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Back home in Mexico with half a Yellah - thanks to FC!

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  • Back home in Mexico with half a Yellah - thanks to FC!

    Hi Folks - A long story so bear with me....

    After 24 hours of traveling from my temporary home in Italy to my actual home in Mexico I finally got to spend my first night with my family after 9 months absent and boy did it feel good. Sorry, no photos of the airport reunion. I'd packed my camera deep in my luggage and my darling wife left hers at home along with her mobile phone. Some things never change!!!!

    Amazingly I managed to pack my Dewalt into my check-in luggage - minus its table which I purposely didn't plan to carry because of the additional weight - and was hoping that with some good luck I could clear customs without an inspection. My reasoning was that on previous entries into Mexico all you had to do to clear customs was press a button on a traffic light and if the light came up green you cleared with no inspection but if you hit a red light it was compulsory inspection of all luggage. With a one in 4 chance of hitting the red I planned to play the odds. Imagine my surprise on reaching customs to find that they have recently installed compulsory x-ray scanning on all luggage and after the scanning you still have to go through the traffic light test! It was with some concern that I hauled my two check-in suitcases onto the band feeding the scanner knowing that in one was the major part of the Dewalt and in the other its front base plate and tilt quadrant for the table, along with a ruck of scroll saw blades.

    Sure enough as the cases went through the scanner the belt stopped and the nice young lady on the monitor gave me a strange look. 'What's that' she asked pointing to the image on the monitor. 'A scroll-saw'... I quickly added that its a tool used for making wooden decorative items' and told her that the first case also contained parts for it. 'We need to inspect that case' she said reasonably pleasantly, pointing to the one holding the bulk of the Dewalt. 'No problem' I said, and flashed her one of biggest nonchalant smiles I could muster! She signaled for another young lady to come over and told me to place my case on the inspection table and open it. It was at this point that my years of craft and guile training as a factory manager came into play!

    As I was deliberately slowly opening the combination lock on the case I explained that I made things out of wood for a hobby using the machine inside the case. It was obvious she had no idea what a scroll saw was but as I opened the case the first thing she saw was a massive sandwich of styrene foam slabs about 4" thick which I'd placed on top of the wrapped Dewalt. 'Is that packing' she asked.'No' I replied and slit the packing tape holding the sandwich of foam sheets together and lifted out the balancing dragonfly Frieke and myself recently made and posted on the forum which I'd inserted into a purpose made cutout in the middle slab of foam . 'Que bonita!' her comment and I proceeded to show her how I could balance the critter and spin it on the top of her radio phone which she'd placed on the table. Underneath the styrene foam and on top of the Dewalt bubble wrap packing, I'd placed a copy of the Christmas edition of the Scrollsaw Magazine which included my Climbing Santa article. I showed her the magazine and a few of the items in it and she asked if I made things for a business. No I told her, it was just a hobby, and then showed her the Santa article including my name and photo. She didn't look at the heavily wrapped Yellah but instead took the magazine over to the first lady on the scanner monitor and explained what the 'machine' was, showed her the magazine, and they spent a minute or so looking through the projects.

    The monitor lady asked if I'd purchased the saw in Europe. I blatantly lied, with another big smile! 'No, I bought it in Mexico several years ago second hand and I took it to Europe with me to continue my hobby there! She looked at me a little suspiciously so I quickly added. 'Hey, I've just spent 9 months away from my Mexican wife. Better I have a hobby than spend the time drinking and chasing stray women!' They must have caught the deliberate wink in my eye because they both burst out laughing and one added 'Yes, I think so, or maybe your wife will use your saw to cut off your private parts! We Mexican ladies are very jealous! That clinched the inspection! As I walked away with my customs cleared suitcases one lady shouted, 'Hey, don't forget to make me a Christmas present!' Another big smile and I was on my way to the arrivals hall to meet my family. Boy was I happy!

    So folks, the moral of this story. When clearing customs with a big Yellah in your luggage, be pleasant and nice and just a little cheeky to the lady inspectors and don't lose your temper, and if you have a scroll saw project that you think might be worthy of submission in the Scrollsawing magazine or you are approached by the nice folks at Fox Chapel to publish an article then go for it. Apart from the nice ego trip you get seeing your name in print you just never know when your publication will come in very handy!

    Prologue...

    Later this week I hope to fabricate a new table for the saw and purchase the 110 to 220v convertor I need to run it and hopefully my Yellah will soon be producing. can't wait to get back scrolling.

    Finally, I hope you enjoyed this story which btw I'm typing at 4:30 am due to a case of severe jet lag which won't let me sleep!!

    Cheers all
    Last edited by jim_mex; 05-02-2012, 08:41 AM.
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Good to have you back on the continent. Hope you get a few days to reset the clock before the list of projects that have been on hold in your absence begin to show up.

    I'm sure Norma and Kev are glad to have you back around the house and now you have to get reacquainted with the old neighborhood.
    Jim
    When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
    Too early to leave, too late to call in.

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    • #3
      Great story!
      Rolf
      RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

      Comment


      • #4
        Aren't you lucky to have had a couple pleasant young ladies check you through customs instead of some big, surly guy?

        Welcome back to North America! While we will all miss your tales from the Continent, it must be great to finally be home after so long away.
        Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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        • #5
          Welcome home! Must really feel great after all that time away. Was your life always one great adventure after another?

          Hmmm . . . . .customs lady found an interesting new use for the scroll saw.
          Carole

          Follow me on my blog: www.scrollsawbowls.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Hola, Amigo! Good to hear you survived the perils of Mexican customs. Have fun with Norma and Kevin.

            Jan

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            • #7
              Ahh nothing like your own ....sleepy_nite_nite_walks to bed.gif

              Welcome home Jim, thanks for the journey shared with us.
              Glad your dragonfly made a safe trip too.
              Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.

              Comment


              • #8
                Was your life always one great adventure after another?
                Hi Carole - to be brutally honest, NO!
                I spent most of my youth as a very introverted individual and then spent the first 20 years of my working life too wrapped up in work and studies to find time for to socialize and get out and meet life head on. It took me to get to 40-ish to manufacture a change in my life and it wasn't without some disasters along the way but I started to become more confident a character and adventurous and go looking for things rather than waiting for them to come to me. These days rather than think what might be around the corner I prefer to go and risk taking a look and take a chance that it might be good rather than bad and if I can persuade, cajole or drag some folks along with me for the more positive aspect of the ride so much the better.

                No big secret or game plan really. Just me being a better me than before.
                Jim in Mexico

                Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                - Albert Einstein

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah, "Jeemee" another entertaining story! So glad you and old yella made it home safe and sound.

                  Nancy in AZ
                  A clean house is a sign of a broken scroll saw!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey, at least they'll, (the customs ladies), have an interesting story to tell when they get home...
                    Who knows..We might get a new scroller out of this...

                    So very good for you Jim...
                    Glad to know you're back with them that love you...


                    ..So we'll start a new inlay tutorial next week sometime... jejej (that's Spanish for heheh)
                    Last edited by JimSawyer; 05-02-2012, 09:32 AM. Reason: clarity
                    Jim

                    The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
                    No task is too tedious for Art.
                    Rock and Scroll

                    My Gallery

                    My Website
                    Featherwood Woodcrafts

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                    • #11
                      So we'll start a new inlay tutorial next week sometime...
                      Hey Jim! - Not before you join by forthcoming Dragonfly challenge pal!
                      Hey, you can inlay the veins on the wings! jejeje!
                      Jim in Mexico

                      Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                      - Albert Einstein

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks to all for the return greetings

                        Nice to be back again on this side of the pond, if a little south of the border
                        Jim in Mexico

                        Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                        - Albert Einstein

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          OOO.
                          The neurons are firing...
                          I'd be more likely to burn them..I've been doing a lot of pyro lately...
                          But I do see some DB inlay trickery for the head..
                          Jim

                          The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
                          No task is too tedious for Art.
                          Rock and Scroll

                          My Gallery

                          My Website
                          Featherwood Woodcrafts

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            WOW, Jim, you are the Adventurer ! I'll bet those custom's Ladies will have to work many months before meeting up with the likes of you & " ole yellar " . HA Glad everything was intact & you made it home safe. Enjoy your long awaited REST. Or will you get to? Take Care
                            PERK

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                            • #15
                              haha Jim, glad you could take her home with you! I 'm happy you're with your family again....take your time to relax...
                              Frieke
                              www.friewoodart.webs.com

                              Visit Frieke's gallery

                              Don't let the pain of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.

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