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Mr. Happy book bag and journal September 3, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Holidays, Office, Smiley.
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During our trip to Texas last week, my family gathered for a giant birthday party (Jennifer, I, and all three of my sister’s kids celebrate birthdays within a few weeks of each other). The party was mostly for the kiddos, but Uncle Smiley got presents, too! Including two awesome smiley gifts!

What more fitting gifts for a writer than a book bag and a journal to write in? And what more fitting gifts for a collector of smiley faces than Mr. Happy paraphernalia?

I loved the Mr. books when I was a kid — didn’t we all? — and I still get a huge kick out of these smiling shapes! Of course, technically, all the Mr. Men had smiley faces except Mr. Forgetful, Mr. Mean, Mr. Fussy, Mr. Grumble, Mr. Quiet, and Mr. Worry. So any one of those guys would have been a terrific gift. But when you think smiley faces, you have to start with Mr. Happy!

Thanks, Sara and Red and the kiddos! This was a terrific birthday present!


Cell phone smiley November 7, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Cell phone smiley. On my student's phone.

A couple of weeks ago, I was making the rounds in my classroom while my students were workshopping essays, and I spotted this smiley face on the phone of one of my students. My students laughed when I swooped in. “Is that what I think it is?” I practically shouted.

Yes, it is what we think it is. And look very closely — it has a bow tie:

Which is awesome.

Big thanks to my student for letting me take a photo of her phone with my phone. (Oh, it’s so meta.)

Note clip July 25, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Note clip. From my personal collection.

It’s sometimes hard to find a place for this that’s on display but still out of the way enough that I don’t knock it over while I’m working, but when I use this, I typically keep it on (or near) my office desk. At first I kept photos of my nieces and nephews clipped in it, but the family keeps growing and multiple photos were hard to keep in one clip, so I moved them to a bulletin board and set up this clip with a photo of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama — because that guy is always smiling!

Clipboard May 2, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Clipboard. From my personal collection.

I tend to use clipboards for organizing papers. Student essays, my own short fiction, personal files, paperwork: it all feels so much easier to handle to when it’s held in place on one of these things. But how dull —  how anticlimactic, even depressing — must it be to work your way through such a stack of pages only to be rewarded with a plain brown slab of cheap wood? None for me, thanks! I’m always much happier when I finish a clipboard full of work and find these scattered smileys grinning up at me! Plus, the clip smiles while I’m working, which seems to make the work go faster. Win-win!

Stress ball April 11, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Stress ball. From my personal collection.

I could sure use this today!

I’m packing, not just a few things for a trip but EVERYTHING. I don’t have a final count yet, but I’m lugging at least a half-dozen huge suitcases down to the airport tomorrow morning, and then I’m getting on a plane and spending the next 24 hours or so in transit.

Uncle Smiley and wife are moving back to the States.

My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed our few years living overseas in the Middle East, but we’re also thoroughly enjoying the adventure of moving back to the US. Part of that adventure, though, requires me to move over ahead of my wife, so I can find a place to live and she can send our cats to our new home before flying out to join us. Which means I’m responsible for all this luggage on my own! Then there’s our stockpile of stuff in storage, and a moving van, and a cross-country road trip… Oh, and did I mention I’m attending an academic conference in the middle of all this?

So, bring on the stress ball! Make me happy!

(Next post: see you in the US, gang!)

“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.”

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.

Sticky notes February 28, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Office, Smiley.
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Sticky notes. From my personal collection.

Several months ago I posted a photo of my smiley ink stamp and wrote about how much I love both getting and giving those little stamps of approval on schoolwork.

But the ink stamp is (slightly) less appropriate for my academic colleagues.  How to help spread the happiness when I need to pass along a message to a coworker?

Enter the smiley-face sticky note.  And for the record, it has never failed to amuse.

(I’m actually running low on these.  I think it’s time for a trip to the store….)

Notebook February 7, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Emoticons, Office.
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As a writer, I like to keep a lot of notebooks handy.  Many of them are simpler than this, just a cheap flip-top memo book.  Others are much fancier, with faux-leather covers and ribbon bookmarks and little pockets in the back.  But few are quite as much fun as this one.

Also, I love how this smiley makes use of the emoticon by leaving the smiley “sideways” on the cover.

Bank pen January 17, 2011

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Bank pen. From my personal collection.

Like most businesses (I’m looking at you, Wal*mart), banks like their customers to be happy, so the smiley face is a common marketing logo.  You see it everywhere–on signage (“Come on in–we’re friendly people!”), on price tags (“Smile!  This price isn’t so bad–honest!”), on sales advertisements (“But wait–this price is even better!”), and so on.  In the case of banks, the smiley face turns up frequently on promotional giveaways like this pen.  This one is from a local bank we used when we lived in Wisconsin.  And, marketing tricks aside, we actually were quite happy with that bank.*  Truth in advertising!  Who knew?

Soapbox moment: I’m a strong advocate of banking locally.  Have been for years, but I’ve gotten more vocal about it since the recent collapse of so many giant financial institutions and the havoc such collapse has wrecked on the world’s economy.  Smaller, local banks tend to take fewer risks in their investments, and when they use your money in loans to other customers, it tends to go toward the local community more than into the pockets of already rich people in some huge city far away.  Basically, I support the George Baileys of the world a lot more readily than I do the Mr. Potters.  Something to think about.