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Bumper sticker on a Subaru October 25, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Smiley.
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Bumper sticker. Portland, OR.

Subaru seems to be the unofficial car in Portland. Good gas mileage, a solid combination of in-city driving with the possibility of getting up into the mountains on the weekends, a rugged reliability … It’s sort of a hipster-hiker’s car. Plus, it looks good with a bike rack on the back or a kayak on the roof. Chances are good that on any given day, you’ll see more of any given model of a Subaru than you would even of eco-friendly Priuses or Smart cars. There might even be as many Subarus in Portland as there are bicycles.

(Okay, probably not.)

Anyway, people around here seem pretty happy with their Subarus, which is why, when I spotted this smiley sticker slapped on the back of a Subaru in the parking lot of a Target, I had to snap it. 🙂


Reader-submitted rear window sticker September 6, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Car sticker in Austin, Texas. Submitted by Barbara I.

My good friend Barbara sent this image to me today. She took it while stuck in Austin traffic.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Austin, Texas — if you haven’t, go, because it’s a cool city — but brace yourself with loads of patience as you enter the city, because traffic on the outskirts of Austin is NOTORIOUS in Texas. I mean, if you meet a bald man in Texas, chances are he’s driven through Austin and lost his hair in frustration along the way. It can get that bad.

Which is why this smiley face in the back of someone’s car is so important! Because if there’s ever a good time to remember to smile, sitting is traffic is it.

Happy driving, everyone! And thanks, Barb! 🙂


Reader-submitted scruffy Jeep smiley August 20, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Scruffy Jeep spare tire smiley. In Pt. Aransas, TX. Submitted by Sara S.

My sister enjoyed a girls’ weekend with her pals down on the Texas coast a short while ago, and in the midst of all their fun, she thought to stop in a parking lot and snap this photo (including a friend of hers), just for me!

Thanks, Sara! 🙂

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. . . .

Kid-sized taxi stroller April 26, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Smiley, Toys.
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Kid-sized taxi stroller. Near Irving Park, Portland, OR, 23 April 2012.

The other night, Jennifer and I were out for an evening stroll through the neighborhood when I spotted this decidedly happy little taxi stroller parked on the corner near our neighborhood park. It seemed abandoned, but I couldn’t tell if someone had left it out for our friendly neighborhood freegans or had simply left it at the park and someone was leaving it aside for them. But either way, the stroller looked happy (and in good condition), so I grabbed this quick pic. Not bad for such low light and a simple iPod camera!

Here’s the taxi from the side, so you can see the “checkered cab” design along the doors:

Parking tag April 9, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Smiley.
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Smiley parking tag. In Portland, OR (where else?).

My wife spotted this parking tag in a car while we were looking for a parking spot on our street. After we’d parked and headed back down to this car, the owner was climbing in to leave, but Jennifer flagged her down. “Um, excuse me, my husband runs a smiley face blog where he collects images of smiley faces. Do you mind if he takes a photo of your parking tag?”

The driver was awesome and waited for me to lean over her hood to snap the photo. I asked where she got it, and she said it was the parking permit for her work.

Now we’re talking! I would LOVE to work at a place that requires a smiley parking tag! 🙂

Turns out she works at the Moon & Sixpence British pub in the Hollywood district of Portland, OR. The parking tag isn’t for the pub itself but for a private lot nearby the pub. Which makes me wonder how much it might cost to get such a parking space. Not that I’m down in Hollywood often enough to need a parking spot, and if I was I’d probably take public transit to get there, but still…. I would like to get one of these parking tags!

Here’s a close-up:

Who wouldn't feel better about their day coming back to car with one of these in the window?

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! 🙂

Smiley simulacrum: spare wheel hub November 14, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Simulacra, Smiley.
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Spare wheel hub on an SUV, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Photo courtesy Jennifer Snoek-Brown.

My wife is developing as good an eye as mine for spotting smiley faces. Which is delightful, because it almost doubles my smiley intake!

She spotted this one grinning from the back of an SUV in Abu Dhabi, UAE, shortly before she flew back to the States early this summer. And for my money, this beats a “Have a Nice Day!” bumper sticker any day.

Hope you had a nice day, too, happy reader! 🙂

Pac-Man … something … in a car November 10, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Clothing & Accessories, Decor, Smiley, Toys.
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Pac-Man on the dashboard of a car in Portland, OR.

What better manifestation of the smiley face in three dimensions has there ever been than Pac-Man? Sure, the guy is so happy partly because he’s overdosing on those power pellets, and he doesn’t do much to help those poor ghosts have a nice day. But if you ever try to turn a wide-grinning smiley into a sphere, you inevitably wind up with Pac-Man. And he does always make me smile.

What exactly this is, though, I can’t tell you. I stumbled across it while walking the streets in my neighborhood back in August and grabbed this quick snapshot on my cell phone as I passed the car. Looking at it later, I thought for a while it might be this bizarre Pac-Man hat, but the seams are different and that Pac-Man hat is HUGE. This guy is more pouch-sized, almost like a small Pac-Man purse. But then, why is it out there on the dashboard for all the world to see?

To make all the world a happier place, you say? Okay, I’ll buy that. 🙂

Reader-submitted hood smiley October 27, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Car, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Hood smiley, in Texas. Photo courtesy of Sara Snoek.

A while back, my sister sent me this on my phone. “Saw this car in the parking lot of my Dr’s office,” she wrote in the text message. “Had to share it with you. :)”

Thanks, Sis! We’ve had smiley cars on this blog before, but this is one of the happiest I’ve ever seen!

I wonder if my wife will let me paint our car yellow….