03 February 2010

Book Signing: FRI 5 FEB 5pm at Otto Book Store, Williamsport, PA

This Friday, I have a book signing at Otto Bookstore in Williamsport, PA. It will be on 5 FEB from 5-8pm.

Otto is an amazing store. They are exactly as they describe: "A book Lover's Paradise"!

Last weekend I went with two of the boys to meet the crew and check out the establishment. Of course we walked out with three books! I even found a discounted copy of "Wishful Drinking" by Carrie Fisher for a fraction of cover price.

Otto is located on 107 W. Fourth St. in Williamsport, and their phone is: 1-888-762-4526.

Here is their website:


The signing will feature another author as well: Diane Keeler, author of "A Patient Friendly Resource for Epilepsy"


I am very thankful to Otto Bookstore owner Betsy Rider for kindly hosting me. She also wrote a great column about the book for the Williamsport paper. (I was inadvertently promoted to "head of pediatric surgery" in the article, but fortunately my boss didn't mind!)


I hope to see you at Otto on Friday!

01 February 2010

A low stress patient

Last weekend, I built a table.

I probably put the people who know me through the unnecessary worry that I would lop off a finger. We have a work table in our kitchen, but it's tough to sit around it becuase of the bottom shelf. M. found the Vermont Butcher Block and Board company who made us a tabletop the same width as our work table using alternating maple and walnut for a lot cheaper than I could have on my own.


I based the design on plans we found at This Old House.


I fastened the butcher block to an apron of red oak we stained with Minwax Walnut using 1/2 inch holes in the crossbeams and screws through fender washers so that the table top could shrink and expand without warping. I fastened square block legs of oak to the apron with corner braces.

The toughest joints of all were where the X-shaped hanger met the legs. I wanted that shape so that sitting stools could be tucked under the table. I cut a mortise and tenon joint into the corner of each leg and ran a carriage bolt in from the outside of each leg. I also put a locking caster on the bottom of each leg so we could roll the table around.

It was nice to know that if I messed up, all I would be sacrificing was a piece of lumber. I had been imagining several ways to screw it up for the past few weeks, so I had committed most of the errors in my mind. The casters didn't screw in flush but otherwise assembly went well. M. handled staining and touch up.
Last Saturday I took the kids to Lowe's for the free Build and Grow workshop, and they each made a Tic-Tac-Toe game box. When we were done, I found three stools that were a little scratched up, and the friendly people at Lowe's gave us 20% off for the blemishes!
Bit by bit the kids have begun using the table to for breakfast, so mission accomplished!