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 ( – 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.