Letting Go

Posted by Tom Locke on February 15th, 2019 filed in Business, General, History, Life
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I think we have all been in the situation where someone has got under your skin and it ruined your day–which may have been an otherwise good day.

Since there is no rewind function, and I can’t repeat the day differently, I am reminded by something Dale Carnegie wrote. He said we should live in day-tight compartments. Meaning,  live in the present and don’t worry about things – let them go.

Ann Landers said holding onto resentment is like letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.

You have better things to do.  Things that put a smile on your face.  So, focus on those things.


Behind The Vision

Posted by Tom Locke on February 8th, 2019 filed in Business, General, Life
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Last month I met with a business colleague of mine to get caught up on what he was doing.  Over the course of the discussion, he unveiled a new entity he created that was producing good results.

When I quizzed him on how it was able to achieve this, he spoke of having a vision.  As I drilled down further, it soon became apparent why he had achieved success.  Simply put, having vision is one thing … realizing on your vision is another.

He realized on his vision because he followed these axioms for success.

  1. Develop a strategy for implementation;
  2. Execute on the strategy; and, most importantly,
  3. Maintain the passion to see it through


Out Of The Mouth Of Babes

Posted by Tom Locke on February 1st, 2019 filed in Education, General, Life
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Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with the daughter of a good friend.  Our topic was choosing the right career.

During our conversation we got to talking about “what puts a smile on your face” and attitude as it relates to competing.  This led her to sharing a related story with me on someone who had made an impression on her.

This ‘someone’ turned our to be a squash coach she had a few years back.  In his coaching, he constantly reminded her to smile and appreciate what she was doing.  This definitely assisted greatly with her attitude.  His catch phrase that has stuck with her was “Grin and Win” … and, as soon as she said it, she began to smile.

Thanks to this young lady, I am making a conscious effort to practice this.  It certainly instills a positive outlook.


How The Internet Of Things Is Influencing Daily Life

Posted by Tom Locke on January 12th, 2019 filed in Business, Education, General, History, Life
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Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is the network of devices such as vehicles, and home appliances that contain electronics, software, actuators, and connectivity which allows these things to connect, interact and exchange data.

One of the top mobile app developers, based in London, England, is Glance.  This company has a real good grasp on the Internet of Things and has offered up the following as it relates to worldwide climate change:

Climate change is a serious issue requiring real, cooperative solutions that involve countries around the globe. Everything from food to infrastructure and general quality of life is being threatened by global warming. While real change requires help from the 100 companies which are responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions, we are all looking for ways to do our parts.

The Internet of Things is a rapidly growing industry that’s being applied to more and more fields every year, and it can offer us solutions for climate change and beyond. With Android and iOS mobile app development becoming more sophisticated each year, the opportunities to create integrated solutions becomes increasingly viable.

IoT-based solutions are already having an effect on things like disease prevention, food production, and pollution. These are some of the main ways in which you can expect the Internet of Things to change your lifestyle.

Improving Water and Air Quality

The capitalist world economy has led to a situation in which over 90% of Earth’s population lives in an area with unsafe air quality. Air and water represent two of the most important resources for humans and life in general, so reversing some of the damage is vital to maintaining our planet for future generations.

London has already seen implementation of IoT solutions through a program that allows enabled devices like cars and bikes to measure air quality while moving throughout the city. These can help people know when to avoid certain areas and assist politicians in designing policies to counter the effects of pollution.

City-Specific Solutions

The world’s urban population is constantly growing, and many cities struggle to keep up with the needs of citizens and commuters. They have begun to experience more and more instances of extreme weather and increased sea levels as climate change continues to progress around the world.

Barcelona is among the world leaders in IoT implementation thanks to a system that provides irrigation for fountains and parks, automatically activated street lights to promote safety and energy efficiency, and digitally planned bus routes. These are designed to help cut down on unnecessary waste in areas such as energy, light, and water.

There’s no question that climate change is becoming a more and more severe problem every year. We will have to address a variety of structural problems in order to stop and eventually reverse the damage. The Internet of Things is a small piece of a large puzzle that starts with increasing awareness.

Fortunately, forward-thinking entrepreneurs are already exploring the ways in which these technologies can help us manage climate change. The solutions covered in this article are just a few examples of societies around the world that are experimenting with new methods of reducing our ecological footprint.


Handling Ghosting Head On

Posted by Tom Locke on January 5th, 2019 filed in Business, History, Life
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A relatively new “phenomena” in the market place is ghosting most commonly associated with the breaking off a relationship (often an intimate relationship) by ceasing all communication and contact with the former partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate.

It may be most often associated with dating, but ghosting has spread to the professional world.

Over the last nine months, I recently experienced this with a public traded company that owes me money.  Via emails, texts and phone calls I have tried to contact the CEO, CFO and/or the COO to discuss steps in paying off this debt.  In messaging them, I even offered a resolution in the form of debt conversion wherein the monies owed to me by the company are converted into free trading shares at a mutually agreed upon stock price.  No response.

Towards the end of 2018, I was getting nowhere fast and decided that I would have to go the lawyer route in the New Year in order to get this situation resolved.

However, I got wind of the company’s AGM being held on December 21, 2018.  So, as a creditor, I decided to attend.  Glad I did.  Two of the three directors of the company were at the meeting including the COO who also chaired the meeting.  There is no doubt that he was somewhat surprised to see me.

I was received courteously and made a point of bringing up my willingness to do a debt conversion during the discussion period after the AGM and in front of the two directors, a company employee and attending shareholders.

The COO spoke to me at the conclusion of the meeting, saying that he would meet with me and act on the debt conversion.  It now remains to be seen, what will transpire in January.

One more “ghosting” note – in all my years of attending public company AGM’s, it was the first time that I have ever been at one where the CEO and CFO failed to show up.


Christmas Kindness

Posted by Tom Locke on December 24th, 2018 filed in Business, Life
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The other day I had cause to go to a craft store to seek a solution for hanging a picture in such a way that it could either hang on a wall or be leaned against a wall or a backdrop.

The craft person, who was responsible for the displaying and framing of images, instantly came up with an elegant, cost-effective solution.  The solution totally met my needs.  However, when I asked her, “How much do I owe you?”, she replied “Nothing … have a great day.”

I was somewhat stunned by this but managed to stammer “Thank you … and Merry Christmas to you.”

I walked out of that store with a smile on my face and have since told this story a number of times.

One thing is for sure … that store has a customer for life.  It’s amazing what a little kindness can do.

 


The Digital Divide

Posted by Tom Locke on December 5th, 2018 filed in Business, Education, History, Life, Technology
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I am delighted to learn that human interaction is back as an “in” thing to do.

Over the last couple of decades, technology has taken over – to the point it is running our lives.  However, it is economist, Thierry Malleret’s contention that the digital divide is going in reverse.

According to Malleret:

“Until recently, it was all about access to technology; but now, it’s about limiting access to technology. Among those who know most about tech, the worry about the impact that digital devices have on their children is such that they are moving toward a complete or partial ban.

In Silicon Valley, elite schools now eschew most digital devices while schools for poor and middle-class US children continue to promote screens. Moving forward, this is a sign that businesses and ideas focused on human interaction will benefit from a premium.

This point makes the issue of digital detox all the more relevant and compelling. Limiting our digital consumption is wellness positive. So is reconnecting with nature. These observations may seem trivial to wellness aficionados and practitioners, but they haven’t yet percolated down to the daily lives of a large majority of people.”

All I can say is “Yahoo” – it’s about time and I hope others will become increasing sensitive to this.  After all, we were born to interact – with each other.


The Rest Of The Story

Posted by Tom Locke on November 19th, 2018 filed in Business, History, Life
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Growing up in Toronto I was exposed to one of the great radio broadcasters of all time.  His name was Paul Harvey.  Chicago-based, Harvey had a syndicated radio feature titled “The Rest of the Story”.

In a unique presentation style, he would entertain, educate and surprise his listeners with little known facts about individuals and/or events.  His approach was to “set the table” by arousing the curiosity of his listeners with his opening remarks, then break to a commercial.  After that break he would proceed to weave his initial comments into an amazing, sometimes shocking ending, finishing with his catch phrase, “And now you know the rest of the story.  Good day.”

Well this past week in Vancouver, I was exposed to an extraordinary “rest of the story” in the animation world.  Having the pleasure to work alongside members of Women In Animation (WIA), I had the opportunity to listen to film researcher and author, Mindy Johnson, and legendary animator, Jane Baer, as they presented their findings and first hand experiences of the impact women had and the integral roles they played in the shaping of the animation industry as we know it today.  In doing so, they introduced us to Mindy’s new book, “Ink & Paint:  The Women Of Walt Disney’s Animation”.

Jane & Mindy

A leading expert on women’s roles in animation and film history, Mindy frequently writes and speaks on early cinema, animation, women’s history, and creativity. Her ongoing research and ground-breaking discoveries continue to cast light on the invisible narrative of women’s presence within the first century of the motion picture industry.

Mindy sums up her approach this way:

“We’re at a pivotal point in our industry for women. In order to change our future, we need to start with a clear understanding of our past. As I’ve been recently speaking/lecturing on the remarkable contributions women have made to animation – including the great Jane Baer and her landmark contributions to the popular animated art form – it’s astounding to see just how little is properly written-on, recorded, documented or known about the thousands of women who have shaped our animated past from the very beginning. Without this knowledge, we struggle – thinking we have to carve new paths to establish our place within this industry – when generations before have already blazed these trails for us. By continuing with my research, writing and speaking, I hope to offer women and men within all levels of the animation industry, a better understanding of the rich ‘her-story’ of our collective past, so together we can re-define our animated future.”

Mindy’s “honouring the past … inspiring the future” approach was well received by her audiences here in Vancouver.  She is truly focused on getting out this untold story of trailblazing women – one which educates, celebrates and elevates.

Breaking News

“ABC Studios has launched a new Alternative Division to deliver unscripted content, led by former head of Universal Television Alternative Studios Fernando Hernandez. One of the high profiles added to the development slate since Hernandez was brought in 10 months ago is Ink & Paint — an eight-episode docuseries that uncovers the under-recognized stories of the unsung women whose creativity, skill and hard work made Disney’s animated classics possible, based on the book Ink & Paint:  The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation by Mindy Johnson.”

If Paul Harvey was still with us, he would have had a field day with Mindy’s findings and might have paraphrased his famous signature sign-off this way:

“And now you know the rest of the story – to be continued.  Good day.”

 


A Tribute To Charlie Warner

Posted by Tom Locke on October 7th, 2018 filed in General, History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts
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On October 1, 2018 I lost a good friend – Charlie Warner.

That name may not jump out at you but if I told you he was the Vancouver Sun photographer who took the famous shot of runners Roger Bannister and John Landy in the Miracle Mile at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, it may ring a bell.  This photo would win him international acclaim as the “best sports action picture” of 1954.

The Shot - Protected MM Image

Charlie passed away at the age of 89 from prostrate cancer.  Sir Roger Bannister passed away earlier this year on March 8th.

Charlie and I first met in the fall of 1992 when I pitched him my idea of creating a painting from his famous photo to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Miracle Mile in time for the 1994 Commonwealth Games that were being held in Victoria, BC that year.

Charlie listened to what I had to say and was quick to point out that over the years many people had used his famous photo without his permission. His faith in me in making this commemorative happen remains one of the highlights of my career.

One of the defining moments in our relationship was the look on Charlie’s face when I showed him an image from the original footage of him in the act of taking his historic shot.

1004273-R1-E001.

 

Charlie was a humble man and I am convinced that he didn’t realize the impact that he had made on others over the years.  Case in point was a dinner my wife and I hosted at our place in September of 2016 for our friends Doug and Marg Norman. Doug and Marg resided in Chicago; however, Doug was born in Vancouver and witnessed the Miracle Mile first hand as a young boy. It was his favourite moment in time. Unbeknownst to Doug and Marg, we decided to make the dinner a celebration of Doug’s 80th birthday which was coming up in November … so, we also invited Charlie and his wife, Doreen, to dinner that night. Charlie played it to the hilt as just being another friend popping over for dinner.  When Doug found out who Charlie was, he was over the moon.

Charlie, Doreen, Marg & Doug - Sept 2016

              Charlie, Doreen, Marg & Doug

​I am going to miss you Charlie but I will always have that special moment in time to remember you by.

For more on Charlie and this moment in time, check out www.miraclemile1954.com


What’s Your Story?

Posted by Tom Locke on September 30th, 2018 filed in History, Life
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This past month I attended two tributes/celebrations of life.  Both were extremely well orchestrated with all attendees commenting on how well the presenters had captured the essence of the person who had passed on.

These tributes reconfirmed my conviction that everybody has a story and a purpose in life.  And, moreover, everyone has the opportunity to make their life count – both these people certainly did.

So what’s your story?  At the end of the day will you be honoured in a similar fashion?  It is certainly achievable as it simply revolves around being of good character, humility and positively impacting others in all that you do – that’s the true test of a life well lived.