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.



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

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.

Positive Outcomes

Posted by Tom Locke on September 6th, 2018 filed in Business, Education, Life
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One of my favourite Bing Crosby’s recordings was “Accentuate The Positive”.  The first verse went something like this:

Man, they said we better, accentuate the positive 
Eliminate the negative 
Latch on to the affirmative 
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

If the above is not a formula for success, I don’t know what is.

Stating the positive outcome you desire instead of telling someone what you don’t want them to do is the way to go.

As a baseball coach, I often tell my pitchers, “Throw strikes,” instead of, “Don’t walk this hitter.”  To my batters, I would say, “Hit the ball hard” as opposed to “Don’t get out”.

This approach usually works and puts the ones you interact with in a positive frame of mine.

Envy Into Energy

Posted by Tom Locke on August 14th, 2018 filed in Business, Education, History, Life
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Being satisfied and thankful for what you have is key to feeling fulfilled and being happy.

However, it’s natural to feel envious or inadequate, to want more and more.  It’s human nature.

When we compare ourselves to others (and social media has brought this to the forefront) there are always going to be people who (seemingly) have more than we do. If you’re happy with who you are and what you have, enjoy it. Celebrate it. Appreciate it. Accept it.

The only other way to see it is to be happy for those who have “made it”.  Or, use their success to fuel your desire to accomplish something that is meaningful to you (e.g. lose weight, start a new business, etc.).

In short, turn envy and feelings of inadequacy into energy – then engage it.

The Purpose of Life

Posted by Tom Locke on August 2nd, 2018 filed in Education, General, History, Life
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I have often asked people what they thought the purpose of life was.  Many respond by saying, “Being happy”.  I then asked them how they went about “being happy”.  Invariably we would get around to doing things that make them happy.

And it is the doing of things that make you happy with the greatest highs coming from doing things for other people and observing/feeling their positive reactions.

An analysis of this tells me that the purpose of life is making your life count by being useful, honorable and compassionate.  This approach allows you to make a difference.

Making a difference will put a smile on your face … “being happy” is the result.

Remaining Relevant

Posted by Tom Locke on July 31st, 2018 filed in Business, History, Life, Technology
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I am a firm believer in life-long learning.  If we don’t keep up with the latest trends and technologies relevant to us, we become irrelevant.

Some people are fine with that, choosing to spend their latter years in a relaxed, “non-seeking”  mode.  However, I think that approach puts you somewhat behind the 8-ball when it comes to interacting with loved ones, especially those of different generations (e.g. your grandchildren).

To me, being “hip” or up-to-date is cool and gives you a sense of positive self-worth.

It’s easy to feel left behind by the latest and greatest of everything. It’s always been this way —things change — but it happens sooner, faster, and more often now.

So how do we stay relevant in an ever-changing world?  Lee Silber, my San Diego colleague, suggests:

• Just keep up on the areas of change that interest you and provide the most impact
• Partner with people in the know and exchange your experience for their know how
• Go the other way and find people who still prefer the old way and offer them your goods or services.

Training – A Necessary Skill Set

Posted by Tom Locke on June 22nd, 2018 filed in Business, General, History, Life
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As per my San Diego Sage, Lee Silber:

Many parents believe they are running a family. Many bosses believe they are running a business. Many Principals believe they are running a school. None of them are 100% correct.

The truth is each one is running a training company. Maybe the best example is the family as a training company. The best parents are instructors, motivators, and most of all, good examples to their kids.

Another One Off The Bucket List

Posted by Tom Locke on June 14th, 2018 filed in General, History, Sports ... All Sorts
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During his days in Toronto, my Dad was quite a race horse enthusiast and was a pretty good handicapper.

I never really got excited about the sport until I watched Northern Dancer almost win the Triple Crown in 1964.

Since my Dad’s passing I have made a bet on the Kentucky Derby in his honour every year and have been fortunate to pick 5 out of the last 6 winners.  Ironically, the one I missed was in 2015 when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown.  However I did have a winning ticket on him in the Belmont.

My bucket list goal was to have winning bets on a Triple Crown winner from the outset.  This year I made it.

Attached are my $100 winning tickets for the Kentucky Derby (Churchill Downs), the Preakness (Pimlico) and the Belmont Stakes – well Justify-ed.

Kentucky Derby 2018  Belmont Stakes 2018Preakness 2018Justify at the Finish Line in the Belmont