Posted Jun 30, 2013, Published June-July 2013
This year, the hour hand of the clock seemed to move like the minute hand and suddenly we were at LAB DAY West. It’s the show that marks the end of show season and the show that used to be regional but this year drew attendees from 24 states and nine countries!
Though each of our shows has its own compelling personality, we love that our last one has that unmistakable, laid-back California vibe. The exhibit hall was flooded from early morning on; attendees came early, stayed all day and visited a lot giving us a chance to catch up with the very many friends we’ve made over the last several decades.
In California, like Chicago and New York, conversations buzzed about the upswing in caseloads that seems to have begun in January, digital technology, 3D printing (and all its implications) and the new zirconia-reinforced fabrication materials.
But there was another hot topic, this one about my “support staff”: the dogs in the photo on this page! It seems they’re a big hit; so many pet parents enjoy talking about that incredible bond we have with our pets and were eager to share photos of their own cuddly creatures. And I was more than glad to enjoy them. (In fact, some of our readers have made their pets a hobby; see Time Off is for the Dogs on page 58.)
Pets and pet photos connect us and this is the kind of sharing that makes our community all the more enjoyable! Clearly, we take pleasure in sharing other passions—beyond what we do—with those with whom we already feel a connection. With industry friends—and truly, there are many friendships among us—it isn’t about business all the time (even though we are also pretty much dental technology nerds, never tiring of talking about our field)!
In keeping with the fun of sharing, we expanded The BRIDGE at www.LMTmag.com to include some personal space. We created the Pet Partners forum for you to post photos of your pets. (I know this can be popular: dozens of Bridge sters have already posted a profile photo of their pet instead of one of themselves!)
Besides, we already got the ball rolling: You may already know that we bring our dogs to work. Now we’ve included them in our About Us page on the website. If you haven’t yet seen all of our furry friends, I invite you to visit www.LMTmag.com/about/petpartners to see the dogs—and a few of the cats—of LMT.
We also created Lab Rats, a forum on The BRIDGE for you to post photos of yourself as youngsters or your children growing up in the family lab. There are so many family-built laboratories whose current owners literally grew up in the lab. We want to celebrate this.
Yes, The BRIDGE is primarily a business network where lots of great ideas are shared, but it’s also important to recognize that taking a break from the technical realm to share more about one another as individuals helps alleviate stress and strengthens our bonds.
Some of you are already aware of this value. In addition to the “eye candy”—the many photos of beautiful restorations that reside on the site—there are landscape photos from Michael Menner and Dan O’Rourke who live in gorgeous country environments; one in Germany, the other in New Hampshire. We have music from Aaron Hoffman, Flemming Behrend and Frank Munzenmeyer who share a love for playing an instrument.
I invite you to share with us— on The BRIDGE, of course—your own stress-reduction strategies, your special interests or talents, or photos of your favorite cases. Our Bridge ster family has grown to well over 12,500 in these last two years. Now it’s time to build upon the ties that bind. Meet me on The BRIDGE, join in and enjoy the joy of connection within our wonderful laboratory community.
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