Monday, November 30, 2009

Florida Football Free Post ;)

OK, happy to report that I am still thankful even after a 4-day road trip to both families.

Movie report - I'm not a huge movie guy, I really go for the popcorn and milk duds. This last weekend I went with my wife on a date to movie. Now, I'm too embarrassed to tell you what movie it was but let's just say it is very popular and is an astronomical event that occurs monthly - maybe you have heard of this movie, don't worry I won't spoil it for you (the director did that already).

This movie involves many mythical creatures/monsters and is apparently attempting to recreate a Romeo and Juliet storyline in the Northeast US but instead of Juliet we have a morose, co-dependent, breathy teenage girl. Romeo is a soul-less (literally) bloodsucker, and I guess Mercutio is a 6-pack ripped, shirtless teenage werewolf.

I don't have a problem with the theme, the content, or the double-standard we have with teenage guys being exploited for their bodies (that is an entire blog conversation in itself). What made the movie so frustrating was the fact that in the 200 seat, mostly sold-out theater there were at least 50 children under the age of 10. The 6-year-old boy if front of us was freaking out during the movie and his grandmother (yep grandma brought him) was having to calm him down the entire time, cover his eyes, hold him, etc.


I'm sorry, my kids are 12 and under so this falls right in my wheelhouse. They don't belong at this movie. It is not a movie for them. My wife and I were commenting on this on our way out of the movie and the parent in front of us turned around a said, "some kids really like these kind of movies." OK, fair enough. Some kids would really like crack if their parents allowed them to have it - doesn't mean they should. Parents need to be parents and say no sometimes.

Beyond that, as the father of a tweener girl, where is the outrage over the presentation of a female that can't exist without a boyfriend?? This is co-dependence at its most basic form. It concerns me that this movie that is so marketed to teenage girls proceeds to present them as shallow, breathy shells of humans whose entire existence is tied to a male figure (alive or undead).

All in all a very frustrating experience at the movie (but a great date).

So in summary, lots of travel, lots of eating, lots of family time, yada yada yada. . .get home and crash in my own bed.

Have I mentioned that I hate when payday falls within 2 days of the 1st of the month. I do payroll every other Monday so many months this does not occur. However, today is payday and tomorrow is the 1st of the month. That is just a lot of money going out of the practice and the voices like to discuss that amongst themselves during the night.

The voices are also happy to say goodbye to November - don't let the door hit you in the tail on the way out. I'm sure that no other practice saw a slowdown in November but we must be missing something. Phone calls were way down, cancellations/reschedules were way up. I'm ready for this recession thing to flatten out and sanity to return. I was reminding the staff today in our monthly staff meeting of the importance of asking for referrals and of pointing out to patients the quality of the work that we do.

Do you realize what goes into a simple periodic exam and cleaning? I think we take it for granted as dentists so you know the patient does not realize it. In our office a periodic exam consists of an oral cancer evaluation, comprehensive periodontal evaluation (including probing), occlusion evaluation, cavity check, scaling, polishing, flossing, fluoride (sometimes), oral hygiene instructions and home-care products. And all of this is "free" to most insurance patients.

Do you include this information on the walk-out statement that you give to the patient? We haven't but are going to start doing it. It is another great way to remind the patient of the value of that service - it is more than just making their teeth feel slippery and clean.

The voices are telling me that I need to run payroll so I better get going. Have a great week, I can't wait to hear how he marathon went for Dr. G.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Look Around

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

I don't know if I can beat Dr. Ric's blog on Monday, but I will try.
I hope today's won't be a letdown.
I was supposed to follow up on the "How much is a cleaning" phone call, but I will postpone that until next week because I totally didn't realize tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
Can you believe it is Thanksgiving tomorrow?
I can't.

Before I forget, our flag football team won on Saturday. We are 2-1, and I think we are getting a little better. We haven't played any of the elite teams yet but it feels pretty good to be where we are at right now. I am sleeping a little bit.

I saw The Blind Side on Friday. I loved it. I am biased because I read the book last year, and I have been telling everyone what a great story this was since then. I have been keeping up with Michael Oher's progress since then.
It is a real feel good movie. It made me laugh and cry.

Okay topic...
A joke to start this entry.
A monk decides to try to get closer to God and he goes into a monastery. All the monks at this monastery take a vow of silence. He was okay with this as long as he obtains his goal.
So he started and five years went by like nothing.
After his first five years he went into the head monk's office.
The head monk says to the monk, "You have really surprised us with your progress. We have really been impressed with you. And because of this we will allow you to say two words."
The monk said his two words, "Bed hard."
The head monk said, "Great talking to you. We will see what we can do to take care of this problem."
Next thing you know five years have gone by and the head monk brings him into his office and gives him the same schpeel.
The monk this time says, "Cold food."
The head monk says again, "It was great talking to you, and we will see if we can rectify your problem."
Again, five years goes by so fast and the meeting between the monks happens again.
This time the monk again gets two words to say.
He says, "I quit."
The head monk says, "It is just as well. You have been here fifteen years and all you have done was complain."

My name is John Gammichia and I am a complainer.

I don't think I have always been, but I think my personality has eroded to such. My wife is a bit of a complainer (I love you honey), and I think we are breeding complainers too. My kids are complainers.
I don't know if it is because, if you let it, this world gnaws at you. It wears you down.
If you listen to the radio (during this administration) they are all complaining. If you listen to the TV (during the last administration) they are all complaining.
I think it is becoming so much of what we hear and read (oh yeah everything in the newspaper is bad or people complaining).
But in the fog of my thoughts a hint of clarity has shown through.
We have so much to be thankful for, are you kidding me.
Look around.
Just in the room you are in right now. You have a computer and an Internet connection.
Okay that puts you way better off (that is of course if you don't think the Internet is the Devil) than about 90% of the world's population.
You are sitting in your office or your living room in air-conditioned air (for me it is air conditioned for you it could be heat right now. It was 83 here on Monday) which is better than 90% of the world's population.
You have to think of the big picture. It is all about perspective.
I have 4 awesome kids (okay I have 3 awesome kids and one that cries and poops all the time) that think I am the best (okay 3 of them think I am the best and one of thinks he got robbed).
I have a wife that I love and she loves the snot out of me and still laughs at my jokes.
I have a job that I love.
I have a staff that I love.
I have patients that I have built relationships with that I cherish (well most of them).
I have a God that knows every hair on my head and promises never to let go of me.
I have friends that are so great.
I have food to eat and then some.
I have clothes on my back.
I have an awesome house in a great neighborhood.
I won't bore you with all the stuff I have.
But I was trying to make a point.
What the hell do I have to complain about?
Do things have warts? Are things sucky sometimes? Yes.
Are people mean sometimes? Yes.
Do money problems get to me sometimes? Yes.
Do I have kid problems sometimes? Yes
Do I have wife problems sometimes? NEVER (I love you honey)
But let me repeat...LOOK AROUND. How can we complain?

We need to be more thankful. I need to be more thankful.
Why can't Thanksgiving be every day?

In closing, I am thankful to the AGD for letting me write this blog.
I am thankful for the peeps behind the scenes...Jason, Lindsey, the Cathys that make this thing happen.
I am thankful for all of you that read this blog. I am thankful for your comments (most of them), and I hope I have made an impression in your lives. I hope I am staying current and continue to talk about things that are relevant in your lives.

Have an awesome Thanksgiving.

Make this a day you look around and see the glass half full. Look around and count your blessings.
I will,

ps I am not talking about the Gators, but if I was I would tell you that it is Tim Tebow's last home game. I would tell you that we are playing FSwho this weekend.
Very emotional for me.

Marathon in 5 days. My knees are knocking and I am getting butterflies. Think of me on Sunday.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Thank you God for loving me, for creating laughter and smiles and kids.

Thank you Mom and Dad for being patient with me as a child, for allowing me to learn hard lessons under your protection and care. For equipping me with the desire to be an entrepreneur. For giving me such a good example of Christian parents and business owners.

Thank you Mel and Kay for raising a wonderful daughter and allowing me to marry her 16 years ago. Thank you for giving her the opportunities that I know required many sacrifices on your parts over the years.

Thank you Susan for being an incredible wife, mother and friend. Thank you for being a woman of faith. Thank you for allowing me to move from a legal career to a dental career without batting an eye. Thanks for putting up with the sleepless nights, financial tightrope walking, an a moody husband. Thanks for pretending that I am both funny and handsome. Most of all, thank you for giving me 3 amazing children.

Thank you Kayla, Brennan and Madeline for letting me be the tickle monster. For letting me hug you and cry even when you don't know why I need to. Thanks for making me laugh as you dress up like munchkins or create dances and skits that you perform. Thanks for singing songs. Thanks for promising me that I could be your prom date/live with you/work with you. Thanks for making me so proud to be called your daddy.

Thank you to the men and women who let me sit comfortably in my office and type this blog. Thank you for being the tip of the spear and protecting me and my family.

Thank you to the many AGD colleagues around the country who so patiently have answered my questions and given me instruction as I continue to grow as a dentist.

Thank you to all of my patients for trusting me with your smile.

Thank you to my staff for working so hard growing a business and being my cheerleader when you know I am down.

Thank you Jerry, George, Elaine and Cosmo for giving me so many reasons to laugh.

Thank you Dr. Gammichia and readers for allowing my voices to visit the blog once a week.

Thank you voices for letting me sleep well the past couple of weeks.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a safe holiday season.


Friday, November 20, 2009

How much do you charge?

Okay no one cares about bartering.

I only got one comment.

So on to the next topic.

But first, my week.

I have to tell you I have been a complete mess for the last couple of weeks.

I told you about the football, well I don't know if I have told you the extent of it.

When I told you I can't sleep, I really mean I can't sleep. On Tuesday I woke up at 3:30 am, Wednesday it was 4:30, and last night I was so exhausted I was able to sleep to 5:15.

So I am like a zombie.

Both our teams won last night and both the scores were 7-6.

The 1st grade team was chaos. They had never played in a game before, so it was a mess. Coaches literally lifting kids and moving them into place.

I told a kid to watch the quarterback. So he runs in and grabs the quarterback's flag. Problem is that the quarterback handed the ball off about 10 seconds earlier and was just standing there when my superstar took his flag.

Now the 5th grade game. This such a tough age. We are not executing very well and when someone else throws an interception or drops a pass or misses a flag well he gets to hear how stupid he is from the other 5 guys.

Oh and then there is me. I am using everything in my power to not yell out, "What the heck is the matter with you. The play is to the right and you are the only guy on our team to run left.

We are having fun that is for sure. The other coach basically said he was so stressed out that he wanted me to take over the play calling. I am telling you, it is not easy.

So it is not as much having fun but wanting your team to do well. It is at the end of the game and you have guys in the huddle saying, "coach I haven't got the ball yet," and things like that.

It is the second guessing of yourself. You are trying to do good for the kids and you end up breaking their spirits because you are such a shmuck.

Oh the joys of football.

I saw this movie Sunshine Cleaners (when you are up at 3:30 am you have plenty of time to watch movies). It was very good. Put this movie on your queue.

I am going out for pizza tonight with the family, then I am taking my son to see the movie The Blind Side. If you remember I read this book last year. It was one of my favorite books of the year. It was one of those books that you have to shut the book just so you can compose yourself or just stop and cry for a second.

It got a 2 star from my paper. I hope Hollywood did not screw it up.

Remember my friend who past away last week. He has a son that is turning 9 on Sunday.

He and his son had plans to go to Disney for his birthday (Disney lets you in for free on your birthday). He asked his mom if it would be alright if me and my son would go with him on Sunday.

They asked me.

So my son and I are going to take this young boy to Disney on Sunday.

I am totally consumed with my life right now, but I wanted to still talk a little about work.

I wanted to talk to you about a certain phone call. Because it is Friday afternoon and my life is so crazy, what I might do is throw it out there. Touch on it a bit and then talk about it on Wednesday of next week.

The phone call is when someone calls your practice and ask, "How much do you charge for a ____?"

This phone call has so much going on it has given practice management speakers material for a whole weekend course.

How about this one, "My name is Janice, and I am Mr. Stein's administrative assistant and he would like me to make him a cleaning appointment."

(I am posing this to dentist that choose to do a new patient exam first before any cleaning.)

So what is behind this call? What do you train your staff to say?

I am mortified when I go to the front, and I hear one of my peeps answer the phone and do their greeting and then they listen. Then I hear them say, "We charge $80 for that."

Then its, "Oh, your welcome" and hang up.

Some of you might be saying, "What is wrong with telling someone the cost of the cleaning?"

For me it is a philosophy thing.

I have to admit I am probably higher priced than other dentists. Nothing crazy, but if someone is cleaning teeth around town for $75, I am might be $80.

If someone is doing crowns for $1000, I might be $1100.

But there is so much more to my office than just a cleaning or a crown.

Let me try to explain this...

Let's say I need tires, and let's say I am a Cooper tire guy.

I will call 10 places (after I have check out the Internet) and ask them what they charge for the exact Cooper tire that I have on my truck right now.

So I am asking each place what they charge for the same tire.

So for this price I am getting four of the same tires, installed and balanced.

Apples to apples.

So I get why people are calling.

They are thinking I am selling the same Cooper tire that the next guy is selling.

And I believe I am not.

I believe there is so much more to my shop than just selling this tire.

And quite frankly, at my shop I am selling a much better tire.

Now how are you going to inform the caller of this if you just say, "$80...Oh, your welcome"?

To me this is what the caller is saying, "Hi, my name is Stacy, and me and my family are new to the area. It has been 8 months since we have been to the dentist and it is time. I don't know anyone in the area, and I don't even know what dentist to call so can you please tell me if I should come to your office or not? And, oh, by the way, how much do you charge for a cleaning?"

How would you answer this question?

Would you say, "$80...oh, your welcome"?

Or the caller could be saying something like this, "Hi, my name is Stacy and I have lived in your area for about 10 years. I go to your competitor. My kids have been telling me for a while now that they don't like their dentists. I have heard such great things about your practice. I was just calling to see how you treated me on the phone. I was just calling to get a feel for the way that you do things. I want you to win me over. And, by the way, how much do you charge for a cleaning?

I get that a lot of people are money conscious right now. Shoot, I am money conscious right now.

And they just want to know how much you charge, and I am over analyzing things.

But let's say you go overboard with your personality on the phone and you talk to this person.

They were not saying anything other than "how much do you charge?" They weren't new to the area or wanting to change dentists. But you gave them the Ritz-Carlton personality. You went over the top explaining your philosophy, and you told them how you were going to treat them.

You not only told them how much it was going to be, but you have planted a seed.

I have talked too much about it. I will give you more on Wednesday. Cliff hanger, yeah.

What about the administrative assistant call?

This is a tough one.

Okay, so you have a person that is very busy, so busy that he can't make a call for himself.

I have done this myself.

To me this call is all about telling someone about your practice. This call is about you the dentist and how you are going to be treated and does this person want to conform to your practice philosophy.

At my office we take at least an hour to do a new patient exam, and we usually don't clean the patient on the same appointment.

This really chaps some people.

People are busy, and I totally get that. People don't want to spend all day at the dentist office, and all they want is their teeth cleaned. I get this.

But we have to do our job, and we have to do it well.

If they don't want it done the kind of way we do it then maybe this isn't the place for them.

Now dentists, don't you hate letting someone go like that. Can't we just work something out.

I mean this guy seems to have it together. I mean he has an administrative assistant calling for him. He must be important, and he must have some cash.

We all know this guy is trouble if he won't conform to your style.

I will end on this...

I had a patient that came into our office and got nasty with my staff. Husband and wife were both professionals.

Talking about how much money they had and all that.

But every time they would come in I would have multiple stories of how rude they were to my staff.

It got so bad that I had to call them and asked them very nicely to be nice to my staff.

It continued and I eventually had to ask them to leave my practice.

Wouldn't it have been nice to kind of set the ground rules before all the nastiness started.

You can get a lot of that accomplished on that first phone call.

Or you can just say, "$80...your welcome."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009



Well, football season if officially underway.

There comes a time in a season when the coach understands that his team is not as good as he thought and his coaching ability is not good enough to change the above.

I am at this point. One game and I am at this point.
I love these kids, I mean my son is one of these kids, but what we lack in skill we can easily make up in slowness.

We were, however, competitive this Saturday. We lost 18-6. They went up on us 12-0. We scored to make it 12-6. Then we moved the ball to the 2 yard line and were about to tie this thing up and we threw an interception.

But we still felt good about this game.

We were stopping them. We got them into a 4th and goal situation from the 12 yard line. All they did was hand the ball off. I figured they were giving up on this set of downs. But this little running back somehow went by about 5 of our 6 guys and was never tackled.

He scored. This was the back breaker.

Next game tomorrow. I will let you know.

Noah said a Noahism on Monday that I thought I would just pee my pants.

My kids watch this show Phineas and Ferb. It is a great show.

We are sitting around relaxing and cuddling on the coach and watching a kid show.
This show is on and the mother in the show is at a multicultural fiesta and (and don't ask me where they were going with this) she singing and dancing to a Jewish and Mexican song...something about a Matzah ball burrito (I am not kidding) and he said out of nowhere, "She must be French."

I don't know why it was so funny to me, but I am still laughing as I am writing this. I think it was because he had no idea what he was talking about and he just said something that just came to him.

Out of the mouth of babes.

I'll tell you this kid keeps me rolling. He turned 6 on Sunday.

We got him this Razor SPARK scooter. Have you see these things?

Well they have taken this Razor scooter and added this doo hickey on the back. It is something you press down with your back foot. It is not a brake but what it does is comes in contact with the ground. The cool thing is this doo hickey is made of flint. When you push it against the ground sparks fly out the back. Now I am not talking about little sparks. I am talking about it looks like a lit sparkler coming out the back of this thing. It is wild.

Last item of useless trivia...


I don't know who these people are but they sure do have taste.

I go to the rating system a couple of times a year, and we are still ranked at the bottom part of the first page.

Last time I checked we were 17th on dental blogs rankings, but I think we have gone down since. Some of the ones ranked higher than ours haven't posted anything in over a month. So I don't know how they rank them.


Topic du jour...bartering.

I remember when I was growing up my father was always involved in bartering in one way or another.

At one point he was in something I want to say was called Bartering of America or something like this. You got a service from someone and you were accumulate points and could use those points at another business that was also in Bartering of America.

Problem with all my dad's bartering was he was always getting screwed.

I guess what would happen was that he would do work for someone, now the work was not half-ass work it was the best he could do (this is the way we do things, if you do it do it well), and then he would always expect the other person to follow through.

You know, give us a call. And do the best work he could do. Yeah...right.

The second part was always the shakey part. It would be my dad running through hoops to make this guy live up to his end of the bargain.

He/she wouldn't show up. Sometimes the job would not be done to average standards because the person is trying to get out of spending any money on this job. And my father would always be disappointed or feeling he got the raw end of the deal.

Here is the way I do it.

I go into something with zero expectations.

I only barter with people I know or that have been referred to the practice.

I might have my lab man call with, "I have a friend with a retail shop that is really in a pinch...will you do this for him?"



My role as a dentist is to help people. I would basically do this for free if I could. I love teeth and I love most people, so if things don't work out and they decide they want to be punks, well then fine.

Knowing this, I kind of expect either people not following through or trying to get the best of me.
So the first thing I always try to do is get the people to do their work first.
This is sometimes hard to do but this will put all problems behind you.

I don't really have a system, but I just try to be smart about it.

Last thing about bartering. I can do something in about 90 minutes that may cost in the $900 range.

I start to feel bad when someone comes to my house and paints the whole inside of the house, you know it is like a 4 day job, to pay me back.

I kind of feel like a heel when I work for 90 minutes and they are working for 4 days.
We trade with our lawn service. He has a family of 5. They come in for their twice a year recare, and I get our yard done for THE WHOLE YEAR (at the office and my home).


Does anyone have any crazy barter stories to tell?

Does anyone have a system?

Has anyone been on the wrong end of a barter deal that you want to mention?

I would like to know. If we get some good stories then I will post them.

Hope you are having a good week,

Just think two more days until Friday.


ps Marathon in 11 days.

Today is my 14th year anniversary. We are going to try to get away for a couple of hours tonight. Our poor neighbor has agreed to watch the baby.

Wish us luck.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What a Wicked Weeked

Have you seen it? I have now seen it twice and I think it may now have surpassed Les Miserables as my favorite musical.

I am speaking, of course, of "Wicked" the story of the Wizard of Oz told from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. So clever and funny. The musical score is phenomenal, and I don't want to give anything away but the entire community of Oz is destroyed when they try to replicate the big bang using a Hadron-like particle accelerator. OK so I made that up but I don't get many comments so I just wanted to make sure you were still reading 3 sentences in. In all seriousness, if you have a chance - go see it.

In world news.

Why do we risk the total destruction of the universe as we know it to find a particle of energy - infintesimally small that lasts for a millionth of a second?? Don't know what I am ranting about, go to this site and learn about the Large Hadron Collider.
Built near Geneva, Switzerland, this particle accelerator will fling protons around a 17-mile loop at 99.99% the speed of light hoping to replicate the forces at play during the "big bang." Now, I don't want to get into a big "how the universe was formed" debate - cuz this is a dental blog and we all know that God created everything.

However, one of the theoretical side effects of this machine is the possible creation of microscopic black holes. Now, I have watched enough sci-fi television and movies over the years to know that black holes tend to be bad, and I have no desire to go forward or backward in time or have the universe destroyed. Now, of course, they say that won't happen but at this point does anyone really know???? Isn't all of this theoretical?? What level of certainty is OK for us to go ahead with an experiment that adds virtually nothing to the knowledge base of mankind - will this let us cure cancer, reverse aging, improve the vocal abilities of the Backstreet Boys?

So let me get this straight - no real benefit and on the downside, possible destruction of entire universe. I'm not real big into making pro/con lists, but in my feeble mind that cost-benefit analysis comes out at a big no-go. But my voice means nothing so smoke-em if you got-em cuz the machine gets turned on soon.

On the dental front I have had to hire a new front desk/patient care coordinator.

I hate having to bring on a new team-member because it interrupts the flow of the office and you are never quite sure how it will work out. That front desk voice/face is so key in the growth of an office and it is the person that I have the least observation of in a normal day (I can overhear things in our small office but not like I can with my hygienists or assistants). Luckily I have found someone that I think will be awesome and she starts right after Thanksgiving so all should be well.

My point in bringing up the hiring, however, is not to talk about the people I hired. Rather it is to talk about the other applicants that were not interviewed. Quick background, I placed an ad online for the position. I did no print advertising at all. We are a paperless, digital office, and if you cannot use a computer to find a job posting and email a resume you will not survive in my office. I am also an insurance-based practice - I'm not ashamed of it, I love providing phenomenal dental care to patients that couldn't afford it without some sort of insurance coverage.

Because of that, however, the front desk position must know how to file insurance, pre-determinations, etc. Since I am a 3-year-old practice I need someone with experience up front. I am not opposed to hiring no-experience employees - I have done it several times with great success. This is not one of those times though. I need someone with experience and I made that very clear in the job posting - 2 years DENTAL experience.

As of today (3 weeks after the posting) I have received 150 resumes. One-Hundred and Fifty. Of those - 20 (twenty) had any dental experience. I got handwritten resumes, resumes that had nothing other than the person's name and phone number, resumes that never explained why they felt their 20 years of experience as an assistant to the traveling secretary would help them in a dental office setting. Resumes that broke your heart because they were willing to learn on their own time the things they needed.

How does a small dental office get that many resumes off of one posting for a front-desk position. I don't care what the pundits say, the recession is not over and the economy is not better - people are still losing jobs, finances are still tight. I wish I could help more than the 5 1/2 employees that I have but I can't.

I'm glad the search is over because it was emotionally draining to read those resumes every day.

The voices have spoken, now they want to go do some dentistry.

Have a great week.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Study models

Hey all,

I am feeling a little better today.
All in all it has been a real tough week outside of work. Work, however, is going pretty good.

I think our team is really settling in. It was tough after the 3 lay-offs and everyone was pretty down. But time is healing this wound and our team is working very well together. You can just feel it. And this really does change the feel of the office. And I know patients can feel it.

I finished my book Born to Run. It was about ultra marathoners. These are people that run more than marathons. Like 50-100 miles. And they race. Crazy people.
It was a pretty easy read. It was an okay book (sorry Chip).

I watched a movie called State of Play on Monday. Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck. I got to tell you, I think in real life I wouldn't like Russell Crowe but he is a really good actor. I like every one of his movies. This was no exception.

Baby David is getting bigger and is sleeping a little better. My wife is like a walking zombie, because when he does sleep you are worried something is wrong. He is sleeping like a baby and you jump out of bed thinking, "why haven't I heard from him?"

But I think we are almost out of the weeds. I will tell you what... with every kid the first two months are so hard. So if you are pregnant or wanting to get pregnant remember what I am telling you now. The first two months are tough. You continually want to put this thing back in the womb.

Okay enough trivia.

I am eating lunch and a front desk person comes to me and tells me there is a Dr. So And So on the phone and he wants to talk to you.

I say, "Do I know him?" and she says I didn't.

Damn, I hate getting interrupted at lunch for people I don't know.

Anyway, I get on the phone.

This dentist is on the phone, and he is kind of a fast talker.

From what I get he is a dentist in Illinois. He has a patient that lives in my town. He is going to be doing anterior esthetics on this patient sometime after Thanksgiving.

The dentist says he does a lot of work with DaVinci labs and that he got my name from DaVinci. (Now I have never in my life done anything with DaVinci, so I don't know how they got my name. Even though I am world famous. I had two people from Egypt read my blog last week. World conqueror, that's me)

He was wondering if I wouldn't mind taking study models and a bite registration on this patient for him.

He goes on to say that this patient is going to be looking for a dentist so after he is done with all his work so he promises to tell the guy to come to me (for those of you not paying attention this is called "blowing smoke up my @#$%@!).

So how does someone interpret this request? Well let me tell you how I interpreted it.

"Hi, I am a dentist so much better than you, I am this awesome cosmetic dentist somewhere other than your poe dunk town. I have this patient that lives in your poe dunk town that would rather spend zillions of dollars in my office flying back in forth than come to you as a dentist. But he lives in your poe dunk town so you can handle doing a cleaning can't you?"

Or something like that. This is how I felt. So as the dentist is talking to me this is what I am thinking.

I am kind of in shock. So I agree to help a brother out. I didn't think about it. I didn't question him. I didn't anything. I just was going to do it.

I was a little hurt, I was belittled a bit, but I didn't question.

We called this fella and set him up to take study models and a bite.

He comes in on Wednesday and I wasn't here (I had to leave early for the funeral) so my assistant did it.

She tells me about the appointment the next morning. She told me she sat him down and started to grill him about what all this is about.

Because I think she kind of felt the same way as me. I mean you have a guy in your town that does very nice work and you are flying half way across the country to get your work done. She wanted to know the scoop.

So she starts to get the 411. She tells me, "GET THIS!"

Turns out this patient HAS NEVER BEEN TO THIS GUYS OFFICE. Turns out that this dentist got some work done at this patients company and couldn't pay him.

So they decide to barter off the remaining debt by doing veneers.


Are you kidding me?

Yeah, so the patient is scheduled in Illinois for all of Monday after Thanksgiving, all day.

He has never had an exam. He has never had x-rays. He has never had his teeth cleaned.

He has never had an esthetic evaluation.


Now that I think about it, why would this guy be calling me for study models? Why would he have not already had photos, models, and all the stuff you need for anterior esthetics.

My assistant actually said this to this patient, "Are you crazy?"

"You haven't even had your teeth cleaned. Your gums are not healthy. You have discolored lower teeth that can be bleach to get an accurate color for the top."

And she started giving him the business (not over the top, but making him think about his teeth and about his dentist for the first time).

This is the craziest story. I mean is this kind of stuff happening to you too or is all this crazy stuff only happening to me?

Don't get me wrong. I don't have any problem with bartering. In fact, I love bartering with people.

But I barter tree trimmers. I barter painters.

Would I barter health or dental care? I don't think I would.

Do people think about dental care the way I think of tree trimming?

Do people think that all dentists are alike?

I recognize the fact that all painters are not the same. I realize there is probably a very wide range of quality of painters.

If I would get a quote to paint my house you could get a range of $2000-$8500.

Now are the $8500 guys just ripping you off?

No! They are doing the job $6500 better than the other guy. They are sandblasting off the old coat, they are priming, they are caulking, they are using superior paint, they are meticulous about the job. They are cleaning up after themselves. They are not getting high before or during the job.

But if you just want your house painted and you don't care about how long it lasts or if you don't care if water comes in your house after it rains or if you have to clean up paint cans when the painters are done then by all means go with the $2000 guy.

Is that what patients think of dentists?

Tell me they don't.

Tell me that when they are leaving a quality-oriented office to go to the dentist that is "on their insurance list" (not that some of these dentists are not quality) they recognize they are giving up stuff.

Tell me they don't think that all veneers are the same or all cleanings are the same or all fillings are the same.

Tell me people recognize the difference between dentists.

Every patient that walks in the door I ask them how they got here. How did you find out about us?

When they answer "Your office is just up the street from my house" I know I have so much more work to make this patient understand who we are.

I know he knows that he can get a paint job for $2000.

But when they leave and say, "That was the most thorough exam I have ever had." I know that I am on my way of impressing on this patient what we are all about.

How about when people call your office and ask how much you charge for a cleaning.

Do you say, "$85"?

Then they say, "Thank you" and hang up.

They are not comparing offices they are comparing prices.

Kind of like we do when we are getting tree trimmers.

This phone call has just given me an idea of another blog. We will get into this call later.

I can write a whole series on this phone call.

I have given you much to think about this weekend.

I am going to talk about the way I barter next week.

But I would like your thoughts if you have any before next week.

Have a great weekend.


First flag football game this weekend.
Marathon is two weeks from Sunday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pain and Growth

It is funny how much we grow as people.
I have to tell you that as you grow older your eyes are opened to so much more.
I think even now at 40 I am learning about life. I am not only becoming street smart, I learning so much more about people.
What I mean by learning about life is I am seeing it for what it is.
My assistant is 12 years older than me.
And when I was out of school, for about 2 years she would shake her head at the things I said.
Almost like she was saying "how naive".
I would get ticked at her because I was in this stage in my life that I thought I knew everything.
But she was a 40 year old that knew a bunch more about life and about people than I did.
Okay, now I am forty and my eyes are opening to life.
Now all of you that are 20-40 I know what you are thinking, "my eyes are open" and you are getting a little defensive. I understand. But I can't help it. I just don't think you have seen enough to know what I am talking about.
I was talking about this to my assistant this morning and we talked about this subject.
She said by the time you kind of get it all figured out, two things happen: you are too old to use the information effectively and when you want to share it, no one younger than you wants to hear it.
(On a side note...I read an article about mentoring. The author talked about how the older dentists have a lot to offer the younger dentists and that the older dentists need to make themselves available to the younger dentists. I agreed with him. I wrote him telling him that I agreed with him and told him that the only problem with making yourself available is that no one wants to be mentored. I told him that I didn't think it was the older dentist that didn't want to give the help, I thought it was the younger dentist that wasn't seeking it out. He whole heartily agreed with me.)
Well what has gotten me so introspective today. Well, I had a friend die this weekend.
He was 48 years old. He was a father of FIVE children. He was a great man who had a great wife and he had great kids. His oldest was 21 and his youngest is turning 9 this weekend.
He was also a member of my church.
Are you freaking kidding me? This is the stuff that my assistant was shaking her head at me about when I was 26.
I didn't know pain. I didn't know loss. I didn't know infidelity. I didn't know divorce. I didn't know the depth of darkness in people's lives. I didn't know apathy. I didn't know failure. I didn't know job loss. I didn't know bankruptcy. I didn't know death.
On an another aside....
I love Michelangelo and this is one of my favorites. This is his sulpture called St. Matthew. They thought originally it was an unfinished work. (double click for a full size) But what it is, is the emerging, the growing of Matthew. He is becoming Matthew. He is becoming the man. I just think this work is so powerful.
Okay back on track.
So this weekend was unbelievable. You don't know, at least I hope you don't know this stuff at 26 years old.
Man was this hard. I was one of the first people over to the house when the family was finding out. Talk about pain.
Where is the life handbook that talks about this?
In the last couple of years I have been exposed to a lot and it is not all good. So how do I live my life and not have a complete mental breakdown? How do I live and "consider it joy" as the Bible tells us to do?
How do I avoid the midlife crisis now that I recognize why more people are going through this?
You never make as much money as you wanted. Your relationships are hard. Your friends are getting divorces. Your parents are dying. Your friends are dying. Your kids are angry with you. You have more work than you can accomplish in the week. Your staff is angry with you. There are problems with patient management. Bills are piling up. And there is pain. So much pain. AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!
I don't know the answer to my own questions. But I do think that having a spiritual life helps.
I came across a Bible verse this week that spoke volumes to this question.
It is 1 john 2:15-17
Do not love the world or anything in the world-the cravings of the sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
Now I don't want to get all Jesus on you but when you are thinking past this world and you believe in what comes can rest a little.
I can totally understand Paul, in the New Testament, when he says (and I paraphrase) "Lord take me now. Take me from this stupid life and get me out of this stupid earthly body. "
I am sorry to be such a downer today but this is where I am at.
I promise I will try to talk more about teeth soon.
Have a good Wednesday, I hope it's better than mine. Burial is at 2:30pm today and Memorial service is at 3:30pm.
I have thought a lot about what I said in my last blog. When I talked about not liking your job and not liking where you are at, my response is CHANGE IT.
I am sorry if I have trivialized this issue. I am sorry if I didn't see this as a very painful topic for some people.
I see the error of my ways. My (I hate to keep coming back to this phrase) eyes have been opened to how this can really weigh on someone and I am sorry.
If you want to talk my personal email is . Any time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Swimming at the Grand Canyon

Miss me? Don't answer that, things like that are best left unsaid.

Has anyone heard about Jessica Watson? She is a 16-year-old Australian girl who is sailing around the world non-stop, alone & unassisted on a 34-foot sailboat. Right now she is nearly 3000 miles from Australia, 1200 miles south of the equator near American Samoa. She is 3 weeks into a 230+ day journey.

Now as a parent and certified cranky old person I have real problems with this. First, I have to ask "why". This is not the 15th century when there were worlds to be explored and new territories to be found. This is the 21st century where the only thing gained from this is notoriety. It is like some steroid laden "Outward bound" journey to find yourself. But at 16 do you really need to find yourself? I don't care what she or her parents say, this is a goal that was placed into her head by someone else. She may think it is hers but this is the ultimate stage-parent pushing their child at a young age. The danger here is that she may not return.

That said, I wish her well and read her blog to follow the journey.

OK, on to the National Lampoonesque experience in Phoenix. If you haven't seen the classic '80s film starring Chevy Chase - you are missing a real piece of americana. My Wally World experience began on a Sunday journey to a waterpark in Phoenix that shall remain unnamed but that rhymes with Met & Miled. This particular waterpark advertised at the hotel we were staying at and was having their final day of the season on Sunday. The kids were way excited. Kansans getting to swim in November?? They were up early and ready to go.

Now being the good dad that I am, and knowing that the last day of the season with forecast highs of 90 would bring out the masses, we wanted to get there early. So with a scheduled opening of 10:00 am MST, we pulled into the parking lot at 9:15. WOW, it looks awesome, so many rides. Water coasters, wave pools, giant tubes - water heaven in the desert.

Huh, parking lot is empty - suckers. I get my choice of parking spots. I know, Clark W. Griswald would have parked far away from the entrance so he could get out quicker at the end of the day but I am no Clark W. Griswald. I had a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach because I have seen "Vacation" multiple times. I knew that this was going to be a bad memory for the kids so I parked close - and we waited. . .hoping. . . praying. . . getting locked in the parking lot as a maintenance worker closed the single open gate behind us.

OK kids, on to plan B which consists of getting the *(^(&* out of the parking lot before we move from National Lampoon's Vacation into some southwestern sequel to Deliverance. Park is closed, maintenance dude doesn't care that the brochure we have says that it is open today, they closed for the season yesterday. Allrightythen. Glad I paid for the insurance on the rental car (well first I'm glad they "held the reservation" for the rental car) cuz we are off-roading it to get out of the locked parking lot.

Very upset kids (and parents for that matter), all in swimsuits and flip flops and now no plans for the day. Hey, look the car has GPS. Plug in a lake nearby and let's go rent a boat and play. OK, lake is 30 miles away - awesome. We can sing songs and laugh for 30 miles. Quick check of the gas gauge tells me we have 50 miles to empty - not a problem, will get gas on the way (or on the way back).

Arrive at lake entrance and pay $6 for day pass. We are directed to the marina where it is only a brisk 1/2 mile walk from the parking lot to the rental boats. Not another soul around, great day to rent a boat - I bet they even have a discount for foolish midwesterners like us that still think it is warm enough to be in the water. Excuse me, how much. . .for how long???? That's the off-season rate or I am purchasing the boat for that price. You have got to be kidding me. Apparently the economy is doing better down here than in KC because I could buy a whole army of American Girl dolls for a 1/2 day boat rental.

Plan C - let's go to the Grand Canyon. First, we just need to get some gas. Let's look at the GPS and see where the nearest gas station is because I didn't see one on the way but no worries, we have 4 miles till empty and they always estimate low so we probably have 15 or 20 miles to find fuel. OK, 23 miles to the nearest gas. Cool, hey kids have we talked about faith before? Anyone wanna start praying. Oh look, there is the state penitentiary so they have lots of signs about no picking up hitchhikers and we hit "0 miles until empty" 10 miles ago. This would be fun. . .ha, ha.

Well we made it to the gas station and actually did go to the Grand Canyon - in flip-flops and swimsuit coverups. AMAZING.

Have you seen it?? So worth the drive and the kids did awesome. So much fun and they don't even remember the other stuff that day.

After that it was back to the daily grind in the office - but I have to tell you, the voices were quiet for a couple of weeks because all the bills were paid and the family was provided for. The trip was so worth it.

Now the voices are back because I have to find a new Patient Care Coordinator, so I better go and call references. I'll try to talk more about that next week.

Have a great week.


Friday, November 6, 2009

I don't like my parents


Noah, my five-year-old, is not happy. It was past his bedtime and he was grouchy.

We got home late from watching our school's district volleyball game, and we all jumped in the shower. Well he wanted to go to bed. So I forced him in the shower.

And he starts with, "I don't like parents."

I said, "Really, how would you get along without parents?"

He said, "I don't need parents."

"Well, Noah," I inquired. "How will you eat?"

He says, "In my bank I have $14."

"Noah, what are you going to do when those $14 run out?"

Then he says, "I can make money." Now he is saying all this with this scowl on his face.


"I can do my chores. I can fold my laundry. I get money for sleeping (I give him a $1 if he sleeps past 7 am and $2 if he sleeps past 8 am. You would to if your 5-year-old kept waking you up at 6 am on a Sunday morning). And I can help around the house."

"Noah, who is going to pay you for doing your chores?"


Then a big smile comes across his face. The smile that says, "Oh, you got me."

I tell him how much I love him and need him in my life.

Okay a funny story that will lead very nicely into today's topic.

Andre Agassi.

Let me do a little background information. Andre became a professional tennis player at the age of 16 (he is 39 years old).

He has won 8 Grand Slam events. He won in prize money over $30 million and was said to make about $25 million A YEAR in endorsements.

Okay, so I am reading a People magazine in the lunch room in our office, and I read he has written an autobiography.

In the book he talks about how he hated his father.

In the book he talks about how he hated tennis.

And in the book he talks about using crystal meth.

Now let's break this down.

He doesn't like his daddy. I have talked about this in the past. How far do we push our kids?

Well, it was apparent from the article that Andre's dad pushed him.

I am so sick of hearing about people's daddies. I am so sick of hearing about people blaming their parents.

(Let me rephrase that. I can get when people talk about not having a father. This is something I want to hear about. When someone's father is abusive and addicted to drugs. Yes this is something worth talking about. )

I think that book Tweak really jaded me. This drug addicted kid, that just liked being high better than he like being sober, was trying going to try to blame his dad in this book. When is he going to be old enough to be responsible for his own actions?

There is no golden rule about parenting. It is so hard. And us parents are just trying to do the best we can. Now, if my kids grow up screwed up (and I pray every night they don't) it won't be because I didn't love them or I didn't try.

Am I perfect? No

Am I going to screw things up? Yes

But who doesn't.

I just got this email this morning. I have received it before. The email says that Bill Gates was in a high school class giving a speech and these are some of the excerpts.

Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parent's fault , so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

So Andre's dad was tough on him. I can see that. I can see a dad thinking that his boy has talent and that if he just pushed himself he might be able to be great. He might be able make some money playing tennis.

I guess there are ways of doing this. Tiger and his dad (and his dad pushed him pretty hard) were best friends. Sean O'Hair (professional golfer) and his overbearing step-father haven't spoken in over 5 years. (This story was on 60 minutes. His step-dad spent over $2 million on Sean's golf swing. His step-dad made Sean sign a contract that half of his winning would go to the step dad. Oh he made him sign the contract when he was FIFTEEN YEARS OLD)

But these are three dads of elite athletes. They may have done it wrong but IT WORKED.

Now as a father would I rather have the money or my kid. I would say my kid 100 out of 100 times.

But I also know what it is like to have to go to work every day (okay, four out of seven days) and worry about the money in some capacity. I know what is like to work in a dog-eat-dog world.

And if there was a way that my kids could avoid this by playing a sport or acting in a movie...that is where the lens gets cloudy for some parents.

Just one more tournament, he is almost there. Just one more commercial, and I think she will get her big break.

Now the I HATE TENNIS thing really irks me. This 39 year old that has made over $300 million playing tennis. He won't have to work another day in his life. He will not have to set his alarm at 5:45 am to go to work. He will not have to use the sweat of his brow to make ends meet. He will not have to go in on a Saturday to help a neighbor kid. The only thing he might have to worry about is if he should get one or two professional chef's to go with him to visit his French chalet in the mountains.

Don't get me wrong I am not delusional about how money is not the only thing. I get that.

But I am surely not going to look this gifted horse in the mouth. I know I have it good. I know I have a great practice. I know I have a great staff. I know it is awesome to work with my dad.

I thank God every day for making me a dentist and putting me where I am at. I thank God for giving me the talent that I can use.

I love teeth. I love being a dentist. I love helping the neighbor's kids.

And for me to tell in my "tell all" book that I hate dentistry is a kick in the ass to everyone that has helped me get to where I am at today, even if my dad pushed me too hard.

(Now I realize that some people hate their job. I think this is different than hating dentistry. If you do hate your job...change it).

Lastly the crystal meth thing. What the hell is up with people these days?


What ever happened to the rebellious stage being all about marijuana?
But METH, this is some bad stuff. He said he was sitting around watching TV with a buddy or a rep or someone and the guy says, "Hey do you want to do some gack?"

This is Andre freaking Agassi and you are going to ask him if he wants to shoot meth with you.

Who the hell is he hanging around with?

Man, people are stupid.

Now maybe because he never had a childhood and all that crap, but hell, you can buy your childhood now.

Okay, I have to stop. I don't want to offend anyone anymore.

I must be in a nasty mood today.

I don't think any of you would be too offended by what I had to say.

I am would like to hear if you agree or disagree with me.

Have a great weekend.

But remember don't push them too hard...they could make $300 million and you don't want them resenting you for it. I said I would stop, so I am stopping.


Running 22 miles tomorrow. Marathon 24 days away.

The weather here has been PERFECT. About 60 as a low and about 80 as a high. Real nice.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

He is Our Meal Ticket


I had an eventful weekend.
Friday night was Madison’s Birthday party. The big American Doll presentation.

I think she had a great time. All her friends were there and there was even a surprise Ms. Debbie.
Then we went home to do Pizza and a movie with the family. We watched Miracle.
It is a great family movie. Good times.

I am not going to talk about the Gators (because my not talking about them has apparently helped them) but I can talk about the trip I took to Jacksonville with my son Luke and a couple of my friends and their kids.

I got my run in on Saturday morning and then we left Orlando about 9:45.
We got to Jacksonville at about 11:30. This was enough time to set up the chairs and have a beer and a cigar and relax.
Then we went off to the game. It is so awesome getting to a game in a big city. They do it up right.
The game was great. Literally half the stadium is red and black and the other half is orange and blue. The stadium has a back drop of the city on one side and the backdrop of the water on the other. Real nice.

At the end of the game it took awhile to get to the car because Alltel Stadium is tough to get in and out of.
We finally got into the car and just drove a bit. We were hungry so we stopped in St. Augustine and had dinner at Cracker Barrel.
Food, it is amazing to see what it will do to rowdy 10-13 year olds. They were zonked in the backseat of the van about 10 minutes after dinner.
Rolled into the driveway at about 11:30pm. What a day. (Considering I was up at 4:45am to go running).

A lot going on but I want to get right to my story.
I am sitting in my office after work and I hear the chime of the front door. After I hear some discussion up front one of my staff members comes and gets me.
Some-one up front wants to talk to me. She says that his two year old son had fallen and chipped his tooth. Now as I am walking up front I am preparing myself for what I am going to see.
I have seen it all. Kids with lips all busted up….bleeding lips and bleeding gums. Teeth totally busted out and teeth moved but not out.
I have seen teeth broken at the gumline and I have seen little tiny chips.
So I immediately switch my mind into worst case scenario mode. I prepare for the worst.
I go up there and there is a man holding his son. He shows no signs of trauma.
He obviously was not traumatized and neither was his son.
I switch into this is no big deal mode.
The father says that he chipped his tooth.
Now all of us who have kids know that all kids chip their teeth.
I have had three kids with teeth. I had 4 chipped anterior teeth and one avulsed tooth.
Well, let me tell you what the treatment is for a chipped tooth on a person under 8 years old…..NOTHING.
I said it is no big deal. His gums don’t look like they have been traumatized. He is going to be fine.
But apparently this was not enough for this dad.
He said, (literally he said these words) “I want to get this fixed because he is our meal ticket.”
Then he went on to tell us that they have him in modeling and are looking on getting him into commercials.
Did you hear me? They want this two year old to be able to pay for them to live.
Things that make you go hmmm?

Okay, let’s stop here for a minute. We all think our kid is the cutest thing in the world. We see our kids and say, “They are cuter than that kid in the diaper commercial.”
But we all know that this kid in the diaper commercial is not going to be the next Drew Barrymore.
You see these reality shows on parents and their kids trying to win pageants. All the parents look like idiots. And for what I have seen it is all about the parents and never about the kid. Now I take what the reality shows portray with a grain of salt but…
What is so wrong about our kids just going through life being normal? Why do we all want our kid to be famous?
Just take a glance at People magazine and tell me how many famous people look happy in this magazine. Now I know that the stars in People magazine are not a perfect representation of all the stars.
So back to the kid in my reception room….
I tell this father that if he really wants it done that I would recommend that a pediatric dentist take care of this. I told him I have this friend that is a couple miles away that would love to fix this tooth for your son.
He told me that he had a chip and I fixed it and he was very pleased, could I work on his son.
So being the sucker I am I said I would try. He said his son is real good and I shouldn’t have a problem doing the work.
I told him that I didn’t think he would be able to do it but I would grant him his wish.
A couple of days later he was in my chair.
How do you think it went?

Well, first of all, the dad didn’t bring him. Mom and grandma brought him.
And it went about has well as expected. He wouldn’t let me even go near him.
The mother tried all the coaxing and then the grandmother came in and did some “bad cop” routine that didn’t work either. They were both annoyed at the kid.
I told them, “Don’t be annoyed at a two year old for acting like….well, a two year old.”

This job is so interesting. You get to see people for who they are.
You, most of the time, get to see people raw.
You get to see people, elated. You get to see people in pain (hopefully not of your doing) physically and emotionally.
And most of the time it is not pretty. I tell you people are great. People are nice.
But even I will be a total a@#$!*ole when the rubber hits the road.
When it is all done I say to myself, “what just happened there? You were such a turd.”
You feel guilty and then apologize. But that tells me what I look like inside.

I am going to stop here but I still want to talk about this. I just read an article about Andre Agassi and how he resents his dad for pushing him into tennis. He goes on to say he hates tennis.
Can you imagine if Tiger came out and said he hates golf?

Have a great Wednesday,

Today is the first day of flag football practice.
I brought my easel in order to draw plays for the kids.
Man am I excited about this.
I even slept pretty good last night.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Returning from Wally World

I am returning from the Crowder Family Vacation and will pass along the Griswoldian experiences tomorrow. Have a great day,



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