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Smiley simulacrum: mint-lemonade foam March 31, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Simulacra, Smiley.
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"Three-eyed" smiley in foam. Photo taken at Bricco Cafe in Khalidya Mall, Abu Dhabi, 12 August 2010.

When my wife and I were finishing our lunch at Bricco Cafe in Khalidya Mall last summer, my wife discovered a smiley face in the bottom of her mint lemonade. By the time we got her camera phone out and snapped the photo, a “third eye” had appeared, but frankly, that suited me just fine. Opening the third eye is supposed to lead to happiness, after all, yes?  😉


Tip jar March 28, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Tip jar at Bumdoodlers, Boerne, TX. Photo taken in July, 2010.

Bumdoodlers is a Boerne institution.  They’ve been serving lunch in town since 1982, but they’re such an essential part of Boerne now that it feels like they’ve been around a hundred years longer.  That’s an impressive integration in a town where families who’ve been around for 25 years are still considered newcomers.  But Bumdoodlers has settled in and made itself as much a part of Boerne as German music and Berges Fest.  No one can live there long without heading into this classic joint for a thick sandwich, a pickle, and some greasy potato chips served in a basket and eaten at a picnic table.  Or, better still, a slice of pie, which Bumdoodlers is famous for.  Hell, even driving through Boerne without stopping in at Bumdoodlers is a difficult feat.

I see smiley faces on tip jars all the time, to be honest–it’s the graphic, countertop version of the “Sullivan Nod“–but when I saw this one during my trip to Boerne last year, I couldn’t help but snap a photo.  Bumdoodlers makes a lot of folks smile, so it seemed an appropriate tribute.

Light-up hacksack March 24, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Smiley, Toys.
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Hackysack. From my personal collection.

It’s a week of reposts, it seems. One of the first smileys I posted in this blog, back in August of last year, was of my beloved hemp hackysack. Today, I’m offering my other smiley hackysack.


This thing is a little more “smiley” because instead of putting the classic yellow smiley on a black background, this one turns the entire hacksack into the classic yellow smiley. It’s also a bit more fun: inside this hackysack is a little mechanism that lights up in a rainbow strobe when you kick it. The mechanism actually throws off the weight a bit and makes this thing almost impossible to control, so I wouldn’t use it for anything but the novelty of the flashing lights. But those lights do make me smile, which is always worth it. 🙂

“Cool” ink stamp March 21, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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"Cool" ink stamp. From my personal collection.

About six months ago, I posted the first of my pair of ink stamps. This is the other, my “cool” stamp. This one I tend to reserve for things that deserve not merely congratulations, but a sense that somewhere, The Fonz is giving a double thumbs-up and saying, “Eyyyy.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! March 17, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Holidays, Smiley.
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Happy St. Patty's Day! Illustration made on my computer.

Yes, I’m wearing green today, so please don’t pinch me. But honestly, sometimes I wonder if non-Irish and/or non-Christians have any business celebrating St. Patrick‘s Day. Like St. Valentine’s Day and, arguably, Easter and Christmas, we’ve secularized and commercialized what is really a sacred Christian feast day.

But I don’t actually think we’ve “ruined” the holiday. When people celebrate the secular side of this holiday properly, they’re celebrating cultural pride. And I love seeing people celebrate their heritage, but I love even more seeing people celebrating the heritage of others.

If you’re Christian, especially if you’re Catholic: Happy feast day of St. Patrick. If you’re Irish, Sláinte! But if you’re neither, I hope you make today about more than wearing green and drinking Guinness. Find out a bit more about the life of St. Patrick (read beyond the snakes thing, people!), and ask someone Irish to tell you about their history and their heritage.

Folding fan March 14, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Decor, Smiley.
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Folding fan. From my personal collection.

I can honestly say that I’ve never used this to cool off on a hot day. The plastic folding handle is almost as flimsy as the dyed accordion paper, and I’m not sure it would survive a hot day. But I love it and have sometimes found ways to hang it on the wall or prop it on a shelf (I’m tagging this as “accessories,” but I use more like decor, so I’ll tag it as that as well).


Smiley figurines March 10, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Decor, Smiley.
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Three smiley figurines. From my personal collection.

These guys crack me up. They’re really just tiny rubber choking hazards, and they can easily get lost (I used to have five), and for both those reasons I have to keep them away from my cats. But they make great little decorations in my office, and they always make me laugh. I especially like the soccer player. (Sorry. Rest of the world: I especially like the footballer.) He seems very pleased with himself.  🙂

BONUS: digital “sand” art smiley March 8, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Smiley, Web smileys.
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"smile." Digital "sand" art created by Sam Tan, on thisissand.com, 07 March 2011. (Click image to see original.)

This is sand art. Except it’s done on the Internet. The website thisissand.com has created an online program that converts the pixels on your computer into digital “sand” and lets you “pour” it down the screen to create sand art. It’s weirdly addictive — once I started a piece, I was reluctant to quit until I’d finished it, even though it took forever — but it’s also quite a lot of fun. So imagine my delight when I visited the gallery of other user art and discovered this smiley face!

And, believe it or not, I am not the artist on this one, even though this artist, too, is named “Sam.” Weird.

Thanks, “Sam Tan,” for making me smile!

Smiley sign (in The Netherlands) March 7, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley, Travel.
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Logo sign for Arke. Photo taken in Hoorn, The Netherlands, 13 April 2010.

My father’s father’s father came to the United States from Hoorn, in the Netherlands. So when I visited the homeland of my great-grandfather and made a special trip to Hoorn, I was expecting to find a bit of my own family history. But I was delighted to also find this clever smiley sign. Doubly appropriate: it’s the logo for Arke, a travel agency.

Storage tub March 3, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Office, Smiley.
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I’ve kept all sorts of things in this cool little tub: coins, paper clips, snack mix, M&Ms, goldfish crackers.  This isn’t a revolutionary design, but it works just as well as any other storage tub, and it also makes me happy.

It does bear one distinctive mark of genius, though:  when the flip-up lid is opened, it looks like a wide smile!

Made of awesome.