Recommendations: Businesses

Frog Balls Juggling Bean Bags  

Fabulous handmade juggling bags that you can customise!

Okay, I'm a little biased. Frog Balls is a new business venture my son and I are working on. You can check out the website here. Be sure to try out the nice javascript app where you can design your own juggling balls.

Posted on 08/20/12 _________________________________________________________________________________________________


Motorized standing/sitting desk
The Original Geekdesk

After sitting at my desk for several years straight, little back strains have grown into a recurring painful nightmare. I also noticed that I was storing more and more of my caloric intake around my waist.

After looking  long and hard online for a standing desk, I found this company. They make fairly attractive desks that are adjustable with a motor, so you can change your working position several times a day. The company was featured in the New York Times and receives consistenly positive reviews.

My desk will arrive this week. I bought the frame without the top, so I can use the nice walnut top that's on my current desk.  I'll be updating this with my experience and a photo of the new setup.

Posted on 04/03/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Expression Engine  

A Tremendous Content Management System
Content Management System

I learned to use Expression Engine for one of my day jobs. It wasn't long before I decided to make the transition for my own pages. EE, as it has come be called in the field, enables relatively easy coding for blog-type sites like this one. The great thing about it is that the html and css are COMPLETELY up to you (so you need to know html and csss). I have made three science-oriented sites with it that have very formal but deep navigational structures. This site, on the other hand has a simple structure and is more focused on graphics.

EE requires that you learn it's logic of channels and categories, and there is a system of tags, too. Learning all this is well worth the effort as it makes building rather complex content structures much easier than other systems with significantly more visual versatility than Drupal, Plone, and such.

EE is supported by a very active and helpful forum. I usually get an answer that works within 5-6 hours.

The cost varies depending on your application and ranges from $99 to $300. EE also has a 'kid-sister" called MoJoMotor, which is touted as a very user-friendly CMS. I have not used this yet.

Here's the EE link:
Here's the link to MojoMotor:

Posted on 03/18/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gerald Self, Harpsichord Maker  

Custom built Harpsichords and also a radio show about harpsichord music
Flemish Single Harpsichord
by Gerald Self.

When in negotiations to purchase a harpsichord kit from Gerald Self, it rapidly became apparent that Mr. Self knows not only about building instruments, but also about the music that they make. He works with materials and parts from of Marc Ducornet and The Paris Workshop. He imports kits, and also sells finished instruments. If you have any questions about harpsichords of are thinking about building one, an adventure I strongly recommend, Gerald can get you set off in the right direction.

Posted on 03/17/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Button Box  

The NE US Premiere Concertina Makers and Accordion Shop, Sunderland, MA

I have two handmade concertinas from the Button box. The sound is great, perfectly tuned. The bellows are so carefully made it's a joy to work them. The Cherry ends are perfectly finished with a rich transparent lacquer that shows all the beauty of the wood.

The Button Box also has carefully selected sheet music and recordings, sells and repairs accordions, and accessories. Their website is great with photos and descriptions of all the current inventory. You can learn a lot just from browsing their site. If you're in the market for a squeezbox of any sort, you ought to check out what they have to offer. The Button Box.

Posted on 03/15/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________