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Most views ever! January 31, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Web smileys.
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Well, gang, we did it!

As of now, at 11:38 pm Pacific time, the Smile! blog has broken its previous records for best month ever and best singe day ever.

Hits for the day = 94 (previous high was 77, way back in September 2010).

Hits for the month = 877 (previous high was 872, just this past September).

And it’s because you’re all so awesome. And happy.

Thanks for enjoying the smileys, and here’s to a great February!

(Next goal: Let’s break 10,000 all-time views!)

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We’re nearing a record! January 31, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Smiley, Web smileys.
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Heads up, loyal readers! Thanks to you, we’re about to make January 2012 the busiest month ever here at Smile! We just need 35 more hits today and we’ll break the record set last September. And if we get those 35 hits, we’ll also make today the busiest single day ever!

Share the blog with your friends, check out the tag links in the sidebar, or just browse for a while. Make yourself smile!

Graffiti in Vienna January 30, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley, Travel.
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Graffiti on a concrete divider in Vienna. November 2009.

Some of my favorite smileys are graffiti smileys. Because if you’re going to deface property, you might as well face the property. And make people happy in the process.

Also, if you’ve followed this blog for long, you’ve probably noticed that Vienna comes up a lot. That’s partly because the whole idea for this blog really took shape while we were in Vienna. But judging from the multitude of smiley graffiti (and signs, and artwork) I spotted there, Vienna must just be a really happy city. 🙂

Smiley domino keychain January 26, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Decor, Holidays, Smiley, The Great Enabler, Toys.
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Domino keychain. New to my personal collection!

The Great Enabler has further enabled me! And this time she has an accomplice!

A couple of weeks ago, this domino keychain arrived in the mail. A long time ago, my father-in-law received this as a fun little Christmas gift — it is green, after all! And so for years, my in-laws had been hanging this as an ornament on their Christmas tree. But after dismantling and packing away the tree and ornaments this year, my in-laws decided to pass along this joyous game piece to me.

It actually is a domino piece, too — a double five:

Thanks, Enablers! 🙂

More buttons January 23, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Smiley, Web smileys.
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More buttons. In Boerne, TX, April 2011.

I love smiley buttons. I own two already, which is why I didn’t shell out for these buttons when I found them in an antique store in Boerne, TX, last summer. But it was a bit odd to find them in an antique store. Are smileys really that old?

But sure enough, tonight my wife and I were watching Back to the Future Part II, and in one of the scenes where Doc and Marty go to the future — 2015, just a few years away now! — and Marty stops at an antique store, there in the window is a display of “antique” smiley faces!

Smiley faces are antiques! (So is that Macintosh computer, which is funny, because I'm typing this post on a Mac right now.)

We don’t have flying cars or self-drying clothes or hover boards, but Back to the Future Part II did get one thing right: smiley faces are antiques.:)

School supply set January 19, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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School supply set with pencil, eraser, ruler, and storage case. Photo taken in Carrefour hypermarket in Abu Dhabi, spring 2010.

My winter term of teaching began last week, but because of all the introductory material we covered last week and our second-week holiday on Monday, I feel like we’ve only just got rolling in my writing classes. So, here are some writing utensils to help you get started.

I actually spotted these back in Abu Dhabi almost a year ago, while shopping for luggage at the Carrefour hypermarket. I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to grab this set — it was cheap, too! — but I was shopping for luggage because I was preparing for my super-massive move back to the States, and every cubic inch and every ounce of luggage space was precious, so I just couldn’t risk trying to stuff even this small, lightweight item into my already over-packed bags. *sigh* Still, I had to at least take a photo of it, just to share with you.

You’re welcome. 🙂

Now get to writing! (And maybe doodle a smiley face in the corner of your paper. Couldn’t hurt.)

Happy Martin Luther King Day! January 16, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Holidays.
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On Facebook today, my sister posted this story about my 4-year-old niece Zoey:

Yesterday, Zo was going around singing Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and she asked me, “Is that true in the real world — that it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white?” So I told her, “Of course it’s true. It doesn’t matter what someone looks like on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.” Her response was, “Oh good, Mommy, because I’m pink!”

So I made this smiley face today — an edit of this website’s logo — for her.

There can be no better illustration of the huge, huge benefits afforded us by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the men and women who marched alongside him not only to improve civil rights in our country but also to generaly improve our attitudes toward each other as fellow human beings. We see examples every day of the ways in which we have not yet achieved a post-racial world, but when we see each successive future generation let go of a few more prejudices and embrace a fuller understanding of humanity, we see the dream of Dr. King playing out before our eyes. And we are reminded, too, of why we must continue Dr. King’s legacy, that King’s most quoted line from his most quoted speech refers not to himself or his fellow men and women, but to his children: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

So many of us continue to embrace this dream, but moments like this between my sister and her young daughter remind me that it will be our children who fulfill that dream — are fulfilling it even now.

Today is a day for reflection and for action, but it is also a day for happiness. So a very, very happy Martin Luther King Day to all of you.

BONUS: WebMD Moods survey January 15, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Reader submission, Smiley, Web smileys.
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Smiley faces (okay, one is actually frowning) from a recent WebMD quiz on moods.

My friend Debbie C. sent me a link to a quiz on WebMD. The quiz examines moods and our relationship to them. As you progress through the thirteen questions, though, the image on the screen never changes — it’s these two “face” balls, one happy, one sad, like the old Greek drama masks.

One true or false question poses that “Moods are contagious”; the answer (spoiler alert!) is “True”: “A recent study found that people can “catch” happiness from happy people around them [. . .]” Which we smiley types already knew, of course — it’s why we’re here! 🙂

:) > $ January 12, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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"Happiness is greater than money": Graffiti in downtown Portland, OR, October 2011.

Back in October, my wife and I were walking around downtown, checking out some art and, because we couldn’t really afford to do any real shopping, we were doing a little casual window shopping. And then we spotted this on one of the windows! This was in the early days of Portland’s Occupy movement, which is likely why it turned up on on the window, but the sentiment that happiness is greater than money is timeless and apolitical, and I wholeheartedly endorse it! 🙂

Reader-submitted spatula January 9, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Spatula, from Sur la Table. Photo courtesy Debbie C.

My college friend Debbie posted this in Facebook with me in mind, along with the comment that “they had all kinds of smiley kitchen gadgets!” I asked where she is in this photo and she directed me to the online store for the kitchen store Sur la Table, which, sure enough, does have loads of smiley kitchen gadgets, including potholders, scraper spatulas, and smiley ice cube trays (“Have an Ice Day!” the package reads).

Thanks, Debbie! I’m not sure my bank account is quite so grateful, but I am thrilled to find this store! 🙂