the recruitment slate

i'd hit a dead end in my hunt for francis slate's lost quarrys. i had reason to believe slate did a lot of his field work around the coal mines of the valley during the great canadian dinosaur rush.

this coal mine idea would have been a great strategy... the coal miners worked around rocks for a living, and would no doubt notice stuff in their daily exploits around the badlands. using the miners would have saved slate huge amounts of time and effort... sadly a strategy that no longer exists. as all the mines went bust a LONG time ago... otherwise i might try to recruit a few onto my team today...

with no miners around to help me anymore, if i was going to pick up slate's trail i needed to track down more of the old mine sites. sadly, i'd already checked out the only really obvious coal mine in the valley. there were two more historic sites based around former coal mines... yet these were only 3 of over twenty such mines that had operated in the valley throughout the years. in other words i only knew a tiny patch of potential localities!

added to that my minor field... uh accident (stupid cactus!), the other day i was going to need someone else to help me in the field. that way i'd have someone to help me out if i ran into any real trouble.
since they were going to be coming along, i needed to pick someone who could help me while i was at it. afterall not everyone would be able up to my fast hunting pace (as i didn't have forever to look), i was going to need someone with some prospecting experience. fortunately for me i knew a few experts...
including my old friend tony.
who i took the liberty of inviting to lunch today. i figured buying him lunch would help me recruit him into my expedition (buying the lunch not being an easy feat these days as i'm funding a world tour on the side of my regular exploits).
why was i going to such lengths to get tony, you might ask? sure you might not have heard of him (outside my blog), but don't let that fool you. despite his lack of a PHD (like me), published papers (sounds like me), or any fossils being named after him (once again identical to myself) tony is a fossil hunting power house.
what do i mean by power house? well i'm not too bad at fossil hunting. i've had years of practise, and it was worth it. tony also has similar experience and skills, but unlike me he is lucky. by that i mean he is literally gifted with luck!
there are those among palaeontology who have this fossil magnet gene. it is an incredible ability to in most cases "stumble" onto amazing fossils almost by accident. in other words, they are, on the surface, identical to you and me in their prospecting abilities, but unlike us fossils almost leap out of the ground at them wanting to be found. the rest of us have to work REALLY hard to find them!
after my weeks in the field, it was clear i lacked that gene. however i'd seen tony use it many times in the past (yes i'm jealous, but at least i'm honest about it!), so it was time for him to remind me of its power!
i don't think i needed to buy tony the free lunch to interest him in my search (not that it didn't help mind you!). as i first mentioned what i was doing i could see tony's eyes flare up with exploration lust.
however yumi was another story... oh yeah, i invited yumi too! she was there in the staff room with tony, and since she is a good friend from the olden days, it would have been rude not to bring her along too. besides three sets of eyes are better than two... that was, if the free lunch would persuade her to give up a day or two to help me out.

of course the lure of fossil treasure, and possible fame (in the science world anyway) were too much for a palaeo nut such as her to resist too! plus she liked lunch :P

my day off the hunt had paid off, big time! i'd now tripled my field team, and it only cost me two lunches!

better yet i'd acquired not only one very experienced fossil hunter (yumi) of the same skill level to myself, but i'd recruited a fossil magnet who also matched us for skill. meaning if i wasn't going to find slate now, no one else was ever going to!


Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

It's always welcome to get familiar faces on the way... at least for me!

Raptor Lewis said...

I see you took my advice from the post (I think...) before last on getting help from old friends (In case you didn't see it, that's cool too. You thought of it. I'm just here telling you "Great Idea!")...though you probably didn't "lay low" like I advised. Oh well! Looks like you didn't need to...for now. Watch Out! Things are probably going to get more complicated.

Dinorider- I agree. It's always nice to see familiar faces...at least...sometimes. I love to see old friends and family.