Wednesday, July 15, 2009



I am in the Baltimore airport, it is Saturday afternoon. I came to the airport in a hurry because I thought I could catch an earlier flight. The flight I tried to catch was a 2:15 (I got here at 12:45). I didn’t get it. Problem was that my booked flight is at 7:45. Yeah, you heard me, I am sitting in the airport for 7 hours.

So I have some time to write a blog or twelve while I sit here.
I am still on a high from the weekend.
As you know I went to AGD annual meeting this weekend. I went for a couple of reasons. I went for my opinion about dental speakers to be restored (if you can remember that I went to the FNDC about a month ago and I was very disappointed).

The second reason I went was…as you also know that I am a member of the Tech and Web council and we were charged with presenting some aspect of the website that people could appreciate.
I developed a PowerPoint presentation (with the help of others smarter than me) and I spoke for 10 minutes twice on the exhibit floor.
And three, I went because I had two dental school classmates/friends that were getting their Mastership.

I gave my talk and I got to spend some time with my friends and go to the Orioles game.
But this is not what I wanted to talk to you about. I saw two of the best lecturers in all the country this weekend.
Okay maybe I am exaggerating but I have to tell you, they were awesome.
All day Friday I saw Gordon Christenson. I love this kind of lecture. He is such a big wig but he is so real. He talks about how HE practices dentistry. He talks about what he says to HIS patients. He breaks down every procedure and the products that HE uses and why. His objective is to tell us about things that will make us better dentists, make the procedure easier by using less expensive products.
8 hours of me eating it up. Some of it dragged because it was things that I knew and I felt like he spent too much time on some things but it was just awesome.
His delivery was so great and he made himself very translucent and approachable.
I dig that.
That was Friday.

Now I have to tell you Saturday.
I knew it was going to be a good day when I walk out of the hotel at about 7:15am. I a dragging a bit from the night before. I get out to the street and a couple of guys are coming at me walking the other way. One of the guys says to me, “Dude that is a really nice suit. And you look good in it.”
Now this wasn’t a girly man or anything. He talked in a very manly voice. I just think it was a guy, who was very comfortable with his sexuality, telling another guy that what ever he had on worked.
I said, “Thank you” and kept walking. You know it was the kind of thing where you think to yourself, “Did that just happen?”
I still am kind of cracking up as I am writing this.
But where I was walking to was the convention center to introduce Howard Farran.
Now all you dental people know him as the founder of DentalTown. And all you non dental people need to know that DentalTown is a dental forum that has grown to monumental status. It is hugely popular.

I was the course manager or “host”. I was to make sure his needs were met and the room was in order.
My first order of business was to introduce myself to him and to make sure he didn’t need anything.
Before I tell you anything I have to tell you that I had some preconceived notions of Howard Farran. I don’t know why.
I guess I always think that someone that has got big wig status is going to be kind of a premadonna.
I scanned the room to find him and no one in the room looked like the guy I was supposed to introduce. I start walking the halls. I see a bunch of guys in suits and stare at them. “No that wasn’t him.”
So I see a guy that looks like him but I say to myself, “that can’t be him.” This guy was in a Hawaiian shirt, 5’8 and about 270. You know the kind of guy that leans backwards when he walks because his is so heavy in the middle. So I went back to the room. Then this guy walks in. I go and introduce myself to him and sure enough it was him.
I tell him who I am and if that he needed anything to let me know. He had this guy that was kind of hanging around him. I don’t know if it was a wanna be or what but he sent him downstairs for coffee (better him than me).
He seemed kind of cool.
Now when he started his lecture he has this raspy voice, like he is a smoker and drinker. And the first thing he says was he may have tied a few too many off the night before at the baseball game.
But once you get past the fact that I can’t believe this person is Howard Farran and started listening to the lecture…It was great.
I have to tell you that it was a four hour lecture and I don’t think I have laughed out loud like that at a dental lecture ever. He was so real.
Has anyone ever seen Linda Miles? He was like the male (drinking and smoking) version of Linda Miles.

He made us laugh at ourselves. He taught us by breaking ourselves down. He, like Dr. Christenson but in so many different ways, was so real.
For instance, he cussed during his presentation. He said the “A” word, the “B” word and “S” word all in the same sentence. I looked through the crowd and there was dentists of all ages there. And while I was scanning the crowd they were all laughing.
(He reminded me of, Ron White, the comedian that drinks and smokes throughout his comedy Tater salad)

Before the lecture I was talking to this guy and he says he was a big fan of Dr. Farran, but he said, “He has a way of rubbing people the wrong way.” But at the break I went to the guy and asked him what part of his lecture would have rubbed anyone the wrong way.
He said he just doesn’t conform with the muckity mucks.
He as been through all the Pankey Courses. He has been through all of Dawson’s courses, he has been through all the LVI courses. He is funny, he is smart, he is well versed on all dental topics and he tells it like it is. What is not to like about him?

Bravo AGD for a great meeting.
Baltimore was a beautiful city.
Thank you Drs. Christenson and Farran for restoring my faith in the dental lecturer.

See you on Friday.

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