My Foobar

Thumbnail link to an image of my foobar2000 config as of December 20, 2015.

My music player of choice is foobar2000. Some of player's features are full Unicode support, Replay Gain support (both playback and calculation), advanced tagging capabilities, and customizable keyboard shortcuts. foobar2000 has native support for the popular audio formats including MP3, MP4, AAC, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack, Speex, AU, SND, and more with additional components. All supported audio formats can be transcoded using the included Converter component. Finally, foobar2000 uses an open component architecture, allowing the functionality of the player to be extended via plug-ins.

With the switch to Windows 10, I wanted a foobar theme that was a bit cleaner than the old three-panel layout I used with Windows 7. The old classical user interface from the old foobar 8.3.1 days had a feature where a hidden panel could slide out over the playlist. I tried to duplicate this effect in my foobar theme by using a splitter (left/right) between the SimPlayList Manager (foo_simplaylist_manager) pane and the Selection Properties pane but not locking the widths of either pane. This allows me to dynamically size the SimPlayList Manager pane to view the Selection Properties underneath. Playlist switching is handled by the Playlist Switcher toolbar item. Separate SimPlayList (foo_simplaylist) and Facets (foo_facets) windows can be opened using custom buttons on the toolbar or via the foobar menu. This allows me to make these components as complex as I wish without worrying about size constraints if they are incorporated into the overall theme. A Musical Spectrum (foo_musical_spectrum) pane below the SimPlayList Manager pane completes the look.

Download the file (ZIP Size: 1,370,544 bytes  MD5: cf42b8662a050a87015ee46f08918267) which includes the latest versions of my foobar theme and my musical spectrum config, my complete component list, custom toolbar icons, and a collection of "no cover" images.

Hello Zoë

Thumbnail link to a picture of Zoë at age 9 months. Thumbnail link to a picture of Zoë on the day we started fostering her.

Tundra has been a great cat. He has always been very well behaved and affectionate. Danni thought it might be a good idea to provide him some company for when we were not home so, in April, we began fostering a 4 week old, black, domestic short hair. Her foster name was "Shadow" but over time we changing that to "Zoë" (after Zoe Washburne, the character in the science fiction series, Firefly).

When we first picked up Zoë, she was a tiny, black, ball of fur that easily fit in the palm of my hand. She quickly bonded with Tundra and the two of them get along great. If anything, Tundra probably found her a bit too clingy. She continued to grow, as kittens will do, and she is now almost the same size as Tundra! In November, we filed the paperwork to adopt Zoë and make her a permanent part of our household.

2010 NCAA® March Madness®

Well, my bracket was more than busted! It was thrown to the floor, stomped on, and broken into dozens of little pieces. I did pick some "Cinderellas" like St. Mary's but who would have thought Cornell, Murray St, or Ohio would have even won their first round game (Cornell and St. Mary's made it into the Sweet 16). UNI's win over Kansas was another surprise. Unfortuantely, I had Kansas winning it all. After the first weekend, I had 350 points out of 640 using the scoring system from the ESPN Tournament Challenge. After the second weekend, only one of my Final Four picks (Michigan State) was still alive so I did not even bother scoring the round. :-(

That said, I thought 2010 produced a great tournament full of upsets and underdogs. Even through I did not pick them, I was pleased to see Butler in the championship game and cheered for them against Duke. (Does anybody cheer for Duke except students and alums?) With the game literally going down to the last shot as the buzzer sounded, who could have asked for a better finish to the tournament? Congrats to Duke for yet another championship and to Butler for reminding us March Madness is not all about power conferences and big bucks.

2009 NCAA® March Madness®

I enjoyed watching the tounament this year but I was disappointed a "Cinderella" did not come out of the brackets. As for my own bracket, a fairly pedestrian performance: Of the 63 games (the play-in game is typically a freebie), I correctly picked winners in 51 games which gave me 1430 points using the scoring system from the ESPN Tournament Challenge. At least I beat President Obama and Tony Kornheiser.

H4ppy H0l1d4y$

One of our pastimes is playing first person shooters such as the games in the Quake series. Every now and then, we come across something that someone has "updated" for the FPS genre. This particular piece has been around for a while but we still get a laugh out of it.

Coolidge Hill

Danni and I took a week-long vacation to New England in late May 2008. While we were there, we spent a day touring Danni's hometown of Natick, Massachusetts. We walked through the historic downtown area, visited her elementary school, met the current owners of the house Danni grew up in, and climbed to the top of her favorite sleddin' hill.

Thumbnail link to panoramic photograph of Coolidge Hill.

When we returned home, Danni stitched together over a dozen photographs in Photoshop to produce the above panorama from the summit of Coolidge Hill. (The file size is 8,171 KB so it might take a while to load, depending on the speed of your connection.)

Hello Tundra

Thumbnail link to a picture of Tundra, age 15 months.

Danni always says that a house without a cat is like a computer without a mouse -- It just doesn't work properly. One week after saying goodbye to Talisman, we adopted a 15 month old, tabby-and-white, domestic short hair. His foster name was "Jeffery" but we changing that to "Tundra" (after the pick-up truck I won't let Danni buy).

Tundra has already proven to be a very intelligent and affectionate companion. He spent all day Saturday in my lap, watching the Summer Olympics with me and gently purred Danni and me to sleep Saturday night. Sunday, I showed Tundra the intricacies of Quake Live although he seemed to prefer getting stroked and petted to watching me play.

Tundra and our two shelties have adjusted to each other very quickly. I'm sure none of them would ever admit it but I have already caught the three of them playing together.

Acie Law Day

I recently visited the Texas A&M Athletics web site and noticed February 16, 2008 had been declared "Acie Law Day". By coincidence, I received an email from an IT publication promoting a recent whitepaper discussing how the TAMU athletics department had updated their web infrastructure over the past twelve months to handle all the traffic generated by a rivalry game like A&M vs. tu. Buried in the middle of the whitepaper was a link to a YouTube video of Acie's game winning shot against tu. I never get tired of watching this clip. :-)

In Memory …

Thunbnail link to a photo of Rook sitting among wildflowers.

1995 - May 3, 2011

Thunbnail link to a photo of Luan standing in the hall.

1999 - October 9, 2010

Thunbnail link to a photo of Talisman napping by the Christmas Tree.

1988 - August 8, 2008

Thunbnail link to a photo of Rand sitting in the hall.

1986 - April 19, 1995