About 40 years ago, during a period of self-discovery, I chanced upon a handwriting analysis book. Naturally, I used the book to analyze my own handwriting. What hidden aspects of my personality might it reveal? We won’t go into the gritty details, but the picture it painted was not a pretty one. To that end, I made several changes to my handwriting and signature. Did it really make any difference? I’ll never know, but every time I signed my name, I reinforced the changes I wanted in my personality. What does handwriting analysis have to do with the design of my business card?

As I transition into retirement, my business card no longer serves as a billboard for my professional role but as a canvas for my personality. Freed from the pressures of business networking, I seized the opportunity to break the mold. My card isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s a window into my soul, an invitation for you to glimpse who I truly am. Yet, akin to my handwriting experiment, the card also features reminders of who I strive to become.

Moving away from the paper cards I used to hand out like popcorn, I wanted something different, something that would make an impact. Amazon and my new laser provided the inspiration for a laser etched aluminum card. A little stiff to carry more than a few, they definitely make an impact.

Let’s take a short trip together while I explain the message I intend to convey.

The Front:

First Line: Byron Seastrunk

That’s me. After all, I’m the main purpose of this card.

Second Line: AI Aided Technologist

What does that even mean, and why not simply ‘engineer’? Although I hold an engineering degree, Texas law reserves the title ‘engineer’ for those with a professional certification—a boundary I choose to navigate around. Thus, ‘Technologist’—a term I hope conjures images of a visionary blending modern technologies with a dash of Steampunk allure, all amplified by the buzz of AI, which deeply resonates with my daily life.

Third Line: Gadget Geek, Innovation Instigator, Tech Jargon Translator

A glance at my previous posts reveals my fascination with gadgets—not merely as toys, but as gateways to a transformed life. Innovation Instigator is both a title and a reminder symbolizing my passion for inspiring others to explore and innovate, through teaching, empowering, and cheering them on. And as a Tech Jargon Translator, I’ve spent countless hours demystifying technology for the anyone willing to listen.

Fourth Line: Cyberspace Explorer, Guru of Unsolicited Tech Advice

Yes, I’ve journeyed far and wide across the digital universe, a voyage that’s equipped me to offer boundless unsolicited tech advice. Encounter me amidst the aisles of technology, and should you display even a hint of puzzlement, I feel an irresistible urge to guide you, solicited or not.

Fifth Line: Chief Editor Opinionbypen.com, Engineering Curmudgeon

For nearly a decade, I’ve nurtured Opinionbypen.com, enduring the ebb and flow of my own creativity. While the site may need a refresh, my pride in it remains unwavering.

An ‘engineering curmudgeon’ might sound cryptic, yet if you’ve ever crossed paths with a seasoned engineer who wields expertise like a blunt instrument, devoid of any need for social graces, you’ve met him or her as the case may be. I teeter on the brink of becoming that very persona, and can often be quite brusque when explaining something that should be obvious to a two-year-old (as long as that two-year-old has a college degree and 40 years of experience). Right there, you see how thin that line is for me. I added this to show competence and to continually remind myself how easily I could fall into this category.

Sixth Line: Writer, 3D Printing, Laser Etching, Product Reviews

These are my hobbies that I felt would provide a strong first impression. I could have added reading, audiobooks, gaming, and attempting to teach Venn tricks, but I didn’t see those impressing anyone receiving my card. Besides, I have to save a little bit for discussion after I give you my card.

Seventh Line: and Dog Walking

I get a lot of comments on that one. Robert Heinlein, the science fiction writer, was probably one of the most influential authors in my early life. I’m sure his views on politics, morality, and especially religion are nowhere near acceptable to our society today, left or right. Then again, I feel the same way about the politics, morality, and espoused religion of both our political parties. Heinlein’s views made sense to a budding engineer, and I devoured all of his juvenile novels.

As an adult, I found “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” and “The Door into Summer” as good as anything I’m encountering now. His short story, “We Also Walk Dogs,” provided inspiration for this line. I wanted to suggest that my capabilities extend far beyond the confines of this card.

Last Line: Solving problems you didn’t know you had in ways you can’t understand

I asked ChatGPT (AI-enhanced, remember) for a list of slogans. This one resonated deeply with my wife and, in truth, captures the essence of my approach to life and technology.

The Back:

The engineer in me has always been offended by the vast emptiness encountered on the back of most business cards. On the other hand, this convention has trained most people not to look at the other side. This meant I needed to put everything I wanted you to know on the front and still not waste the back. In the end I decided to highlight Opinionbypen.com and add curmudgeon@opinionbypen.com as contact info. Why not byron@ or admin@ or even a phone number?

I may have retired but I still think like an engineer. Curmudgeon@opinionbypen.com is unique to my business card. An email to this address tells me this person has seen my business card and serves as a reminder to guard against my own personality flaws in my response.

© 2024, Byron Seastrunk. All rights reserved.