Friday, November 2, 2012

Lords of the Fly 1 Cent Auctions on ebay

Beatles Trading Cards, ca 1964
Hawaiian Odysseus Photo

Special Holiday Fun for our Enthusiastic Buyers
Welcome to our eba
1 cent auction!

Are we NUTS? 

The simple answer is: Yes, we are! We're absolutely nuts about our terrific ebabuyers, and at this very special time of year, we're inviting you to engage in some old-fashioned ebaholiday frivolity.

In celebrating the conclusion of our twelfth year on this wonderful global marketplace, we'll be tossing in a penny auction from time to time from Halloween evening through New Year's Day, 2013. So please check back with us often, and let's all have a great time commemorating the good fun days of founder Pierre Omidyar; first employee, Chris Agarpao; and the brilliant President and CEO, Meg Whitman.

Up on our penny auction block tonight, we have...


And so begins our 2012 holiday campaign on ebay! 

What better way to do so than to go retro with a penny auction emphasis!

Sprinkled throughout our usual store and auction offerings will be a handful of spicy and saucy 1 cent listings. It's a great way to thank our loyal customer base while appealing to the curiosity and sense of intrigue of new visitors to our online site. You can find us at:

Penny auctions are the exception rather than the rule these days. Administrative changes on ebay, the topsy-turvy global economy, a more sophisticated and internet-savvy shopper, and a tremendous surge in online marketplace choices have all contributed to a greater emphasis on Buy it Now prices that are set as well as higher starting amounts for auctions.

At Lords of the Fly, a mom and pop ebay shop for a dozen years now, we believe in honoring tradition. That's why we're very excited to provide our customers with a nostalgic, fun, and what we hope to be  successful business strategy--the 1 cent auction! 

The penny auction campaign kicked off on Halloween night and will run through New Year's Day, 2013.

Obviously, we're not giving any credence to the Mayan calendar issue. No disrespect to the Mayans or their wonderful descendants, mind you. On the contrary, we'd love to have all interested Mayans participating in our penny auctions. And while we're on the subject, if anyone has the last known Mayan calendar and would like to make a generous commission, we'd love to be your ebay Trading Assistant.

So where's the action at? Right here, at Lords of the Fly on ebay!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Makalehua--An eBay Adventure in Island Couture and Collectibles

Sig Zane Medium Fuchsia Dress
It's mid-September, and I'm feeling autumn's chill slowly making its way into the Walla Walla Valley.

Like a tentative pubescent high school boy tripping over his size eleven shoes as he scans the gym floor for the one girl that might say yes to a dance request, the ambience of golden leaves, pumpkins, weekend football games, and the donning of coats and sweatshirts approaches timidly.

It's that time of year when I start thinking, I want to be in Hawai'i for Christmas.

Chances are you've had similar thoughts sometime this year. Maybe you've been to the island several times and have enough warm memories tugging at you to repeat the experience yet one more time.

Or maybe you've never been to pacific paradise and are telling yourself, If I don't go now, I'll never go.

Whatever the case may be, take it from me, you don't want to waste precious time and maybe some embarrassing situations and, most of all, any of your hard-earned money buying your island wear after you get to the islands. No, even a former Kaua'i boy like myself knows better than to pull out the vintage Magnum, P.I. aloha shirt clones and old jeans from storage. Besides, they'd no longer fit my, shall we say, more mature manly build (read: sexagenarian fat man).

Perish the though of procrastination. Now you can be well prepared at a fraction of the cost and, for the price of a handful of dinners and movies, have a week's (or even two weeks') worth of 50th state wardrobe before boarding that flight to the islands.

How? By clicking on the following link and treating yourself to a delightful and aesthetically pleasing line of pre-worn yet very high class Hawaiian attire at a fraction of their original prices:

Manuheali'i Women's Size Small Dress
The personable and down-to-island Mom and Pop team of Makalehua is a relatively new presence on the gargantuan eBay global marketplace, but they're definitely leaving some giant menehune (pardon the oxymoron) tracks in the wake of their fledgling entrepreneurial success.

The simple reason? They practice the old school protocol of excellent customer service--intelligent sourcing of an appealing product line, great communication, superb hygienic preparation and care of their pre-worn clothing items, a sprinkling of outstanding Pacific Islander and Asian collectibles, very reasonable prices, and super fast shipping. 

Vintage Reyn spooner 100% Silk Aloha Shirt

Makalehua has 100% positive feedback. Their customers are extremely satisfied with the par excellence service. Here's some of their feedback:

Excellent shape, hard to tell if it was used at all. Great deal! I love it!

Great seller. Super fast, cheerful and honest! Mahalo!

A++++ all the way: lovely dress, as desc, fast ship; highly recommend seller; thx

No ka oi eBay seller!!!!!!!!!!


Very nice eBayer with fast transaction and nice items.

Got it!! Thanks for this great item at a great price and an easy transaction!!

For a comprehensive look at their feedback rating and most current customer raves, you can visit:

Sig Zane Small Linen Fuchsia Jacket or Blouse 
If Hawaiiana is your thing, Makalehua offers a spicy eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary collectibles along with their entree clothing line. Here are a few examples:

Vintage Asian Tea Set in Woven Basket
Japanese Cranes Lacquered Plate, 7-3/4"
Ritz Carlton Hotel Silver HEPP Exclusive Silver Plated Water Pitchers
Maybe you want to go to the islands but the budget just isn't right for making the trip this year. Treat yourself to a healthy compromise, then, and make MAKALEHUA your cyber vacation stop for your holiday shopping needs. 

At the very least, you'll be prepared for presenting the special people in your life with an exquisite array of choice gifts.

At best, you'll definitely be at the head of the class, dressed in your Makalehua clothing and looking beachcomber spiffy for next year's trip to the wonderful Islands of Aloha!

A wonderful video featuring Hawaiian fashion designer, Sig Zane

For a heartwarming and lighthearted behind-the-scenes story, we invite you to enjoy this very special narrative--

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lords of the Fly Eclectic $.99 Sale

A Caesar Hernandez Water Color Painting

Aloha! When I'm not lounging around in my favorite coffee shops in downtown Walla Walla writing profusely while sipping on a tall cup of bold or, whenever I feel like splurging, guzzling down a venti-sized caramel frappucino, I'm diligently taking photographs and working on listings for my eBay business, Lords of the Fly.

The large majority of our sales have been through our fixed-price items in our eBay store. Lately, we've opted to complement those Buy It Now listings--on a weekly basis for now and, hopefully, more frequently in the future--with a nostalgic throwback to the good old days of eBay...the 99 cents listing.

Yes, there's always a risk, more so in an unsteady economy, that we could take a loss. But the marketing psychology behind the move is akin to driving in slippery conditions: Turn your wheel in the direction of the skid!


Call me crazy (don't worry, I call myself that all the time), but nothing in life worth striving for ever came without risk. Sales have been down these last couple of months, so I'm simply retrieving the old welcome mat from storage, giving it a good dusting, and laying it out there for the global marketplace to tread upon. 

My metaphorical welcome mat--the 99 cents sale--says loud and clear in my language of origin:

E komo mai!

Come on in!

So here are some of the items that I'm listing today. First, a mention of the artwork at the top of this post. Caesar Hernandez was a prominent watercolor artist in California. His paintings have sold for hundreds of dollars. My listing of this particular item for a starting bid of 99 cents without any reserve (a set amount that the seller determines ahead of time that is unknown to the buyers, unless the seller chooses to tell them; if it isn't reached, there is no winner...thus, no real risk to the seller) is probably the highest kind of risk I could take with my eBay item(s). Ah, but what the heck? What's life without risk? Besides, read the beginning of paragraph 5 again.

Here are more interesting items.

Collectible Vintage Hershey's Kisses Christmas Wishes Mug

Collectible Vintage Set of 3 Teddy Bear Porcelain Thimbles

Collectible Vintage Duck Figurine 

Collectible Vintage Brooding Hen Salt or Pepper Shaker

Collectible Vintage Bee, Hive, & Flower Salt or Pepper Shaker

Collectible Vintage Leanin' Tree Greeting Card featuring
Norman Rockwell's 1947 Saturday Evening Post Cover--"Family Outing"

National Geographic--October, 2009 Back Issue
The Tallest Trees 

Collectible Vintage Schramberg Cow Figurine

Collectible Vintage Konica Minolta AF Maxxum 70 SLR Camera
With Quantaray Lens 28-90 mm f/3.5-5.6

Dipinto A Mano Hand-Painted Vintage Collector Plate
Venezia Ponte Di Rialto

Vintage Collector Plate
Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

We earnestly pray that our eclectic 99 cent auctions will be a fruitful venture and a great win-win experience for our buyers and us. We truly believe it keeps us entrepreneurially sharp, focused, and motivated to honor the heart of the buyer. Empathizing with our customers  and uplifting their perspective will help us make steady progress on the road to becoming better sellers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vintage Print Ads Make Awesome--and, yes!--Inexpensive Gifts

1942 Coca-Cola Vintage Print Ad
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

Smack dab in the midst of high school and college graduation season, with Father's Day and the 4th of July just around the corner, and with a myriad of birtdays, anniversaries, reunions with loved ones or fellow classmates of an honored alma mater, and other special occasions on the horizon, you're left wondering, What kind of gift can I get?

There's really no need to look any further. Take your pick of hundreds of gorgeous nostalgic options at .

What are vintage print ads? They're commercial advertisements carefully removed from old magazines--say, from the 1970's and earlier (although the term vintage is often loosely interpreted to include even more recent items). These ads are then placed in acid-free plastic sleeves along with acid-free backing boards and then mailed in large flat or padded envelopes to their respective customers.

The top photo is a great example of a potential gift for dear old Dad. It not only piques the nostalgic strings of an older generation's collective heart; it also has intrinsic value in a sub-niche of its own--Coke memorabilia.

Here are three more examples of ads from three different sub-categories--automobiles; World War II; and sporting goods.

1946 Ford Mercury Vintage Print Ad
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

1942 Lockheed Aircraft Corporation World War II Vintage Print Ad
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

1945 Wilson Sports Equipment Vintage Print Ad
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

Why settle for the old humdrum annual necktie, bottle of cologne, golf club, fishing pole, or stationery? Sure, these gifts are great, and we're certainly not knocking them. But if you're looking for that unique and very special item that's sure to elicit a grin from your favorite family patriarch immediately upon its removal from the envelope, we invite you to check out what might turn out to be the gift that special man remembers for years to come.

Who knows? In browsing through these lovely yesteryear memorabilia, you might very well develop an interest in becoming a collector of vintage ephemera. There's something very appealing about the way the ad agencies of the past combined gorgeous art and/or picturesque photographs with clever  text construction that you just don't find in today's high-tech advertisements.

Why Collect Vintage Print Ads?
  • To preserve Americana
  • To understand our heritage
  • To appreciate our social, cultural, political, and economic roots
  • To enhance our grasp of history
  • To compare and contrast the past with the present
  • To leave as a legacy for future generations
  • To own as antique collectibles
  • To acknowledge the art and artists of yesteryear
  • To frame and craft into attractive gifts
  • To utilize as decorative household pieces
  • To buy, sell, and trade
  • To enjoy a good return on investment
1946 National Confectioners Association Vintage Print Ad
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

The folks at eBay's Lords of the Fly store would be delighted to have you drop in for a visit. Browse through their vintage print ads selection and feel free to share your comments and questions with them. Their responses, like their delivery time, are prompt and courteous.

You'll find more information about this collectible gift specialty in the following articles. Thanks for dropping by, and--yes, by all means--your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Meet CARY GRANITE--on eBay

A Piece of Rock I Dubbed Cary Granite
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

An annual phenomenon on eBay is a noticeable slowdown of traffic, perhaps even to the point of a standstill for some sellers, a few days before and after the income tax return filing deadline. 

Rather than pull whatever remaining hair I have left on my coconut, I act the fool and do something off the wall--pupule, as Hawaiians would say--that will simultaneously provoke my competitors and, hopefully, amuse my viewers.

I posted the one week listing early this morning--an unconventional time for a Pacific Northwest eBay seller to submit a listing but, for the other side of the world, a most convenient and thoughtful act on my part. 

The rock is quite heavy, perhaps 5 pounds, and so I'm obliged to use USPS Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box shipping ($11.35 to US addresses; $47.95 to international destinations). 

In keeping with the crazy theme, I'm starting the auction out at a penny. Honestly, I'm gambling that this will also serve to invigorate the lackluster traffic. And if that doesn't work, placing the rock in a large jacket pocket and jumping into the Columbia River just might do the trick.

Then again...a five pound rock won't do diddly squat for my husky islander frame. (Husky sounds better than mildly obese. Yeah, I could've used bathroom scale-challenged, but I'm years away from evolving into a politically correct individual.)

Okay, where in the world was I? Oh, yeah...

If it's true that fads have a way of coming back every few decades or so, than it's high time the pet rock craze made a return, And how appropriate that the loosey-goosey Captain Jack Sparrow of the eBay waters--Hawaiian Odysseus--should be the one to mastermind its comeback. 

If you were able to get to this post prior to the end of the above-mentioned eBay listing (go to eBay and type the following item number into the search window: 160793425135), you'll be able to follow its progress. Or, if you find this blog entry within three months after that date, you'll still be able to search for that number to have a few grins over what ultimately happened with this harebrained scheme.

In any event, it's fun coming up with wild and crazy ways to make a living.

Only on eBay...

Only with yours truly...

Hawaiian Odysseus.

By the way, for more on this particular topic, check out my equally zany article on HubPages. Just click on the link below.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why I Sell on eBay--Of Haunting Green Eyes and a Young Man Down Under

 Afghan Girl with the Haunted--and Haunting--Green Eyes
June, 1985 National Geographic
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo of Cover)


I'm one for seeing the glass half full. 

So while a good deal of the world may be focused on the Mayan calendar ending in December of this year, it's life as usual for me.

Add to that the fact that I'm looking at 60 imaginary candles on the invisible cake this July, well...let's just say that I am a full-fledged member of a universal club that is very appreciative of the life God's given them.

In 2000, I formally opened up a part-time business selling fishing flies I'd tied as well as fly tying materials on eBay.

In the latter part of last year, bone-weary from a bagel baking job in Redmond, Washington, and simply exasperated with the schizophrenic economy, I made the significant decision to abort the rat race I was quickly losing. 

Returning home to Walla Walla County, 250 miles southeast of my sojourn in the Emerald City of Seattle, I kicked my online business into full gear. 

Admittedly, it was a scary decision, but after much soul-searching, hours of heart-wrenching discussions with my wife, and a total overhaul of my theretofore makeshift business plan, I took the plunge.

And God's favor has incessantly rained upon me ever since.

Not that I'm rolling in the dough, mind  you, because I'm not...not yet, anyway. 

My blessings have come by way of the people I've encountered in my global entrepreneurship.

And in the end, the golden contact we make with our fellow men is more important than any earthly treasure.

That said, I've been struggling in the last couple of months, desperately trying to understand this minority segment on eBay that purchases items knowing full well that they are not going to pay for them.

When I ask eBay for help, I am told that the global venue is a buyer's market and that sellers are expected to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct regardless of how some buyers abuse the process.

The eBay reps continue: "You know, sir, this is a reflection of our economy."

What? That people can get away with doing wrong to other people?

What? Aren't sellers part of that economy, too? Don't we lose big time when you reinforce the bad behavior of non-paying buyers by lacking consequences with bite?

In short, I come away from those phone calls with eBay customer support feeling, well, entrepreneurially impotent. 


So then there's the subsequent fallout. I start feeling angry...I have to stuff that anger...with no adequate venting, I get to a point where I'm feeling sorry for myself.

And that's not a good place for anyone, let alone a businessman, to be.


God is like this wonderful and timely GPS. When He sees us going down a wrong path, He doesn't treat us as mere marionettes and--with ethereal puppeteer strings--control our movements or force our decisions or rob us of our freedom of choice.

He simply provides more opportunities.

In the early part of April, 2012 (exactly 16 days prior to this writing), I discovered in my eBay inbox that I'd just made a sale of the magazine below to a woman in Australia.

Afghan Girl, Found, 17 Years Later
April, 2002 National Geographic
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo of  Cover)

I was elated! Promptly, I processed, packaged, and mailed the item off to the buyer. 

Less than two weeks later, I received the following positive feedback--

thanks arrived today my son has included her in many art essays for school

Now, I'd known briefly about the 1985 Afghan Girl cover story (see top photo) while researching for my description of the 2002 National Geographic issue, but as events would have it, I actually obtained the latter issue first. I don't remember where...could have been at an estate sale, church bazaar, or thrift store.

So that's why I made the sale of the 2002 issue first. 

Soon after, however, I got my hands on not just one, but two of the 1985 issues. My interest, like a single lit match in a dry forest, burned brightly and ran rampantly with new possibilities.

I remember gazing obsessively--as have millions of people all over the world--at the image of the Afghan girl with haunted--and, yes, haunting!--green eyes.

On impulse rather than analytical forethought, not worrying in the least about crossing unspoken professional marketing boundaries, I emailed the Australian woman a courtesy thank you for her nice feedback and then...yes, I dared it!...asked her if she could provide me with some background information about her feedback comment. I explained that I occasionally blogged about some of my eBay experiences.

When I awoke this morning to the light Walla Walla rain and checked my eBay status, I found an email from, I thought, the Australian customer. It was a well thought out response to my request. I was about to send an appreciative email when I noticed that there was a second message in my inbox.

Upon reading the second email, I learned that the response had actually been written by her son, a high school student.

Here is what the intelligent and eloquent young man wrote--

Afghan Girl Article

The following is in regards to your request to hearing about my, well, obsession is the best phrase. Firstly, I'd very much like to say thanks for my purchase. I received both issues & they're exactly what I wanted!

Now, you say you wish to hear a human interest story to put on your blog. Well, my obsession with the Afghan girl is nothing compared to her story, a single individual whose beautiful eyes captivated the hearts of everyone who saw them, eyes that reflected the plight of all refugees of war. That's remarkable, a true testament to the nature of humanity and the power of a well-told story, and an amazing piece of art, things of which I've always loved.

I don't quite remember the first time I saw the photograph by renowned photojournalist Steve McCurry, but since then I have been a passionate fan. He is now one of my photographic idols. What I remember, however, is being caught up in the beauty of the image like everybody else. I'd been taking photos for a while at this point, and when I saw this, I was blown away. Not only was the subject amazing, but I was swept away with the lighting, the composition, the focus, the simple beauty. I rushed off and read up on the story. Since then, it's been one of my favorite images.

I've since used it as an example in as many projects for school as I possibly could, from English (in a theme of journey and belonging) to Visual Arts. As recently as three weeks ago, I've used her story as an example in one of my first assessments for university (subject on the future of Afghan women). The Afghan girl isn't just simply an amazing piece of photojournalism and a beautiful photograph. It also captures the human spirit.

Today, I'm in possession of both issues of  National Geographic--the Afghan girl's complete story. I am in possession of not only collector's items, but a piece of history as well, and I thank you for that with all my heart.

This has been something I have desired for many years now, and I'm sure it will continue to inspire me.


Alexander Johnson


Just as I was moved by the awesome and memorable Afghan Girl cover, I was absolutely blown away by the thoughtful and equally inspirational response from the young Australian man.

Alexander, you're a credit to not just your parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and acquaintances. You're an embodiment of all that is hopeful and cause for thanksgiving in our world. May the good Lord bless your every endeavor--in your budding university life and in your future occupation, relationships, and global ambassadorship.

Thank you for blessing me with one more beautiful remembrance of why I do the work I do on eBay.

Aloha and mahalo,

Hawaiian Odysseus

Finding the Afghan Girl
National Geographic Video on YouTube

I also invite all who are interested to read a related post that can be found with the following link:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Of Cataracts and Cameras--A Perspective on Seeing Clearly

Konica Minolta AF Maxxum 70 SLR Camera With Quantaray Lens
28-90 mm f/3.5-5.6
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

It's of no small irony that the week after I listed this beautiful pre-owned camera on eBay, I received the official confirmation from an ophthalmologist in Walla Walla that I needed to have cataract removal surgery.

Now, that's disconcerting news enough. But to learn that both eyes needed the surgery, well, that took me for a loop.

Both my parents developed cataracts and had to have surgery in their late seventies. So the odds of my getting cataracts at an even younger age were even greater. Sure enough, I won the cataract lottery--not just once, but twice.

 (Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

On paper, cataract surgery seems simple enough. After local anesthesia is applied, a needle pierces the lens and breaks it up into small pieces. Through a suction process that, for personal reasons, I really don't want to and am not qualified to write about, the pieces are removed. An artificial lens is then installed. If all goes well, after a relatively short recuperation period, the patient is able to see quite clearly.

I was surprised to learn that cataract surgery is the #1 most common medical procedure in our country. 

So what does all of this have to do with the camera I listed?

 (Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

Well, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then God's head must be swelling. Let's look at a timeline to understand a little bit more about man's attempts to make an artificial eye--the camera!
  • 1021 Ibn al-Haytham, an Iraqi Arab scientist, wrote Book of Optics, introducing the basic concept of a camera and the usage of a pinhole or lens to focus an external image onto an internal surface.
  • 1685 Johann Zahn developed the first handheld camera, but it would be many more years for the design to be implemented successfully.
  • 1814 The first photograph was taken by Joseph Nicephore Niepce. By exposing a bitumen coated pewter plate to light, Niepce was able to capture a temporary image.
  • 1814 Expanding on Niepce's idea, Frenchmen Charles and Vincent Chevalier built the first camera that could produce photos. However, there was no way to preserve the photos.
  • `836 Niepce's partner, Louis Jacques Daguerre, developed the first practical photographic process. Daguerrotype involved an image being made on a light-sensitive silver-coated copper plate.
  • 1840 For the first time, William Talbot generated positive images from negatives to produce permanent images.
  • 1888 George Eastman made his first camera and called it the Kodak. It was the very first camera to go on sale. 
  • 1889 Eastman, who had been making paper film for  years, replaced it with celluloid. He created a camera that was shaped like a box and had a single speed shutter mechanism.
By the turn of the century, the commercialization of cameras and the advancement in photography technology resulted in quantum leap advances.

(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

In the process of doing research and creatively interpolating facts with figments of my imagination-doing my own quantum leaping, so to speak--it struck me recently that it wasn't just coincidence that listing a camera on eBay and being diagnosed with cataracts were such closely aligned events in my life.

These things were meant to happen in close juxtaposition in order that I might understand...and in the understanding, find peace and acceptance.

If man had not been curious and just a wee bit narcissistic in his attempts to be just like heavenly Dad, he might not have attempted to devise a mechanical eye, or camera.

And if he'd given up after his first initial attempts or failed to improve on his predecessors' progress, technology would have gone the way of dinosaurs.

If cameras didn't exist, perhaps it would have been all the more challenging for medical school professors to illustratively and mechanically expound upon the wonders of the human eye. would still be stuck wondering what the other side of the moon looked like.

And what would it matter if all of mankind couldn't see very well after threescore years because of increasingly cloudy vision?

As it stands, if all goes well next month--and I'm praying for God's abundant favor, not just for me, but for my camera mechanic, the good ophthalmologist himself--I'll be seeing things a lot more clearly than I do now.

Although... a way...

my focus couldn't be sharper.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Setting My Odyssean Sails for eBay Waters

1893 World's Fair--Chicago's Great Telescope
Hawaiian Odysseus Photo

My odyssey takes me on the most interesting twists, turns, and detours. 

I had sworn to never attend yard sales, garage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, church bazaars, and the like. 

Perhaps the core of my disdain for these haunts was my perception that this was part and parcel of a feminine mystique, not a hangout for men. I'm not machismo by any stretch of the imagination. It's just that I had no interest whatsoever in going to these places because--in my early adult years, at least--I only saw women frequenting these places. 

Plus, I learned a long time ago that shopping with a woman is like getting my teeth pulled without the balm of local anesthesia. You know...the torture of dealing with a pain that tears at the tiniest yet most vulnerable of nerves...coping in vain to deal with it by arching my back and slowly realizing that my butt is two feet off of the chair.

In any event, 9 parts because of the major economic stall of the last two years and 1 part out of sheer desperation to jump start my anemic eBay business, I went looking for new adventures.  

And so it was, one fateful Sunday morning, that I set my Odyssean sails against the wind, the figurative ocean spray (more like spit) of old tapes in my head filling me with skepticism and every excuse in the book to stay home: Don't do it! You'll regret it! You'll be the only man in the place!

Long story short (because this post is truly about something other than my advent as a thrift store pirate), I was hooked! Like a bonito attacking the tantalizing leg of an octopus attached to a huge curved object, I was HOOKED!

Funny thing is, so were a lot of other men. My preconceived notions melted like the arctic glaciers succumbing to global warming.

At this thrift store sponsored by the College Place Seventh-Day Adventist church, I happened to find this old antiquarian book that had been published in 1894. The book was a collection of black and white photographs from the 1893 Columbian Exposition, more familiarly known as the Chicago World's Fair.

In the hopes of taking my eBay store to a new level, I had been selling vintage ads for a couple of months with some success. I had at least a novice's perception, then, that vintage items appealed to a great number of people globally. I also had been besieged with spam mail advertising the collectible prints niche, some of which I had actually been reading.

The combination of these two activities, plus my predisposition towards impulsivity, prompted me to act quickly. 

Against my better judgment, I forked over a hard-earned fifty cents to the portly woman sitting at the sales desk.

 1893 World's Fair--Thomas Coke Ordaining Francis Asbury
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

The next day, I did what every kindergarten boy wishes he could do...I literally tore that book apart, carefully removing the black and white prints in the process. I also had the wherewithal--don't ask me where that came from--to take photographs of the cover page and a small paragraph. These would help me authenticate the age and source of these prints.

It took me a few hours to process the pages and list at least a dozen prints. Once I felt comfortable with the basic template, things moved a little more quickly.

My cursory review of collectible art prints revealed that people were charging relatively high prices for these prints. Being a newbie, I mustered enough courage to push the ante just a bit while remaining on the borderline of my comfort zone.  I set my price at $25 a print.

As of this writing--and it's roughly been about two months--I have been blessed with three sales, and several more prints have watchers (which doesn't necessarily mean I have a sale but at least unveils the possibility). 

1893 World's Fair--Dom Pedro's Carriage
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

Granted, I'm only on the ground floor of this exciting niche. But the nice thing about that is: Unless you're looking for the parking garage, the only way left is up!

And if there's anyone out there in blog reader land who learned something new or was at any level inspired to get out of his or her comfort zone and risk something new, maybe even strange, I welcome you to comment on, tweet, and share this post with others.

Now go and set your own Odyssean sails! And God bless you all! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Union Pacific Memorial
(All images in this post are Hawaiian Odysseus photos.)

Just west of Jefferson Park in Walla Walla, Washington, adjacent to the 9th Avenue portion of Highway 11 which connects the aforementioned city with its Oregon sister approximately ten miles or so to the south--Milton-Freewater--you'll find this iconic iron giant from yesteryear resting in a cyclone fence-enclosed area.  

I happened to be walking past this railroad memorabilia this morning.  The temperature was menthol brisk, and I was comfortable in jeans and a light jacket over an aloha shirt. The sky--oh, that glorious panorama of azure!--had its celestial gates closed to members of the cloud family, and the sun was out in its brilliant promise to warm things up a bit.

Only a third of the way through visiting February, and yet we're blessed with a mid-spring day.

Good thing I brought my camera! I thought as I found a clean spot on the grass to lay my backpack down.  Unzipping my faithful blue and black accessory, I grabbed my simple yet invaluable Fuji digital and jockeyed around the cyclone fence to capture a few images.

In 1917, this Union Pacific #2357 locomotive was built for the Union Pacific subsidiary known as the Oregon Short Line.  It was donated to the City of Walla Walla in 1959. 

Established on April 14, 1881, the Oregon Short Line was the appropriate choice of name for the shortest route possible from Wyoming to Oregon. The construction of a standard gauge line from Granger, Wyoming through Idaho to a junction in Huntington, Oregon, was successfully administered by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company.

This memorial has existed for over five decades adjacent to what could arguably described as Walla Walla's busiest thoroughfare.  Yet, as is the case with so many beautiful images, ojects, and--sadly--fellow sojourners of terra firma, we engage in this perpetual habit of neglecting to see what is right in front of us.

In my work on eBay and its close online cousins; in my views and life philosophy; in my spirituality; and especially in my interpersonal relationships,   I want to do my part and start seeing--really seeing--what I've been taking for granted.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Metz 3-in-1 Grizzly/Olive Neck
(Hawaiian Odysseus Photo)

You're looking at a fly tyer's or hair extension stylist's dream source of feathers--a Metz #3 (or grade 3) 3-in-1 Grizzly/Olive Rooster Neck.

Metz has delivered fine quality products for fly tyers and fly fishermen all over the world.  Recent socio-cultural trends--most notably, the peaking popularity of utilizing feathers for hair extensions--has created a demand far exceeding adequate hackle supplies.

Our eBay business, LORDS OF THE FLY, is proud to bring to you this excellent 3-in-1 Grizzly/Olive Rooster Neck. No matter what your specific need might be, you will definitely make efficient usage of the feathers found on this wonderful neck.

What exactly does 3-in-1 mean? Well, the feathers near the top half of the neck are great for tying dry flies.  The feathers on the middle margins and tapering towards the center are wonderful for tying woolly buggers.  Finally, the feathers in the southern region are useful for tying streamers.

The photos above speaks volumes about the neck's quality.  We encourage our eBay buyers to secure additional information by asking questions.  We make it a point to answer your inquiries in a timely manner.

PayPal is the preferred method of payment.

USPS First Class Mail is utilized for either USA or international transactions.

We invite you to view and participate in our eBay store and auction listings. Aside from fly tying hackle such as the item above, we have an array of Dai-Riki and Daiichi fishing hooks, postcards, books, magazines, collectible knickknacks, and hundreds of vintage and contemporary ads, prints, and articles for your earnest consideration.

Here's the link to
the humble online shop with great expectations! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012


  ISLANDS 2012 Calendar
(This and subsequent images are Hawaiian Odysseus photos.)

Islands 2012 Calendar, Reverse Side

Ever since I've expanded my niche selection in my eBay business, shopping in downtown Walla Walla has become more appealing for me, previously a tried and true I'd rather be watching the NFL playoffs or Storage Wars kind of guy.

It's also another form of being out on a date with my lovely wife...even if I am looking around.

No, it's not what you might be thinking.

My focal point--call me addicted--is stuff I might just be able to sell on eBay.

It's one thing to sell used, sometimes vintage, items.  But every now and then, I see things I can pick up at retail and attempt to resell at a humble profit.

So my heart skipped a beat one evening when my wife and I were shopping for groceries--yep!  of all places, a grocery store!--and I saw these great-looking 2012 calendars.  My head started spinning as I quickly crunched numbers in my head.

Turning to the boss, I discussed my idea and let her know my intentions.

She gave me the proverbial look that wives universally give their enterprising know, that look of oh, boy, so you got another harebrained scheme up your sleeve, huh?

I get a bit excited when I see that look.  It's a prerequisite, you see, for my future success.  It challenges me, it teases me, it gives me just that right amount of come hither promise that is reminiscent of the early days (alright, years) of courting her.

Invariably, she gives me the okay.  But it's mostly due to the fact that I've proven to her that my ideas usually work.  They might take a while to germinate and then flourish, but with time and patience, they usually pan out.

So when my cat rudely awakened me this morning...and allow me to digress a bit and share with you that unpleasant experience:

I'm dead to the world, sound asleep, dead to the world, and undoubtedly snoring my head off because I've chosen to take a night off from using my CPAP apparatus, when I hear Kona clawing profusely on the side of the mattress near my feet.  

Kona has got to be part bobcat.  He seldom mews like normal cats to indicate he's wanting something.  Instead, he claws at objects around the house.  It makes enough of a noise to wake one of us up.

Like this at 4:45 AM!

I've sprinkled enough water at him to make him tear out of the area like a jet kicking into Mach 5, so I figured I'd fake him out with a sprinkling motion from my hands.  But he's too smart for my feint, and he keeps clawing.

Which means I gotta get up!

So I struggled sleepily out of bed, beckoned him to go downstairs with me--or maybe I've got that backwards.  In any event, I end up opening the back door for him so he can go out and do his thing.

Don't get me wrong.  I appreciate Kona knowing where his bathroom is.  I mean, I'll tolerate the clawing as a more desirable event than the alternative. (We went on a trip once, and the catsitter apparently forgot to let him out, and so my poor wife discovered quite the surprise in our bathtub.)

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, when my cat rudely awakened me this morning...I couldn't get back to sleep and decided to check my eBay site.

I was pleasantly surprised that a buyer from down under (G'day, Mate!) had purchased and paid for the above-displayed calendar.  As you can see from the second image, the sixteen monthly scenes are picturesque and very appealing.  

Bingo!  I hastened to tell my wife.  While the sale afforded us a humble profit,  it proved the point once again that with a little effort, ingenuity, resourcefulness, time, and patience, eBay affords anyone an opportunity to sell almost anything to anyone else clear across the globe.

On a personal level, it proved that the opportunistic notion I'd experienced in the grocery store had been worth following up on.

Which reminds me...I owe you a treat, Kona!