Brian Gilham

Engineering leader, husband, and father

The Virus Is a Reminder of Something Lost Long Ago →

Even for those who continue their professional life working online, schedules have become more flexible. Demands have retreated. Daily routines have been interrupted. We suddenly have unstructured, free-floating, beckoning time. This terrible disaster has freed us from the prison of our time-driven lives. At least for a few months, we have the chance to slow down. In the past, we’ve had little opportunity to do so, swept along by the rushing tide of prosperity and speed in the modern world.

Had the opportunity to spend two hours strolling downtown, on Saturday, and it felt lovely to be in a sea of people (at a distance) again. Felt like the old normal, just for a little while.

My blog is a digital garden, not a blog →

Just like plants in the garden I’ve got posts that are in various stages of growth and nurturing. Some might wither and die, and others (like this one you are reading) will flourish and provide a source of continued for the gardener and folks in community that visit.

QB64 →

QB64 is a modern extended BASIC programming language that retains QBasic/QuickBASIC 4.5 compatibility and compiles native binaries for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

There’s a lot to dislike about the current “lockdown” situation we find ourselves in. But I’ll forever appreciate how present I’ve been able to be for the early weeks of The Kid’s life. What an unexpected blessing.

4 out of 5
  • Built like a tank and doesn’t wobble, even at the highest height setting.
  • Relatively easy to put together – took maybe an hour.
  • The mesh on the underside of the desk surface is great for all the various cables I need to hide.
  • Controller is responsive and Bluetooth-enabled (allowing you to control the height from the command line!).
  • Ten-year warranty

A bit pricey, but I’m loving it so far. Give it a look if you’re in the market for a standing desk.

Thanks to a WFH stipend from TWG, I finally replaced my decade-old desk with something a bit nicer. Some quick thoughts:

  1. The IDÅSEN is built like a tank and doesn’t wobble – even when set to max height. I’m told this is uncommon with a lot of standing desks.
  2. Being able to control my sit/stand desk via the command line has proven to be both useful and nerdy fun!
  3. Even as someone who is fully bought-in on the benefits of switching between sitting & standing regularly, I’ve been surprised at how much of a difference it’s made — particularly now that it’s easy.

Highly recommend this model, if you’re in the market.

The Whimsical Web →

So this site is meant to showcase how a more personal web could look like, and hopefully give you some inspiration to make your own corner of the web a bit weirder.

Growing Without Schooling →

What if school, in fact, isn’t the best place for your kids to learn? What if you didn’t try to replicate school at home? What if you had the opportunity, now, to try something else? What if we saw this time as a radical opportunity to let our kids learn and explore their interests unfettered by the demands of the classroom? What would happen if you stopped worrying about teaching them and gave your kids the time, space, and materials to lead their own learning? What would happen if you let them in on your working life, let them see you working, involved them more deeply in the work of keeping up a house and a home life?

We’re only three (almost four!) weeks into raising The Kid, but I find myself thinking about this stuff a lot.

Being Alone →

When you hit “Leave Meeting” and the stereo white noise from other people’s bedrooms cuts out, the quiet hits quick.

You’re still in the same seat you’ve been in for weeks, breathing the same air, staring at the same wall. As much as you know that there’s a world out there—a world you were just seeing through the wizardry of high speed connection and built-in front facing cameras—the afterglow of that video context just doesn’t last.

A long, but very worthwhile read from Ankit Shah.

An Insanely Comprehensive List of 260 Pop-Culture Oral Histories →

But even though the motif is a bit tired – and we’re doing our part in running the reporting technique into the ground – a well-crafted oral history is still hard to resist. But where to find them when you need them? To help you find the oral history that’s right for you, we’ve compiled this exhaustive list of 260 pop-culture oral histories we could find online.

I’m about to lose a lot of time to this list, I’m sure.

First Father’s Day.

Writing Command Line Tools in Swift Using ArgumentParser →

If you’d like to write command-line tools using Swift, Andy Ibanez has written a great series of posts about using ArgumentParser.

In this article, we will explore ArgumentParser, and how we can start building some command line tools with it, using the basic building blocks, which are three Property Wrappers called Argument, Option, and Flag.

Almost two weeks in and I’m loving this little guy more each day.

On Children: Poignant Parenting Advice from Kahlil Gibran →

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

Hat tip to Derek for passing this along.

I really miss the spirit of the 90’s web. Turns out I’m not alone.

Tatiana Mac would like to see webrings make a comeback.

If you’re too young to remember webrings, Charlie Owen does a great job explaining what they are and why they’re important — even in 2020.

Webrings could be something that gets us back into a slower world of personal sites and personal, very human stories. None of your “personal brand” (unironic use of which needs to die in a fire, as it is simply a way of defining your worth by your employability). Bring back the human brand! Bring back the ability to find smart amazing, original, bizarre, wonderful people!

If you’re convinced, Max Böck has decided to help out and make it really easy to set up a new webring, including some neat modern features (like automatically generated OPML files!).

It might just be the circles I currently run in, but I’m really enjoying the recent push toward personal sites and away from social media.

Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop →

Powerful essay (allegedly) written by a former police officer with ten years of experience in “a major metropolitan area in California with a predominantly poor, non-white population”.

I really want to hammer this home: every cop in your neighborhood is damaged by their training, emboldened by their immunity, and they have a gun and the ability to take your life with near-impunity. This does not make you safer, even if you’re white.

Oscar Gilham

Welcome to the world, little buddy.

Quite the light show in Toronto, the other night.