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Card with hand-drawn smiley May 31, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Office, Smiley.
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It’s been two weeks of thanks here at Smile!, and for that I am so, so grateful.

Hand-drawn smiley in a thank you card. By Aryana.

This buck-toothed happy guy was drawn inside a card from another of my tutees, this one an exceptionally intelligent and insightful young woman named Aryana, who is graduating high school in the next few weeks and has already been accepted into a very good university. Working with her this past year has been one of the great privileges of my academic career, and I am honored to get thanks  from so bright a student.

Have a terrific graduation and a wonderful summer, Aryana! And then go and rock university. The academic world needs a scholar like you. 🙂


Memorial Day May 28, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Holidays, Smiley.
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I believe in nonviolence. That means that I disapprove of warfare and so, by extension, I have some issues with militarism.

But that doesn’t mean I have issues with the men and woman who bravely step up to serve their fellow human beings in whatever manner they feel most useful. And when those people sacrifice themselves for that cause, we all should stop and contemplate that sacrifice, because these men and women make these sacrifices for us, even if we don’t ask them to. For them, it’s about honor and service to all humanity.

My mother’s grandfather served with distinction in the Navy during WWII. My father’s father helped protect the Atlantic as part of the Merchant Marines during WWII. My wife’s grandfather was a Marine and served in WWII. My father-in-law served in the Navy, one of my uncles served in the Air Force, and a good family friend flew helicopters in Vietnam. A buddy of mine from my college years deployed with the Army in the first Gulf War, and my sister’s husband as well as many (too many) of my students served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been so very, very fortunate that all of these people I personally know and love made it through their service alive, though not all made it unwounded.

To all these people, and to all of you who have served, are serving, or know someone in the military, please know that we are grateful for your service and your sacrifice.

One of my smiley Thank You cards, printed by American Greetings. From my personal collection.

BONUS: We’ve done it again! May 25, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Web smileys.
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That’s right, happy readers: May still has almost a week to go, and already this is the best month we’ve ever had on Smile! That’s the fourth record-breaking month in a row!

Keep the hits coming, gang, and let’s see if we can turn June into a best-ever month as well!

Card with stickers and smileys (for “Teacher Sam”) May 24, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Office, Smiley.
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The other day, I wrote on my personal blog about a teacher gift my nine-year-old tutee gave me at the end of our “school year” of tutoring. You can read more about that gift at the other blog, but I wanted to save the smiley faces my tutee included on my card for you happy readers!

The envelope my card came in.

The smiley stickers on the back of the envelope.

The smiley faces my tutee drew inside the card!

Thanks again for the card and the gift, Tiffany! 🙂

Three-wheeled motorcycle (or maybe not) May 21, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Smiley.
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Yesterday, I was driving up 205 in Portland when I spotted this on the highway:

Three-wheeled motorcycle with a tongue-sticking-out smiley. On highway 205 in Portland, OR.

All I had in the car was my iPod, but I managed to snap a pretty decent picture, I think.

A close-up of the smiley.

I love the whimsy of the tongue sticking out on the back of this ride! You know this guy is a rebel, but he’s a fun rebel. 🙂

Oh, and if you’re curious what the whole bike looks like, it’s nearly identical to this one:

I think I could manage to ride one of these without falling over.

Edit: I just realized, I don’t think that’s a trike — I thing that’s a single-seat hotrod! Oops! Also, now I can’t decide which is cooler. . . .

Zoo trip t-shirts (sort of) May 17, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Clothing & Accessories, Office, Smiley, Web smileys.
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This past Monday, my wife and I decided to spend the morning at the Oregon Zoo — we’re members, so we can just drop in any time we want. Turns out, we weren’t the only ones with that idea: the zoo was absolutely packed with happy kids (and exhausted chaperons) on school field trips.

In order to keep all those kids together, the schools kitted them out with t-shirts designating which school they belonged too, and much to my delight, one of the schools — Wee Wisdom Preschool — wore bright yellow shirts with classic black smiley faces!

I had the camera with me and wanted to snap photos of the actual shirts, but I knew it might look strange for some random guy to start photographing groups of kids, so I opted to enjoy the smileys without the photos. But I had a hunch that a school that would use a smiley on their t-shirts might use the smiley in other ways, too, so I noted the name and looked them up online when I got home.

And sure enough, Wee Wisdom Preschool has a big, bright smiley face right at the top of their sidebar!

Logo and mission statement for Wee Wisdom Preschool in Beaverton, OR.

Their motto (on the parent info page) is even “The Happy Place to learn!”

School doesn’t get much more smiley than that, happy readers! 🙂

Reader-submitted eggs May 14, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Food, Holidays, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Eggs. Submitted by Heather Steele.

My friend Heather Steele — who sent in our very first reader-submitted smiley back on the blog’s second day online — sent me these smiling eggs on Sunday. “Smiley eggs!” she wrote me. “I guess they were happy to be sacrificed for blue pancakes. Thought about your blog, Sam.”

Thanks, Heather! I saw these and realized how often eggs get turned into smileys (two sunny-side up with a grin of bacon, anyone?), but they almost never land raw in a bowl like this! What a fortuitous moment. 🙂

(Also, I’m curious: Sunday was Mother’s Day and Heather is a mother. I’m hoping her husband was the one making the pancakes! Don’t moms ever get a day off? Thanks for being awesome, all you moms — including Heather and, of course, my only smiling mom. 🙂 )

Kitchen magnet clips May 10, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Smiley.
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Kitchen magnet clips. From my personal collection.

You’ll notice these are empty. I’m supposed to tuck coupons and receipts and recipes and notes from my wife (yes, milk is on the list) into these little clips, but I don’t. 1) We have a LOAD of clips and magnets and pouches for storing all those things, and they’re all on other parts of the fridge. And 2) I like to leave these happy (and one surprised) guys alone, no work required — I let them just hang out on the fridge and enjoy themselves. (And 2.5, I keep my grocery list on my iPod.)

Actually, my fridge is COVERED in smiley magnets, including a very cool homemade one, and a few of those smileys do hold up some ads and sticker sheets and business cards. But, lest I overwhelm you, I’ll save those smileys for other posts.

I am curious, though: what’s got the second smiley face so shocked? Whatever it is, I think the winky face had something to do with it. And the dude in the sunglasses isn’t telling anyone…. 😉

Reader-submitted tap light May 7, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Decor, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Smiley tap light. Submitted by Jaretta R.

My friend Jaretta R. sent this to me yesterday. “Came across this at a garage sale yesterday,” she wrote me, “and thought to take a picture for your Smiley page.” Awesome! Thanks Jaretta!

I love garage sales, but somehow it’s been ages since I’ve been to one. I don’t know why that is — there are plenty within walking distance every weekend, though it was slow during the winter and early spring, so they’re only really getting started again — but I should definitely start making the rounds. Who knows what sort of smiley gear I might find out there!

Got a smiley you want to share? Check out the “About the blog” page and send me an email! 🙂