Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

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.

Looking for Mr. Donner

11 May

The State Archaeologist, Dr. Hoard, invited us to participate in a survey of a known camp site for the Donner party as they traveled West into American history.

The countryside was beautiful and the company was fun.  Everyone involved in this project seemed genuinely passionate about the history of Kansas. Steve and I were happy to participate and pitch in. We surveyed the area until thunder and lightning caused Dr. Hoard to call it a day. It was near 5 pm and I was busted!

Steve won Find of the Day with a beautiful 1867 Shield Nickel in great shape. The find was properly documented and cataloged and taken to the lab to add to the other finds in order to paint a picture of whatever events may have occurred at the site back in the early days of the camp. I found a period bullet of small caliber and a traveler’s trunk latch.

Although the finds were scant, I would not hesitate a second to do it all over again.

For an excellent detailed account of the day, please visit Steve’s detecting blog: https://stevensunkentreasures.wordpress.com/

Picture of Mr. Donner and his wife

Mr. Donner and his lovely bride.

Steve and I representing. Dr. Hoard visibly impressed with our mad skills.

Steve and I representing. Dr. Hoard visibly impressed with our mad skills.

The above photograph was taken by professional photographer Tom Parker. Please visit Dispatches From Kansas to see his excellent work.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Long and the Short of it

21 Apr

Since I am not doing any detecting, I spend my time these days reading detecting blogs to sort of fill the need to detect.

One of the blogs I read and a blog I believe EVERYONE should read regularly, is Dick Stout’s blog. Dick has been involved in this hobby from the very beginning and he knew and frolicked with some of the legends of the hobby. So you get a big and unique perspective on all things detecting from him.

Alas!, I will warn you right now, in case you don’t know, Dick is an old curmudgeon from New Jersey now living in Texas (that info alone should tell you plenty about the man) but don’t be dissuaded by this. Dick is the real deal and you will benefit muchly by hearing what he has to say.

A topic close to his heart is the state of detecting today (and often compared to the early days when men were men and silver was the only coinage in the ground). It is hard to disagree with his assessment of the situation. I too, spend a great deal of time thinking about the hobby and here are a couple of thoughts on why things are different today than in the golden age of detecting.

A FEW DECADES OF TIME
One of the main reasons I believe, as to why things are different today than back in the 70’s is that the general public has had almost 5 decades to form an opinion of the hobby. Why would the general opinion of the hobby affect our hobby you say? I believe that most detectorists’ attitude is greatly influenced by what we perceive to be the public’s view of the hobby. Case in point: when I first began (or re-started) detecting three years ago, I told someone I trust that I was going to do this and her response was “Why??!! they let you dig up the parks like that?!!” And this came from an educated (PhD), open-minded person (on most topics at least, not including metal detecting obviously). Since then, I’ve encountered this attitude over and over. So you can forgive most detectorists out there for not wanting to be overly conspicuous when the public at large sees us as vandals and looters. And yes, I have and still do, proclaim from the nearest soap box, the taking of the high road and the attempting to educate. I will tell you that it is not easy to do it all the time and it really wears on you after a while.
So while I still wish that detectorists would stop hiding and that we would accept that our hobby has as much right to exists as any other hobby, I understand the reticence of my fellow dirt fishers to do so. By the way, on one of Dick’s recent posts, he showed a picture from a detecting convention (!). Wow! Are there any such things anymore?

THE STREETS ARE NOT PAVED WITH SILVER DIMES ANYMORE
In the early days of detecting I am told, it was not unusual to come home with 100 silver coins from an outing. This stands to reason since until 1964, dimes, quarters, halves and dollar coins were all made of silver. There was no clad coinage in the ground. There were darn few pull tabs as well. So the ratio of effort to pay out was pretty good. Nowadays, if I can find a silver dime in two or three hunts I am doing pretty good. So you see, it is a lot easier to feel inclined to join a club, care about the hobby and educate people, when you are actually finding cool stuff on a regular basis. I know, I know, this shouldn’t matter but human nature is human nature and we are not going to go out of our way to organize and give a damn if all we are finding when we go detecting are pull tabs and bottle caps and that damn can slaw and fighting concerned citizens and misinformed public servants to boot. We have developed a defensive mentality and the rewards don’t seem enough to overcome it. People in bunkers don’t join clubs and don’t fight city hall.

Steve and I thought we could make a small difference. We have gathered a nice group of people who are not too afraid to get their hands dirty (asides from digging holes). There are things we have done such as Steve reaching out to the city with the end result of us giving metal detecting classes. We even cleaned a park once (hint hint we should do this again).
I think the club ought to plant some trees as the city has lost 1000’s of trees since the drought of 2012 and cannot keep up with the replacements. That’s a long way from national efforts and more active involvement in fights to keep our hobby but it’s a start. The trick remains, how do we get involved even more? How do we elevate our hobby to a position where it becomes important to do more to protect it? How do we get the relic hunters and the coin hunters together as one group?

I have no answers for Dick. I wish I did. But I tell you, the idea of a convention where the metal detecting companies show their wares to us lowly users and where we can attend lectures and such makes me swoon. I have been to COMICON. I wish we had something like that. It would go a long way towards validating our hobby and towards uniting us into a cohesive force. If there is such a thing and I don’t know about it, then there is part of the problem right there.

Anyway, thank you for stopping by.

Out of commission

7 Apr

So a while ago, my favorite 11 inch coil on the Deus quit working. It won’t charge at all. And, as these things usually go, this happened just after the warranty expired. Figures!

As much as it hurts to lose my beloved 11 inch coil, I still have the original 9 inch coil for the Deus plus I have the two Compadres.

You would think then that I’d be out there disturbing the soil for loot but alas! my warranty also seems to have expired! A couple of months ago, my doctor put me on a new pill that could conceivably made me morose and indisposed but I wasn’t worried. Well within the last two weeks I began to feel weak and not like myself at all so I quit taking the pill and I will consult with the good doctor on my next visit. Soon I began to feel like the old me again and went out once with the Mighty Compadre and bam! I came down with this nasty cold that I haven’t been able to shake for 3 days now. So even as I write this, my throat hurts, my body, hurts, my head hurts, I have a fever and I feel clammy all over. Dang this old age business!

This is the reason for the latest lack of posts on this blog.

On an unrelated note, I am heading West this Summer with the final destination being Long Beach California. I am super excited to do some beach hunting for the first time ever! Woo Hoo! Wish me luck!!

Lightning strikes twice

13 Feb

Yesterday, at lunch time, I returned to the spot where I found the Buff and the Merc. I found this spot last year while looking for prospective areas to detect with my XP Deus metal detector. The spot in the park has been worked and reworked through the years. Structures were there and then torn down to be replaced with new structures. Last year, while I stood there taking in the lay of the land, I realized that I was looking at perhaps the only spot of original dirt left in that area. That time I found a Mercury dime but I never went back because of the horrific amount of can slaw present.

Every year however, my tolerance for digging trash increases and so I decided to go back and try again. Like I said, Wednesday I found a Buffalo nickel and a Mercury dime and yesterday I managed to pull yet another Mercury dime and a wheat. I will go back today at lunch and see if I can get lucky again.

money_ball

lightning

Finding these coins at this old, over-hunted park should tell you that there are still thousands upon thousands of silver coins in our parks. You just gotta put in the work.

Thank you for stopping by!

Detecting day

7 Feb

This morning I hunted a couple of private yards with a friend. I was supposed to go out to western Kansas to hunt an old military campground with other guys but I couldn’t go out of town so when I got the invite to hunt in the morning I jumped at the chance.

As it turned out, the morning did not produce any silver but it was fun anyway. I ended up with a ton of clad and 9 wheats ranging in date from 1917 to 1944.
am-hunt
wheats

Then I began to get updates from the guys out west. Man! They were finding all kinds of cool stuff! So in the afternoon, I had a couple of hours free and I headed to my favorite park. Once again, my deep silver park didn’t disappoint. I managed to pull two war nickels and of course some trash.

war1

clean

So the day was pretty good. Got to hunt some private property which is rare for me, got to meet a new prospective metal detectorist and at the end, I managed to produce silver.

Thank you for stopping by!