Cold Season and Another Try with FontKit

I haven’t had a cold in quite a while, so the one I have now feels par­tic­u­lar­ly annoy­ing. It’s not as if I’ve for­got­ten what a cold is like, but I think you can get used to them, when you get them more often (and I’m sure I did suf­fer from fre­quent colds- near­ly every few months or so when we lived in Boston). It’s a rainy day, and this is Cold: Day 2 ( which means, run­ny nose, sneezes and a lit­tle less ener­gy), Cold: Day 2 is always eas­i­er for me than Cold: Day 1 (sore throat, run­ny nose, feel­ing like crap). Hope­ful­ly, this cold will progress at the usu­al rate, or maybe even faster.

It’s Labour Day week­end, and although I do have a con­tract I’m work­ing on, I do have the lux­u­ry of not hav­ing to work very much this 3-day week­end. This hol­i­day falls on the last week­end of sum­mer and ush­ers in School, Work, and gen­er­al ‘Lets-Get-Down-To-It’ sort of things that we asso­ciate with the Fall sea­son. We’ve had a spec­tac­u­lar­ly sun­ny sum­mer, and it real­ly was extra­or­di­nary, with months and months of sun­shine, sun­shine and more sun­shine. That was unfor­tu­nate for those peo­ple who had to deal with wild­fires to the East of us, but for those of us in the city or near the water, July and August have been a rarely inter­rupt­ed suc­ces­sion of one beau­ti­ful day after anoth­er. Does this mean we are in for some weath­er come­up­pance?  Will we see a Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary mon­soon, or worse, lots of snow, like last year? Time will tell, I sup­pose. What I can say for sure is that for the first time in ages, the rain that we have (and there has been a lit­tle of it), is falling on a week­end. Rainy week­ends hold their own charm for me; you don’t have to feel guilty about indoor pur­suits like movies, TV, blog­ging, lis­ten­ing to iTunes or even clean­ing up the place. I’m not miss­ing any pre­cious hours of vit­a­min D har­vest, and it can be nice to be cozy, wrapped in a blan­ket, snooz­ing through some of those snif­fles.

The end of the Sum­mer real­ly began a cou­ple of weeks ago when Pam and I once again went to the PNE, which is in its last week­end right now. While we missed Dal Richards, (Canada’s answer to Guy Lom­bar­do and Glen Miller and a liv­ing leg­end, still per­form­ing well into his 90’s), we did make it to see many of the ani­mals (and on Open­ing Day, there are many of them):

Cow and Handler

I loved how this pic­ture came out

The Open­ing Day crowds, brought out by the per­fect weath­er were large:
Crowds

Crowds

We chat­ted with an old friend at the Home Improve­ment Pavil­ion, ate some of those famous lit­tle donuts:
Mmm Donuts!

Mmm Donuts!

David Eats the Donuts

They were Hot and Deli­cious

and Pam got a bar­gain of 4 ears of roast­ed corn for the price of 1 (the line was so long, they were get­ting behind and she got a plate of not-quite-good-enough-for-1-serv­ing ears):
Pam's Corn

Pam’s Corn

We also went to the ‘Mar­ket­place’ where you see all of those demon­stra­tions of every­thing from Sham­mies to Blenders and end­ed up get­ting a Smart Liv­ing Steam Mop. We’ve since put it through it’s paces on our car­pets, wood and tile at home and while it does not per­form mir­a­cles, it does work pret­ty well, and we hope it will help us keep the place a lit­tle clean­er. We still do need new car­pet, but that will hope­ful­ly come in the next few months or so.

So, with the sea­son now clear­ly com­ing to an end, it’s time to return my atten­tion back to this blog, which I’ve been giv­ing a bit less atten­tion this sum­mer. With that, I’m try­ing to once again look at the new Font tech­nol­o­gy that will be com­ing soon to a web page on your screen…

Squishy Fonts?

I’ve tried some dif­fer­ent Type­kit fonts, and it seems as if the body text is always look­ing a bit squished. I’m con­vinced it’s not the fonts them­selves, but the met­rics I’ve spec­i­fied on the orig­i­nal Geor­gia font (which is what old­er browsers see when they view my pages). I’ll keep at it, but for ref­er­ence, here are the fonts as they appear on the Type­Kit Edi­tor page:

typekit_screenshot

Click to see the full-size, which clear­ly shows how the fonts should look.

As you can see, the new font, Luxi (Sans and Serif) are not sup­posed to be that squishy, so I’ll have to work on the orig­i­nal CSS (and do so with­out ruin­ing the look of the page for old­er browsers. Back­ward com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with­out mess­ing up the new fonts is going to be one of the chal­lenges for us using these new fonts, I guess.

The Lost Week

The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston, Cover Art Courtesy of Wikipedia

The Hot Zone, by Richard Pre­ston, Cov­er Art Cour­tesy of Wikipedia

I remem­ber when I read ‘The Hot Zone’, Richard Preston’s non-fic­tion account of killer germs like Mar­burg, Ebo­la, and oth­er hem­or­rhag­ic fevers. I was tru­ly ter­ri­fied, but I remem­ber being less scared by his his­tor­i­cal back­ground mate­r­i­al on the Span­ish Flu pan­dem­ic of 1918. It’s true, it killed near­ly 25 mil­lion in its first 25 weeks. ‘But that was so long ago, I thought, ‘with Med­ical Sci­ence not suf­fi­cient­ly advanced or able to deal with sim­ple things, like the flu. After all, we now have flu shots, peni­cillin and the like.’

If the con­stant scares about ‘bird flu’ haven’t giv­en the term a new weight (and they recent­ly killed thou­sands of turkeys in near­by Abbots­ford because one of them had been found to have con­tract­ed it), I have a new rea­son to be respect­ful.  I was infect­ed with some strain of Influen­za on Fri­day, Febu­rary 20th, and I effec­tive­ly dis­ap­peared from dai­ly life until rough­ly today, 8 days lat­er (and I can’t even be pos­i­tive that it has utter­ly, com­plete­ly and total­ly left me — I real­ly hope that the SOB has). With­out going into the gory details, I was out of it for near­ly the whole week and mis­er­able. This meant that I not only missed some busi­ness meet­ings (but no dead­lines, thank good­ness), but also the sec­ond day of North­ern Voice (which by many accounts was the best ever), a Blog­ger Meet­up, and Launch Par­ty Vol 6, all which I was look­ing for­ward to attend­ing. There’s tru­ly no good time to come down with the flu, but a knock-you-on-your-ass case this week was tru­ly unfor­tu­nate.

Last year, at this time, Pam was on her trip to Antarc­ti­ca, and I came down with a case of the flu then as well (although noth­ing as severe and long as this one). That year, as with this year, I had got­ten a flu shot, but I lost the gam­ble that it cov­ered the strain that I caught. You only have a rough­ly 1 in 3 chance that the shots actu­al­ly will do the trick, and so far, over the past 3 years, I’m pret­ty much get­ting that hit rate. (1 hit, 2 miss­es)

I hope this (get­ting the flu, that is) doesn’t become a reg­u­lar,  last week in Feb­ru­ary event, because we are plan­ning on a trip in almost exact­ly a year’s time.

In the mean­time, I’ll write more when I get my strength back.

Trying Not to Do Anything Rash

I don’t usu­al­ly write much about my own health, most­ly because I usu­al­ly think that it’s a bor­ing sub­ject. Not this past week­end, though. Last Sat­ur­day, the first day of the first week­end I’d had to myself in 2 weeks, I was sit­ting right where I am right now, at my com­put­er. I was itch­ing a lit­tle on my hands after I had just washed them. I looked down and the sight that I saw was not pleas­ant. My arms had what I thought were hives; nasty red bumps, the kind you get from an aller­gic reac­tion. It got worse with each hour. Now, a day lat­er, from my head to my toes and every­where in between, I’m cov­ered with an angry red rash, and it itch­es like crazy. I could bare­ly sleep Sat­ur­day or last night from the itch­ing (it seemed to move around, like a for­est fire).

The cul­prit, it turns out, was peni­cillin (or rather, Amox­i­cillin, in the same fam­i­ly of antibi­otics) The Fri­day before last week I made a fol­low-up vis­it to my den­tist, after root canal work the pre­ced­ing Mon­day. I didn’t write about it here because aside from the dis­com­fort, it wasn’t all that notable. In order to head off a pos­si­ble abscess,  I’d been tak­ing 3 Amox­i­cillin a day for about a week. All of the sud­den, on day 10, this rash hits.

The clin­ic was closed on Sun­day, but this morn­ing I went in and saw a doc­tor, who pre­scribed some anti­his­t­a­mine and Cor­ti­sone lotion. Hope­ful­ly in a few days I should be bet­ter. In the mean­time, I look like a dis­as­ter (not being able to show­er or shave for 3 days doesn’t help either). No pho­tos are nec­es­sary, believe me.

I’m now won­der­ing if I’m going to have to wear a Med­icalert Bracelet. Being aller­gic to a raft of foods like my friend Matt would be one thing, but being aller­gic to Peni­cillin seems a bit scari­er, even though these days the ‘won­der drugs’ are less effec­tive on all of these new super-germs than they used to be. At least this new dis­cov­ery is not some­thing that will both­er me day-to-day (I hope).  As I try to keep from scratch­ing and releas­ing new his­t­a­mines into my blood­stream, I also try to think of that.