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Genius or Jerk? Happy Birthday Steve Jobs (handwriting analysis)

Steve Jobs changed the world in which we live. This is true whether you use Apple or not. Happy birthday to this genius who would have been 62 today (February 24) had he not died of cancer in October, 2011. He was adopted at birth by a second set of parent’s when his birth mother’s first choice couple backed out. Stating simply ‘they wanted a girl’. His dad (Paul Jobs) had grown-up with an abusive father and vowed to never treat Steven the way he was and subsequently, indulged him. Although his parents adored him even though the first few years were difficult, his mother (Clara Jobs) was afraid to get too attached to him. There were court battles regarding custody for the first six months of his life. Raised in Northern California during the sixties, he was one to have explored many of the extra-curricular activities that area was known for. Brave, Steve Jobs knew how to push the boundaries of his environment. Let’s look at his signature and see what else we can discover about this brilliant man.

Steve Jobs’ signature is plain and legible. There are no embellishments, this shows intelligence and a desire to be understood. If you’ve seen the movie of his life or read the biography, you may have discovered this mastermind wasn’t always the easiest person to get along with. Computers may have been his forte, but people were not. When we look at his signature, there are tell-tell signs this was case. Communication was often off-the-cuff, harsh and blatant, something he stated he regretted at times.

His writing looks a lot like the way we’re taught in school, the slant, size and formation of the letters. This may indicate a person who likes to be in control, someone who likes to ‘call the shots’. On the opposite side of that coin, there is a humbleness about him. This oxymoron in his writing is very endearing.

Steve’s writing has a heavier than average pressure indicating a passion for everything he did. (good and bad) There are also signs of hot-headedness and a temper. In the earlier signature (the one with the post mark) you can see the powerful and long t cross showing his immense work drive, a want to get-things-done-in-a-timely-manner and desire for status. He often would strive for perfectionism which, at times, would let him down when he himself (or others) fell short.

Another consistent indication in Mr. Jobs writing is stubbornness. This may have played a part in his early death as he refused modern cancer treatment for almost a year stating he would be able to cure his own illness though diet and meditation. It surely contributed to his estranged relationship with his oldest daughter (Lisa) during her childhood as well as her mother. In his professional world, the obstinate attitude put a strain on his long-time business partner and friend, Steve Wozniak. There are also indications he liked to play ‘devil’s advocate’ and may have enjoyed arguing for the sake of a good debate. Traditional and innovative (another endearing oxymoron) his writing shows a desire for more responsibility.

It’s also interesting there are pain indicators at the bottom of his j in both signatures. He loved to be barefooted even though it may have been uncomfortable. (or maybe he was uncomfortable in shoes)

So, was Steve Jobs a genius or a jerk? According to his handwriting and signature, a little of both. Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple employee once said, “Most mere mortals cannot understand a person like Steven Jobs. He is the greatest CEO in the history of man. He’s just go a different operating system.” In my opinion, that sums up his penmanship as well.


Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.

I want to put a ding in the universe.

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Happy Birthday, Michael Jordan! (handwriting analysis.)

Happy Birthday to Michael Jordan! (February 17th, 1963)

This week’s handwriting analysis is a player whose name is synonymous with basketball. It’s been argued Michael Jordan is one of the best NBA players in history.  Former high-flying Chicago Bulls shooting guard known as “Air Jordan”, he has been a six-time NBA champion, two-time gold medalist, Sport’s Illustrated Sportsman of the year in 1991 and a 2016 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He’s been a businessman as well as an athlete, a father of five and the first NBA player to become a billionaire. To know his career and public face, he appears to be an all-around good guy with a lot of talent. If we take a look at his handwriting, we can discover if his persona is accurate.

One of the first things I noticed about Mr. Jordan’s handwriting is he’s got that classic “I’m a lover not a fighter” characteristic. With high levels of diplomacy in his writing, he’s the first in a brawl to say “hey, we should all just get along.” The peacekeeper in the crowd. That being said, he has a hard time letting-it-go if he’s been wronged. Fool me once, shame on you. “Fool me twice, shame on me” very well could be one of his mottos he lives by.

He has multiple signs in his penmanship that he worries about things that he has no control over. There’s a possibility he likes pros/cons lists when he needs to make decisions as he wants to be able to look at all his options. There is passion and determination in his writing. He also strives for perfectionism even though he knows it may not be attainable. MJ is one to always set his standards high. Sometimes he lets himself down because he’s set his sights so high. There are indications of privacy and protection of his family especially.

Structure and routine are what calms Michael. Chaos and disorganization grates on his nerves. Mr. Jordan genuinely loves people and has the ability to think on his feet and stay one step ahead of his competition whether it’s on the basketball court or in business. From everything I’ve seen in his autograph, I have to say, the public face is sincere and Michael Jordan is a great guy.

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Happy 50th birthday Vince Gilligan! (Handwriting Analysis)

Happy fiftieth birthday to one of my idols and inspirations, Vince Gilligan. Hard to believe he’s only a half century old. His writing has impacted most of us through our adulthood and it’s hard to imagine life without his contributions. Of course, I’m a huge Breaking Bad fan (NM is where I call home), but his writing is more than that iconic series. Vince also wrote for X-files, Lone Gunman and Better Call Saul as well as the movies Hancock and Home Fries. He’s been interested in film and screen writing for years, creating his first sci-fi film on his best friend’s mother’s Super 8 video camera.

The best thing about getting to know celebrities through their handwriting is seeing the human side of them. It was easy to find many samples of Mr. Gilligan’s writing online to evaluate. The first thing I noticed was each signature is a bit different. It’s human nature to for our writing to change with our moods. Handwriting is body language on paper and handwriting analysis is merely analyzing a snapshot of the writer’s disposition at the time of the writing.

Every written correspondence or personal writing of Mr. Gilligan’s seems to be block-or all caps-print. Many people believe all caps printing is for legibility but in reality, it’s a defensive mechanism to avoid letting others get too close. My guess is this is the case for Vince Gilligan. His writing is legible and shows imagination and intelligence but there are indications of a desire for privacy. These things could have been attributed to him being raised by a single mother school teacher. His penmanship shows he has a wall of sorts built around his soul to try and avoid getting hurt emotionally.

Naturally, there can be seen high creativity and the ability to go-with-the-flow, something that I’m sure has served him well in his career.  He shows a need to please and wants to be liked even though he (most likely) wouldn’t admit that. Within his work drive, you can count on him seeing things through to the end, he’s dedicated and loyal.

His signature (his public face) is dynamic, it changes. His initials and the double ll’s in Gilligan seem to be where he divulges his moods the most. The letter V in handwriting analysis is all about decision making. The sharper the bottom the more the writer is able to make snap decisions and stand by them. Vince’s vacillates between being soft and almost sharp. Even with his privacy issues, he likes to talk things out, sleep on decisions and bounce ideas off those he respects or loves. The G in Gilligan has changed throughout time. Since that letter corresponds with attitudes towards money it can be assumed the more money he made, the more responsible he became with it. He has several generosity signs in both his signature and writing and (my guess is) having money has contributed to his ability to be lavish with others.

The double l’s in his signature are like windows in to his mind. His twisted and dark mind. Okay, that may have been a little harsh, but his imagination is “outside of the box” so to speak. And aren’t we all glad it is! The chilling part of his imagination brought us some of our favorite X-file scenes and the fate of all our favorite Breaking Bad characters. Seriously, think about Mulder and Scully and some of their truly ‘out there’ adventures. Who thinks of crazy, twisted stuff like that? Only people that make their l’s like Vince Gilligan. His sharp wit and sense of humor can also be seen in those ll’s.

Other notable traits in his writing show frustration and time restrains common to normal folks as well as huge stars, an ability to live and let live, high levels of forgiveness and passion. In so many ways, he’s just like everyone else, wanting to fit in, questioning his beliefs and trying to remain positive even in the most difficult times.

If I could pick any Hollywood legend and take them to lunch, Vince Gilligan would be my first choice. Seeing his handwriting only established that even further for me. Cheers, Vince! Here’s to many more!

Just for fun: (my favorite Vince Gilligan quote) “I’m pretty much agnostic at this point in my life. But I find atheism just as hard to get my head around as I find fundamental Christianity. Because if there is no such thing as cosmic justice, what is the point of being good?” – Vince Gilligan

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Happy Birthday Charles Dickens!

Feb 7th 1812 is the birthday of one of the greatest writers of all time – Charles Dickens. Dickens is so legendary in fact that many historians credit him with igniting the festive way modern society celebrates Christmas.

It’s not difficult to see how. The classic story “A Christmas Carol” is a parable about a miserly old man who gets a second chance to be a human being. A better tale of redemption, love and kindness you might never find.

Even the aesthetics of Christmas belong largely to Dickens. “Snow” and the whole concept of a “white Christmas” was portrayed in his work as a reflection of the environment he grew up in. “A Christmas Carol” is the most adapted work of literature in the English language and that picture has been engrained in the minds of many.

The author of “The Man Who Invented Christmas” – Professor Les Standiford claims Dickens is responsible for the version of Christmas we celebrate today.

“He obviously didn’t invent it as an idea, but what he did with A Christmas Carol began the process that led to what we have today.”

Christmas was barely celebrated at the start of the 1800s and December 25 was just a normal working day.

“The holiday was still suffering the effects of the Puritan era and seen as a Pagan enterprise,” says Professor Standiford.

“The publication of A Christmas Carol added an emotional component to Christmas and changed it. We will never know what Christmas would be like without Charles Dickens, but it would never have been quite the same as we enjoy today without him.”

Happy Birthday to Charles Dickens!



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HL Mencken vs. The State of Arkansas

Today (Feb 3rd) in the year 1931 the Arkansas state legislature passed motion to “pray for soul of HL Mencken” after he called the state the “apex of moronia” among other things.

Let’s rewind a bit.

HL Mencken wrote for the Evening Sun in the 1930’s. Around that time he wrote 3 columns about the state of Arkansas. Here are a few choice exerpts:

“No state offers better picking for evangelists. It has a full outfit of anti-evolution laws and other such products of the camp-meeting, and, though moonshining is widespread, there is heavy majority for Prohibition. The enlightened minority is a minority indeed, and it is confined to a few towns.”

“Several years ago I enjoyed the somewhat depressing pleasure of making a tour of the country lying along the border between Arkansas and Oklahoma. I can only say that I came out of it feeling like a man emerging from a region devastated by war. Such shabby and flea-bitten villages I had never seen before, or such dreadful people. Some of the former were so barbaric that they didn’t even have regular streets; the houses, such as they were, were plumped down anywhere, and at any angle. As for the inhabitants, it is a sober fact that I saw women by the roadside with their children between their knees, picking lice like mother monkeys in the zoo.”

“The fields were bare and the woods were half burned. There were few fences. When one appeared, usually far gone in decay, there was always a sign on it, painted crudely with the backward: “Prepare To Meet Thy God.”

“It is a Christian act, of course, to save Americans from starvation. But it would be an even better Christian act, I believe, to try to civilize them. You may be sure, however, that no American statesman will propose it. It would cost too many votes in 1932.”

This level of unvarnished truth was of course met with fierce condemnation by politicians and religious leaders of the time. One of them was former governor Charles H. Brough who responded about a month later. This was a time before television when long thoughtful editorial was published and read widely.

H.L. Mencken
This guy calls it like he sees it…

Mencken did not retreat – “Let Dr. Brough,” he wrote, “as a sociologist, find out why so many of its (Arkansas’) farmers are miserable, exploited, chronically half-starved share-croppers, without reserves and without hope. . . And let him prepare himself for this labor by pasting in his hat the following . . . from the Little Rock Democrat of Feb. 8:

“‘So long as the Arkansas of today remains the Arkansas of 40 years ago, the Menckens are going to make it the butt of ridicule, and millions are going to agree with them.'”

Yes folks, HL Mencken was a literal bad ass… maybe the Jon Stewart of the 1930’s. The Arkansas state legislature finally lost it when Mencken referred to the state as “the Apex of Moronia”. Insulted but to indict or jail him for any crime they passed a motion to “Pray for the soul of H. L. Mencken”.

But Mencken’s writings made many wonder if he believed he actually had a soul. Here are a few more great Mencken quotes – remember this guy was in his prime in the 1930’s. This was a time when it was almost unheard of to be openly atheist.

“We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.”

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.”

“I am suspicious of all the things that the average people believes.”

“Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.”

“Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant.”

“The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.”

“A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”

“If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.”


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Not an ideal place for incompetence (it’s not about hating Trump)

It’s not about hating Trump. It’s about incompetence.

Humor me and let’s pretend you have a child in the fourth grade. When you meet your son or daughter’s new teacher, Mr. Drumfp, you discover this is his first-year teaching. You congratulate him on getting through school and know his first-time teaching will be challenging yet rewarding. There will be a learning curve for him as well as the young minds he’s molding, you tell him.

“I don’t need education, or briefings from the school,” he replies, “I’ll make your student great again.” Mr. Drumfp smiles, and gives you a look that makes you feel a little uncomfortable, like he’s checking you out as he comments he didn’t actually go to university. He didn’t get a teaching certificate. (The look he’s giving you is definitely inappropriate.)But you know your student was great before, you’ve always known your child’s potential. It strikes you then, he has no education or experience to teach. It doesn’t appear he has any interest in your student.

“But hey, how hard could it be?” he asks returning his gaze to your face, bringing his attention back to the conversation. He then begins to explain to you a new alternative facts math program that he just made up. “It’s so easy, incredibly easy, so that even the students that don’t know math can do the equations, the forgotten students will never not be able to do the math.” On the chalkboard, he writes 2 + 2 = 2.2 then 3 + 1 = 3.1.

You and your student exchange a look. Your child pipes up, “Mr. Drumfp, the answer to both those equations are four.”

Vehemently, Mr. Drumfp shakes his head, “You’re wrong” he barks, “false”. Your kid looks at you confused.

Mr. Drumfp adds science isn’t a thing  and that won’t be on the agenda for your student. At this point, he’s beaming with excitement. He’s is obviously eager to teach your impressionable child this alternative way of thinking.

He goes on to explain he’s building a wall around the playground to ensure no other students from other schools will be able to play on the best playground, “The absolute most amazing playground you’ll ever see. Its’ huge, it’s magnificent.” He suggests another school is going to pay for the wall, “Well, the tax payers will pay for it first, then the other school will reimburse us for it once it’s built,” he explains.

Mr. Drumfp adds keeping an all-white student body will keep your child safe, “And none of that LGBTQ crap,” he declares, “only straight, white, Christian students will be attending your student’s new class.”

His smile is condescending. As you exit the classroom he is still comforting you, and in your mind, you think there must be something redeeming about him if the school hired him. He pats your butt as you leave and makes a flattering comment regarding your breasts.

So now what? Do you explain to your son or daughter, “honey, you have to go to school for twelve whole years, and you only have to have Mr. Drumfp for one year. You’ll survive.” OR to you realize your child’s potential if they can just get the right guidance and accurate information in a loving and safe environment? You don’t hate Mr. Drumfp, you just want what’s in your kid’s best interest. You want his or her teacher to have some education behind them, perhaps a little experience in teaching. Why?  Because you love your child.

It’s not about hating Mr. Trump. It’s about wanting the right person for the job; a competent, compassionate and literate leader. I know my country’s potential. I know it’s smart, caring and knows right from wrong. It’s about doing what’s in the best interest for a country you’ve loved your whole life. No, I don’t want Mr. Drumfp teaching my kid and I don’t want Mr. Trump ruining my country. So far, in less than a month, his ratings are lower than any other president in history. Everyday it’s something that’s definitely not great, definitely not in the best interest of the middle class. Please America… care.