Got an email from Wayne Morin (Robbie's brother) about a joint effort to rebuild a church in the Houston area, destroyed by fire six years ago. Quite a few clubs were involved, and thanks to their efforts they were able to contribute $580 dollars to this ongoing cause. To read more please click here.
Thanks guys for a job well done, and for telling everyone who we really are....
Wanted to pass this article along as well, and curious if your club has thought of holding such an event? Just might bring in a few new members, as well as tell the local community more about your pastime. I am guessing there are quite a few clubs who have been around for some time, yet little is known of their meetings or activities.....?
As ususal John Winter's latest post A Handsome Coin was a good one. I wonder if we stopped balking at the dollar coin here in the states, and started promoting it, might it be a boon for our pastime? Can't see how it would hurt.... What do you think?
The Presidential Coin act of 2005 authorized that the date and motto's be inscribed on the edge of the coin. Since 2009, all of the coins in the presidential series have had "In God We Trust" inscribed on the front.
I was talking with Steve Howard from White's the other day, and he suggested I give this coil a good workout with my MXT Pro. I had used ot with the V3i when faced with certain conditions, but for whatever reason I had ignored it when it came to the MXT Pro.
I decided to take his advice and gave it a try in my test garden out back, and was very impressed. It was finding dimes I had buried at 6 to 8 inches, and the response was loud and clear. It was also very good at separation when it came to those pulltab/coin areas of my plot.
Now I am anxious to give it a try in a couple of areas that I have hit quite hard in the past. Saturday it rained all day, and it's still raining now. Best couple days we have had in some time!! (you would have to live here to understand that comment). With the Texas State fair lined up for tomorrow it looks as though the first time I will have to give this coil a real workout will be Tuesday or Wednesday. Will keep you posted.
Steve, thanks for the tip. Might have to buy you a beer (or two) next time I see you....
Jeez, just posted an update to the Malamute Saloon, and now the owner sends me another one..... Either he is bored, or pissed (as in drunk). I suspect the latter. John does indeed have a following here, and I am jealous. As a result I will be working harder to be more vulgar, more callow, more primitive, more gross and more offensive....
Drum roll please! Here's Johnny!
Received an email from Larry Bateham (a.k.a. Packrat), and it sounds as though things are going well with him and his battle with cancer. Sharing...
"Finished my first 6 weeks of chemo the Thursday before Labor Day Had some problems with my hands swelling and lack of energy that weekend but felt better on Monday. Still been working full time. This last Sunday our club had a mini hunt and I hunted for only the second time since the June hunt. Did pretty good. I found about 280 coins for the day and 12 prize tokens. As you can tell I am stil doing pretty good, and hopefully will continue so. Started my second round of chemo last Thursday and so far so good".
If you want to get in touch with Larry you can do so by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.....
Happy for you Larry....congratulations.
Just a thought PB? Instead of trolling all the various metal detector websites and forums, why not spend your time looking for King Tut's penis? Sounds like something right up your alley, and I feel certain that if a treasure hunter finds it he will think of you first anyway, so not to worry....
Was perusing Amazon and checking to see if any of my books were listed, and I noticed this. If you really want to save a lot of money, I will sell you "Coin Hunting in Depth" for only $12.95 plus $5.00 shipping (this book is still in print and available from many sources).
Just wanted to say there's not a whole lot going on right now with me or treasure hunting (what else is new?). Have a great place to detect, and just waiting for those October temps to come in and take over.....
I received an email from Margaret Howland, John's wife, making a correction to his last Malamute Saloon post (Laying to Rest a Couple of Urban Myths). Apparently one of the paragraph headers he used was "my hardware". Maggs informed me that John hasn't had any hardware for quite some time....
Thanks for the correction Margaret.....
John Winter recently put up a post on his blog about the Garrett detector that talked. I recommend you check it out ....a fun story for sure.
Haven't posted a recipe here in quite some time so thought I would share one that Fay made a month or so ago. I am a pasta freak, and this particular receipe was heaven. If you are interested in reading more click on the photo....
John Howland seems to be on a tear with his writing lately, but that's fine. He has a lot of followers, and he can almost always offer more in the way of useful information than I. This one is geared toward the AT Pro user, and I think you will find it an interesting read. You can find his text by clicking here.
A gentleman from Michigan emailed and wanted to know if I could offer a tip or two on the MXT Pro...
First off, as I've gotten older I tend to NOT want to fool around with settings, touchpads, etc.. More interested in the hunt than in experimenting. Having said this I will add that I did do a lot of bench testing with this detector when I got it, and found that the preset Coin & Jewelry mode actually did more of what I wanted from the detector than the other modes.
When I get to an area I usually ground balance the machine, then lock it. I scan some and see what's in store for me, and then turn the gain up as far as I can go without too much chatter. I use the recommended slight threshold hum, and actually listen more than I look. I also have my disc setting a notch below nickel, so that I do not pass up any gold. If the area is extremely old I will dig pretty much anything I hear for a few minutes, and again, try to get a feel for what I am up against, if anything. If I find an abundance of trash I might opt to up my disc settings and change to the 6x6 coil (Eclipse 5.3)
I found the ID readouts pretty accurate down to 8 inches and higher on larger coins, and I love the audio discrimination (high pitched response on coins). Lastly I love the Eclipse 5.3 coil. Not sure if it's because I started years ago with coils that size, or what, but it is very responsive, and is able to delve "in-between" more so than the super 12. It has become my go to coil most of the time now.
That's pretty much it.... Nothing tricky, nothing complicated, and you know how much I love knobs and switches.
Scanned a few more photos from way back when, and will be adding them to the photo pages soon. To the newer TH'ers they won't mean much, but to a few of us old farts they bring back memories, and I hope as times goes on to add more.
One of the highlights to the the old Atlantic City hunts were the Friday night pre-hunt parties. The late Harry Bodofsky (FMDAC VP) and his wife Harriet would hold them at their condo in AC, and all of the FMDAC workers, as well as speakers, manufacturers, distributors and vendors were invited. A lot of funny stories came out of those gatherings, and how I wish I had recorded them....
Have decided, for the time being to ignore the sad individual from Warsaw, and to move on with things that are really important. His fan base can continue to read his comments, and share their views, although I haven't seen a reponse in many a moon.... Think he needs to nudge his friend Nigel Swift and get something going. Otherwise they are both talking to the moon...(or barking...)
I am actually looking forward to detecting an area that my wife mentioned to me, and one that I hadn't written off a few years ago. She encouraged me to check it out, and to see what the rules and regulations were about detecting there, and I was pleasantly surprised. So, I am looking forward to October for a lot of reasons. I have this site to look forward to, and I have the most pleasant time of the year to check it out. October in the Dallas area is probably the best time of the year to do anything, and while it will never be the same as fall back home, it is the best I can realize living in this part of the country.
Fay, too, is excited about this site, and just maybe for the first time, in a long time, we may be both detecting.
My last post was a direct attack on the archaeological community, and I expected to hear a lot of negative responses. Instead the few that I did get were pretty much in agreement that it's time for those of us in this pastime to stand up and be counted. We are detectorists, treasure hunters, and have nothing to be ashamed of. Those what wish to curtail our efforts need to spend their time cleaning up their own act.....
Just received John Howland's latest post, and he had to get in the last shot.... To read more click here.....
I received an email from someone who chastised me for trying to sabotage the working relationship we have with the archaeological community, and that I should make an effort to understand them, and where they are coming from. I emailed back and asked for more details about this "relationship" we have, and was he involved in any such effort. He emailed back and cited the effort back in 1984 at the Little Big Horn, and the one shown on the Task Force's website (recent Montpelier work), and no he was never "privileged" to be involved in any such effort.
If you follow my website or blog it will come as no surprise that neither John Howland or I have a great deal of respect for the archaeological community, nor they for us. That's because we have been there, done that, and come to the conclusion that they want nothing more than for us to disappear from the face of the earth.
Try Googling archaeological groups, associations, societies, whatever, and then type "metal detector" in their search area. What you will find are mentions of metal detectors being used to pilfer and loot. Oh you will also find a mention or two of an instance where we assisted them in some task, not on the same level mind you, but as in "we will tell you what to do, so please listen to us", or "if it beeps, just let us know and we will take it from there".
Well I for one will not be dumbed down or be thrown into that class, and I will not subjugate myself to that type of servitude. You can if you want, but if you think it will enhance your standing in the arkie academic world, you are sadly mistaken.
I try to read all I can when it comes to metal detecting/archaeological partnerships or associations, and ultimately it is the detectorist who is drooling at the thought of being included in this group, as though he will be allowed to witness the second coming of Christ. All the while being taken down a few levels by those running the show.
How long will we keep trying to be "one of them", one of the "elites", one of their "equals"? This attempt to connect, this effort at reconciliation, this effort to be accepted, has been going on for a long time, and yet here we are in the same straits we were 40 years ago....
What really irritates the archaeological community is, thanks to the internet, we are suddenly getting noticed. Suddenly being appreciated for what it is we do, and what we have found. Mind you, they weren't able to find these treasures because they were waiting for a grant, or government handout, while we were having some fun, and in a few instances found things that changed our lives for the better. Of course this drives them nuts as well, because no one should enjoy themselves, and no one should ever think in terms of getting rich. Well to that I say UP YOURS! We paid hard earned money for our detectors, we were given permission to search the site, and what we find is really none of your business unless we care to make it so. Likewise, in case you haven't noticed, we also eat and breathe exactly like you.
Always remember, to the archaeologist we are "raping" the land, destroying history, leaving nothing for future generations.... The list goes on and on, but ultimately the fact remains that we almost always announce any historical, dramatic finds, almost always share them, and in many instances donate them for future generations. That too of course drives them nuts, and they always find a way to discredit our good fortune.
I know that what I am saying here will be taken to task by one Paul Barford, who currently works 24/7 out of a dark room in Warsaw. Well Mr. Barford, save your thoughts, and give your keyboard a rest, because neither John or I really care about how you feel or what you think. If and when I see comments from those who disagree with you shared on your site (un-edited) I might give some thought to changing my mind. Until then I will simply reply with an ole New Jersey expresssion, "I've got your know it all, better than thou, righteous attitude, RIGHT HERE"! You do the visuals.....
Lastly it's a big world out there, lots more treasure to be found, and we have every right to search for it. I refuse to look up the "neighborhood archaeologist" each time I want to go treasure hunting, just as he, sure as hell, is not going to call me when he's "doing a dig".
I am tired of being looked upon as a lesser being in the academic world, and I wish the rest of you involved in this pastime would wake up, and stop being lured into the illusion that you will someday be "included" because you never will be. If crumbs make you happy....then bend over, take what they give you and smile.
Woke up this morning to find an email from John Howland labeled MalSal#70. What that means to me is that he's attaching a post to the Malamute Saloon, and it is his 70th such contribution. I am most grateful for his friendship, and appreciate his contributions to Stout Standards. I can attest to the fact that whenever he posts, the hits on my site go way up. I can also attest to the fact that I am always afraid to read them. My first thought is, "was he sober when wrote it?" and then "who the hell is he going to piss off now?"
John Howland is one of a kind. Smart, shrewd, not at all subtle, and reminds me of my many friends back in New Jersey. By that I mean there's no need to interperate their feelings or responses. They will tell you up front exactly what is on their mind. Miles away from how they do it here in the South. Here, when they say "bless your heart" you need to read between the lines and worry. It's almost always a code word for screw you.
In any case John doesn't disappoint here either. If you want to hear what he has to say, simply click on his nose.....
Think I may have found a site that offers great potential, and it was right under my nose. Currently doing a bit of researching, and will keep you abreast of what happens (without naming the site). Just the possibility gives me some encouragement, and I need that badly right about now...
Watched a few videos on a forum today, and was extremely disappointed in the recovery methods used. Apparently the short handled shovel is getting popular, and while I can see the advantages (especially with my bad back) it seems that it also makes one a little lazy when repairing the ground. Likewise not one of the detectorists in the videos I viewed used a dropcloth. I was going to share them here, but decided not to.... In any case what has happened to our ability to leave a site as we found it? The areas shown were park and picnic areas, NOT fields or wooded areas.
Seems that a few of you don't care, and most likely will come screaming for help later down the road when you aren't allowed to practice your pastime anymore..... Wake up. You owe it to the rest of.
September 11th has become a date that we will always remember. I started to write something, but instead decided to share last years post again..... It is how Fay and I remember that day and how grateful we were to be Americans.
There's no question that 9/11/2001 will forever be etched in our minds. Much like the Kennedy assasanation we know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news.
Fay and I were in France, and did not learn of the attack until the next day. I know, hard to believe, but true. We got up early that morning (remember.....six hours difference in time) in Casis, a seaside town in Provence, and headed to St. Remy, where we were looking forward to the Wednesday market (9/12).
We decided to stop for lunch around noon in Orgon, a small town about ten miles east of St. Remy. After all that is what one does in France at that time of day. Everything pretty much comes to a stop from noon to 2pm. Lunch is serious business, and something to thoroughly enjoy. We did as we usually do and stopped at the first restaurant we came to, and had a fantastic meal for next to nothing. We think now that we were just about midway through our lunch when the attacks were taking place.
After leaving Orgon we headed to St. Remy, and checked in at our hotel, the "Les Antiques". The man at the desk was polite but said nothing about what had or was happening in the States. We dumped our bags, and headed to the Chateau le Baux ruins just outside town. This ancient site was perched atop a very steep hilltop where we could literally see for miles and miles. I remember the breathtaking view to this day, and how I just kept staring.
We were amazed that we were the only ones exploring the area, and of course later understood why.... We spent a couple of hours roaming the site, and returned to St. Remy. Since we had a big lunch we decided to save some money and picnic outside our room on the patio. We purchased some cheese, sausage, bread and of course a bottle of the local wine, and had a very relaxing meal. We were tired from all the exploring, showered and went to bed early....
The next morning, as we were getting ready to go to the market, I happened to turn on the TV, and saw videos of airplanes flying into buildings. I had no idea what this was about, and remember saying to Fay, "come here and look at this. Is this for real?".... We were stunned, and I might also add, scared. Scared because we were halfway across the world, and our family was back in the United States.
We were scheduled to fly home 8 days later, but because of the grounding of aircraft we had no idea if the flight would be there for us. We had no choice but to continue on with our trip, but this horrific event was ever present in our minds. The French were fantastic, offering lodging, hugs, and tears. Michel Tocque, my treasure hunting friend, called us that morning and offered his home for as long as we needed. I cannot tell you how grateful we were.
The next few days were difficult in that local newspapers were non-existent and the places we were staying did not have TV's. Most of what we learned we learned from other travelers along the way. We continued on to Ile le Sorgue, Roussillon, Orange, Vaison la Romaine and back to Paris. Amazingly our flight was not cancelled or delayed, and we were even treated to first class for our return trip, thanks to American Airlines.
On touchdown at Dallas/Fort Worth airport every passenger applauded, and it was a feeling I will never forget. The customs agents were extra kind in their duties, adding "Welcome Home".....
It took us a day or two to fully grasp what had happened, watching continuous TV coverage, seeing video and photos not seen prior. What a horrendous tragedy it was. We would never be the same. I will also remember how everyone came together, and American flags were flying everywhere. We were Americans and ready to stand together against whomever was responsible for this attack.
Received an email last night from Dan LaMontagne, who took me to task a while back on the American Detectorist forum. You can view the orignal back and forth here. With his permission I share his recent email here (un-edited), as well as the PDF attachments he sent.
Hello Mr. Stout,
I thought you would like this info especially after our exchange on the American Detectorist forum. After reading this you could say the recent bad detecting shows that depict our hobby in such a negative light may have at least gotten "the powers that be" comming to the table to exchange concerns, info and to find some "common ground" . I was a little surprised at how we "amature archaeologists" were not entirely looked down upon, and actually revered for our skills with detectors, research and local historic knowledge by RPA,SHA and SAA. Well not really, after working closely with archaeologist for the last 3 years i felt this appreciation and respect alot. Mr. Stout I still stand by my original statement, the wheels are moving because to much can be gained by working together. My only part of this story is "where was the FMDAC all through this " they are suppose to be an advocate and promote metal detecting, i think they missed a huge opportunity. you take care Mr.Stout and i encourage you to "drop by the forum" to visit.
Respectfully, Dan LaMontagne
The attached documents....
Dan, thank you for taking the time to send the email and the accompanying documents. From what I have read this all has to do with the National Geographic "Diggers" show, and how to make it more palatable for everyone concerned. While I agree with that I still have my doubts that anything more will come of this attempt to make things "correct".
To me the most telling document was the summary of the workshop proceedings. I counted thirteen members of the archaeological community, one metal detector manufacturing rep (Minelab), and one detectorist (or to use their term, one avocational metal detectorist).
While ready this summary a few things bothered, starting with....
"There was an overall agreement that AMD (avocational metal detectorists)activities should be conducted within the parameters of professional supervision." and "This kind of oversight is key in determining where metal detecting may be conducted, how it is to be conducted, and how the discoveries that AMD's make are best recorded, reported, and utilized with the goal of recovering information from the past."
Another that bothers me...."The model of having objects recovered by AMDs donated to local museums or other repositories where the AMD is given recognition for the discovery of the object, and where the object is made available for exhibition remaining in privately held collections (What does "privately held" means exactly?).
They go on to mention the UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme, but add...."although the compensation portion of the UK model remains controversial." In other words, God forbid you should be reembursed for your research, your time and effort!
Then later...."At the same time there was general, though not universal, recognition of the considerable skills that expereienced AMDs have in the use of metal detectors both in recovering objects and locating undiscovered archaeological sites." Well, of course we are nothing more than amateurs....
Then when discussing the possibility of creating a similar PAS here...."However, the element of compensation of AMDs and landowners for recovered objects is widely seen as a major inducement for people to engage in metal detecting for financial gain, labeled by some as "professionally licensed" looting.
Apparently the arkies want to be with us at all times, tell us where we can detect, give us written credit for finding things, but if they happen to be worth anything, forget it.
I could go on and on with my thoughts on this topic, especially the meeting summary, but will not simply because it's something for one of our national organizations to take on or get involved with. Dan, as for the FMDAC, I haven't a clue what their status is and have given up hope for any kind of realistic action they may take in the future. Likewise the Taskforce for Metal Detecting Rights seems to have gone into hibernation, as their website has remained the same since May. WWATS is pretty much the same....
As for me, I have given up on the possibility of any reasonable, realistic pact with the archaeological community. Their goal since the late 70's has been to put us out of business, and I see nothing here to indicate a change in that objective. To them we will always be amateurs, grave diggers, pot robbers and looters....
Dan, thanks again for sharing all this, and I really hope you make a liar out of me. I would love to see something similar to the PAS over here. Unfortunately I have just seen too many years of the same ole "token crumbs" being thrown our way, and after pissing in the wind way too many times, I have given up.
Perhaps others reading this will take up the issue, do something and share their views (there's a place on my blog for comments). I would welcome that.....
And where did the term AMD (avocational metal detectorist) come from? Do you have the feeling they really wanted to use the word "amateur" but didn't want to say it in public?
Sunday I found myself really enjoying the day... The temps were around 86, the winds were brisk, and it reminded me of metal detecting back home. I truly believe the fall season is the time of year when metal detecting is at it's best. Perhaps it's a carry over from the East coast, but I can remember those fall days when the air was fresh, the leaves were bright colors, thick on the ground, and my enthusiasm was at it's peak. Fall here in Texas is certainly better than the extreme heat of summer, but it just isn't the same....
Yes, the days are shorter, but the kids were back in school, not bothering you with the "what did you find mister", and the anticipation was always higher than normal. I couldn't wait to hit those old picnic groves , parks, and fairgrounds. No sweating, summer rains to make digging easier, and no reason to look over your shoulder. Funny how things like this stay with you, and despite wanting to go back and do them all over again, it just never seems to happen.
Fall in the Northeast is really something special, and I miss it very much....
That I am too damn old for all the metal detector technology of today. I was so proud and excited when I figured out the functions and features of my MXT Pro, and was actually able to use it to find coins in heavily worked out areas. From here on however I am not going to promise anything.
I was reading a post today from Ron Guinazzo, a.k.a. Chicago Ron, on Facebook and he mentioned the following....
"My Sidekick, Mark got a new toy this morning, New CTX-3030. We will be learning it and putting it through it's paces over the next month, should be using it in upcoming video's and if you know Mark the finds will come! If anyone has a setting they think we should try Please let us know! Treasure@chicagoron.com"
I offered the following: 1. Turn on detector. 2. swing coil and listen for sounds....
Ron responded with "Dick your wealth of knowledge is indeed endless! Thanks buddy."
I can't tell you how charged up I was when he said that. What a thrill! I am thinking about framing his response, and hanging it here in my office/hideaway. Imagine, me actually helping Chicao Ron find more treasure. Damn...!!
Ron, forgive my sarcasm, my jokes, and especially my envy. You are a treasure hunter's treasure hunter, and I appreciate all you do for the pastime (I have also saved your offer to buy dinner next time we meet on my hard drive).
I do however have to wonder where all this is going, and what will come next. For me it won't matter. At 71 years old I have settled in, found my detector, and having fun finding what I can, when I can, and unfortunately when I am able. Ron, someday you will understand (then again, knowing you, maybe not).
To have to spend 30 days learning a detector is not something I care to do, and if it had been that way 35 years ago I probably would be involved in another pastime... who knows?. Mabye knitting, Yoga, or maybe even running (no forget I said that).
In any case I understand the fascination, the desire and determination, to learn all the possibilities, all the various options, settings, responses, and all the variable variables. They are just more than my brain can handle. Call it laziness, overload, senility whatever. I just want to find treasure, no matter what it is, and I want to do it without having to deal with mind blowing, ball breaking calculations, analyzations, confusing charts or wandering through 500 pages of instructions (hell it took me three hours to figure out how to assemble my desk chair!)
No doubt I am officially "over the hill", and not as enthused as the rest of you about the modern age. I do however have a "mobile" phone. It's so mobile I often leave it in grocery store carts. Nobody ever steals it because it is not a "smart" phone ( and don't even think of responding Howland). The only reason I have that is for an emergency. I have one of those monthly plans that lets my unused minutes accumulate. I now have in excess of 2 trillion!
Understand this is not a knock on today's technology. If I were thirty or forty years younger I would be into it as much as everyone else. I remember spending hours at the dining room table, bench testing and comparing detectors back in the 70's and 80's...only today I would be at the table a helluva lot longer.
Are we getting so technical, so advanced, so over-the-top, so involved, so far out, that we are losing those who might be interested in getting started. Yep, I know there are basic machines out there, with turn on and go settings (I use them), but even those are far more complicated than they used to be. Lastly, this is not a knock on the Minelab 3030. I have trouble understanding all the variables on my White's V3i too, and pretty much use the preset "Coin and Jewelry" program.
I have no clue where detector technology will be five or ten years down the road. In my opinion, the one thing that really hasn't changed that much? Depth. I remember when I was working at Garrett back in the late 80's, and was talking with a distributor about the Grand Master, our first computerized model, and he responded "Dick, we don't need all that.... just give me a detector that will go an inch or two deeper, and I will sell a shitload".
Me thinks he was right.....
Hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day holiday, and more important remember why we celebrated it. It's a tribute to all working men and women over the years, and to those along the way who fought to insure we had decent working conditions, decent hours and were paid decent wages.
Robbie Morin has started a new blog, and is currently working out the kinks. Hope you will add it to your favorites, and comment when you can. What makes any blog successful is the back and forth. Good luck Robbie...
And Robbie had to also rub it in and send me a photo of his latest adventure which lasted about as long as mine last week, but he fared somewhat better. Robbie is in the Houston area, and has to deal with the excessive heat as well.....
No need to tell you anymore about Chicago Ron. He is pretty much legend anymore. Found his latest video on Facebook and thought I would share it here. If you get envious, welcome to the club. I went from being amazed to being pissed off.....Nobody should be allowed to hunt as much as he does or find as much as he does. Just should not happen!
Think you all know about the back and forth war of words with one Paul Barford, an archaeologist located in Warsaw, Poland... Well now he has me totally confused. Back on March 14th, he posted the following: "Despite certain differences of opinion, it is gratifying to be able to put on record that Dick Stout is a decent bloke. Your health Sir..."
Because of that I thought maybe we were becoming bosum buddies, but now in one of his lastest posts he labels me as the "militant vehemently anti-archaeological tekkie across the pond". Wow, what a turnaround (No Christmas card this year Paulie.....)
John Howland claims the description was meant for him, but no matter, we can both lay claim. We are in fact honored and privileged to wear the label. For the record Mr. Barford we still think highly of you, and will continue to stay in touch, you windy, conceited, pompous assed "arkie" from across the pond. Cheers!!
All one has to do is look at the number of posts Mr. Barford puts out there every day. Then look at the time frames involved, and finally the number of comments he receives. It pretty much sums up his obsession with his importance to the archaeological community, and his dislike for anything remotely connected to metal detecting.... How sad!
Hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend, and if possible get out and do a little detecting in-between the hot dogs, hamburgers and beer.... And stay safe.
Just received another update from Sir Howland of the Malamaute Saloon, via the Mayfly Pub. You will find the usual taunts, the usual funnies, and the usual tip (AT Pro battery life this time). If you want to read John Howlands latest simply click on the photo below.....
And yes I mention the Mayfly Pub a lot here. There's a reason for that, and it's none of your business.....
My last post about the "new norm" brought forth a couple of emails, telling me that what people spent on their detectors, accessories, etc., was no different than what others spent on their hobbies. Examples given, fishermen, their boats, motors, gear, and golfers, who spent hundreds on clubs, bags, balls, etc., all in the hopes that it would improve the end result. I accept these arguments, and it wasn't my intention to ciriticize anyone for spending huges amounts of money on their gear. Only that I could not justify it personally.
I was once an avid trout fishermen, and spent many hours fishing rivers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania as well as Vermont and Maine. I will say however that the money I spent on my gear at that time never came close to what I have spent detecting. I had a fly rod and reel, as well as a spinning rod and reel, and that was pretty much my investment, save for waders, a vest and net.
I was also a golfer of sorts years ago, but could never, ever justify spending anything on a new set of clubs. I used a set that was made up of all different brands, from cheap to decent (all purchased at Goodwill stores or yard sales). Major problem for me was that I was a terrible golfer. I left each round hoarse from hollering "fore"..... I had the greatest slice you could imagine, and even thought I could use it to my advantage, but somehow aiming left just increased the slice. I finally decided it was best not to play anymore before I killed someone.
So...understand I don't mind how much you spend. I am happy you have the money to invest. In fact if you can spare a few dollars let me know. I will send you my mailing address.....quickly!
I had made up my mind that I was going to go detecting Sunday morning, come hell or high water. Had a little rain early, but that was fine. Might increase depth some. The temperature when I left was about 89 degrees. Not bad considering the triple digit heat we had been experiencing. So I headed out across the lake to a school, where I can usually find a decent coin or two.
Forgetting that the first day of school was the next day I noticed a lot of cars in the parking lot. Not sure why but I prefer to detect without looking over my shoulder. In any case I decided I was going to detect anyway.
After about ten minutes I had found a couple of clad dimes, and then the sweat started dripping off my forehead on to my glasses. Then I did the dumb thing and tried to wipe them with my drop cloth (or towel in this case). Of course it was dirty, and made my glasses even worse. In any case I perservered, dug a clad dime and quarter, and then found a Merc, making me feel a little better.
As time went on it was becoming increasingly harder to get myself up once I kneeled down....nothing to hold onto. After a while I found myself counting, 1, 2, 3 and UP! The lower back was killing me, I couldn't see through my glasses, and the humidity was kicking my ass. So, after about forty minutes I headed home.
The lessons I learned? 89 is still hot (and never forget about humidity)! Next time take an "Alleve" before heading out, and lastly, all my things ain't what they used to be, and I am an old wimp. Counting the value of the Merc (1940/good condition) I came home with a whopping $2.83. But I feel certain that if I had that new $2,500 detector I would have found at least couple dollars more....
Thanks again to Tina Gallagher (see August 26th post) I have updated the Club and Links here on Stout Standards. I know the links section can be updated quite a bit more, and I will be working on that. If you have a favorite site that you frequent, please let me know and I will add it.
Likewise if I do not have your club listed please let me know. Make sure there is a link however. Someway for interested parties to contact you....
For the past couple of years I have heard the term “new norm” thrown about, both in print and in the media. I think originally it was meant to reflect the current economic situation, and in particular the new norm for those affected by it.
Prior to the deep recession of 2008, many were used to living “high on the hog” or perhaps a better term would be “quite comfortably”. When Wall street went down, so did our 401K’s and so did home prices, thanks to all the fraud going on in the banking world. A home that was once worth $200,000 was now worth $120,000, but the mortage payment remained the same.
As a result of all this businesses starting cutting back, laying off employees, closing stores, plants and subsidiaries. Unemployment shot up, and the economy tanked badly.
Despite all this, things every so slowly started improving, but we started hearing the term “new norm” meaning maybe this will be the way it is from now on.
My opinion (which is worth absolutely nothing) is that for far too long home prices were way over priced, blown out of proportion, and salaries that people were paid were ridiculous for what it was they did. When the economy was doing fine (as in the 90's) everything balanced out. What could go wrong? Well we now know that we cannot look the other way anymore, and we need to pay attention to Wall Street, the banking industry, mortgage lenders, etc...
In any case is what we are seeing in the pastime today the new norm? Metal detectors in the $2,500 range, pinpointers priced at $200, long handled sand scoops at $200, digging tools $50, hunt fees over $100, and cameras to wear on your head at $300...? If so, maybe the new norm isn't too bad.
When I started detecting in the late 70's, high priced detectors were around $300, requiring one to put a few dollars away each week to buy one, and accessories like a carpenter's apron, and screwdriver were in the garage. I know, I know, the times have changed. I undestand that. I just cannot reconcile or justify spending $2,000 to enjoy my hobby (even if I was working).
I now use a detector that retails at $800 and I am quite happy with it, but I am still looking for a used model that I had great success with in the 80's. Sure a lot of it is sentimentality or mind over matter, but I remember that period in my life and think it might be fun trying to relive it again.
I think what a lot of us are experiencing today is and will be the "new" norm. People may actually have to take a lesser job, learn to live a little less luxurious then they did, and they may have to find a new skill or field of endeavor, maybe one that they will enjoy more than their old one.
They might have to sell that bass boat, that membership in the country club, that prime seat at the football stadium, cut back on their eating out, plan a vacation here instead of Europe. They may need to buy a Ford instead of a Mercedes or BMX. Jeez, they might even have to consider selling that $2,000 metal detector...
Not sure what I am trying to say here, but we all need to face the facts, like them or not. To find your "new norm" ask yourself, are my kids and grandchildren healthy? Are my bills such that I can pay them, even if a little late? Are we able to afford the basics, and still have a decent quality of life. Are we able to enjoy each day of our life. If you can say yes to those, then your new norm is not really all that bad, but please always remember there are a great many people out there whose "new norm" is one of hardship and struggle, and we need to do what we can to help them.
Okay, downed the 4th glass of wine, got that off my chest, and now I am not that bitter old man anymore....
Thanks to Brian Mayer and Paul Ribble for sharing this article on the Jersey Shore Treasure Hunters Facebook page....
Well I wondered if the FMDAC was alive, and if they were going to hold their annual membership hunt. Usually it's held in October, but for the past two months or so I have not noticed a mention of any event. Then again for the past few months I have not noticed anything alive and moving on the FMDAC website.
Yesterday my good friend Roger Horrum sent the following PDF links, and it appears as though they are indeed having some sort of get together. I will leave it to you to piece it all together....
Roger Horrum also sent along a link that lists metal detecting clubs here in the USA, and would make a great link to any club's website. It was put together by Tina Gallagher, of Capital Steel and Wire, in Lansing, Michigan. I am not sure of her involvement in the pastime, and I am trying to contact her. First to thank her for putting this information out there, and also to see if she herself is a detectorist.
Do yourself a favor, look over this page, and use it to your advantage. I know I will. Tina has indentified a few clubs that I do not have listed here on Stout Standards, and as a result I will be updating my clubs link.....
Was put in my place by many forums and their members for asking if they would support a full time, national organization, with paid employees. I have accepted their "no way" response and want to move on, but wanted first to address one comment that at first, irritated me, but later gave me some insight to just where things are today with those who metal detect.
"Mr. Stout i would of posted this on your website but did not see a place to post comments as i do occasionally visit your "Standards" website Blog , its not a bad site but i feel its very much "self orientated" . you sir have done so much for the hobby and have a wealth of knowledge to share to new and up and comming experienced detectorists but it comes across more like rants from a bitter old man who has fallen out popularity , no disrespect intended sir. i feel you could much better the "new crop of detectorists" with your wisdom , ideas , experience and great humor that you still show from time to time . i honestly disagree with you and Butch as i've been working with some great archaeologists for the last three years ( the 1637 Pequot War project) and i feel there will be a "mutual understanding and respect" at some point in the near future. i and a lot of others have seen the great work we can accomplish together sir. it hasn't gone unnoticed the archaeology world is comming around , slowly we can make a difference"
Dan, thanks for the comments and appraisal of my site and who I am. I appreciate all perspectives. The place for comments was on my blog, which apparently cannot be shown here. If you go to the website you will see a link to my blog at the top of the "Latest News" page (no advertising there).
As for my site being "self oriented", you are right. That's why it's called Stout Standards. It is MY website, and was originally put together so that I could gather up all of the many materials I had sitting around, old photos, articles, etc.. and put them out there in a website.
Dan stated "i feel there will be a "mutual understanding and respect" at some point in the near future. i and a lot of others have seen the great work we can accomplish together sir. it hasn't gone unnoticed the archaeology world is comming around , slowly we can make a difference ."
You may be right, but we were all were saying the same thing back in the early 80's....(it's now 2012).
Thanks again for sharing your comments and opinions.
Okay, let me start with.... Stout Standards is MY website. It encompasses and represents my 35 years of participation in this pastime. Is it self oriented? You bet, and if you don't like that, I am sorry. If I sound self promoting or pompous, it wasn't my intention, but again if it hits you that way, I am sorry. I appreciate each and every one of you that takes the time to checkout my website and blog, but no one is forcing you to do that.
Am I old and bitter? Probably so. Have I fallen out of popularity? Well, not sure exactly if and when I was popular, but if you say I was, I will accept that as a compliment. I don't care to go back and explain how I got into this pastime, and how things transpired over the years. It's already posted somewhere here on my site, but if you have only visited once or twice, you probably missed that. Am I bitter? Sometimes, sometimes not (John Howland and I were often bitter, and got tossed out of a few nice places, but that's another story). Do I get angry, pissed? At times, just like very other individual born into this world.
Finally, I was not trying to stir up things within the metal detecting fraternity, nor was I trying to organize a a national organization. Jeezus, that's the last thing I need now. I was merely trying to throw an idea out there to see where those who participate in this pastime stand. I have now found that out.
I wish all three "national" organizations well, and hope you all have better luck than I at even getting the attention of those you represent!
There are a few very good posts on these forums, most added after I started this update. In any case read through them, enjoy them, take what you want from them. I have been put in my place and will not attempt to ask opinions ever again.
Ron Guinazzo (a.k.a. Chicago Ron) shared the following on Facebook yesterday...."Got a call on Wednesday night from a depressed Jennifer, she had lost her diamond promise ring on North ave beach. I assured her that we would have a good chance of finding it when I met her yesterday afternoon. Only took about 15 minutes. she burst into tears and hugged me! That's what its all about! 14k white gold ring with 1pt diamonds, 1.5grams."
Suspect you already know that Ron is a Chicago fireman, and how he manages to hold down a job, spend so much time detecting is beyond me. I am envious as hell. Ron many thanks for all you do to promote the pastime, and for the good work you do for the city of Chicago every day. I appreciate you my friend (still going to cut those wires next time I see you).
Exciting day so far. Doc's appointment, more medicines to take, and with any luck a little rain later. Hoping, finally, to get out and do some detecting this weekend. Wish me luck! Hope you all have a great weekend, and stay in touch....(and today I am old, but not bitter. Tomorrow? Who knows?).
Had this fabulous idea of reposting yesterday's comments (How Much Would You Pay?) on three or four major forums. Boy, what a mistake. Once again, I find that posting anything like this on a forum is a complete waste of time, which also leads me to believe that trying to organize this pastime is also a waste of time.
I had hoped to get a dialogue going on the subject, and asked that, when possible, for people to reply via my blog. Well one forum, once again found that a link to my site would piss off their advertiser (they have one). I did have a discussion on the subject with a co-administrator and that was it (8 replies, 6 were mine). No one else bothered to respond, even though there were 57 views.
"On this issue , I think when you start putting money into a organization, it starts off with a great idea,but then it turns corrupt. Most organizations, corporations, and government are like this. They get to big , and then funds start being used for other things that they were not attended for. Sorry for my negative view , its hard to trust any big organization , after these last few years. Once you open this can of worms, whats next? Next they will have you buying metal detecting license's. There is not many things you can do any more, with out paying money to someone."..... (A great example of why emails and letter writing will never get the job done....)
"I don't believe that we need anymore "self regulating authorities" that claim they are representing the rights of the masses of people. Personally, I don't need anyone to represent me or say that they are representing me without my permission. I can represent myself in all that I do. I see too many of these organizations that end up acting as a barrier to entry to those wanting to participate for their own benefit. e.g. non-profits that pay huge salaries to their managers from members dues, corrupt unions, home owners associations and professional organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors that claims to self regulate the home inspection industry without any legal authority. These organizations are all about power and greed and the desire to control others. No thank you. I'm not interested in another controlling organization." (2nd example of why letter writing is not helping the cause.)
Another followup response to the above:
"I'm with you on this Then again, I thought I could make a quick buck through intimidation. BTW, not all non-profit groups are like that, just the larger ones Red Cross, UNICEF, and United Way lead the way to ripping off contributions. Salvation Army sends 96% of its contributions to helping people. I want something done, I'll tackle it myself. I wonder what the OP take will be for helping to organize a ripoff". (I had to add periods to this individual's response)
The other three responses were simply agreeing with the first responder....
"I agree, we are a terribly under-represented group of hobbyists. I wish we lived in a world where live and let live was more the rule, but it just seems to be a fact that certain other groups will cast MD'ers in a negative light, and some MD'ers will help them by acting like fools and trespassing or destroying property.
I think part of the problem we have is we're in a hobby that is economical, or the hobby attracts those of us who are frugal. Yes, we spend hundreds or more on our detectors, but what we spend is peanuts compared to those who would be equally dedicated to many other hobbies - (credit Dan Hughes here) - like golfers who cough up anywhere between 20 to 100 dollars in greens fees every week, or the bass fisherman who drags around a boat worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Would one national organization be the answer? I'm not sure. Maybe. Granted, the NRA certainly helps gun enthusiasts, but it's also the center of a lot of controversy, and a polarizing entity. Would our detractors simply paint us all as greedy trespassers as members of such an organization? As it is, we're left to our own charm and wit to negotiate our way through low level public officials that would chase us off a public site, or attempt to implement a detecting ban. (How did Bar Harbor make out?). In this area, a well known local resident may just have more credibility and clout than a paid representative from "away". Even though $25 a year may be money well spent to protect us, I think a representative organization would have to gain credibility with hobbyists somehow before we'd all be sending in our membership fees. It's an interesting topic, for sure."
Cbuzz, thank you so much for taking the time to express your opinion. You are a breath of fresh air!
I have to also add that those few who frequent my website and blog did not bother to respond to the question either.
And so it goes with the metal detecting masses. Perhaps that's why the "national" groups have gone into hibernation. Perhaps they know the score. Apparently it's every man for himself! What the hell has happened to us? I don't have an answer or even a clue, but I do know that I give up....!
Just wanted to thank two friends who follow my site and blog for sending me uplifting and encouraging thoughts and for understanding my situation. You are very much appreciated. It's easy to get down on yourself, and you need to be reminded about how lucky you really are. Thank you both very much.
And so you know, no one sent me $20, damn it!!
Wish I had something exciting to share with you all, but just do not. We had had some rain over the weekend, and enough that it might make a few old spots "new" again. All I need to do is get excited about it. No need to go into how much I miss the Northeast. Have said it way too many times here, and I am beginning to think it's an excuse for my not getting off my ass and getting outside.
Next month it Will be a year since I lost my job at Border's, and I miss it a great deal. While I only worked part time at the end, I was dealing with books, writer's, publishers, and I was communicating with the public. Something I have not done since. Being retired is nice, but when you get up each day and have nothing to do or have nothing to motivate you, it gets old real fast. Add in taking a zillion pills for ailments you never had before, and it's damn depressing.
So why am I sharing all this? Because I need to get excited about something, and if you all would send me twenty bucks (cash, no checks), it would be a start. My address is......
After many years in this field I have come to the conclusion that the only way we can fight city hall is with a strong national organization. Yes, we have a few now, but we need ONE to do the talking and ONE to do the fighting. I have also come to the conlcusion that for this group to ever be effective it has to be a full time job for them with "paid" employees.
We can continue on as we have in the past, and attempt to right the wrongs with emails, letters, phone calls, etc., but it seems to be a long, drawn out, and mostly ineffective process. Yes, we win one or two here and there, but we also lose far to many. Frankly we need to put our money where our mouth is, and by that I mean, how much are you willing to pay to have such an organization fighting for you?
I say this with no agenda. I don't care which of the main groups out there take on this task. Just that it has to be full time, and it must be fully funded. So tell me, how much are you willing to pay, to have this group represent you? An NRA membership is $25 per year. Are you willing to shell out that much? I say "that much" because I suspect a lot of you would bitch at that, but hey it's a little over $2.00 per month.... Likewise the metal detector manufacturers would have to pony up too.
If you are reading this, and have an opinion or a suggestion, go to my blog and leave a comment. I believe it's time for all of us to put up or shut up.
Suspect most of you are familiar with Butch Holcombe's American Digger Magazine as well as his Monday night Relic Roundup broadcasts. If not, be sure to check it out. Lots of interesting topics, guest speakers, and you can also call in with questions. Tonight's topic for instance is "Which is more important: having the latest greatest metal detector or just making the best with what you’ve got?"
I highly recommend Butch's magazine, and his online show. Do yourself a favor and give it a look-see and listen-to. You won't be sorry....
My good friend from across the pond has outdone himself, and sent me two updaes in two days.... He usually does that when he's pissed (as in mad, not drunk). I too usually take a stiff drink before I read his submissions, wondering what or who will be after us when I post it. Oh well, I am an admirer of his writing, and his knowledge of British history. Then again all I know about it is what he tell's me....
In this, his latest update he shares a little more about the passing of Roy Lagal. I thank him for taking the time to do that. I met Roy a few time when I was with Garrett back in the late 80's. He was fun to chat with and a real gentleman. He will be missed by many.
To read John's latest, click here.
"Barfart" is at it again. He just can't tear himself away from Stout Standards. Actually I appreciate his being a fervent supporter. I know how many visits he and his friend Nigel Swift make here, and it's impressive. If you care to read his lastest line of BS, or need a few laughs click here. I take consolation in the fact that he has no friends, either in or out of his field, and there are doubts he even has a field or degree. What a sorry SOB...
Late addition....apparently Mr. Barfart is getting a lot of mail from the US....Hmmmm. Wonder when he will get the balls to share ALL OF THEM?
As you all know I have been a big fan of TIGHAR and it's search for Amelia Earhart. This update just appeared today, and wanted to share here in case there are others interested as well....
Just received word from John Howland that Roy Lagal passed away July 17th. Not sure how that information got by me, but it did..Roy was a treasure hunting legend, author, and Charles Garrett's sidekick for many, many years. Not a lot of details to share at this point. I will post my thoughts and memories in a day or two.
Butch Holcombe from American Digger Magazine posted the following article on Facebook, and needless to say it brought a lot of responses.
How sad that such ignorant ideas should come from such a high position as the VA state archeologist. Hear me out:
(1) as far as the Civil War, WHAT context? Most sites have been plowed, or at the least picked over since the fighting stopped by souvenir hunters. Besides, there are volumes of records from that war. A bullet is just a bullet: if you want to know where it was fired from or who lost it, read the records.
(2) I know numerous relic hunters and have never seen anyone make a living of their finds. Those that do sell items make pennies on the dollar for the time put in. Bullets and most buttons sell for $1-$5 on the retail market. Rare “$1000” items sell for that much because they are RARE. Most relic hunters never find those.
(3) Iron artifacts Do, DO, DO deteriorate in the ground! Any archeologist doubting this, don’t take our word for it: ask a metallurgist! Even brass and lead deteriorate, just not quite as fast.
(4) Museums sell off their extra artifacts, to the private market. Yet that is ok in the professional’s eyes? Can someone explain the difference?
(5) Yes archeologists are slow because they do record every detail (and must wait for funding). Part of that is commendable, but if a site is being destroyed is it not better to salvage SOMETHING than nothing? This reeks of a “If we can’t have it neither should you” mentality.
(6) Oh, I see, he says that such sites should be off limits because it encourages selling relics. So, this means it is better that they be destroyed by bulldozers? What kind of logic is that?
(7) Ah, and the “Reality” TV shows! If archeologists really believe that is what relic hunters do, then relic hunters should believe Indiana Jones does what real archeologists do.
Sorry, I had to vent…and you should too! Share this as much as you want, the truth must be told!
I think you all know my take on this subject, and won't bother getting carried away anymore. It's taken me 35 years to discover that the archaeological community has no respect for what we do, and has no interest in working with us. We hunt on private land, with the landowner's permission, and as far as I am concerned, what we find is none of their business. If that sounds harsh, so be it.
Archaeologists want to lay claim to every square inch of ground and what for? They will never, ever get around to surveying, nor digging it all, so better we find it and preserve it for generations to come (unlike all those artifacts in drawers at so many universities). If that happens to irritate them, I really don't care! Trying to communicate with them is like "pissing in the wind".
I know many of you still think we need to find a way to work with this group, and that's fine. Have at it. As far as I am concerned, you can only try so many times, over so many years, until you just get tired and fed up. I am both!
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from John Howland (a.k.a. Bubba) telling me to be on the lookout for a package, as he was sending something to me, and adding "I have been to a great deal of inconvenience and expense to obtain it". Knowing he was aware of my tastes, I dug out the 24% lead crystal scotch glass, and just in case, I also pulled out the Riedel Bordeaux glass I use on special occasions.
Angst set in, over the ensuing days, and each day I would run out to catch the mailman to see if he had a package for me. Finally two days ago I went out to the mailbox, and wedged inside was a small package with international credentials. It was from Bubba. I could see from the size of the box it was not a bottle of anything, but then I thought, perhaps it was a watch, or something along that line.
I carefully and nervously unwrapped the box, trying not to disturb whatever was inside. Like a coin, one scratch could reduce one to crying.... After removing the final piece of tissue paper I had a coffee mug. One from France. Ste Mere Eglise to be exact. It had the famous 82nd Airborne, and 101st Airborne patches on it, as well a picture of the infamous church where Private John Steele became entangled during the D day invasion....
Oh well, no Scotch, no Bordeaux, but a memento or souveneir none the less. Then, as I looked at the mug, I did a double take. I went to cupboard and there staring me in the face was the same mug, sent to me a year ago by guess who?
Then I figured it out...the guy has a case of these, and periodically sends them out to people with a story attached, as in "I have been to a great deal of inconvenience, etc"... John is a walking encylopedia of knowledge when it comes to British History, but never ceases to amaze me with his ability to pinch a penny, and "baffle them with bullshit!" Oh well, now Fay has a mug like mine too.
I am just now putting the scotch glass back in the cupboard, putting the Riedel glass back in it's special box, and the tears have dried up....
Just received an update from the big bopper, habitual resident of the Malamute Saloon. He sends everyone his good wishes (and to me, his middle finger). It's been his routine now for almost 30 years. Why I have even learned dirty words I never knew existed. His usual sign-off? "Up Yours!"
Nice guy, this John Howland..... In any case, if you care to read his latest blabber, click on his red nose in the following photo......
Written, March 15th....
Against all odds we actually had a storm last night, and one that lasted most of the night. According to radio reports we had anywhere from two to five inches of rain, which given the drought conditions, wasn't a helluva lot, but it was at least a start. I say according to radio reports because we are currently without internet, phone and cable TV service.....
Have to tell you, when it's over 100 degrees outside, and you don't have TV, or internet, it can be a long day. You can only play so many games of PC solitaire. I did spend some time updating a book that has will hopefully come out after the first of the year, but frankly it was a difficult day, and I am ashamed to admit it. How dependent I have become on having access to the internet is frightening. Even Fay, who never thought she would use a computer, was perplexed today. No way to communicate with her photographer friends, or add a page to her blog.
No doubt in my mind that the next war will be a cyberwar. Shut down the internet, the phone service, TV, and the electrical grid, and you have a helpless group of people. I have read about this possibility and truly believe it. We have become slaves to modern day technology and in a big way.
Okay, enough with the scary stuff. It is now 6pm on Wednesday and we are approaching almost eighteen hours without these services. I keep looking at the router/modem, picking up the phone, and turning on the TV. Nada....? Might have to actually read a book ahead of bedtime tonight. What a unique idea, but then again, not a bad one either. Reminds me of what I used to do in the "dark ages".
Way back when I first bought a detector, finding coins was the reason. The old ones were plentiful if you did your homework, and if you worked at it. Today? Not so much. The emphasis today is on relic hunting and water hunting. Why? Because access to rural fields and beaches is more easily accomplished, and when you add in the gold and silver market, and it's a no brainer.
I used to enjoy hunting the beaches of New Jersey, not so much for the occasional ring or piece of jewelry, but because of the escape. The wind off the water, the brisk air, the tuning out of crowds, and the healthy feeling I always had when the day was done. Relic hunting? Have never really gotten into it. I understand the fascination with it, and the thought that you don't need to analyze anything. If it beeps, dig it....
I did spend some time hunting farmland adjacent to Gettysburg years ago, and came home with minnie balls and a few other pieces of history. I enjoyed it, and found it to be a learning experience, but I still love the sight of a silver coin in that plug I just pulled out. It says it all.... It's old, it's shiny and it's worth more than the face amount.
No reflection on your folks who are finding those buckles, militaria, or gold and silver rings. I am just a "coiny" kind of guy!
John Winter made mention recently of Google Earth and how useful it is, and I wanted to expand on it here some....
I suspect most of you reading this have used this program but if not, do play around with it, and learn some of it's secrets. The one feature that I've grown to like is the availability of the street view. It not a given for any area, especially remote areas of the country, but in many instances it will save you valuable time.
I experimented recently with a few sites I used to hunt back in New Jersey, and was amazed at some of the nuances of this program. For instance....a real hot spot for me back then was an old picnic grove in Kingwood Township, New Jersey. My hunting buddy, Dan Hamilton, became aware of it only by attending the local historical society's meeting, and learning that there was indeed an old grove located on, surprise.... Picnic Grove Road. Having lived in the area for some time neither of us was familiar with the road.
We soon learned that Picnic Grove road was now nothing more than a path, a rutted lane, through the woods between two major roads. After learning the approximate location, we found it and walked into the woods some before coming to what we considered to be the picnic area. First time we hunted...we didn't find anything, and left. Our 6000di detectors never indicated anything worth digging (that was the time when many detectorists praised the ID meter).
It wasn't too long after that initial visit that I felt like we must have missed something, and I insisted we go back again, and give it a second go. When we did I remember digging the first audio response I received, even though it didn't register good on my meter. It was an Indian Head cent! Next signal...same thing. Another Indian Head. At that point I went over to Dan, showed him my finds, and we started digging every signal we heard. The results were staggering. We came home with a lot of Indian Heads, V nickels, Barber and Liberty Seated dimes and quarters.
Okay, back to Google Earth.... This program actually shows you Picnic Grove road, even though it was an overgrown, forgotten about road, and a mere opening in the forest. Even the gulley along the main road gave no indication there was a passage way there, and the house indicated at the bottom of the photo was not there back in the mid 80's.....
Another terrific hotspot for me back then was a religious retreat just outside New Hope, Pa. It was called Deer Park, and I was always greeted with open arms when ever I showed up there with my detector. I will also add it was never when there was an event or camp going on. Deer Park still shows on the map, and apparently is still in operation after 100 years.
Lastly, the one area that I found more coins in than any other is still in existence, and was recently written up by John Punola in Western and Eastern Treasures. It's the open field, the ball field, the soccer field, the park, named Plessey, in Frenchtown, New Jersey. It shows up on Google Earth in both aerial and streetview. Here again, if you were looking for this field you would be able to see that it is still open, and the street view gives you another view of what to expect.
Maybe I am making too much of this program, but it has saved me time even here in North Texas, by showing me that a particular picnic area (which will not be named) is still a wooded area (thanks to the street view), and one which I will be visiting as soon as the heat and ground conditions allow. If you are not familiar with Google Earth, and all that it offers, be sure to check it out. It's free, and you will be amazed at all the many features available to help the detectorist.
An aside here....I have given out a few place names here that were very good to me way back when. DO NOT ATTEMPT to detect these sites without asking permission. I am not sure that Picnic Grove road is not now built upon, and Deer Park is a gated area, and you will be need to request permission. My name will mean absolutely nothing given the many years it's been since I was there. Plessey field is still a town park, and is probably the most accessible. If you decide to detect there be sure to cover your holes, and remember.....I have most of everything lost there in 2x2's....you lose!
Last update I somehow "screwed up" a posting of club newsletters, and I apologize. It's called getting senile, and not being overly familiar with hmtl code. In any case, let me say once again...I appreciate receiving the many club newsletters I do, even though it's been a long time since I have written the Club News and Views column. I very much like hearing about your endeavors, your events and your programs. Keep sending them please. Here are a few of my most recent... which I hope will open this time around.
Received emails from Richard Ray and Larry Bateham yesterday, and both are doing well. Larry is back to work, but still undergoing chemotherapy once a week. He's looking forward to detecting again, but has to wait for the cloudy days now. At least until he's done with the treatment.
Richard Ray is also through with his hyperbaric treatments and the wound has healed nicely. He still has difficulty walking, but knowing Richard he will find a way....
Great news for two very prolific treasure hunters and ambassadors for the pastime....
As I read club newsletters I sometimes look at "their" code of ethics as they interpret them. There's been a few interesting twists on them over the years, and I wish I could remember the really unique ones I posted here couple of years ago, but I could not find them. I will keep looking.... I did save the following one for posterity. It was written by the late Jim Lewellen, president and CEO of Fisher Laboratories.
I found it in a club newsletter years ago, and shared it in an article I did for Western & Eastern Treasures. The author at the time was unknown. I soon received an email from Jim confessing he was the "unknown" author.
According to Jim, "I wrote this silly thing under the pseudonym Author Unknown. It was during one of my frequent periods when I had so many fires to put out I decided to just let them burn, and do something fun instead. Writing was such good therapy that I had a bunch of them printed up, and told my marketing folks to hand them out at hunts and trade shows. Then I went back to putting out fires...."
Jim passed away April 26, 2010, and is missed by a great many in this business. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word, and I consider myself privileged to have known him.
by Jim Lewellen
truly, Jim Lewellen & Fred Brust, 1986 (click to enlarge)
Sent an email to Keith Wills inquiring about his surgery and recuperation. He replied as follows....
"BEST NEWS: I got my hands working again and can hold a screwdriver again after nearly a year not being able to use them. HURRAY!!!!!!!!"
"I'm actually typing this! Can't believe how much you miss them until you lose them. Thank you LORD...It does show you that you have been praying most of your life for things that are not as important as your own health, your family's health and friends."
"Finally I can go back to work. They still hurt from time to time, but not as often as before and as much. I'll work that out of them with the help of the Lord. I am a very blessed man and have very blessed friends that prayed for me. Thank you all so much, prayer is what did it."
Thank you much, Keith Wills
Going make some enemies here, but what the hell.
Where are OUR three or four so called national organizations, and what are they up to these days, if anything? The FMDAC, the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights, the The American Metal Detecting Association, and The World Wide Association of Treasure Hunters?
Haven't heard a peep from any of these groups lately? Keep checking their sites and nada! I click on the "What's New" link on the FMDAC site, and keep getting the "stay tuned" response. The Task Force information hasn't changed at all over the past month, and I would still like to see the officers post their email addresses.
Apparently the AMDA has gone by the wayside. Last entry was three years ago? The WWATS site is still listing the flyer for this years hunt which was the end of May, but you can view the photos from their hunts in 2008 and 2009.
Come on guys...how about just an update here and there, a word or two, a short note to say you are still alive and kicking. Is that asking too much? Hell, While I don't always succeed, I at least bust my ass trying to keep this site updated, and to let people know I haven't kicked the bucket.
As far as I know detectorists are still paying dues to belong to your organizations or are donating, either independently or via hunt fees. They deserve to hear "something" from you? Is that too much to ask?
I find it amusing that a few of my books are selling online for ridiculous sums. Books that are still available and easy to order from numerous sources. Every once in a while I will scan the internet to see if there are companies offering any of my titles....almost always Amazon has them listed as well as a few others. I have seen this "over-the-top" phenomenon, having worked in the book business for almost twenty years, but never understood the logic. Either those trying to sell the book have no clue, or are just trying to rip people off.
Check out the following.......
With regard to the offer on Amazon for $254.06 (where the hell did the six cents come from?), I will sell you a copy
I(personally signed in blood, with my fingerprint, and a hair from my almost bald head, shipping prepaid, for only $154.06. And if you act now I will include......
Interesting too that I have listed a copy of this on Ebay for $4.00, and have had only two looks. Go figure...
This guy is into so much anymore I can't keep track. I like the guy but he keeps pissing me off with his numerous and frequent finds. Next time I run into him I plan on cutting the wires to his coils.
Need a fix bad....a change....something new....something different..something exciting. My days have been extremely boring and very routine. Then again, what the hell can you do when it's 105 outside, and you don't own a pick axe?
Thinking maybe tomorrow I will get the MXT Pro out and do some bench testing, and just maybe it's time for some fun reading, like Karl's Treasure Hunters Manual #6, one of my favorites.
I must apologize for spending so much time responding to the Warsaw windbag. Sorry. Reading his blog makes my blood boil, and it's difficult staying silent. That is over with, and I am moving on.
Things here are status quo. Stinking hot, no chance of rain, and I am depressed. A typical Texas summer and a depressing time of year. Not sure how many are out there detecting now, but here in the Dallas area, you would have to be crazy to be outside.
I have no idea what the answer is to all this heat, but someone needs to take it seriously and deal with it. You can call it whatever you want, but it is getting worse each year. I have been here in the Dallas area now for 24 years, and each and every year the temperatures have become more unbearable. I know there were years before my arrival that were just as bad, but that doesn't cut it for me. I can only deal with my experience here.
Back in 1988, when we Yankees came South, the temps were hot, but not excessively hot. Likewise we had dramatic springtime thunderstorms....and I actually enjoyed watching them. I remember afternoons when the sky would turn pitch black, and I had to be outside (yep, I was stupid back then too) to witness it. I would say these spring rains were pretty much a given starting in March, and ending June. Enough rain to have a decent looking lawn, and absolutely no thought of drought restrictions. This pattern begin changing about ten years ago, and now we pray for rain all year long.
We have given up on our lawn this year. It just isn't going to happen. Likewise our plantings are withering and turning brown. Our electric bill is sky high, and the two air conditioning units run 24/7. I have fissures in my lawn, and the ground is hard as a rock. I might also add that much of the US is experiencing Texas type weather this year, and it will affect food and grain prices....
Not sure why I brought all this up. Guess I am having a pity party for myself. The MXT Pro is sitting next to me, ready to go, but ready to go is a long time out. Hope the rest of you are faring better.....
Interestingly enough as I am writing this the morning sky is dark, and I see a thunderstorm approaching from the Northeast (highly unusual here) on the local radar. Willing to bet it splits over the lake and we get nada!!
Once again John Winter shares an informative article. If you havenot learned how to use Google Earth's Streetview, make it a point to do so. I have used it locally and it saved a lot of time. I Was looking for an old grove, and located the approximate area using Google Earth, and luckily the Streetview feature was available, and I was able to ascertain the area was still wooded and not built upon.
Well, this morning I did not notice Mr. Barford’s link to my response, and announced such here. Then, a short time later I did, and took down my post. My apologies to Mr. Barford and my readers.
In any event Mr. Barford has seen fit to take down the entire back and forth and commented via email:
“Hmm, I think the blog’s comment procedure has its on and off days. I actually did answer that this morning but then I hid it again, it being just the same old boring stuff (I thought you saw it, you logged on while it was at the top of the page). I really do not feel the need to continually justify why I blog."
"I’ve shifted the text to my “metal detectorists ghetto blog” which is currently offline but may be made visible one day when tekkies annoy me sufficiently. Mr Howland and your new pal Steve Taylor both have a few mentions in the latter”.
Mr. Barford, why did you leave up "Response to Criticism from Warsaw" yet take down the latest? Just curious.... Was it "boring" because it didn't flatter you, or was it that you just don't like to share such common sense letters on your blog?
In any case that’s where things stand, and for the record, I too have a few things that may be made visable one day when the likes of Mr. Barford and Mr. Swift annoy me sufficiently. Hope you notice the number of comments on all his posts...pretty much tells the story.
Not sure if any of you have been following this ongoing battle of words, but I have responded to Mr. Barford's latest comments (which, if you are interested, you can read here). The following will surely mean another anti-detecting tome from him, but I intend to ignore him for a while. It's tiresome pissing in the wind....
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and beliefs on my blog. I know how busy you are....
I choose not to bore you with a lengthy reply. I actually have a family life, and have things to do today. I know that might be hard for you to understand. Hope you will forgive.
Let me begin with one of your statements....
“I do not think anyone has a “hatred” of “those of us who own metal detectors”. (note the insertion there of “us” who own metal detectors). I for example have no issues with those who use them in airports, schools or government offices, I have no issue with looking for lost change or jewelry in the sand of tourist beaches, their use in gold seeking or meteorite hunting in the desert, or those that use them as part of a systematic archaeological survey.”
First, I appreciate the fact that YOU, out of the goodness of YOUR heart, have given permission to allow all the above detector uses, but YOU, thankfully, are not the final say in how “those of us” who own detectors can pursue our interests.
Next, if I understand you correctly (which according to you, I never do), what you do not approve of is anyone owning a metal detector finding anything other than those items you listed above, no matter if they are doing it legally (i.e. with permission of the landowner, etc.) Here again, this is not your decision to make, and frankly none of your business.
Why are such random discoveries by detectorists not appreciated? Does that not offer you and the rest of the archaeological community an opportunity to perhaps explore further and learn more? Does that not contribute to your country’s historical heritage?
You also say “What I absolutely detest (and what this web resource is about) are the lies, deceits, evasions, deflections, false logic, and mental short cuts promulgated by almost everyone engaged in supporting and encouraging artefact collecting in any form”.
Well, once again, who are YOU to determine what is deceit, evasion, deflections, false logic, etc., and please, I really don’t care either about your pedigree, your degrees, your papers, your past work, or your "holier than thou" attitude.
I know you can reference instances, where artifacts have been stolen, exported, sold, etc., and are there bad guys out there? Well, of course! There are good and bad in every field, even the within the archaeological community. There are also a whole lot of decent, honest people as well, and they have the right to pursue their pastime, and the right to dream of finding that one treasure that just might change their life for the better. The odds are heavily against it, but they do indeed have that right!
Lastly, Mr. Barford, archaeologists will never, ever find all that is decaying and rotting in the ground, especially sitting on their ass, waiting for a government grant and you know it. What bothers you and Mr. Swift is that others are out there, enjoying themselves, participating in a pastime they love, and every once in a while they get a few good headlines. I can understand how that must make you feel, but get over it. They deserve it....
Life is much too short Mr. Barford to be so bitter. Lighten up, smile and enjoy the day. Tomorrow may never come. That's why I am going out detecting today with or without YOUR permission.
As always, your good friend from Texas......
I have sent this to Mr. Barford. Whether or not he shares it on his blog remains to be seen. He is somewhat reluctant to share anything detrimnental to his way of thinking....
Apparently my recent posts have hit a nerve, as in Paul Barford's response to them (scroll down or simply search my name). Read his most recent garbge, and take from it whatever you care. It's obvious his anger, his hatred for anyone not an archaeologist, but again, you can make your own decision.
I have spent some time perusing his blog, and wonder how this individual has the time to post so many negative blurbs. They are not infrequent. They are every day, sometimes four or five times a day, and lengthy at that. Apparently it's his only job, and his only joy in life. How sad....
"Finally I really find highly amusing [having worked on sites from the Middle Palaeolithic, a couple of thousand year old hillforts and urban sites in Poland and Norway, Roman villas and forts in England, Anglo-Saxon villages, Late Iron Age saltworks, and more recently digging in Luxor Egypt not to mention in my career working through boxes and boxes of finds] to have a Texas metal detectorist suggesting that my critique of the conservation aspects of current policies on artefact hunting and collecting is due to "jealousy". Of what? Finding Barber dimes, wheaties and corroded Confederate buckes and uniform buttons? He really has to be joking."
Let me break that down in simple terms. He wants everyone to know that he is one of the "elite" in his field, and we are not worth his time and effort. If that is so, and if what we find is of no interest to you Mr. Barfart, why don't you piss off and leave us alone? Go dig a mummy, or scrounge through some more boxes.
And so it goes with Mr. Barford and Swiftie. Digging around the treasure hunting sites, skulking in metal detector stores, looking for one more thing to bitch about. As for me I think I will venture out today and see if I can find one of those Barber dimes he mentioned.
Maybe one day these two sad asses will come out of the shadows, grow up, get a life and be happy....
I had been wondering why my friend from the Mayfly Pub has not been in contact, and I found out it was because he was in France, detecting (he hunts topless beaches exclusively), and sampling the grands vins. He didn't share that with me ahead of time, knowing damn well that I would expect a case to show up at my door, but that's okay. I will get even.
John Howland also weighs in on Mr. Barford, Mr. Swift and offers a few tips on using the Garrett ATPro at the beach. To read his latest diatribe, click here. As for his comments about baseball cards, ignore them. His is simply talking out loud while in a stupor...
Hope I am wrong about this, but I just saw where the new Minelab pinpointer will retail at $199.95. Are you kidding me? Really...give me a break. Years ago this kind of money would have bought you a metal detector. Apparently today we are so well off, and so damn lazy, that we will pay this kind of money for something to help us locate a find in an already, pinpointed and dug hole? I am ready to give up with all this...just blows my mind. If that's your greatest need or want, all I can say is WOW!