Tag Archives: rants

More about our hobby

9 Jun

Once again, an experienced detectorist adviced a new detectorist not to tell anyone about her finds.
Part of me thinks this is sound advice. I myself, quit posting about any gold I find. There are just too many nuts out there for me to tell them I found a gold ring they may claim is theirs (never mind I dug it from the bottom of a nine inch hole and it was obviously crafted 100 years ago).

The other part of me however, wouldn’t enjoy the hobby if I didn’t have someone to share it with. So I must forge a compromise: I will tell you about the old coins and the occasional “relic” I may find on these here blog.

And as long as I am writing about blogs, I just finished reading the latest post by Dick Stout where he says he has slowed down and so has his blog writing. I know Dick has a lot of opinions and as he is a venerated member of our community you should listen to them as he is right (most of the time). Not to hand anyone their hat but I wish some of the old timers of our beloved sport would post more about the old days and their hunts. As it is, the only time these guys write about the old days is to tell me how screwed up I am for not having lived in said old days. As I said before, we love our hobby and at least I, enjoy metal detecting vicariously by watching metal detecting YouTube videos, reading about metal detecting sorties, or plain hearing about someone else’s experience on the dirt. I am sure Dick has many a story to tell to illuminate and entertain.

All of this leads me to wonder what will I do when I no longer can go out there and metal detect. I love drawing and do damn little of it these days. I love playing my musical instruments, even when I decisively lack any musical talent. I love growing vegetables but these days my two dogs own my yard and alas, no vegetable would survive their attention. I love learning foreign languages although what I do could be best described as auditing foreign languages. By the way, if you are interested in learning a foreign language, give the Michel Thomas method a try. If you do what they tell you, you will be surprised how quickly you can reach an impressive level in a matter of hours. They have courses for French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Greek, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, and Arabic. I like hiking although if I can’t metal detect, I probably won’t be able to hike either. Last, I like writing. I write bad English mostly.

For now however, while I still can stand back up after I dig a hole, I will continue to enjoy this our past time of kings. Here’s to finding some gold no one will ever hear about.

Thank you for stopping by.


Blame it on the rain

17 May

Rain, as far as the forecast can see.

So now I cannot go out detecting and I must write about some other aspect of the hobby.

Today I want to tell you why I write a blog about metal detecting (I also have a gardening blog but since my dogs won’t let me grow anything is kind of in suspended animation).
To begin I must tell you about the first time I found an Indian Head cent back in 2011. Before that day, all I had ever found were clad and a couple of wheat cents from the 40’s.
Well, I had actually taken the day off to detect all day. I started around six in the morning and by around eleven  I was done. I had found nothing but pulltabs and bottle caps. I was dog tired and ready to give up metal detecting for good.

I decided to end my detecting day by going to a site near downtown and by the Arkansas river where many Native groups had camped through the centuries to trade and where, legend has it, there is some treasure buried nearby by the first French traders to come through here in the 1700’s. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, this was also a very popular swimming hole, where in the 20’s, a couple of municipal swimming pools were built. In the 70’s, the swimming pools were torn down and now, tennis courts sit there in their place. So if I couldn’t find an old coin here, I was never going to find an old coin anywhere.

And so, under an old elm tree, I found my first ever Indian Head cent. I made a video of it and the video is still in YouTube but is best to leave it be because I waxed philosophical about that IH and it is kind of embarrassing. I also found a very old Chinese coin under that elm but somehow that didn’t seem as cool as the IH.

I then got this overwhelming need to find another detectorist and show him or her my IH. I don’t know why. I just had to share this glorious find with someone who may appreciate it. So I drove from park to park until, miles away at another old park, I saw this guy detecting. I slammed on the brakes, found a place to park, and approached the poor guy who saw a 5′ 11”, 280 lb (i am down to 230) Hispanic man, coming at him with a deranged smile on his face. I know this guy well now and I know he packs heat so I am really lucky he didn’t drop me on the spot. As it turned out, he is a really nice person and he was properly impressed by my find.

After this, I began to participate in metal detecting forums and eventually I started this blog.

This is why I write here about my metal detecting sorties. Maybe I can entertain someone or even inform them. But truth be told, the first and main reason I do it is to share what I find with anyone who may care.

Now, let’s hope I get a sunny day this week so I can go dig some holes.

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.




22 Apr

After only a few days with the Bliss I can tell you this detector is the real thing. I have been waiting for a detector that could hit a target in the post-12 inch range with a clear tone. Last night I spent an hour or so at one of our oldest parks. Two targets were too deep to be retrieved. It is possible I was detecting pipes, really. Normally, when I get a ‘hole to nowhere’ I suspect that I missed the pinpoint but no so with the Bliss. The targets were still giving a nice bright repeatable hit in the middle of the 2 foot+ I had dug. I stopped at that depth because my arm is not long enough to go deeper than that.

Then there were the other targets; a piece of lead the size of a dime at about 14 inches and, incredibly, a small copper earring at the bottom of a 16 inch or so deep hole. Sure, you could argue that the targets fell from the side but I am satisfied that they didn’t. After about 30 holes dug with the Bliss I finally got one last night where the target read deep but was only about 6 inches deep; and who knows, maybe the real target went undug.

And so this leaves me wondering: How am I reaching those depths with an 11 inch coil? Is the Bliss putting out so much power that, like my friend lawdog1 says, it may be knocking out tv reception around the park? Of course, the thing missing is discrimination at those depths. Again, I believe that the discrimination stops around the 7-8 inch depth, meaning that after 8 inches the detector can only tell you that there is something down there. This is the case with any and all detectors out there (with the possible exception of the AKA Russian detectors) Still, my beloved Deus cannot consistently find me targets at 14 and 16 inches deep.

The other mystery to me is why this detector has not taken off like wildfire. I suspect it is because the many knobs intimidate people. This is of course silly given that the Whites V3i is a marvel of sophisticated technology that probably has a screen I never found that gave the weather forecast. I often bemoan the fact that I never reached the potential of that detector. Big Bertha, I didn’t deserve you.

Be that as it may, the Bliss is the machine I have been waiting for to collect all those deep coins and jewelry laying at depths unreachable by most detectors today. I haven’t yet let the Bliss loose on my deep silver park. I get all warm and fuzzy at the very thought.

I promise you that from this post on, I will document the finds. I bought the Bliss used and I can see some issues with some of the potentiometers. Alas, the warranty is gone. I suspect however that the Bliss will pay for a new one towards the end of the year. And the version 6 of this machine (I own version 3) is deeper and better.

Oh my!

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.


Another controversial post

6 Mar

I took my XP Deus metal detector, Maurice, to an old park I frequent. I have found my share of silver at this park. The park goes back over 100 years so there are old, deep coins there. As with all the parks in my beloved city, this one has been hunted thoroughly. So it was sort of a surprise when, upon moving to a spot new to me, I began to find clad. In the 40 minutes I was there I found four clad dimes and two memorials, all from the 60’s with the exception of a 1959 memorial and none deeper than 5 inches.

Now my friend Steve would say that somebody cherry-picked the silver. But I don’t believe that is possible. Yes, let me put that succinctly: You Can Not Cherry-pick Silver.

Oh I can hear you all now: “You ignorant fool”, “What do YOU know, pulltab?”, “I know a guy who can do it”. Yes, it is true that I don’t know every machine out there. But I don’t have to. All I have to know is this: If there was a machine out there that could cherry-pick silver, it would by now, be the only machine in the market, having put all other brands out of business.

Wha-wha-wha-whaaaaat!!?? Yes. This is why that would happen. We, metal detectorists we, are braggarts. We love to show off our finds. That is why we have blogs, forums and clubs and that is why we like to hunt with friends. The second we unearth something shiny and cool, we turn into 9 year olds again, and we rush to tell our buddies about it. And our friends oblige and ooh and aah at our cool, cool find. Don’t deny it. I’ve seen it happen many times. When my friend lawdog1 found his super cool Seated quarter, I was doing cartwheels for him, and I thought he was the coolest guy in the world because he found that coin.

And so, if there was a detector out there that could cherry-pick silver, we would ALL know about it by now. And we would know whatever settings we needed to make the cherry-picking happen. No matter how well guarded the secret, somebody would tell his close friend, who would tell his close friend, who would brag about it in a forum. When LookingForSeated and those guys were finding all that silver with their E-tracs, suddenly everyone was buying etracs. When people began finding all kinds of cool things with their AT Pro, the AT Pro began to sell like hot cakes. So when this mythical machine appears, this pattern will hold.

Now, this is not to say that the Etrac and the AT Pro are not good machines; they are in fact, very good machines, but neither of them can cherry-pick silver. I have hunted with enough Etrac users by now, to know that the Etrac users will get fooled by an aluminum wine screwcap as often as AT Pro users are. I, with the mighty Deus, still dig aluminum screw caps because they can sound just like a dime. About the only time a detector might cherry-pick silver is if the conditions are ideal, the user fully experienced with the machine, and the dimes are on the surface, laying flat.

But don’t let me bring you down. I myself will be very sad the day they finally make a machine that can id a buried object with 100% accuracy at 24 inches deep. Right now I rather enjoy the uncertainty of metal detecting; it makes finding those keepers so much sweeter.

***Ozarks from the Ozarks Metal Detecting Blog, points out that you can cherry pick tones and I agree. That’s the best you can hope for. But if you are leaving coins in the ground because you are sure they are not silver, please let me know where you hunt! :)***

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!



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!

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!


13 Jan

Why with the polar vortex and all, I have gotten out only a couple of times since my last post. No silver nor gold but still fun to get out and spend some time communing with the pull tabs.

One of the parks I hunted is well over 100 years old. As with all the other public spaces in the U.S., there is a deep carpet of metal trash covering it. But this doesn’t daunt me in any way because I am rather simple minded. In two hours, I found a number of old pieces of brass and copper. Nothing even recognizable but obviously very old. That was enough for me. Another thing that I like finding is a bottle cap with cork still in it. You may not know this if you were born after 1979 but back in the day, the seal inside bottle caps was made of cork and not the little plastic round sheet that they have now. My simple-mindedness allows me to be entertained by this.

I also play a game I call “Remove-all-the-beaver-tail-pull-tabs-because-once-you-remove-them-they-won’t-be-replaced”. Once in a long while, this game pays off in the form of something made of gold.

The weather has turned so I look forward to resuming my lunch time hunts.

Wish me luck!