This is gonna end up being lots of words for a hunt that did not produce one goddamn coin. But that’s cool, isn’t it; isn’t that what blogging’s all about? Its not about the shiny or otherwise material success in your endeavours, its about the drama. Not so in my world, and I rarely blog without the shiny, (and I very rarely hunt on weekends either), but I think this post actually has a chance of working, so we’ll see.
So, alot goin on here. First, I didn’t expect to find a single coin. This is what we call a throwaway hunt — I had a couple of free hours late this afternoon with the family doing other stuff, and the thermometer with a 6 handle — are you kidding me? which hasn’t happened since the month started with an O, so you gotta get outside, even if it is to do yardwork (and my neighbor, who I nickname “Flanders”, actually was, except he was paying someone else to do it, so I guess I’ll call him El Flanders (nevermind)). In my case, I blow off the yardwork til it actually needs to be done (which is when the grass is actually growing, and the weeds are actually sprouting), and hit a local field about a half a mile from my house.
Like I said, I didn’t expect to find anything. This is a field that recently became township property (and the corruption involved in that process is fodder for another blogger on another blog), but, as a tip to newbies, paying attention to what goes on in the township w.r.t to land can be valuable. Too bad it wasn’t today. But, it is this huge field. Recently became township property. Not signed as such. You never know what you’ll find in an old, nondescipt field that may have been lightly detected.
In this case, not much. The first looks find ike an old copper, and I found it in the first 3 minutes, but it rings in at a CO 27. That’s button territory, but it has no shank. Its not a button. I have no clue what it is. The second treasure rang in as a wheatie, so it is obviously copper, but there is no way to score it as a copper. It is random copper trash. So that’t that for this hunt in this random, nondescript field. It could have ended better, but there was no reason to expect it to.
But, there’s more. And its all interesting, IMHO. In fact, this entry would not even exist were it not for the following.
First, its the cop. As a bit more background, I just pull into this field and park, cause there ain’t no beautifully lined-striped macadam parking with those blue handicapped spots where obese, but otherwise able-bodied folks park their Lexus’s and Benz’es with their handicapped placards (and yeah, as an economist with a severely handicapped mother, I specifically observe this phenomena, and an contemplating a paper on the subject), and after about an hour I see this cop pulled up next to my car. Of course I stop what I’m doing an go over, and he asks if I have permission to be here, and I say I have permission to detect any township property (which is actually true, and he’s impressed that I actually know its township property), and he chats me up, telling me he’s thinking about getting a machine, and asking me for recommendations, and so forth, and that all goes well. And I tell him, don’t detect here, cause there ain’t nothing, but I do give him the location of a 41 silver site honeyhole on township property. The advantages of office. Ok, too much background for the punchline.
And the punchline is simple, and is this. He’s telling me that he sees people constantly detecting a private property site near the police station. Its a rather famous site in the area (even I know about it, and I’m clueless), and I’ve even asked permission there. They said NO with a capital N, and told me stories of all the detectorists they chase off the property. I guess some things never change, and while I’m saddened by the lack of ethics by my competition, I take solace in two probabilities — a) its likely hunted out by the parade of assholes who didn’t get caught, so the modern assholes are in a bad risk/reward proposition, and b) once again the predictions of the Dismal Science are affirmed. Its nice to know that you are in a line of work that will never fail, so long as humans (and hence human nature), exists.
But there’s even more, and that’s story #2 from today’s hunt. Its about the Big Unit (the Detech Ultimate 13), and software.
I’m hunting this dead field, pulling the random thing that looks like a copper but isn’t every half hour, but otherwise having nothing but pure boring threshold (which is actually rather soothing when composing cop-related blogs in your head) to listen to, and all the sudden things get all wacky. All sorts of low tone sounds both when the coil is on the ground and when in the air. The exact same symptoms when my first Big Unit went bad. Are you kidding me? All I need is another bad coil. I noise cancel every three seconds, and it ain’t fixed.
Then I turn the machine off, and on, and it is fixed. Are you kidding me? I remember an entry from quite some time ago where I write about improved success after lunch (where I always turn off the machine), and I said I wasn’t gonna attribute anything to turning off the machine (if I was a real blogger who cared, I’d link to the entry, but I ain’t and I don’t (more likely, it was one of my “stories” on American Detectorist; it was a long time ago)), but now there is no question in my mind that it matters. I’m an ex software guy (and good riddance to that life).
Software guys have a fancy technical term called “waxy buildup”. In layman’s terms, what this means, is that the longer a software program runs, even if it is essentially doing the same thing (“running the main loop” in software guy jargon, which no doubt the E-Trac is doing), its performance may degrade (there are technical terms to throw about here as to why, but nevermind); as time goes by.
The solution to waxy buildup, other than find another software guy, is to reboot the program or system. The fact that rebooting the E-Trac fixed this problem is suggestive of a waxy buildup problem in the E-Trac software. This is the second observed instance of improved performance after turning off and on, and sadly, this will now have to become part of my hunting protocol.
(As an aside, when the Big Unit coil did go bad a few months ago, I did lots of turn off, turn off tests, and waxy buildup was not the problem. The coil was genuinely bad, as apparently verified by KellyCo. Hopefully that is not the case this time, and it is a software issue).
But, there’s even more, if you can believe it! As I said, Lots of Words. One further wonders how I could write so much when I found not one f***ing coin. The answer is simple — I like to write. You obviously like to read, but as Umberto Eco (my literary hero) says, “who needs readers?”.
But here is story #3, and its about iron falses. I’ve always wondered about iron falses. I’m detecting this park, and that park, and got the sens cranked at 30, as always, and of course you get your share of iron falses, and the deep iffy ones you dig, cause you have to, cause once in a while its a deep barber or seated, but more often than not, its a rusty nail, and we all know how VLF machines love to false off the ends of deep iron nails. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? (And if you haven’t you ain’t gonna find all the shiny).
Every park I go to, I come back with piles and piles of deep iron nails that were probably iron falses going in, but you have to dig em.
And the one question I always ask is this — why are there so many nails here, deep in the soil of this old park or school? Did people carry them in their pocket? Did people bury them as good luck charms? Were all parks and schools sponsored by a nail manufacturer who gave out free samples? Did students and teachers at that 1930s schoolyard that has been giving up the shiny and the occasional iron false also smoke iron nails on their cigarette break?
Who knows? Why so many iron nails in parks and old schoolyards? They are just everywhere, at every such site, even when most such sites have no evidence of old buildings or other structures which would generate said nails. I always figured it was from before the park or school use, like from old wagons or other farm equipment that plied the site before it became a park or school, where iron nails would not seem to be really prevalent. And I just accepted that, sort of an Occam’s Razor explanation.
But, in today’s old farm field, there were no deep iron nails, or deep iron of any kind, despite it being farmed since the 1700s. So the old farm equipment plying the land before it was a park or school theory just doesn’t wash. I have no answer as to why there are deep iron nails that sound like silver and silver sites. Maybe its a semiosis, but I don’t think so. Maybe an intelligent gamemaster f***ing with me. Who knows?
Nailed it baby. Exactly what I wanted to do, especially for an entry that described a hunt that produced nothing. Just goes to show what the constant drone of the threshold does to your brain.