feels like we've been shopping all day long.

It's my blog's 4th Anniversary as well. I wanted to make a new template for the 4th Anniversary, but Sarah said my template was fine. That's cool with me, because I just don't have time to tinker with different layouts and stuff. I kind of get obsessive with stuff, and that would take a long time. It feels like my life is getting busier and busier all the time. It's hard to get all the stuff I want to do and get done accomplished. I'm always running behind. Such is life.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Holy Eve

Everyone had a blast at the Holy Eve celebration on Friday, October 31. We had a rousing worship and praise time. Then, we had delicious snacks. Finally, we had a night of fun relay games.

Most of the pictures are of children praying since it was a lot easier to take pictures of them when they're sitting still. The pictures of the games turned out to be too blurry due to shutter lag and speedy kids.

Celebrating Holy Eve at church with our friends was so much better than going out and trick-or-treating. It was a lot safer and wholesome than wandering out at night in dangerous neighborhoods.

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