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Stories From The Dirt

20 Feb

If you have been detecting for a while, you probably have collected your fair amount of stories of the ‘weird’ kind. Here are a few of my own.

 

I started detecting back on May of 2011 and I’ve had a number of experiences that fall in the category of interesting.

Snake In The Hole
Once, at my favorite silver park, I cut a plug and when I lifted it, a 3 foot snake jumped onto my chest from it. I was frozen in terror as the snake wriggled on me while a girl-like high pitched scream escaped my lips. Luckily, most of the times I detect I am alone so my shame was not witnessed.

Ghost At The Window
I was detecting an abandoned property when an elderly man from the neighborhood came to chat with me. He told me that the building had once been a candy store. He was a child then and he and his friends would visit often. The house was scheduled for demolition by the city. As I detected and the man shadowed me and regaled me with inside info about the neighborhood, we heard loud knocking on one of the windows coming from the inside. We immediately looked but no one was present. We shrugged and continued only to have the same thing happen at the next window. This time we both went in and walked inside but found no one and heard no more noises. He was visibly creeped-out and so was I so I moved on to the next property.

The Kid.
I was detecting in a beautiful part of one of the parks in our city where a grove of 100 year old oak trees stand when I became aware of a person watching me about 10 feet from me to one side. My peripheral vision told me this person was about 4 feet high and as I turned expecting the usual curious kid the person suddenly took flight! My heart left me as a very large and very beautiful owl flew into the dense wooded area across the street. The local bird expert at our zoo confirmed that there is a type of owl in our parts that can grow that large.

The Voices
This one is weird. I detailed the event in this post (https://thedirtisgoodtome.com/2011/10/11/first-buffalo-nickel-and-first-war-nickel/). Short version: clear voice in my head directed me to a find.

Aerial Attack
I was analyzing a signal under a tree when I felt something land on my head and a flutter of wings blew air on my face. I reacted, naturally by dropping and screaming, as a hawk was taking off my head. He landed on a branch near me and I meekly moved on to a different spot in the park. Again, my friend, the local bird expert at our local zoo told me there is a hawk the name of which escapes me at the moment that is very territorial and will attack when it feels threatened.

Land Attack.
I was digging a hole on tall grass near the river when I felt a sting on my ankle. I brushed at it and thought it may have been a grass sticker. Later, the spot itched and when I looked, I had two perfectly lined up holes on my ankle. They were not scratches but HOLES. They took a while to heal and they left a nickel-sized discolored spot on my skin. You can still see the hole marks today. At first I thought a snake bit me but after encountering black tarantulas on my outings at the same park, I wonder now if it wasn’t one of them that bit me.

Ghost At The Door
I was detecting with a couple of guys at an abandoned farm site where the old house and a smaller guest house still stood. The guys were hunting the front yard of the main house while I was hunting the front of the guest house. It was evening but there was still plenty of light. The guest house door was open but the old timey screen door was shut. You could see from where I was at that the guest house was empty. However, no sooner I began to scan the dirt that I got a very strong impression of being watched from the guest house. I was about 5 feet from the porch steps so I had a good look into the inside of the building through the screen door and there was no one standing there but it felt as if I was locked eye to eye with someone. I sort of felt threatened. I quickly moved back to join the fellas where they had a good laugh at my expense. Better a laugh than the stare-down of death I got from the ghost.

Share a story in the comments if you have one.

Thank you for stopping by.

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2017…where are the posts!?

8 Feb

I hope everyone is having a great year so far.

Me, I have not even looked at Maurice, or Dragomir, or the Mighty Compadre. I have been somewhat distracted by other issues but I am slowly emerging from that and I hope to start detecting again soon.

We’ve had a few nice days this Winter but alas, I couldn’t make it out.

This year I am really aiming at buying a new detector. I have spoken about it before and no, I am not abandoning the XP Deus. I have been searching for a detector for a very specific type of hunting. I thought I had it with the Blisstool but although the machine delivers what it promises, I never used it enough last year to really extract the benefits. Meanwhile, a new Russian machine has come into play and just recently, a dealer in the U.S. began carrying it. It’s an advanced machine and this is reflected in the price. With a wife and two young ones, I have to maneuver financially to come up with the money. My plan is to work the Deus hard to raise the funds.

Anyway, if you see me out there disturbing the soil, feel free to stop by and say hi.

Thank you for stopping by!

The new thing I need in a detector

4 Jul

I hope you all are having a great 4th of July weekend. Please bring your pets in to minimize their suffering during this time of fireworks and revelry.

Here in my part of the country, we’ve had a couple of days of torrential rain so I am cooped up. Actually, the rain stopped long enough last evening to go out bike riding with my youngest and we had a great time.

Eventually, however, my thoughts returned to my favorite past-time. I’ve read discussions on the Web about new detectors being planned and produced and what features we would want. In the past I’ve said I want a detector that is not based on Electromagnetism. Right now my limited mind can only think of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) but alas, an affordable and light GPR unit may not happen in my lifetime.

So if I am to be stuck with the status quo, what improvement would I like? More depth? Better unmasking? Yes, sure, I always want those but what I really, really would like is the ability to identify metals based on their chemical composition and not based on their conductivity. Yeah, that’s it. I want my detector to tell copper, gold, aluminum, and silver apart regardless of the shape and size of the object.

Also, if we can send probes to Mars and land them precisely where we want them to land, why can’t we accurately tell how deep an object is with our metal detectors? I can already hear all of you telling me that you can do that with your brand of detector already but let me break it to you as gently as I can: No, you can’t. Your machine can give you an estimate of depth but not accurately tell you. Granted, sometimes the machine comes close but many times all you get is a ballpark figure.

So there you have it. If you are a smart techie, please get working on these things. I am getting older by the minute and would like to see a paradigm shift before I am too old to detect.

Thank you for stopping by.

The Whole Truth

16 Jun

Since the last post with a coin, I’ve gone out two more times. Both of those times I came home with a pocketful of iron and tiny aluminum foil. No coins or anything else worthy of note.

Aluminum foil vexes me to no end. Unfortunately, we have been dropping the stuff in our city parks since 1910 or somewhere around that time. Whereas iron in the form of nails and wire stays more or less together, aluminum foil breaks into minuscule parts which then sound like a deep object to a metal detector. Alas, such is the life of the deep coin hunter. Also, iron will eventually rust away but aluminum lasts forever under the ground.

Anyway, I didn’t want you all to think that I am successful every time I go out.

It’s already in the 100’s temperature-wise and it is not even Father’s Day yet. Thankfully we had some heavy rain yesterday and the ground will be moist for a couple of days.

One last thing. My Garrett pinpointer is acting up in the same way my other Garrett pinpointers have acted out. It goes off for no reason. It is the 4th Garrett pinpointer I’ve owned and all did the same thing. When the pinpointer is running out of batteries it will act this way but mine acts that way even with brand new batteries. What am I doing wrong? I see people on YouTube treating their pinpointers worse than I do. I own a DetectorPro  pinpointer that never gave me any trouble even after I left it on the roof of my car and drove off. Somewhere around 40 miles per hour, the thing flew off and hit the pavement. Still works to this day. Only reason I don’t use it it’s because it’s too ungainly and it seriously looks like a Peacemaker when I put it in the holder it came with. I may just give up on the Garrett pinpointer altogether.

So, stay cool and hydrated out there.

Thank you for stopping by.

2016 is upon us

20 Dec

There went 2015 and Maurice and I did only a modicum of hunting. Many things competed for my attention this year. Still I managed around 30 silver coins and some of my oldest coins ever like the 2 cent coin from 1864 I found in downtown Wichita.

Sometime around March I decided to learn how to read the major Romance languages and I was somewhat successful. I can read Italian fairly well and also French and Portuguese and of course I can read Spanish  I did not do so well with Romanian and Catalan but I made enough progress that I think I will be reading novels in those two languages in 2016. Doing this takes a lot of time and this probably was the one activity that ate most of my detecting time.

My sons are older now and demand more of my time which I joyfully give. I also gave more time to volunteering such as the Spanish class and other activities.

For me 2016 will be a continuation of 2015 except for the Spanish and other volunteering. I hope to spend that time with my boys. I will also cut back on the languages I am studying. I will get back to Japanese which I stopped back in March and I will pick up Korean. Both Japanese and Korean have almost identical grammar so I hope they complement well. Besides, I have a large Korean community to talk with and it would be a waste not to take advantage of that. I will continue to read in all the Romance languages which should go much faster in 2016 since I have a strong foundation now.

I am also going to REALLY try to learn how to play both the trumpet and the accordion. I bought those two instruments in the last 2 years but never really gave them much time.

And naturally, I will continue to master the Money Maker Protocol. I have a strong feeling that it will produce my best detecting year in terms of quality and quantity with a moderate investment of time.

In 2015, quite a few new hunters came on the scene and they have been very successful. I am not worried however because they are not hunting the same coins I am.

At the end of 2015, we still can detect parks, thank goodness because I’m just terrible at asking for permission to hunt private property. I hope this continues and I will do whatever I can to keep it that way.

So I wish everyone a strong 2016 with health, love, and happiness.

 

Hunt, interrupted

11 Jul

So all my hopes and dreams were dashed against the cruel rocks of chance.

A little dramatic I know, but darn that sharp rock I stepped on while goofing around with my boys in the waves!

No more beach hunting for me since the cut, albeit in much better shape, is still tender to walk on.

Had fun doing it once however, and plans have been made for another visit to the West coast (and a future trip to the Eastern seaboard as well, yippee!) so I have two chances to redeem myself and also to try beach hunting with a sand scoop.

Thank you for stopping by.

What in Sam Hill is going on here?!

9 May

No metal detecting lately. None. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

Blame it on the as of yet unknown condition that is zapping my energy. I suppose it could be old age but come on! I’m not even 50 yet!

I tried to detect the other day but it felt like I was running a marathon. Anyway, the doc gave me something mostly to humor me as he couldn’t find anything wrong with me heart nor with me lungs.

Be that as it may, although I am not disturbing the soil, many metal detecting related things are happening. Some are truly crazy and some are the result of our success as a club (see Wheat State Treasure Hunters)

The hobby is enjoying a boom around here. It seems I see a new person everyday detecting in my beloved parks. That’s a good thing. This hobby is great and I wish it on everyone.

Meanwhile, Maurice gives me longing looks every time I walk by it. He was born to find hidden treasure in the dirt, not to sit in my language lab collecting dirt. Alas! I feel his pain.

I suppose it will all be sweeter when I finally return to swinging the coil.

Thank for stopping by!

 

Balance

7 Apr

I read my friend’s post on his blog Stevessunkentreasures and it reminded me of the importance of balance. I too have a busy Spring to tend to.

I discovered the immense pleasure of taking my son to his first baseball practice. Heck, I even volunteered when coach asked for volunteers. To say it was fulfilling is an understatement. So now, Saturday mornings will be dedicated to this newly found joy, which means no detecting on Saturday mornings for at least a little while. Balance.

I have been teaching a Spanish class at a local church. No charge and open to the public. These people impressed me with their deep desire to help, which includes trips to Spanish-speaking countries to do actual, hands-on work. So I dedicate two hours a week in the afternoons to teaching them how to speak Spanish. That’s two hours I don’t detect. Balance.

Wednesday it’s given to meeting with friends to chit chat and eat dinner and for my sons to get more play time with friends and for one of them to practice with the church’s bell choir. Balance.

Lunch time is now dedicated to continue with my health-care routine. Ok, so I simply walk for 45 minutes but that means no more hunting at lunch time. Balance.

Now, with just that, I am assured to stay busy the rest of the time. In addition, I need to find some time here and there for my other passions; playing the uke, practicing my foreign languages, and by golly, I gotta grow some vegetables this year!

All this has caused me to actually treasure my time out there running the coil over dirt and grass. I attended the Wheat State Treasure Hunters meeting yesterday and I had a blast. It was great to chat with James and Vince and to talk to all the new members. Then we actually got to hunt a little. I could only hunt for 15 minutes but in that time I found some early 60’s memorials in an area of the park Vince had researched and kindly pointed out to me. Thanks Vince, I think there’s silver there!

So my beloved hobby has taken a backseat to other endeavors. It’s Ok. I am still saving to buy that Russian detector that can hit a quarter at four feet. My friend lawdog1 says that I’ll probably knock off T.V. reception for a square mile with it. LOL! And later in the Summer, when the boys are off school, I will regain the early morning hours to do some hard-core hunting before I go to work.

It’s all good. Balance is a good thing.

Thank you for stopping by!

I’m just waiting…

13 Feb

After a slew of ridiculously cold days followed by inches and inches of snow, Maurice and I are just sitting around collecting dust. I have done some cool things related to the hobby however: I attended a club meeting and got to chew the fat with the fellas and the gals and I was part of the second metal detecting class we gave for the city.

The class was a rotund success. We had a full house with people on the waiting list (!). Never would have guessed this hobby would draw that many people to a class. Some of the guys from the club really shined at the class. We may do another one in April but we haven’t decided yet.

Then I began a cool project with Steve Ukena that is yet to really take off. This one is a winner I tell you.

Still, I sure would like to unleash Maurice on them parks. Sigh!

 

The vicissitudes of life

15 Jan

So, towards the end of 2013, I decided to tackle a health issue that I had ignored for long enough. Anyone who knows me well knows I don’t like to take pills to solve a problem created by lifestyle. Yet, I continued on with the lifestyle that led me to the problem so I had to concede and go to the doctor.

Still, I don’t like taking pills so I have to turn it up to 11. To do this, I must dedicate my precious lunch hour to exercise instead of detecting. Yes, I know that detecting, especially the way I do it by digging every pull tab and bottle cap, is exercise but unfortunately, I need the kind of exercise that elevates your heart rate for an extended period of time. In short, I need to lose 40 to 50 lbs as quickly as humanly possible. It is the only way to stop taking the medication.

So now my hunting time is reduced to the occasional Sunday afternoon or to days when I am off work. It really makes me sad but if I want to prolong the time I enjoy my beloved hobby, and really, If I want to avoid sharing space with the pull tabs and the bottle caps, this change is necessary.

Look for an increased uptick on the number of posts starting in April. I should have this whole thing licked by then.

Thank you for looking!