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.

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.

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.

Coronavirus: Pregnant in a Pandemic →

With my wife and I expecting our first child in roughly four weeks, the latest episode of Science Vs, discussing the risks for pregnant women and newborns, felt timely and reassuring.

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.

After Social Distancing, a Strange Purgatory Awaits →

Juliette Kayyem, former Department of Homeland Security official, collected thoughts from folks in a variety of fields and shares a vision of what the world may look like after COVID-19.

The simplistic idea of “opening up” fails to acknowledge that individual Americans’ risk-and-reward calculus may have shifted dramatically in the past few weeks. Yes, I’d like to go meet some girlfriends for drinks. But I am also a mother with responsibilities to three kids, so is a Moscow mule worth it? The answer will depend on so many factors between my home and sitting at the bar, and none of them will be weighed casually.

Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self →

This gave me a much-needed laugh this morning.

Your definition of ‘a pretty big deal’ is going to change for sure.

A Lego Justin Trudeau Talks to Children About the Covid-19 Pandemic →

Tyler Walsh and his sons spent a week making a Lego stop-motion animation of Trudeau acknowledging the role of Canada’s children in this pandemic — their hardships and role in stopping the spread. Really heartwarming.

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.

Zoom needs to clean up its privacy act →

As Zoom explodes in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, Doc Searls has done a fantastic job of documenting Zoom’s many privacy concerns and publicly holding them accountable.

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.