Stories from California: Bishop

I realized that my living in California is not a matter of chance or coincidence. There is a purpose for being where you are, doing what you do, meeting the people you meet. Thus I’ve taken upon myself a new mission - to speak with, discover, and deliver the voices of amazing people I meet in various cities in California. In this blog, I bring you three short stories from Bishop: a former marine turned country songwriter, a teenage fly fisherman, a group of sunburnt men hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Road Trip: Seattle

Seattle... land of online giant, Amazon, Starbucks, 1980s grunge band Nirvana and tragic musician, Kurt Cobain, year-round rain and some of the nicest folks in Northwest America. In this series, I bring you the best place to stay, local food to eat, and places to visit for a day trip in Seattle, home to over 700, 000 people.

Remembering Mike Hall: The greatest ultra endurance cyclist ever lived

Mike Hall was there at a prominent and defining moment in my life. Mike transformed the world of ultra endurance cycling by pioneering and founding the TransContinental Bike Race across Europe in 2013, out of which many other ultra endurance races across different countries in the world have emerged. He would be the fastest man to cycle around the world in 2012 and go on to win numerous ultra endurance races between 2012 and 2016. Mike wasn't just a cyclist - he was superhuman, and he was the sweetest man to his family, friends, cyclists around the world and people who know him as an incredible human being.

The Plot To Steal Joy: Day 18

Everyone loves a smiling face, no matter how hardened they are. This I learn from observing my general contractors who always seem to be carrying a cheerful attitude into their work and environment, no matter how tough their work and financial situations are. I tried to apply the same principle in my marriage. It certainly isn’t easy, but I’m glad I try.

Raving Review: Falafelle - freshest, made-on-demand falafels

Once in awhile you meet someone who inspires you not because of their stellar achievement but because of how down-to-earth, sincere, humble and genuine they are. One such person is Khaled, who owns and runs a falafel shop in Belmont, California. No, not just any falafel shop - it's the best, most authentic, freshest and tastiest falafel there is.

The Plot To Steal Joy: Day 16

I know the power of words. Words form our beliefs, habits and destiny. We literally shape our world with our words. So I decided to take control of my emotions by writing down my daily situation and choosing joy despite the negativity that surrounds. By writing and solidifying each day’s resolve to “steal” joy, I was changing my internal circumstances which I knew would soon spill over to my external circumstances.

The Plot To Steal Joy: Day 15

Every once powerful empire face an impending eventual collapse. Consider the ancient empires of old: the Persian, Roman, Turkish, Mongol and Egyptian empires - they once rose to great power and they eventually fell to horrific economic ruins and dusted glory. As empires rise and fall according to times, so do individuals rise and fall according to seasons.

The Plot To Steal Joy: Day 14

Ever noticed how a vacation leaves us refreshed and ready to tackle our jobs with new drive? A change of environment - sights, sounds, faces, encounters, experiences - they offer rejuvenation and renewed perspective. Sometimes all it takes is a quick change of environment to change your inner perspective. In my case, all it took was a pool of water.

The Plot To Steal Joy: Day 13

If you’re taking a train heading south while you had intended to head north, what do you do? You’ll immediately get off the train at the next stop and board the correct train heading north. You will do whatever’s necessary to get you to your destination. Isn’t it crazy then that we know to do the right thing in the case of a train ride but we don’t apply the same principle to life in general?

The Plot To Steal Joy: Day 12

A young man went to film school in college. He graduated and worked in the State Treasury in Sacramento, California for six years. One day, he discovered a shoemaking workshop, was fascinated, took the class and started making shoes on night and weekends. He lived and breathed soft leather, wool, quality rubber soles and stitching. He became a master in his craft. First he would sell a pair online. Then two. Then three. Soon the orders would back up to more than he could manage.