Brian Gilham

Engineering leader, husband, and father


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.

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.

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.

As a quick follow-up to yesterday’s note, I’ve now imported all my Instagram videos and stories. I’ve also brought over all of my old Medium articles. The process continues.

As I continue to reject social media sites and host my own content, I sat down this evening and wrote a script to import my Instagram archives. It worked out to 1046 photos, along with their associated captions.

Next up: videos.

If you’ve been following me for a few years, you might remember when I wrote the Monday Mailer — an email newsletter about productivity, side projects, and feelings. I’m really proud of some of those articles. Some of them make me cringe. Regardless, you can now find the archives here.

As our 60th day of physical distancing begins, I can’t help but be grateful for the feeling of temporal affluence — a surplus of time and space that wasn’t there, previously. Or didn’t feel like it was, anyway. Forced reflection on how we spend our time, our priorities, and the kind of life we want to build going forward.

Like everyone else, we’ve been trying to stay home as much as possible. My weekly grocery store run is the only exposure I have to how well my neighbours are adhering to physical distancing guidelines. And, I have to say, the cracks are starting to show.

Even two weeks ago, I could count on most people giving me, and each other, a wide berth. This week I was shocked at how many people invaded my personal space.

The fatigue has begun to set in and it worries me.

I’ve taken a crack at summing up the philosophy behind my blog and what you can expect reading it. The short version? I’m tired of fragmenting my online presence across various social networks. Everything will live here, going forward.

I love stumbling across someone new online and discovering they have a /now page. It’s a great look into what someone cares about, spends their time on, and is thinking about. I had one on an older version of my site, but it was lost in the shuffle of a couple redesigns.

That’s now been rectified.

Work continues on my Sokoban clone, codenamed Apollo. The last few days have been spent doing a fair bit of codebase cleanup, implementing music and sound effects, and throwing together a quick win state.

Next up is figuring out how to best save state to disk, implementing a proper menu, and continuing to build out level layouts.

As I wrap up my seventh week of physical distancing and working from home, I’ve found myself gravitating toward using the iPad more often. It’s the perfect form-factor for lounging on the couch reading books or noodling in Procreate.

Implemented a quick test title screen, along with some general state management. “Apollo” is the project’s codename. I’m really enjoying the constraints of the retro, 1-bit vibe.

Starting to explore GUI for displaying level number, crates remaining, and move count. I enlarged the space available for each level, allowing a bit more variety.

As my exploration into Lua and Love2D continues, I’ve been working on a small Sokoban clone.

I have a lot of the basics figured out. I can load in level data (created in Tiled), draw the grid, handle collisions, push crates around, and track win/loss state.

Next up is global state management, more of the GUI, and lots of other niceties.

On the wide spectrum between introversion and extroversion, I’ve always imagined myself sitting roughly in the middle. With a slight bias toward introversion, perhaps. As I enter my fifth week of working from home full-time, I’m struck by how important work — and the office, in particular — is for fulfilling the extroverted side of my personality. Done well, work culture provides real human connection and friendship.

It’s incredible how quickly household appliances and other infrastructure start to break down when you have two humans home all day, every day.

Amid the sometimes conflicting information on wearing cloth masks, I’ve started wearing one when I have to be out and around others. Combined with discipline around hand hygiene, proper removal, and sanitation it now strikes me as a worthwhile step to take. It felt extremely strange, at first. But that feeling quickly faded and, given a sample of just my neighbourhood, I’m far from alone.

We had to visit a hospital yesterday — everyone is fine, thankfully — and it further solidified the deep appreciation I have for the work being done by front-line doctors, nurses, and other staff. Folks who have managed, somehow, to maintain an air of positivity through everything they’re facing. Thank you, all.