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Olympics Opening Ceremony July 30, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Here at Uncle Smiley’s house, we are HUGE Olympics fans. But, *sigh* we live on the West Coast, which meant that while the rest of the United States got stuck waiting three and a half hours to watch the Opening Ceremony (and in the meantime had to sit on their hands to avoid checking Facebook, Twitter, or anything else Internet-related lest they catch spoilers of the festivities), we were stuck waiting an EXTRA three hours after that! It was enough to almost make us frown.

But then I got a message from my sister, who lives in the Central Time Zone and was watching the ceremony two hours ahead of us. She asked simply, “Did you see the smiley face in the Opening Ceremony?”

So now I had something else to look forward to! 🙂

The smiley face in question is this one, aired during a `70s and `80s musical number:

At least, that’s how it looked on our screen at home. (And thanks to Jennifer, aka Aunt Smiley, for catching a photo of it while I was feeding the cats!)

But strangely, though I scoured the Internet today looking for a clearer shot of the smiley face, no one else seems to have noticed it. The closest thing I can find, even when searching for “olympics opening ceremony smiley face,” is this one:

And to be fair, it is a kind of smiley. (The photo above is also mine. You can see a clearer version on the Vanity Fair website.) But it’s not the iconic one we caught almost two hours into the ceremony.


But wait — it gets cooler! While searching for the classic smiley during the ceremony, I also came across an image early on of the spectators in the arena passing around a giant beach ball. And guess what was printed on the ball!

(Click the image for the article I found it on.)


Olympics make me smile! July 27, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Holidays, Smiley.
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Smiling Olympic rings illustration I made on my computer, in celebration of the Olympic Games.

Let the games begin!


Leftover Frosty label July 23, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Food.
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The other day, my wife and I got a couple of Frosties from Wendy’s, but we only at half and put the rest in the freezer for later. I needed to label them so we’d remember whose was whose, so I covered them in plastic wrap and used a Sharpie on the plastic.


This was my wife’s:

And this was mine:


Of course. 🙂



Reader-submitted ice pack July 19, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Kitchen & Bath, Reader submission, Smiley.
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My nephew Aidan, with a smiley ice pack for his aching head. Submitted by Aidan via his mom, my sister.

The other day, I was floored with a headache and wound up soaking in the tub to sweat the headache away. For some reason, the headache and the time alone in a hot bath caused me to sit down at the computer afterward and knock out a short story, which just yesterday got accepted for publication. (Keep an eye on my regular blog for updates — the story comes out in September.)

I don’t know if this is related by anything other than serendipity, but today nephew Aidan sent me this photo, by way of my sister, along with my sister’s explanation: “Aidan’s nursing a headache, but he still thought of you when I handed him his new ice pack. He thought you might want to add it to your blog.”

Great minds think alike, Aidan! Also, great minds sometimes get headaches. It’s nice to know that whether it’s through surprisingly good short fiction or through the soothing of a cold ice pack, we can still be happy in the midst of our headaches. 🙂

PS: I love how the smiley face itself looks pained, as though it has a sympathy headache, but it keeps on smiling anyway:

Don’t worry, ice pack. It’ll be over soon. 🙂

Smileys as restroom signs July 16, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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Smiley restroom markers. Bread and Ocean bakery and deli, Manzanita, OR.

My wife and I went to the Oregon coast today. It was GLORIOUS! Most of our day we spent lounging on the beach, listening to the surf while reading our books or watching kite-flyers. But for lunch, we stopped in at Bread and Ocean, this delicious little bakery/deli where we had paninis and cookies.

Bread and Ocean’s logo includes two sets of squiggly lines, three vertical squiggly lines for the heat rising off freshly baked bread, and three horizontal squiggly lines for the waves of the ocean. And on the restroom wall, they repeat the logo lines like hair on two smiley faces, to indicate that the restroom was unisex.

Happiness all around! 🙂

Reader-submitted smiley stickers (and a cartoon!) July 9, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Decor, Kitchen & Bath, Reader submission, Smiley, The Great Enabler.
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I was all set to post a completely different smiley today, but then I checked the mail and discovered an envelope from my dear sweet mother-in-law, aka The Great Enabler. Inside were these stickers!

Smiley stickers. New to my personal collection.

She’s given me these before — long-time readers might recognize them from my luggage post when I moved back to the States from overseas. Of course, I used up that set, so it’s great to have a new set!

Also, seeing them reminded me of another set of stickers from The Great Enabler. These live on my fridge, next to the stove, among all my smiley magnets:

Smiley kitchen stickers. From my personal collection (and from my kitchen).

You can tell they’re right over the stove because the bottom row has some spatter on it! 🙂 I love these things, though — they always make my smile.

FYI: My favorite recipe is a killer vegetarian “Autumn chili” I make every fall.

And, as a bonus for you and for me, I’ll also share the cartoon my mother-in-law included in the envelope, from the Saturday Evening Post (of course it’s labeled, even down to the page number — The Great Enabler is also a librarian!).

From the Saturday Evening Post, May/June 2012, p. 66.

Happy Fourth of July! July 4, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Holidays, Smiley.
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Happy Fourth of July! Illustration I made on my computer, in celebration of America’s Independence Day.