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Metal Detect and Live

27 Apr

I can’t believe it has been this long since I posted something!

Some months ago I began a project that took my mind-time away from detecting but now I can give my beloved hobby some due time.

But it has been quite a long time. No walking around the parks in my city, no digging holes in the ground and thus grounding myself (it’s a thing, really), no breathing outside air, and no sunshine on my face.

This sad situation led my health to decline culminating on a most unfortunate heart attack. Fittingly, the cardiac event (as they called in the hospital) happened while I sat my fat ass in my office chair. But don’t be too worried for me; my doctor put it this way: “if you are going to have a heart attack, this is the kind to have”. I think he meant that there was no permanent damage so I get to live on. I think of it as a warning shot.

Now there are a bunch of pill bottles on the kitchen counter and a couple of different types of insulin in the fridge but rather than lamenting more, I want to make this a teaching moment: Go out detecting. Dig those pull tabs and count every time you go down and get up again as a life-saving activity. Walk far, swing low and slow, breath the air, feel the sun on your skin, and live a long life.

Thank you for stopping by.

P.S. I have made a date to go detecting with a young man who is really interested in enjoying this hobby of ours. Yeah!

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Detectorist

9 Aug

I was watching a British show about metal detecting and in one episode, one of the characters corrects a civilian by telling her that his machine was a metal detector but that he was a metal detectorist.

I had heard the term detectorist from British dirt fishers before but over and over my online spelling dictionary would flag the word as erroneously spelled and when I checked, the dictionary would not give me an alternative spelling.

Thinking this was odd, I have looked for the word in online and physical dictionaries and have failed to find it.

I rather like the term. The ending of the word: -ist, suggest a person who does something and in this case the activity is detection. I like the general sense of the word; whatever else we are, we are detectorists first. I may be looking for silver coins but I am detecting all kinds of other metals in the ground.

Why is this important you may ask? The answer my friend is solidarity. Dirt fisher and Hunter are fine and well but hardly universal. We need a name to bring us together. Heck, at our meeting with the state archaeologist we were asked what we called ourselves and we all threw a number of terms at him. I think we settled, rather uncomfortably, on the term Hunter.

I just now read a post by Detecting Diva where she pins this lack of standard name for us as a pet peeve and I for one agree with her.

So spread the word. We are Detectorists. Sure, Dirt Fisher is cool and so is Hunter but lets present a united front and call ourselves detectorists to the uninitiated out there. Coinshooter and Relic Hunter are good for the specialists among us but I humbly suggest saying something like “I am a Metal Detectorist of the Coinshooter species”. Ok, that may get you beat up on the playground. Most certainly we are not vandals, or looters though.

As for me, I am a Metal Detectorist, a Coinshooter, a Park Hunter, and a Pulltab Afficionado.

Thank you for stopping by.

Proof of life

29 Jul

Once more, I have to declare I am not dead.

July was a month of vacation, illness, and hellish heat.

I took the family north to South Dakota this month to visit the Black Hills, the Badlands, and to take in Mt. Rushmore. It was great and we all had a good time.

Right before we left on our trip, I developed an ear infection that didn’t completely leave me until after we returned home.

I took Maurice with me but alas! I never got a chance to use it. There was a very nice park behind our hotel with a lovely mountain stream cutting right through the middle of it but the park itself was very new and the one time I had a little time to detect, I decided to go exploring with my youngest instead.

At the Badlands, the high temps hovered in the high 70’s, pushing 80 once or twice. However, upon descending to the plains of Kansas, the temps quickly went back up to the high 90’s and low 100’s. I have wisely stayed indoors or confined our outings to the local neighborhood swimming pool. I am feeling the itch however…

We had a very striking thunderstorm last night and I hope that the ground is moist and easier to dig so I can get in a little hunting this weekend.

I hope you are all staying cool

Thank you for stopping by.

Is the Blisstool a ‘park detector’?

5 May

I have a park in our city where the coins from the 1940’s and before are buried under more than 12 inches of dirt. I know this because the coins from the 50’s and 60’s are found between 7 and 9 inches deep. Why this is is anyone’s guess.

So after I dug up more than a 100 silver coins and countless wheats and nickels from the 50’s and 60’s  from my deep silver park,  I began the search for a detector that could get me to the coins dropped in the 40’s and before. My choices were pulse induction (p.i.) detectors and the Blisstool. No sooner I began my search however, people began to tell me that p.i. detectors and the Bliss were not ‘park detectors‘. Whaaaat??!!

No one ever told me what a ‘park detector‘ was. To my way of seeing things, if the detector beeps when the coil is over a piece of metal, then it is a park detector; and a field detector; and a private property detector. Come on. The Tesoro Compadre is a single tone detector with no depth indicator and no visual i.d. system and NO ONE is saying the Compadre is not a park detector. On the contrary, the Compadre is a perfect park detector. So what gives?

Hunting parks in this day and age is a trying exercise no matter what machine you are using. The real question is not whether your machine is a ‘park detector’ but whether YOU are a park detector.  You are the real detector (and your digger is the only 100% accurate discriminator). If you are willing to pay the price to get to the juiciest finds in our city parks, then the metal detector you use is just a tool.

I spent an hour at lunch time digging deep rusted iron and shallow can slaw with the Bliss today. It reminded me of the hours I spent digging deep rusted iron and can slaw with every other detector I have owned! I know that with patience and with time, I will learn what the Bliss is telling me and then I will begin to dig some really good stuff. I mean, I already dug up a couple of old coins with it and I have no idea what I am doing. Disclaimer: I have never known what I’m doing.

So there. I, pulltabMiner, here and now and in somewhat acceptable use of my faculties, declare that the Blisstool IS a park detector. Let it be known far and wide that I have thus spoken.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

Dragomir’s Maiden Voyage

19 Apr

I paid for the Blisstool on Friday and I got it on Monday. That’s the level of service I’ve come to expect from Chuck at Indian Nations Detectors.

So I read up a little on the Blisstool and set it up as recommended in several forums. At lunch time today I took it to a spot that I have cleaned up of almost all signals. The first thing I noticed is that the volume goes from 0 to 100 really fast. It nearly busted my eardrums!

The second thing that I decided is to get wireless headphones as soon as possible. After several years of wireless hunting with the Deus, being tied to the machine was a strange experience.

The Blisstool is well balanced with the 11 inch coil. I didn’t try the 15 inch coil today but I hope to do so this weekend.

Hunting with the Blisstool is not as odd as you would think. If you have ever hunted with the Tesoro Compadre or the Tesoro silver micromax then you know what it feels like to hunt with the Blisstool.
I was surprised to find that there is nuance to the sound. Not all targets sounded the same it seemed to me. The machine pinpoints well.

As I set it up, I began to dig iron right away. I messed around with the discrimination and I got some iron to break up but a number of nails and pieces of wire sounded really well. I know with time and experience I will master this so I am not worried.

If you know me, then you know what I was really interested on was depth. The deepest thing I dug with a good solid signal was a super small piece of aluminum foil at about 6 inches deep. 6 inches was very deep relative to the minuscule size of the piece of foil.

The Bliss is very sensitive, giving me nice solid and repeatable signals on the thinnest of wire. Soon my lunch hour was over and I put the machine away and returned to work.

I have a sense that this machine will produce. I also have the sense that it won’t take me long to figure it out.

I have a number of spots around the city parks that I have cleaned extensively during the past two years so I have places to learn the Bliss.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

 

A Kindred Spirit

2 Jul

Whenever I find something cool at one of our city’s old, trashy parks, I make a note of the spot for future clean up operations. Finding a keeper, be it an old coin or a cool relic, tells me that the spot has not been properly hunted and sometimes, cleaning it up of all pulltabs, foil, and other trash results in more cool stuff. I have a number of such spots around the city.

As far as I knew, I was the only one crazy enough to do this around here. But the other day, at lunch time, I showed up to the trashy site of the day ready to remove all trash when I came upon evidence of recent metal detecting activity of the not-me kind. Whoever worked this spot before me was conscientious and properly covered all the holes. Curious, I worked the site with the Compadre and where before there were dozens of pulltab signals, now there were none. So I opened the detector all the way and went over the site again and got a couple of hits on some foil and a couple of pieces of iron but nothing else! This person cleaned the spot well. I wondered if they found something cool for all their work.

I ran out of time so I couldn’t take a deeper look with Maurice but I surely will in the near future. While I am happy that someone else is insane like me, I am now also worried that I have competition. I hope I get to meet this person.

Thanks for stopping by!

And now we bake…

23 Jun

After the excessively rainy Spring we jumped straight into the high 90’s and low 100’s, making this one of the most hostile years to metal detecting thus far. It’s a good thing that I get to metal detect the beach for the first time soon, to make up for the utter lack of metal detecting time in my life. I have gone a few times at lunch time to sweat a pint. I am mostly using the Compadre because to be honest, sometimes I get tired of all the bells and whistles on my XP Deus. Hunting with the Compadre eliminates the all too annoying habit of talking myself out of digging a target. The ol’ Compadre beeps and that’s it. No depth indicator, no VDI, no nothing. Yesterday for example, I went to a site that I have hunted heavily, and got a hit-and-miss signal. Iffy as hell. The target turned out to be a jack, from the old game girls used to play, you know, one of those star looking things that was only 3 inches deep. Finding that jack with such a bad signal got me to thinking about all the odd-shaped jewelry in the ground. I can think of earrings and pendants that may be oddly shaped and which may give a choppy foil signal. I am almost 100% sure that if I had gotten this signal with Maurice, I would have left the jack in the ground. Thusly goes the Compadre. Dig it it said; and I did. I hope the next such signal will net me some yellow stuff. Meanwhile I continue to plot about a way to acquire a Blisstool v6. Then there are rumors and insinuations from XP about version 4 of the software coming out sometime in early 2016 which is so revolutionary that it requires a new coil, which I am sure will cost around $500 American. Ah the money I spend on this hobby! I continue to justify it by telling myself that I don’t drink (one or two beers a year), I don’t smoke, and I don’t patronize the girly bars. AND this hobby has been the heck of a lot cheaper than my addiction to growing vegetables. Delicious as they were, my tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers came in with a hefty price tag. So we will see. Meanwhile, stay cool. Thank you for stopping by.

Gold Digger

6 Jun

pulltabsJPG

Finding gold with your metal detector is not complicated.

The Mystery Token Again

30 May

Not being able to stand it any longer, I went to the park with Maurice. I really wanted to revisit some voodoo that you can do with the Deus to gain ludicrous depth. Not to beat the proverbial dead horse but the one thing about upper level detectors is that you can continue to find new ways to extend their capabilities, in essence, getting a new detector.

Be that as it may, I was at the old hunted-out park (is there any other kind anywhere in the world?) testing this voodoo I spoke of earlier when I got a signal where I knew there were none left. So I went for it. The target turned out to be a metal object slightly larger than a U.S. quarter. Sweet. Then, not two feet away, I again got a signal. Both of the targets were around the 9 inch mark, which I call deepish because to me, deep starts at 10 inches.

The first target appears to be the front of a pin from the first commercial corn cob pipe factory in the United States, the Missouri Meerschaum Cob Pipe Company. I tried and tried to date this particular design with no success. The company is still in business today. The second target is the third M.K. token I have found at this very same spot. Equally, I have no information on this token. The best I can do is guess that it is a reproduction of the Mein Kampf tokens that Hitler’s supporters would make in Germany out of bus tokens back when Hitler was in jail.

Berlin_Omnibus_token

Above is a picture of one of the tokens from the Berlin Omnibus system. The M.K. would be stamped on the reverse of the token. Although not dated, this particular design was released in 1917.

Although I could be wrong, the idea is not too far fetched. There was support for the Nazi party in the U.S. until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In my beloved city, the party even had a headquarters.

Baby Hospital

I am very excited for this new hunting strategy. I am not even running the latest version of the Deus software, which many report, adds depth to the Deus. I am updating as soon as time permits and re-hunt some promising spots around our fair city.

I’ll keep you posted.

Rain, rain, rain

29 May

Let me add yet another blog post about the rain to the already saturated (he he he…) metal detecting blogosphere.

Yes, I am going to blame the lack of metal detecting on the rain even though the real reason I am not metal detecting is the lack of time.

I have seen rainier Springs around here but not for a while. The ground is so wet in places that it feels as if you are walking on wet sponges. I can’t imagine what a muddy mess it would be to try to dig a hole around here.

So, I am dedicating my time to other pursuits while this deluge abates. Those who know me may or may not be aware that I am teaching myself Japanese. Interesting language I tell you, as different from English as a Garrett detector is from a frog. Yet, after all this time of learning the script (the Japanese use 4 different scripts, including our alphabet which they call ‘romaji’), learning the grammar, and trying to make sense of the cultural aspects of it, I have done very little speaking. So, I finally gave in and paid for a conversation partner online. Nowadays, via the miracle of Skype, you can find a person anywhere in the world to speak with you in their native language for a nominal fee. We live in wondrous times. I’ll just say this one more thing, learning a language and actually using it are two entirely different things, as different as a Garrett detector is…

In case you were wondering, here’s how you say ‘metal detector’ in Japanese: 金属探知機 – kinzoku tan chiki. Literally, ‘metal detection machine’.

Also, I began teaching Spanish two years ago and recently, a volunteer Sheriff officer asked that I teach him Spanish to make his patrolling more effective. The guy is already speaking (from zero to conversational) in less than 3 months. This is due to the fact that we meet every lunch hour for lessons. We manage to meet 3 or so times a week so really, he went from zero to conversational, literally, in a manner of hours. I would calculate that we have spent 40 hours learning. I say this to dispel the toxic notion that it takes years to learn a language. If you have a good teacher (humbly, I vow my head), a good method, and a real desire to learn, you will learn a language in a few months. By the way, the method I use was developed by a Jewish Pole during WWII. Not only did he develop this method but was a real pain in the ass to the Germans as a member of the French Resistance.

To top it all off, my boys are now doing baseball and golf respectively and when not doing those things, we like to go to the Y and do some weight lifting or go walk around the Arkansas river just goofing off.

So that’s the account of my time not spent metal detecting. I am still gonna blame the rain though.

Thank you for stopping by.