905-753-2731 susan@potterystudio.ca

I bought myself a new tool.  For those of you who know me it comes as no surprise, as I appear to have every tool known to wo/man.  Especially pottery tools!  If you’re a potter, you’ll know what I mean.  


Anyway, saw this video of the “Strong Arm” designed by Marc Gaiger.  It’s a centering and opening tool, supposed to save wear and tear on the shoulder/arm — and I’ve had lots of problems with the right arm over the past couple of years so I thought I’d give it a try.  Ordered it at least a month ago.  They were quick on the mark (no pun intended, well, maybe a little one) and sent it out the next day … whereupon this saga begins.

I had it sent to a place on Wellesley Island (US) that takes deliveries for us happy Canadians, and saves us the exorbitant delivery charges through UPS, etc.  I’d set up the account there a few months before and was patiently waiting for them to let me know it had arrived.  Three weeks later I sent Marc an email asking when they were sending it, and they said it had been sent the next day and their tracking proved it had arrived.  Then the search was on … it was finally found at the Wellesley warehouse.


Then I had to go and get it.  Bloody hell!  152 km to Wellesley Island, so there goes three hours driving not counting the time going through the borders.  $3.50 to get over the bridge.  $6.00 (US) to hold the parcel … and then because there was no actual invoice in the parcel for Canadian Services on the way back — an hour there, a vehicle search, and a confirmation of the actual price of this tool on the website, and an additional $53 on the price for the Canadian HST.  This tool is now worth it’s weight in gold (add in the US exchange, maybe it’s platinum).


Don’t get me wrong.  The people involved in this tale were extremely pleasant.  The toll taker on the bridge wished me a good morning.  The US border patrol guy was quite friendly — took one look at me and asked if I had alcohol or weapons — shook his head and flagged me through.  The people at the Kinnek on Wellesley Island coundn’t have been nicer (even more pleasant than we are supposed to be as Canadians), and the guy that waved me over the border into Canada, the same.  


But, when I got into the Service Canada area, geez, those guys must have been absolutely bored.  There were at least a dozen officers there … and I was the only customer, and as dangerous as I appeared, eh, in my green parka and my Ford escape — they went out for a search to look for guns and sharp objects.  The hockey stuff, pottery stuff, candy wrappers and doggie poop bags (no poop in the bags) must have given them a good chuckle, but they looked very serious as they came back in to charge me another $11 in HST.  I hope I wasn’t the biggest bust of the day … 


So rest assured my friends.  Getting into the US is not as big a deal as it appears on FB.  Getting out, on the other hand, that’s another story.  


Blue skies today.  Just glorious.  Guess I’ll put this tool together and see if it works.  I’m not taking it back to return it!


Hope you’re having a great day!

Susan McD