Inspiring Moment: Dungeness Crab Tower

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

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Thanking Professor Hertoz

Written by Spencer Johnson on July 18, 2011

One of my many mistakes in life was never thanking a college professor for his personal contribution to my life.

Not many times has a person influenced my life. Professor Hertoz was the man who did just that.

While taking a second-year-level Philosophy class, I was invited to a night forum of about 12 students.

Here we discussed the meaning of life, the absence of a hereafter, the non-existence of a supreme being, and the shedding of unnecessary fears such a guilt, remorse, and regret–subjects that would not have been on the class agenda in 1960.

His goal was to “set us free,” and that is exactly what he did for me.

Most of all he taught us the importance of not wasting time. This has an even more special meaning to me as I approach 70 years of age.

What I wasted in the remaining few years of college was the opportunity to thank him for what he did for me–I guess I did not understand all he was saying.

Today, the five more minutes with him would have far more meaning. And I think he would forgive me for having this one regret.


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Inspiring Moment: Carmel Beach

Written by Braiden

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Inspiring Moment: Alaskan Glacier

Written by Martha Marino


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Inspiring Moment: Asian Orchids

Written by Braiden


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The Universal Wisdom of Grandparents

Written by Laurie Halladay on July 14, 2011

This story comes from frequent contributor Laurie Halladay, a.k.a., “Grandma Gringo,”¬†who was dining in a Chinese restaurant in Australia over Chinese New Year when she encountered this typical extended family.

There seems to be some universal truths about being grandparents, no matter where you are from in the world.

Today we went to Chinatown to a dim-sum restaurant for lunch, and were seated next to a round table with a Chinese family.

Grandpa San and Grandma San were alone having tea, waiting for the family to arrive.

Four grandsons, probably ages six to 10 bounded in. Big smiles from the grandparents.

Immediately, Grandpa San was hit up for money, and we saw him pulling twenties out of his wallet. The boys smiled and ran off.

Soon the three adult daughters arrived, one very pregnant. They soon got up and left to run after the kids.

Once again Grandpa San and Grandma San were sitting alone at the family gathering.

Finally Grandpa San had to go to the men’s room, but was a little wobbly, so Grandma San escorted him.

As soon as they left, the grandsons and mothers returned. They waited for the grandparents.

Finally, they were all together, but the kids picked at the food and GrandpaSan called for the check.

The Year of the Rabbit got off to a hopping good start.

We wanted to say to Grandpa San and Grandma San that we had walked in their shoes.

I could tell that if GrandmaSan got her four little emperors together alone she would have shaped them up.

Ah, the younger generation!!!

Inspiring Moment: Dreamy Tapas

Written by Braiden

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Inspiring Moment: Hotel Room

Written by Braiden

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Inspiring Moment: Art Installation

Written by Braiden


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The Journey: A Poem by Mary Oliver

Written by Braiden on July 11, 2011

The following poem, very much in the Five More Minutes With zeitgeist, was written by Mary Oliver, a National Book Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. It comes from her 1986 book entitled, “Dream work.”

After you read it, ask yourself, “Am I ready to turn off the noise, ignore the needs of others (at least for a little while), and save my own life today?”


One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice —

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do —

determined to save

the only life you could save.



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