Archive for January, 2013

January Newsletter

January 31st, 2013 | Mike

Don't buy candy for your Love, get them something unique like a Love Letter Terrarium from Oddyssea

Hello Explorers!

We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. It’s a new year and we’ve got a bunch of stuff cooking at Oddyssea we thought you might like to know about.

There are several things we’d like to share in this newsletter including our inaugural Raspberry Pi Party, our Pinterest presence, the February Holiday HeART Walk, and Terrarium Tuesday.

First things first, we’ve kicked off the new year with some new hours. The big change? We’re now closed on Wednesdays. However, the online shop is always open, 24×7.

Do you ever get bored on Tuesday? Have we got the cure for you – you are invited to visit, drop in, and build a terrarium at our work table with our resident terrarium artists and the kicker? You’ll get a 10% discount on your creation. That’s right, just show up, create, and have fun on a Tuesday. No reservation necessary.

February is Valentine month and we’re celebrating with our fellow Main Street shops on February 9th from 2-5pm with the SOMA HeART Walk. We hope you will drop by.

Do you pin? Pinterest is a shared, online cork board where any interested party can share interesting things with the broader community. Since we’re a visual bunch, we love what Pinterest can do. Check out our boards and follow, like, and re-pin. We’d love to see what you like and what you share.

We are totally letting our geek flag fly on Pi Day (March 14th aka 3.14 day) with a Raspberry Pi Party. What is a Raspberry Pi you ask? It is an inexpensive, micro computer that you can use for all sorts of things from appliances to home automation to entertainment. You are invited to drop by on Raspberry Pi Party Day (3.14) to learn how to install, configure, and use the computer. We have slots available all day and you’re welcome to bring your own and have fun or purchase a Pi Party Pack from us. We hope to see you there.

Finally, if none of these things tickle your fancy, we’re constantly updating our inventory to keep things interesting. Come in, browse around, enjoy the weird stuff we have, ask for a magic trick. We’re happy to have your company and hope to see you soon.

We wish you a great 2013 and thank you for your continued support!

Best Regards,

Ellen, Mike, and the rest of the Oddyssea Gang

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Listen to the Oddyssea KHMB Interview

January 31st, 2013 | Mike

KHMB Neighborhood Radio on the San Mateo Coastside

Recently we were invited to have a chat with local radio station, KHMB, about the shop. One of their roving correspondents had visited over the holidays and wanted to know a little more.

So Mike walked across the street one afternoon and had a chat with Jim Holley. You can listen in to hear what they discussed by pressing the “Play” triangle icon in the music player embedded below.



By the way, if you don’t know about KHMB, they are a very interesting story. Most radio stations operate with licenses from the Federal Communications Commission providing the right to broadcast at a certain frequency with a certain power setting (i.e., AM1710 at 10,000 watts.) This makes setting up a station expensive and somewhat arcane.

In contrast, the KHMB crew chose to try a new approach. They have set up a number of micro transmitters around the coastside with a power output of less than 1 watt per station. This means they are operating below the threshold for FCC oversight (Part 15 “intentional radiation” operations if you’re interested) yet are still able to send a signal into your radio on the frequency 1710 as well as into your electronic devices via an internet stream.

We love this kind of thinking that leads to an innovative approach and commend KHMB for providing a great, hyper-local radio station to the Coastside and we encourage you to tune in for some familiar tunes (typically oldies) and rich local programming.

February HeART Walk

January 27th, 2013 | Mike

Love Terrarium for Valentine's Day

Guess what readers? Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly. Now you may say “This is an event concocted to boost sales during a slow winter season” and you would be right.

But equally true is that you can never tell your partner frequently enough how much you love and appreciate them. It’s true, you don’t have to buy ANYTHING to be able to convey that message to your significant other. But, if you want to use this event to provide a tangible reminder of your love and dedication, then you should join us for the February HeART Walk in downtown Half Moon Bay, California on February 9th from 2-5pm.

The HeART Walk provides a great opportunity to see new things and have a stroll in our historic and picturesque Main Street here in Half Moon Bay. Start your journey at Ellen Joseph’s Gallery at 840 Main Street then walk north to Stone Pine Center seeing all that downtown has to offer. On your return back to South Main Street, think about enjoying dinner at one of the fine restaurants in town.

We hope that you’ll join us on that Sunday and will enjoy a nice afternoon. Regardless of your purchase decisions, don’t forget to let your beloved know that they are loved!

Your Creations

January 16th, 2013 | Mike

Close up of a visitor-created masterpiece at Oddyssea

One of the core tenets we have at Oddyssea is that of interactivity. We don’t aspire to be a place that people go to simply buy something. We aspire to be a place that people visit to learn, create, engage, and enjoy.

It is deeply satisfying to us when we see people with familiar faces walk through the door for a return visit. It is hugely flattering to us when these same people want to share their experience with others and drag their [friends|family|colleagues] over to the coast for a visit.

Recently, we’ve had a family from El Granada visit several times over the past few weeks. On one visit, they were looking for holiday surprises and gifts. On the next visit they were researching different terrarium possibilities. On a follow-up visit, they sat down at the work table and created their very own project. And yesterday, they brought friends in with them to make something beautiful and fun.

This is but one of the dozens of examples of our visitors engaging, interacting, creating, and sharing. We LOVE that this is beginning to happen and happen more frequently. As a result, we’ve started a board over on Pinterest where we’re collecting and sharing your creations. If you have the time and/or inclination, take a look. If you would like to share your creation, we’d love to add it to the collection.

So, thanks to all of our visitors. You are making the experience great for us too and that makes us even more determined to carry on and continue our creations to share with you reciprocally.

3D Printing Experiment

January 9th, 2013 | Mike

Mr. Makerbot, the Replicator at Oddyssea in Half Moon Bay.

When we were in the concept phase for the shop, one capability Mike desperately wanted to provide was the ability to print objects. The thinking? That printing objects will over time become as common as printing paper is today – but in the meantime, the cost of the object printer and the expertise necessary to use it successfully will be scarce.

Thus we believed there was a business opportunity to provide a shared object printer with access to expertise so that interested parties could print the objects of their dreams. We acquired a Makerbot Replicator, dual-extruder 3D printer for the shop in July. Mike still believes the business opportunity exists, but that we’re too early in the cycle. The results of the experiment of providing object printing services at the shop have been a complete failure.

In the six months we’ve been open, the only person to EVER print ANYTHING on the printer is Mike and fewer than a dozen objects printed have been purchased by our visitors.

Now, what are the reasons for this? One is we can tell you that these printers are not yet “bullet proof” – each printing session needs to be attended and tweaked in order to get a successful outcome. As a consequence, the printer has been unavailable a fair amount of time due to extruder jams or lack of Mike in the shop to mind it and tweak it.

That’s the tangible bit about this experiment. The intangible is harder to measure, we have had countless discussions and interactions with our visitors and undoubtably, the presence of the machine has been a net positive to the shop. It ups our geek appeal a bit on the technology side. That part, is definitely valuable, but still doesn’t justify the capital the machine ties up nor the floor space it occupies.

So, we’re going to retire Mr. Makerbot in the near future and hope to find him a loving home. If you are interested in adopting him, please contact us and perhaps we can find common ground.

So long Mr. Makerbot, it’s been fun! We will miss you and perhaps we’ll try again when the market and technology progress a bit further.

Update: January 18, 2013 – We had a kind reference of our 3D Printing capability on the Nokia developer site as a place to print a Lumia 840 case. Depending on what response we see from this, we may re-evaluate our decision about Mr. Makerbot. Meanwhile, he’s in the shop ready to rock-n-roll and he’s still available for sale ($1,899 including nearly 6kg of ABS in 6 different colors.)

New Hours

January 4th, 2013 | Mike

Hours Change

With the New Year we’ve taken some to consider how we want to proceed with store operations. The headline is, we’ve decided to close on Wednesdays.

There are two principal reasons for this decision: One, when we’ve analyzed business patterns and profitability, Wednesday became a candidate for closure due to performance. Two, being open seven days a week is a grind for a small shop like ours and we need a little time to regroup and refresh. The combination of these two factors made the decision easy.

Now, is this a “forever” decision? Who knows. It’s a for now decision that we will revisit in due course as circumstances change.

Thanks again for your great support and we hope to see you on a future visit!