Archive for October, 2012

Pistol Pumpkin Carving

October 22nd, 2012 | Mike

Don’t try this at home kids…..Pumpkin carving with a pistol. Yep, you get 2 faces for the price of one, but it’s a very expensive way to carve a pumpkin!

Weekend Special

October 20th, 2012 | Mike

Get your Blubber Gum t-shirt at Oddyssea this weekend for $15

Any T-shirt in the shop is available for $15 October 20/21.

We have 7 different designs including the popular “Blubber Gum” and “Loch Ness Imposter”. When you’re out getting your pumpkin, why not drop in downtown to pick up your shirt along with other scary supplies for your Halloween festivities.

We’ve got scary terrariums (Scarerrarims) and off beat costume ideas like our Ahab special that combines a harpoon, a flenser, and the world’s longest beard to help you get your Halloween costume settled. Perhaps you need a skull? We’ve got all sorts, real bone and cast replicas to help your collection.

We hope to see you this weekend! Click here for logistics.

Get Your Utili-key

October 19th, 2012 | Mike

Get the 6-in-1 Utili-key at Oddyssea Half Moon Bay

This is one of those entries written from first-hand experience. Post 9/11, one could no longer travel with a pocket knife or traditional multi-tool, thus the search was on for some alternative that could come along during my adventures. That search led me to the “utili-key” tool that provided for 6 tools in the form-factor of a garden variety house key.

The tool has a flat screwdriver, a phillips screwdriver, a flat knife, a serrated knife, a bottle opener, and a micro-eyeglass screwdriver. Of all the available options on the tool, I was most skeptical of the micro-eyeglass screwdriver until my glasses fell apart in Shanghai and I was able to reassemble them on the go.

In all, I’ve flow over a million miles with my Utili-key and it has been a very handy item multiple times. What’s more, since I simply have it on my key ring, I toss it into the bucket at the security line and have never even had a question about what it is or why I had it. Contrast that to my lucky pocket knife (lost in Denver at security in October, 2001) and my original Leatherman multi-tool (lost in Bangalore, India at security in 2007.)

The utili-key is a great addition to any key chain. It’s a must for the frequent traveler, a nice piece of security and utility for nearly anyone, and a terrific stocking stuffer for your friends and family.

We are delighted to be able to offer 2 versions of the Utili-key at the shop, the 5-in-1 with a car key form factor and the 6-in-1 with the house key form factor. Our special introductory offer for these fantastically useful little tools is $8 for the 5-in-1 and $11 for the 6-in-1. Come and get them while supplies last!

Pumpkin Madness

October 11th, 2012 | Mike

Zoltar dispenses wisdom at Oddyssea in Half Moon Bay, California

It’s that time of year again, Pumpkin Festival! A couple of hundred of thousand of our closest friends will descend upon Half Moon Bay for a little pumpkin fun. Welcome!

At Oddyssea, we will have all sorts of products with a Halloween / Pumpkin / Harvest flavor across the Science, Nature, Technology, and Art spectrum. As always, Zoltar stands ready to share his wisdom with you. And, we will be offering glitter tattoos for those of you who have always wanted ink but didn’t want to commit to a permanent arrangement.

If you’re planning to come to the Festival, here are a couple of pro-tips:

We hope to see you this weekend and we hope you have a fabulous time at the Festival!

New Look for Pumpkin Fest

October 8th, 2012 | Mike

Prior Pumpkin Festival Crowd

If you’ve had a chance to visit the shop, you’ll know we place a great deal of emphasis on the interaction and experience aspects of your visit. We believe that is something that you enjoy and helps to make Oddyssea a place people want to see and return for future visits.

We have a great event coming up next weekend, the 42nd Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival, which will attract a couple of hundred thousand people to visit Half Moon Bay this weekend. The festival presents both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity is obvious, what a great way to introduce our new shop to a huge number of people in a short period of time. The challenge is, we do not believe it is possible to deliver the “Oddyssea Experience” when the shop is packed full of visitors.

Given this conclusion that we couldn’t operate in our standard way and still provide the “Oddyssea Experience” in the context of the huge festival crowd, we considered several options from keeping the shop closed to “business as usual” and let the chips fall where they may. In the end, only two options seemed viable, the “nightclub” approach and the “small shop” approach.

The “nightclub” approach is simple in concept and reasonably easy to implement. It consists of placing a velvet rope across the railing on the steps and allowing a small number of people to visit the shop at any given time. When visitors leave, new visitors would be allowed in. On the plus side for this option, it requires minimal change to the shop, our operating procedures, and would still allow us to provide the “Oddyssea Experience” to the visitors that have the patience to make it into the shop. On the down side, it would deny any kind of “Oddyssea Experience” to a great number of visitors who have neither the time nor inclination to wait in an queue to enter the shop and it creates a potentially bad experience for a huge number of people.

The “small shop” approach is more complicated. In this scenario, we would conduct business only in the “explore” room out front by moving the sales counter forward in the “create” room to service visitors who enter the shop. We would substantially change the fixtures moving some of our pods from the explore room into the create room and by moving the work table from the create room into the explore room. We would essentially empty the explore room of current products and then carefully select products that have the Halloween/Pumpkin/Harvest/Scary themes back into consistent and compelling displays. At the work table, we would offer an activity that is enjoyable and conducive to high volumes of traffic. The downside to this is the near complete disruption of the shop as it stands. The upside is we can maximize the number of people who can have at least a modified “Oddyssea Experience.”

We’ve decided to go with the “small shop” approach which has a couple of impacts. If you are planning to visit this week or next, please be aware we will be closing at 4pm on Friday to begin the transformation. We will reopen the shop during Pumpkin Festival regular hours Saturday/Sunday 9am-5pm. We will open Monday at 12pm back in our normal state of operations for the duration. If you are a regular visitor, we ask for your patience during this time period. If you are a new visitor, we welcome you to the shop and invite you to return so you can have not only the “Oddyssea Pumpkin Festival Experience” but also the standard “Oddyssea Experience” on your next visit.

We hope that sharing this information with you is helpful; we attempt to be as transparent as possible about what we are doing and why. Please leave us a comment or drop a line if you have suggestions, questions, or concerns. We look forward to seeing you at the Pumpkin Festival!

October Scare-rrarium

October 1st, 2012 | Mike

Build your own scare-rrarium at Oddyssea Half Moon Bay.

It’s October and that means we can legally and ethically start talking about the spooky season of Halloween. We’re starting to integrate the spooky into our product mix and we’re starting to see shop visitors get into the spirit.

Since we’ve been doing so much with terrariums, we thought we’d toss some spooky in to make “scare-rrariums” – terrariums with a Halloween theme.

When you come to visit, you can choose to pick one the scare-rrariums in a finished state. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you can select a kit that has the ingredients packaged and ready for your artistic touch. Or if you’re feeling even more creative, you can select your own ingredients from our supplies and make your own right at the shop.

There are no bad choices, come out and visit this month and put the scare in your terrarium.

Build your scare-rrarium at Oddyssea Half Moon Bay.