I just got back from another little lunchtime detecting excursion, and I don't know whether I should feel discouraged or encouraged. Encouraged, I guess. I went again to the park near work and detected around the baseball diamonds, which is where I've usually been going recently, except today I decided to look around another diamond. I found about a dollar in change.
While I was hunting, I noticed another detectorist nearby. When it was time to leave, I walked over to say hi. He didn't look up from his swinging for an instant, but he did say hello and mentioned that he'd found a silver dime. There was another detectorist, obviously a friend of his, working the same field a little way away. They were both obviously retirees with more expensive machines than mine and more time to devote to the hobby than I did.
As I mentioned in a previous post, there was another guy in the same park yesterday. So now I get the feeling that this park is hit pretty hard; I've heard that all city parks are. Yet I was finding coins there, with little break between them, for the short time I was hunting.
Should I feel discouraged that the park to which I like to go is being picked over so hard, or should I feel good that it's being hit so hard and I'm still finding stuff? And also, isn't it amazing that people lose so much money?
I took my metal detector over to the park again today for my lunch break; I found about seventy more cents on the same hillside I've been hunting for quite a few lunch breaks now. It was very pretty out, cool and breezy but with brilliant sunshine. The soil is perfect for digging after last week's rain.
As I was preparing to leave the park, I noticed another guy metal detecting nearby, so I walked over to say hello. He was a very nice guy. He said he's a retiree who detects quite a bit, usually going with a friend of his, and showed me a metal toy soldier he found over on the other side of the park. He'd found a few of them in the past.
So, hey, we can put our our yogurt containers! (We thought we had to take them to a another drop off site.) I was also unsure about pizza boxes, but they are fine as long as they aren't foody. That makes sense.
OK. So some information I've gathered from the Internet hints strongly that carrying a battery in your pocket with anything else metal (including other batteries) is a bad idea. 9 volt batteries are particularly dangerous. Don't carry batteries in your pocket with coins!
Yesterday as I got ready for work, I put in my right hip pocket all the coins that I had sitting with my pocket things (all my coins = about ten pennies) as well as four AA batteries that needed to put in my metal detector in case I got a chance to detect on my lunch break. That led to a curious event at about 9:30 as I walked through the office. My leg started to itch; then I felt like something was burning me. I pulled out the contents of my right hip pocket and discovered that the pennies, or at least some of them, were really hot to the touch. I suppose they must have made a circuit. Huh. I won't do that again.
So I did go over to the park on my lunch break, and found 98 cents.
This is the biggest painting I have, at 28 x 48". It's oil on panel, too, from 2000. This is a closer view of Jelm Mountain, a mountain that I liked because it struck me as a very cliched looking mountain, like the rock on the Prudential commercials. At the top was the University of Wyoming's Infrared Observatory. The pinpoint metallic glint of the observatory's dome could be seen 35 miles away in Laramie on a clear sunny day.
I like this the best of these three paintings. It's just a much stronger painting overall. There are a few things about it I'm not entirely happy with, but there are some things I really really like. The one single thing, however, that I think really holds this together and gives me the greatest joy is the line of fence posts across the middle.
I'm just throwing up some old stuff because I don't have anything new right now.The first painting is from 1999, I think, and is 24 x 24", oil on panel. It's a view of Jelm Mountain from just outside Laramie.
The second painting is from 2000 and is a little bigger, 30 x 40", oil on panel. It's a view looking southwest from Red Mountain, which is near the Jelm Mountain of the previous painting. If you think it looks sort of desolate in the painting, well, it sure was. The mountains far off in the distance are Wyoming's Sierra Madre range.
Sunday night I dreamed that strange robotic devices were frequently being seen in the sky, descending to earth. They were small, and had all kinds of shapes, usually like big crane flies, fish, or birds. No one knew what they were, but it was thought that they were alien probes.
I was sitting outside with my dad when we saw one shaped like a tropical fish, about a foot long. It swam up to me through the air. After it seemed to scan me with its mechanical eyes for a moment, two wire-like feelers extended and touched my head. It was unnerving, but I decided to sit through it to try to learn more about what it was.
After the wires touched my head, I had a strange buzzing sensation in my skull; it was messing with my brain. It occurred to me that perhaps while it was doing this, I could communicate with it.
"Who or what are you?" I thought.
"I am called Zardor the Digressor," came the reply inside my head.
I wanted to ask more, but the probe was done and it swam off. Before it broke off contact, I got the impression that it was being controlled remotely by some alien intelligence (he who had spoken to me), and that he had a bushy red beard.
News of my contact with this alien was reported internationally. It was sort of a big deal.
I like the first photo the best. Having the shovel farther away exaggerates the size of the sunflower. It really was pretty big, though. Hurricane Ike toppled it. Standing next to it gave me the feeling I get when I see photos of those colossal squid that get tangled up in fishing nets over inky ocean trenches.
Here's the finished black walnut ink drawing. There's actually a tiny bit of white acrylic paint and black Pigma Micron marker in it, which I used to clarify some details, but I don't think that's cheating, do you? The drawing is 6 x 9 on bristol board paper.
Here's something funny: my favorite part of the whole drawing is the small spot in the background vegetation above where the driveway ends, behind the dark tree trunk. I like the sense of light and ambiguity, and the way the smaller tree trunks disappear in and out of the leaves.
Here are larval states of a black walnut ink drawing. A couple in the Highlands asked me to draw their house; this first photo is of thumbnail sketches as I tried to get a good handle on the composition. I don't know if I mentioned it here before, but it was sort of difficult because the house was actually very obscured by trees. The people wanted the house drawn from an angle from which, in real life--at least, when it's not the dead of winter with the trees denuded of foliage--the house cannot be seen. So I took lots of photos from other angles, and used these photos to plot the proportions of the house and windows, which is what you see in the graphite sketch at the bottom right of the first pic. The I drew a bigger version to try to get a little better visual understanding. This does show too much driveway and not enough window, I was told by the couple, and I agree. Here's a penciled-in beginning to the actual drawing.
We dug up some of our sweet potatoes on Tuesday to eat for dinner. I was disappointedthat they were all small, and many of them thin and rooty instead of fat and tubery. The thin ones were sort of tough, with a more fibrous texture, but were still edible and still tasted good. The fatter ones, though small, were tender and tasted good, too. I'll have to research why they weren't in good shape, but I strongly suspect that I just didn't water them enough.
There are still some sweet potatoes to dig up, and some of them might be better.
I also fixed some fried green tomatoes, which were delicious, but my daughters were hesitant to try them and were displeased when they did.
I am almost done with another house drawing commission. I'll put up photos as soon as I can. I'm pretty happy with how it's shaping up. I also have four of five more commissions lined up.
I am soooo close to shaving it off. I keep hanging onto it just to see, you know, how it's going to look tomorrow. Plus, it takes such an act of will and concentration to grow it out, it's hard to abandon two months of diligent work. Every time I kiss Kim, though, I'm very self conscious about it.
A co-worker gave me a small baggie of world coins he found while cleaning. I haven't really gone through it yet, but I did notice a coin from Lichtenstein, which is a new one for me.
That children's home is pretty frustrating. I'm still interested in doing some more detecting there, and there is still a huge amount of space that I have yet to cover. However, I haven't found much to date.