So I haven’t been posting for a while because of ongoing issues with my Word Press theme. The main issue being that I couldn’t post new posts. The support I pay for couldn’t fix the issue, neither could the theme developer (nor did he seem to care), but I really liked the way my site looked and was too stubborn to change it. I was hoping some plug in update would come along and magically fix it, because, well, that happens sometimes.
Obviously, if you’re reading this, you know that never happened because my site now has a totally new theme. Stubbornness and hope doesn’t always work.
Am I happy with this new design? Not really—It’s kind of basic, but apparently basic seems to work better than nothing. The more bells and whistles I choose, the more problems that seem to arise. I have humbly accepted that I am a writer, not a Word Press guru, and am moving on.
I apologize to all of my readers who have been inquiring what’s going on, and if I would be continuing the blog. It’s not an easy task to reconfigure a new theme, but it’s done and I’m crossing my fingers that simple and basic will be the recipe for success.
And here is the last story entitled “In Defense of the E-Trac” which I tried to post unsuccessfully (back in May). I hope you enjoy it, and it brings a smile to your day.
In Defense of the E-Trac:
Each Spring, when our anniversary rolls around, I take my E-trac outside, share a beer (or two) with her, lean her ever so elegantly on my shovel, or a tree, and take pictures of her and her infamous lean. Sometimes I take her to the beach for the yearly photo op, but most times I position her at the top of a mountain, with the sunset in the background, so I can really admire the outline of her true beauty and form. Then I send the pictures to my fellow blogger, Dick Stout, because there’s nothing he and I like better than pics of machines leaning on things…
I’ve taken some teasing recently about my inability to part ways with the always faithful love of my life, Minelab E-trac. We’ve had 10 good years together, but the past few have been a struggle. She’s gotten heavy, and although I still think she’s sexy as heck, her weight has started to bother me.
I’ve assured her it’s not her fault, but I don’t think she believes me. I’ve made several, what I feel are valiant attempts, to part ways for a younger, lighter model—but it’s just so hard to let go.
Before our unique love affair, I started out in the hobby with a White’s Prizm IV, but after a few years it was time to graduate from a machine with pictures on it, to one with numbers on it. I invested in a Minelab SE Pro, and although it was a step up, it was never a favorite machine.
Back then, almost every detectorist I knew was using the E-trac and finding great stuff, while I was bumbling about frustrated with my SE’s “super power”. This “super power” was its uncanny ability to locate every hot rock around, and being a hot rock magnet is not a quality one desires in a machine. I researched how to avoid this, to no avail. I swore at her, and threatened to leave, hoping she would stop her nonsense, but no matter how I set her, she defied me. Then one day she broke down, and when it happened, I did not perform CPR. It had been a tumultuous relationship from the start, and although it was a sad day, I did not weep. I realized she hadn’t been right for me, and knew there were more fish in the sea.
This is how my purchase of, and relationship with the E-trac began. I was vulnerable, being a bit jaded and broken from the time I had invested trying to tame my SE. A friend took pity on me, and hooked me up with the E-trac. He knew what I’d been through, and assured me there would be no regrets. I was skeptical, but still had hope. It was this hope that changed everything.
I eagerly awaited her arrival, and when I finally unboxed her, she was a vision in black. She looked like the SE, but even so, there was just something different about her. She didn’t chatter all the time over BS signals, and had soothing tones. She was what the SE had aspired to, but just couldn’t reach.
We went to the beach together, and she never let me down. We always got lucky. We hunted for civil war relics, in red dirt, and she was amazing—nulling out over dropped bullets, and singing over shot ones, finding me a field full of 65 cals in a highly hunted area of DIV that all others had missed.
We wandered the woods of New England together, digging cellar holes and finding coins and relics galore. She was just as in tune to me, as I was to her. With each target, we learned from each other. It was such an easy relationship—I never knew it could be like that. I planned on us being together forever, that is, until fate stepped in.
I had noticed that our constant companionship was starting to take a toll on my swinging arm. The pain was debilitating. I couldn’t lift her, never mind swing her around for a while. Although I would never part with her, we did have to have “the talk”. It was a hard day when I told her I’d have to explore other options.
With high hopes I acquired an XP Deus. She was lightweight, but not user friendly, and we struggled together for a bit trying to form a relationship. We found some good stuff, mostly silver, but after a few months I found her chatter and tones annoying as heck. She just never shut up. It didn’t matter how talented she was, I just couldn’t deal. Sorry sweet Deus, you did nothing wrong, you were a great companion—it wasn’t you, it was me.
I then decided to try out the Nokta Simplex. I liked her. She was a pretty little thing, and again, we found a lot of good stuff together, but after a few months, it was the chatter that got to me. I missed my E-trac, and thankfully, she welcomed me back into her life with open arms.
But after about another year of complaining about her weight problem, and then suffering through a severe case of tennis elbow, I recently broke it off again with Miss E-trac for a newer, lighter model. This time I purchased the Equinox 800. I have high hopes for her because she’s a Minelab, but I still barely know her. In the few hours we’ve spent together we recovered a toasted Indian Head penny, and a lot of junk. She’s lightweight, and easy enough to use, but she just ain’t my E-trac.
With my loving E-trac I can predict a quarter, dime (silver or clad), penny, wheat penny, nickel, or shotgun shell before I dig it. I’m pretty spot on with it and rarely get fooled. There’s something to be said for experience with a machine—no matter what brand it is, if you use it long enough, it becomes an extension of you. There’s nothing as sweet as the high tone my E-trac produces when it hits upon silver. Oh yeah, sometimes I get fooled by a can, or the high tone of a nail, but not really. If I dig a can or a nail, it’s usually just wishful thinking because I remember that one time I dug a can signal, and it was actually silver. Or the few times there was a silver coin or a copper in the hole with a nail. Rare, but it happens.
Another bonus to really knowing your machine is the fun you can have amazing newbies with your skills. Telling someone what something is before you dig it, and then have it be the exact target of your prediction when dug—the look of amazement on their faces is priceless. They don’t need to know how long it took to acquire this ability.
No matter what your skill set, you can try this with people, seriously. Tell them “it’s either a penny or a piece of junk”, or “it’s either a quarter or a piece of junk”, etc… and if it’s a penny or a quarter they’re amazed, and if it’s a piece of junk, they are just as amazed that you knew that. The odds are in your favor, and you can use this for just about any signal you’re pretty sure of (or not) and get the same results.
Anyway, moving on, I won a Garrett AT Max in a raffle a few months ago, and I’m not even going to take it out of the box. I’ve learned from past mistakes, that I am what I am, and I’m an E-trac girl. I bought a shoulder harness that has helped dramatically with the weight and the pain. So much so, that I’m actually excited to hunt all day again, not worrying my arm will give up or give out. I know my E-trac is very happy about this.
I’ve been told they are phasing out the E-trac, so the equinox is something I should master, but not to worry, I’ve got a back up of old faithful, and that should hold me for a while.
To sum it up, there may be better machines out there, but there are none that I’m better with, or more in love with, and it is what it is.