Fun With Fonts

For those folks who read my blog as an RSS feed,  or those who read it with an old­er brows­er (such as Inter­net Explor­er 5.0 or less, Fire­fox 2.0, Safari 1.0, or oth­ers), you won’t notice much of a change, but if you are look­ing at this page or oth­ers with a new­er brows­er, you should be see­ing some inter­est­ing changes: main­ly the fonts for the head­lines and body type. How did I do this? I’ve been play­ing with the type­kit ser­vice (www.typekit.com — if you don’t see any­thing yet, it’s because I got an ear­ly invi­ta­tion. They’ll be going live for the gen­er­al pub­lic soon, I think. ), which has start­ed  to post web fonts for those peo­ple design­ing and build­ing web sites, as well as the browsers that can see them, and they’ll be offer­ing a free account with 2 fonts on a sin­gle URL. I decid­ed to use the font  “M+ 1c” for the head­lines and “Droid Serif” (which is actu­al­ly one of the fonts designed for onscreen read­ing on the Google Android OS) for the body copy.  I prob­a­bly will need to tweak some oth­er set­tings and CSS (Com­ments and a few oth­er items in the con­tent areas are still show­ing up in Geor­gia), but over­all, I’m intrigued with the prospect of web sites and blogs that use fonts oth­er than the 6 or 7 that we’ve been see­ing reg­u­lar­ly for the past 10 years or so. I hope this does catch on, as I think it could spur a renais­sance in web design. In the mean­time, it’s always a thrill to be an ear­ly adopter and catch some of this at the begin­ning.

Blog Vacation is Over

I admit it: I was tak­ing the sum­mer off from blog­ging. A com­bi­na­tion of lots of change in work/life com­bined with some real­ly great get-out-and-enjoy-the-out­doors weath­er pushed typ­ing at the com­put­er screen right off the sched­ule. Until now.

What pushed me back to the blog? Lots of changes in day-to-day life around here:

  1. The new Canada­Line, which is essen­tial­ly a sub­way (with a bit of it above ground once you get fur­ther out — just like the good old Boston T) start­ed ser­vice this past Mon­day (the first day free from 1 till 9). That means, for all intents and pur­pos­es, that the city that I know of has instant­ly grown. Rich­mond, as well as parts of the city clos­er to the Fras­er riv­er are now just as con­ve­nient to get to as Burn­a­by, the city to the East. Pam and I rode it from the sec­ond stop (Granville/City Cen­tre) to the last one (Rich­mond) — but did not take the spur to the air­port. This new tran­sit line also brings Van­cou­ver the dis­tinc­tion of being the first city in Cana­da to have a tran­sit line that links the down­town to the air­port, just like Lon­don, Paris, Bei­jing and oth­er cities not in North Amer­i­ca.
  2. The har­bin­ger of the end of the sum­mer is around the cor­ner: The PNE. I look for­ward to this ‘Coun­ty Fair’ just out­side the city (although tech­ni­cal­ly it’s still with­in the city lim­its) every year.  This will be our (gasp!) fifth one.
  3. A shock­ing and sad announce­ment that Work­space, one of the favourite gath­er­ing places for the tech com­mu­ni­ty here in Van­cou­ver, will be clos­ing its doors at the end of the week. Work­space was an engag­ing com­bi­na­tion of café, office space for cre­ative tech­no­log­i­cal entre­pre­neurs, incu­ba­tor, club­house and even a lit­tle bit of a Soho gallery (lots of local art on the walls). The floor to ceil­ing views of Howe Sound and the moun­tains, the grit­ti­ness of the train tracks (and trains pass­ing close by), along with the white paint over a for­mer slaugh­ter­house all con­tributed to a unique space that I will miss ter­ri­bly. For­tu­nate­ly, as I write this, there is some heart­en­ing traf­fic on Twit­ter about some­thing to fill this gap­ing void in the Van­cou­ver tech­nol­o­gy and social scene. We’ll have to see what comes out of the ash­es of that gem of a loca­tion that holds many fond mem­o­ries for me (and I’m sure it does for many oth­ers as well).
  4. I men­tioned changes in work. I don’t usu­al­ly blog about work on this blog. My phi­los­o­phy has always been that there was plen­ty of oth­er things to talk about, and there was always the poten­tial of offend­ing some­one or mak­ing some oth­er career-lim­it­ing move, so why chance it?  That said, I’ve resigned from my posi­tion of VP of Cre­ative Solu­tions at Busi­ness Log­ic (if you want to find out why, I can tell you over a cou­ple of beers), and I’m once again look­ing for a per­ma­nent posi­tion, despite the fact that I have a con­tract at a local Finan­cial Plan­ning com­pa­ny.  I know all too well, when con­tracts are done, there is often noth­ing else wait­ing in the wings, espe­cial­ly dur­ing cer­tain months of the year (although I’m pleased that for once, I’m work­ing in August, despite the fact that I’m not an employ­ee any­where — yet).
  5. I’ve also got a back­log of some video and pho­tos to show. The sum­mer of events and peo­ple con­tin­ued with the always enter­tain­ing and colour­ful Gay Pride Parade, Vinocamp (and Cheese­camp), a pleas­ant Wed­ding Anniver­sary pic­nic at Kits Beach (and thanks to Netchick for the idea). I’ll try and post some pics and video before it’s too ancient. If noth­ing else, the video of out first trip on the Canad­line has some great ver­ti­go-induc­ing footage look­ing back­ward down the tun­nel (I couldn’t get any­where near the front of the car, but the back end was more acces­si­ble, hence the back­ward-look­ing video).

So, as my father is fond of say­ing ‘The only thing you can be cer­tain of is change’.  He’s right, and I sup­pose it makes life more inter­est­ing. I have to admit that I’m nev­er a huge fan of change, but I’m get­ting bet­ter at it, and some of these changes haven’t been bad. Just the Work­space loss. Yup, that one just plain sucks.