March 30, 2014


A LITTLE SUNDAY MORNING DIGGING

I was bitten by spring fever and managed to do a little digging today. It seems two hours is my limit anymore and I am not sure that will improve any…too many things going on with this old body, all of which are permanent

I headed out to a site that typically offers a lot of clad so that I could give the new TRX pinpointer a good workout and to see if I could get in the habit of using it. Last couple times out I found myself forgetting it was on my hip. Today I used it a little more but still found myself locating the coin after lifting the first plug. Likewise most of my finds were about five or six inches, nothing really that deep. I did score a silver “Roosie”…

The TRX works seems to work as advertised but I promised myself that next time out I would dig more of those “iffy” signals which almost always require a little more digging and a little deeper hole (don’t freak out Wally). I’m making no promises but I will give this pinpointer experiment a real chance to succeed.

_____________________________________

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO DO THIS?

I found a great video on Facebook today and asked the British tekkie/film maker Andrew Whittaker for permission to share it here. He quickly agreed and even uploaded it to YouTube to make it easier. Thanks Andrew…


************

March 27, 2014


MARKETING THE PASTIME 2014

Used to be I and most other tekkies spent our time looking for and finding places to detect. Today? We spend it buying after market coils, expensive headphones, pinpointers, diggers, shovels, knee pads and of course GoPro cameras so that everybody can watch us dig a few coins. Welcome to Marketing 101 and the 21st century!

When I went to work for Garrett Electronics back in 1988 I was assigned the task of selling a small, down-home hobby to the masses and getting every household in America to believe that a metal detector was more important than a toilet plunger, and the big push? Getting our detectors listed in the most popular mass market catalogs, (something that I knew would piss off every small dealer in America). I understood the reasoning for the push....just wasn't sure it was good for the whole of the pastime.

THE L.L. BEAN CAPER

Shortly after starting work I flew to Freeport Maine, to meet with a buyer for L.L. Bean, but unbeknownst to me I was just one of maybe 100 reps that day who had a ten minute window to sell their goods and get out. I remember sitting there watching each one come out of the buyer's office and signaling how things went. I saw thumbs up, (this was before high fives), looks of dejection, frustration and I even learned a few new curse words. I wish I could have captured it on film.

Anyway I was feeling pretty good. I had on my good suit (okay it was my only suit), had the detectors assembled, my proposal written up, my sales pitch memorized and walked in to see the buyer eating lunch at his desk and talking on the phone. Then believe it or not, he hit a timer, just like on the game shows, nodded for me to start my spiel, and continued to eat, talk on the phone and totally ignore me. When I was done (and extremely pissed off) he put the phone down, asked me to leave the detectors so he could "look them over" and said he would get back to me. In retrospect I should have beaten him over the head with a Master Hunter and escaped through his office window.

I followed up that visit to L.L. Bean with phone calls and of course the guy I left the detectors with was always busy or out of the office. I left message after message and never heard back from him or anyone at the company. My guess is those detectors wound up as gifts for someone in his family. So much for that catalog...

Then when we were at the Sport Show in Atlanta, I had a chat with the gal from Sears & Roebuck , which ultimately resulted in a couple of Garrett detectors being featured in their king size catalog. Right after this I was let go, fired, downsized, whatever...take your choice. Maybe it was karma but six months later Sears decided to stop killing trees, wasting paper and the catalog became history. The joys of working in the industry were not what I had envisioned...

I bring all this up because today we have finally sold our product to the masses and in my opinion, our soul with it. We're no longer that small fraternity of TH'ers who communicated via mail or phone. We're now big time and ready for prime time as in and on TV, YouTube, a zillion websites, blogs, Facebook pages and various print offerings. We are also seeing more and more entrants into the hobby and with it no shortage of companies willing to take their money, and yes I know it's the way of the world and how businesses work. I just miss the way it was....

Am I being sarcastic? Yes and no... Admittedly I am old and old school, but I just don’t get it anymore. We seemed enamored and captivated by technology and there is never enough to satisfy our wants. Let me ask you? Does that imported searchcoil from Timbuktu really make that much difference in what you're finding? Have you noticed a "major" improvement or are you just using it to justify the expense? Will the returns warrant the investment or will the investment warrant a few past due notices from your creditors?

I know I have beaten this horse before but I can't help thinking that all that extra gear has to take away from your in the field time and concentration. I like the premise of "turn that sucker on and go" or as Nike likes to say "Just Do It!" Of course if you have all the time in the world then go diddle to your hearts content, and if you have extra money to piss away, do me a favor....send me some! Fives and tens only please.

As for me? I am quite happy with my detector, my headphones, my digger, my walker and my best friend Ben Gay (okay I did splurge on new tennis balls for my walker).

__________________________________________

JOHN HOWLAND ON A PAS HERE IN THE STATES

The big guy from across the pond has sent along another well written and thoughful article on how we might incorporate a PAS here in the States. I hope you will take a few minutes to read it, and feel free to respond or comment on the blog. You can read John's "A PAS For the US" by clicking HERE

************

March 25, 2014


IT WAS FOUR YEARS AGO...

when I started my "website" Stout Standards. It was a new venture for me in that I had no prior experience putting one together. I had taken an adult ed class is HTML basics and decided what better way to show off my newly learned, primitive and unsophtisticated talents. It was frustrating in the beginning but it was also a lot of fun (doesn't take much to make an old guy happy). My first coup was getting John Howland to join me and without pay (which is no small feat let me tell you). I am pretty certain it was because he felt guilty about the $20 HE owes me but nonetheless he agreed to contribute and the Malamute Saloon came to be.

John Howland is an old friend from the early 80's and we have both "been around the block" a few times. We've hunted together, shared meals and drinks together, got in trouble together and most important, always had a helluva good time. We both pride ourselves on telling it like it is and as a result we've made a few enemies, especially those within the archaeological communities. We are also often inclined to fly off the handle and use words that embarrass our spouses, family and close friends (as I've said before, be thankful you never spent time in our company)

Anyway, John's latest post to the Saloon is his 150th and I want to share it here as well. I, as well as Warsaw Wally, Heritage Harry and all the other arkies out there, cannot thank him enough.



150th CELEBRATORY COLLECTORS ISSUE

by John Howland

It’s Been Fun…Lots of Fun!

My God, doesn’t time fly when you’re not getting paid for it! But let’s press on. One hundred and fifty Malamute Saloons on, Dick and I look back with hands on hearts and say we have had a ball during which we’ve met real gems of humanity, but stumbled across a few 24-carat rectums of the archaeological persuasion who were, and in some cases still are, as much of an embarrassment to their fellows as they are to anyone else with gram of common-sense.

On the fiscal front, the now infamous incident of the ‘twenty bucks’ ($20) owed to me for supplying copious ‘Buds’ and Bourbon’ chasers in an AC bar off the Boardwalk in 1986 remains legendary, not to mention unpaid. I’m now waiting the chance to get the defaulter – who must remain anonymous - in the bar of the Mayfly where retribution will be invoked.

_________________________

Colin Hanson

All deaths are a tragedy but I was especially affected by the recent death of Colin Hanson, the Federation of Independent Detectorists brilliant secretary. Colin and I go back over thirty years, he was a great hunt buddy, and one who worked tirelessly for the hobby, even while fighting the long, hard battle against cancer which finally took him. Rest in peace old friend.

_________________________

From Small Acorns…

In what began life as just a throwaway line when I asked the question why shouldn’t the US have a UK-style Portable Antiquities Scheme, has now morphed into a serious consideration and gathering momentum. With determination, backing, and money, it could all become a reality for the benefit of all.

_________________________

Boo! He’s Behiiiiind Yoooo!

Some of the aforementioned rectums continue to labour under various peculiarities ranging from persecution complexes through to deliberately presenting fact as fiction, even graduating to outright lying. Annoyingly for them, they influence no-one, neither are they of any importance being out there in the Loony-sphere. That said, they provide great sport!

One of these cerebrally disadvantaged odd-balls is well-known to the cops who’ve advised him to refrain from being a nuisance and supported my claim that he’d libelled me.

A still-wackier member of this cadre regularly exhibits inconsistencies, which if absurdity were electricity, could illuminate Times Square. Some critics are less kind about these behavioural absurdities with descriptions ranging from ‘embarrassing nutter,’ to ‘bizarre boor,’ through to ‘delusions of adequacy.’ Obviously not the kind of medical characterizations sensitive souls like Dick and me would use to describe someone who is evidently a few sandwiches coins short of a picnic: ‘Shit-for-brains’ is probably more accurate.

Nevertheless, the rabidly ‘anti’ metal detecting, Mad Hatter, is a dangerous adversary for the unwary, naïve, and those who are desperate to plant a kiss on the loon’s sphincter as an act of reverence and compliance. I don’t begrudge him the few well-deserved scalps hanging outside his tepee. Hopelessly under-gunned, these Babes-in-the-Wood regularly fall prey to the ‘embarrassing nutter,’ who metaphorically speaking, regularly spills their blood in debate despite their white flags. They are easy meat. Very easy. Their regular ritual disembowelling is apart from being an excruciating read for the faint-hearted, is for a dyed-in-the-wool cynic like me - highly amusing.

Perhaps it all goes to illustrate the old adage that you can’t educate bacon.

_________________________

I…Treasure Hunter

Turn away now, those of a nervous disposition. For almost thirty years I’ve used Garrett metal detectors. Why? Simply because they are the best in my view for my kind of treasure hunting. Be under no illusions - I am a treasure hunter and I sell what I find and I operate for profit. Provided records of finds spots are maintained then the subsequent fate of the find is academic. Oh sure, it will send heritologists into orbit, but if it’s legally found, it can be legally sold and I don’t give a toss what they think. I am not an arkie nor do I have any pretentions or ambitions to be one, but, I don’t mind helping them out when the need arises. However, I won’t be lectured by preachers looking for a religion. I have as much right to follow my interests as they have to follow theirs! Treasure hunting is legitimate, wholesome, healthy, and fun….don’t be afraid to admit to being one! Be proud!

Some people will vehemently disagree, and so be it: Nevertheless, records, accurate records, not the bogus stuff trotted out by those posing as arkies, are important. All this AEC guff has been rightly assigned to the trash can. Metal detecting – the search for casual losses from down the ages – is an important adjunct to our friends in Arkiedom. They need us if they are honest about recording the historical record and we ought to contribute to that record and a PAS-style system is overriding advantage to all concerned.

Ah! Some of you say…you ‘push’ Garrett because you’re on the payroll. I am not, and the reason I am not is because when the day dawns that a better set of machines – in my view – hits the cobbles, I’m not contractually shackled or under obligation remaining a free agent. My Garrett ATPro International for instance, at around £550 a throw, is an excellent machine – complex – but excellent. It’s adaptable; takes a host of coils making it exceedingly adaptable to all situations; being waterproof and dustproof, it’s the deal of the century. If you ‘horse trade’ with your dealer, you can get an ATPro and an ATGold (the benchmark for all nugget hunting machines) for under a Grand or thereabouts and with these two bits of kit you’ll have covered all the bases. Remember….high prices are no guarantee of success.

Having bought your two machines if you then swap the ATPro’s ‘standard’ coil and fit it to the ATGold…well try it out…you’ll be gobsmacked ….yeah it’s that good! Then fit the ATGold’s coil to the ATPro and hunt in the junkiest beach or park you can find… Though Garrett probably wouldn’t admit it, their ACE250, the world’s best-selling metal detector, has I reckon been under-pitched. Whereas they say it’s a ‘novice’ or introductory machine, I still maintain it’s arguably the best priced machine in the performance/price equation. I’ve used mine for beach work and in seawater-soaked sand and have recovered coins, watches, and other goodies where so-called ‘testers’ went to great pains to tell us that the ACE250 was not a beach machine. Fit an environment cover to the control box to keep the blowing sand at bay…and you are in for a glorious, treasure hunting ride!

Finally…I recommend what I use; I recommend what gives me the results. That is Garrett.

_____________________________________________

Look Where You Step…

Undoubtedly one of Stout Standards’ major victories was exposing the Artefact Erosion Counter (AEC) of which we are all familiar. With the help of our very astute and clued-up readers, it was shown to be nothing less than a huge con-trick for the consumption of the gullible. It surely ranks alongside the Piltdown Man debacle, and the Hitler Diaries catastrophe, in the annals of archaeology’s gaffes and bloomers; and like these two earlier balls-ups the AEC was also a fact-free enterprise, or as one critic succinctly dubbed it - a ‘random number generator.’ This ‘man-trap’ though carefully laid, landed an unexpected prize when the UK’s droll Council for British Archaeology who apparently hadn’t seen it lurking in the undergrowth of pleonasm - stepped right onto it!!!

Two birds. One stone, Job done!

_________________________

Saving the Best till last - THE Team Effort!

Of all the mickey-taking and lampooning I have done over the years, there was one particular issue that reinforced my belief in human nature when, without equivocation, Stout Standards’ readers, relic hunters, and manufacturers rode at full tilt to help Ken McIntyre overcome a serious medical problem.

Well done to all of you who made it possible.

_________________________

Consider…

If you have enemies it means that you’ve stood up for something, sometime, in your life….

I’ll see y’all in the bar

************

March 22, 2014


GOOGLE EARTH...USEFUL & DEPRESSING AT THE SAME TIME

I am a big proponent of Google Earth and spend a lot of time there, both as a tekkie and a tourist. I find it very useful when researching an old site in that it can tell you quickly whether it’s still there and accessible, and the street/road views are invaluable.

On the flip side I have had a few leads dashed when using GE in that they were not only not available but sadly put to bad use as in a strip mall, gas station or other such commercial venture. Yesterday, just for the hell of it, I decided to check out what was once an old colonial homesite in Buckingham, Pennsylvania. It had provided me with a 1796 Large Cent many years ago (which I recently sold). This is that site today...

I know, I know....it’s called progress but let it be a reminder to all of you that if you want to find all those neat things you lust for, don’t wait for progress to take them away. It’s also a reminder to all those dye in the wool arkies who think leaving them in the ground is so much better for all concerned.

__________________________________

************

March 19, 2014


BITS, PIECES & BRAINFARTS
ED FEDORY....RELIC HUNTER TO FARMER

After not hearing from TH'er Ed Fedory in a long, long time, I decided to drop him a line to see what was he was up to. His reply somewhat surprised me....

"Hey, Dick...Good to hear from you. Not much going on...just raising chickens at my barn and waiting for spring to finally arrive. No, I haven't done any writing or metal detecting in years now...currently working with the National Historic Park at Saratoga on information concerning a frontier fort that I excavated years ago. Donated over 2,000 artifacts from the site and all my records and charts of the digs (7 years of work). I think everything found a good home and I get along well with the lead archaeologists and curator. Other than that, nothing is new... oh yeah, DID find out that getting older kind of sucks!*:D big grin..."

I assume that you all know who Ed Fedory is, but if not, he is a very accomplished detectorist & historian, the author of "Relic Hunter the Book", "The World of the Relic Hunter" (both published by Whites Electronics), and a long time contributing editor for Western &Eastern Treasures.

While I find it somewhat sad that Ed is not out there relic hunting and sharing his love of history, I do understand and somehow envy his situation. One can often get caught up in something that consumes you to the point where everything else takes a back seat. Ed is doing what he loves, and knowing him I have no doubt that he is one helluva farmer.

If you do not have Ed's books in your treasure hunting library I would highly recommend you add them. Well written, informative and most of all, terrific reads.

And Ed, nobody knows better than I that getting old does indeed suck, but the alternative is not that great either. Happy hunting (for eggs that is) and stay in touch...

Top photo courtesy of Dick Tichian
____________________________________________

RED BARON, WHERE ARE YOU?

I was reading one of the recent TH'ing magazine and it suddenly dawned on me that most all detectors have high tech names now. CTX, GTA, ATX, Omega, E-Trac, MXT, V3I and so on.. What the hell happened to Red Baron, Wildcat, Judge, Groundhog, Chief, Goldmaster and Mustang? Yeah I know I am looking at this from old eyes and a little sentimentality, but I sure miss those kind of names, and with the cost of high end detectors today we could have names like the "Marriage Buster","Deep Divorce Pro" or "Alimony Ace" and if you wanted to brag to your buddies there could be "The Mistress".

"Yeah, didn't catch the football game...was out with my Mistress..."

All kidding aside I loved those old detector names...they had character and a place in time.

____________________________________________

JOHN HOWLAND WITH FID UPDATE & A LITTLE BARFORIDAN ENGLISH

Received a dispatch this morning from the Mayfly Pub where John Howland holds forth on special occasions (like Monday thru Friday). He sends along the latest on the Federation of Independent Detectorists as well as a little UFO stuff. And if you think he left out Wally, guess again...

You can read John's latest by clicking HERE

____________________________________________

AMELIA EARHART, ANOTHER OF MY OBSESSIONS

Quite I while back I shared my fascination with famed flyer Amelia Earhart. Not sure how it all began but I have a feeling it has a lot to do with treasure hunting, only in this case the treasure is Amelia Earhart herself. I have been a member of the TIGHAR Group for sometime, and have read pretty much all there is to read about the flyer and her disappearance. I also feel certain you don't give a rat's ass about this but if by chance you are let me recommend a very good book I am now reading..."Amelia Earhart, the Truth at Last", by Mike Campbell. It's extremely detailed, full of factual information, and will get your brain working overtime. If you like real life mysteries and love to read, I highly recommend.

************

March 15, 2014


A LOT OF WORDS AND NOTHING MORE...

My March 10th post "We Can Dig It Or..." really hit a nerve with my good friend in Warsaw. He was not happy with my comments, my philosphy nor my intent and decided to refute everything I said in order to display his prowess with words and everything else under the sun. Lots of words. Lots of confusing words. It's what I call bullshit. You can read his response by clicking here.

So now let me respond to him...

I started off my post with...

"We can dig it or wait for the next turn of a farmer’s plow, the next shopping mall, highway, used car lot, tornado, flood or earthquake. We can dig it or let it succumb to the elements, the next fracking well, quarry, man made lake or for all eternity. Then again we can dig it and share it with the public, or wait for that government funded archaeological expedition to discover it, dig it, analyze it, write about it, then store it away in a university or museum basement"..

Wally responds with...

"I wonder what the notion of "sharing with the public" of a metal detectorist's haul actually is. Mr Stout's lifelong collection of dugup relics for example? I suppose the PAS could be seen in a way as fulfilling this function, but Texas has no such Scheme. What, in any case, is being "shared"? "I've got this thing in a carton in my garage", or "here is the precise information about the context of deposition and discovery of these items"? It's not really likely to be about the context of anything discovered with a metal detector if Mr Stout continues:"


Well first Wally I doubt I have anything that would meet the needs or wants of any museum. Through the years however I have shared a lot of my finds with scouting organizations, civic groups, senior citizens, adult education classes and schools. I also know of countless other detectorists who have done the same and also donated many of their finds with local and state museums. As Texas does not have a PAS, score one for you. Brilliance at work again... As for those things in a carton, in my garage, they are junk, as in crap, and if you’d give me your address I’d be more than happy to send all that crap to you...collect of course! Then you can pour through it and have fun.


Next I said....

Frankly I am tired of hearing the archaeological community talk about context [wikipedia link]. i.e., nothing should be disturbed less all things historical will be destroyed. Check! Got it! Over and out! Bottom line… they do not want you, I or anyone to bother an as yet unknown, unidentified, undesignated, nameless and “what just might be” historic site.

And Wally's response to this?

"It's what we call conservation. Likewise we don't want pressed flower enthusiasts digging up orchid meadows, bird egg collectors climbing the elms to steal wild bird eggs, crazy guys with rifles blowing the heads off endangered species of mammals or birds, and fossil hunters bashing away at pre-cambrian Burgess shale outcrops, or people unscrewing the bronze plaque from a war-memorial. It's what we call conservation, and most people see the sense in that. The metal detectorist however tries to prove that conservation is not what the public want".


So in essence Wally what you are saying is that any and all collectors need to disappear and leave everything to you and your archaeological cohorts. And unscrewing bronze plaques from war-memorials? Pressed flower enthusiasts? Bird egg collectors? Come on please...you really need to take your meds.


I then go on...

How many visitors to a museum do you think really give a rat’s ass about context? What percentage…50%, 10%, 2%? What do you think? I am guessing that the only folks who care about context are archaeologists. Yes they have gone to school, studied hard, earned their degrees, but by and large their profession is based on a lot of guesswork and assumption. Better than nothing? Sure it is but let’s not pretend it’s an “exact” science.

And of course Wally responds...

"As for the profession, note the disdain for education. I suspect that Mr Stout's actual knowledge of archaeological method is about as extensive as that of his guffawing and equally self-opinionated mate "Two-lessons Bill". The narrativisation of a decontextualised find made with a metal detector, is that not far more based on "a lot of guesswork and assumption"? In what way is it not? Later on, Mr Stout reveals adherence to the misconception that archaeology is done as a haphazard "stumbling across things with a government grant". If he's been listening to Missy Lisa, I wonder just what they teach folk on the archaeology course at the University of Florida. According to him:"


No Wally I do not have a disdain for education, and if you had one you would know that’s not what I said. I was saying that a degree in archaeology (someday Wally... keep studying) was well earned, but that a lot of archaeology is guess work and I will stand by that.


The following is from from Science Forums, and while the pros and cons are further debated this pretty much sums up MY feelings:


“I have two objections to archeology's claim to be a science”.....

“First, it bases its inferences on data samples which would be considered utterly inadequate to prove the same sorts of assertions in history or in a court of law. A few Egyptian coins of the 2nd century B.C. are found in Massalia, and suddenly archeologists conclude that there must have been significant trade going on between Massalia and Egypt, when in fact the find may have been just a chance event, with some Massalian in the 1st century A.D. having been a collector of old Egyptian coins.

Second, its inferences operate on the assumption that peoples in the distant past thought just like us, which we well know is not the case. Often the evidence of beliefs and atittudes even just a few centuries ago is shockingly irrational, illogical, and mysterious in terms of the human motivations which drive our behavior today, and yet when archeologists look at the material evidence of the past, they draw implications from it about how people in the past lived on the basis of the illicit assumption that those people oriented towards their material surroundings exactly as we would.

When Egyptologists pompously announce that the tiny, painted, wooden figures in some pharoh's tomb were designed to accompany him to the afterlife so that they could serve him there, I always want to ask, "How do you know that they weren't intended as toys? How do you know that the whole ritual surrounded pharonic burials wasn't accompanied by raucus laughter and performed as a type of parody?"

“If archeologists 10,000 years from now find nothing of our present culture except a Jerry Lewis movie, they are going to announce solmenly that this cinematic record from the past represents the expected maturation rituals for a young prince in our era”>


The next statement I made that he had a problem with....

The archaeological community hates it when someone without a degree, someone who perhaps never even graduated high school, someone just having fun, finds a Staffordshire Hoard or Garrett Helmet....

And his response....

"The problem with this find was not so much that it was found, but where actually it had been found, why the detectorists were up among the earthworks on unploughed pasture, and what happened to that find afterwards, leading to an almost total loss of information at every step of the way, beyond the simple fact that it "is" and some say its pretty (after restoration). Having "fun" is one thing, having fun at the expense of everyone's knowledge of the shared past is quite another thing, and I think there is no reason to avoid discussing situations like this to see how we can change things. It is worth reflecting a moment about in whose interest it would be to prevent an change occurring leading to the increase of information deriving from hobby artefact hunting. What kind of people are they, and are they a majority in society, or a minority?"


Hmm, I have no clue what the hell Wally said here... I think, and it’s merely a guess (you know what that is right Wally) that he’s talking about the Crosby Helmet. Here again I never said anything about what happened after it was found, only that it was found by a detectorist, and I can only assume that Wally would prefer it was still buried somewhere. Lastly he never mentioned whether he was pleased that these two treasures were found because obviously he is not. He is thoroughly pissed. He is pissed with anyone who uses a detector and the only thing that would please him would be if we disappeared from the face of the earth and stopped embarrassing the archaeological community.


Then out of the clear blue sky he finishes up with this..

“Over to you Ms McIntyre. These metal detectorists have been generous with their money and their opinions, now it is time to hear yours.”


Hmm, what? How and why he decided to drag Lisa MacIntyre into this is beyond me. No where in my post was her name mentioned. Apparently he has never forgotten her affiliation with detectorists and that she, in fact, really does have a degree in archaeology.

Someday Wally...someday.


And so it goes in Wally World....

************

March 13, 2014

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

I was reading the Detecting Diva's latest update and was elated to find out that the Task Force was looking into the possibility of a Portable Antiquities Scheme here in the States. What I believe was an historic meeting took place February 17th in Chicago. You can read more by visiting the Task Force website. John Howland has also commented about this in his update today.

Getting all the parties together had to be a lot of work and I thank the Task Force and all those involved. Looking forward to hearing more in the days and months ahead....

_____________________________________________

BUBBA & WALLY

John Howland once again has chosen to take on the very polite, self annointed, all-knowing, bullshit artist from Warsaw. It seems that he is on a roll now, insulting any and all who have an interest in detecting and collecting. I guess it's just "that time of the month"....

To read John's latest take click HERE

************

March 10, 2014


WE CAN DIG IT OR

...leave it for the next turn of a farmer’s plow, the next shopping mall, highway, used car lot, tornado, flood or earthquake. We could dig it or let it succumb to the elements, the next fracking well, quarry, man made lake or for all eternity. Then again we could dig it, study it and share it with the public, or wait for that government funded archaeological expedition to inexplicably discover it, dig it, analyze it, write about it, then store it away in university or museum basement.

Frankly I am tired of hearing the archaeological community talking about context and I understand the purpose of it. Nothing should be disturbed less all things historical will be destroyed. Check! Got it! Over and out. Bottom line...they do not want you, I, or anyone to bother an as yet unknown, unidentified, undesignated, nameless and "what might be" historic site. Only they can do this and only when they have the time and money. Of course, no one knows when the hell this might be but you know, "sometime" in the future?

A Question! How many visitors to a museum do you think really give a rat’s ass about context? What percentage...50%, 10%, 2%? What do you think? I am guessing that the only folks who really care about context are archaeologists. Yes they have gone to school, studied hard, earned their degrees, but by and large their profession is based on a lot of guesswork and assumption. Better than nothing? Sure it is but let's not pretend it's an exact science.

Second question! Should we litter our planet with bottlecaps, pulltabs, gum wrappers, plastic and styrofoam so that two hundred years from now archaeologists can determine that we lived in the "slob" era, circa 2014? Given the definition of context I guess we should....

Okay, my take and one that I am sure will put me on the archaeological hit list...

As detectorists, we can enjoy our pastime, find things of historic significance, share them with the public, make them known to the academics or we can all just disappear. That of course is what the archaeological community would prefer. They don't like us because we disturb the "context" but more to the point, they hate it when someone without a degree, someone who perhaps never even graduated high school, someone just having fun, finds a Staffordshire hoard or Crosby Helmet. You see these things should be left where they are in the hopes that sometime in the future an archaeologist and archaeologist only (with a government grant of course), will somehow, someway, inexplicably, accidently stumble upon them.

Hmm, yeah, right....

________________________________________

CALLING ALL YOU GALS

Almost a month ago to the day I was chatting up Allyson Cohen's plan to do a calendar of women detectorists, and she is indeed working on it. So if any of you gals are interested please read the Detecting Diva's latest blog post here and respond....

THE DETECTING WOMAN CALENDAR

************

March 9, 2014

A LITTLE PSYCHOLOGY FROM THE MALAMUTE SALOON

John Howland's latest submission for the Malamute Saloon concerns narcissism, and if you are not exactly sure what that is the dictionary defines it thusly: The inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity; inflated sense of one's own importance. Synonyms: self-centeredness, smugness, egocentrism. To break that down in simpler terms it means someone who thinks their sh*t doesn't stink. Know anyone like that? John and I do....

To read more click HERE
__________________________________________________

FIRST TRY WITH THE TRX

Okay this pinpointer newbie finally was able to try the White's TRX in the field Friday morning. I went out more for testing than to find anything of value, although the vacant lot I went to has given up a silver piece from time to time. Anyway I spent about two hours there and found a total of ten clad coins. I only needed the TRX for about five of them, meaning I was able to see the coin after pulling the first plug. I did use the TRX on the remainder and found it worked quite well. The biggest problem I am going to have is remembering I have it with me. I found myself just digging a plug, looking for my find as I've done a million times before. I had to backup a couple of times and fill in the hole just so I could put the TRX to work.

I will need more time to get a real feel for the TRX and promise to take it with me each time out. Stay tuned....


__________________________________________________

A rare photo of Warsaw Wally

************

March 8, 2014

DETECTING 365 INTERVIEW

The other day I received an email from Detecting 365, asking if I might be agreeable to an interview about my TH'ing experiences over the years. I was flattered that someone thought that much of me to ask and I agreed to do it. The questions asked were similiar to those I used way back when I was doing bio articles for Western & Easetern Treasures. What I didn't expect were the flattering remarks that were added and have requested that they please send a copy of them to my wife. Just might get me into the house from the garage. Seriously, to all those involved with Detecting 365....thank you very much! If you are not familiar with the site you are missing out on a lot of good information.

When I sent a copy of the interview to John Howland I pretty much knew how he would respond. Guffaws (learned that word from Wally), “are you shittin me” comments and ROFLMAO repetitions. (what a pal...). So I got thinking about the question and answer thing and decided to send pretty much the same questions to him. I asked him to look them over, respond and allow me the chance to ROFLMAO too. I also thought it would be a chance for those of you who are not that familiar with my good friend in the UK to learn a little more about him.

You may cringe at some of his responses and choice of words, but he's always told it like it is, and I guess that's why we've been friends for almost 30 years. That's not to say he hasn't gotten me in trouble a few times but I can honestly say we always had fun even then. Someday maybe we'll write a book together, although I suspect the detector manufacturers would not take a liking to it, nor would it be suitable for all ages.

So, here goes, and Detecting 365, forgive me for using your questions....

JOHN HOWLAND...INTERVIEW

Q. At what age did you first realize that you enjoyed looking for lost treasures? Where would you look and What types of items did you collect back then?

A. I first went coin hunting when aged about twelve, on the site of Curium in Cyprus, with the then Curator and a few friends. I found a coin and hoiked it out with a penknife.


Q. When did you get your first metal detector? What kind was it, and What types of treasure did you find with it? Do you still have your first metal detector?

A. My first machine was TR-type Fieldmaster back in 1976/7. I donated it to the Detecting Museum at Regton Ltd.


Q. When you first started detecting, did you have a mentor that you learned most of your detecting knowledge from, or was most of what you learned just trial and error?

A. Nope…it was mostly suck-it-and-see.


Q. When did you really become serious about metal detecting? What had changed that made you take your hobby to the next level?

A. I eventually got access to a friend’s farmland on which was a roman villa, and the roman coins came rolling in from the ploughsoil!


Q. What was your first real metal detector, and how did it differ from most detectors today?

A. I moved up to a VLF Garrett ADS Groundhog. It was back in 1979, cutting-edge stuff, but with the coming of improved circuitry, chips, Graphic Target Imaging, and All-Terrain design and weatherproofing, we are now light years away.


Q. Have you ever been a product tester for metal detectors? If so, how did you like doing that?

A. Yes, I have tested a few and did not like the experience at all. I’m still amazed that many manufacturers put their reputations in the hands of so-called ‘reviewers’ who simply haven’t the faintest idea how to review a product. It’s a bit like a car manufacturer asking a cyclist to write a review on a sports car! I was eventually banned from writing reviews because in one notorious case, the machine I tested was so good – and I said so – that retailers locked into dealerships with rival manufacturers, threatened to withdraw their advertising. I got the boot!


Q. How has the hobby evolved from when you first started metal detecting and now?

A. For over thirty years, radical archaeologists have smeared the hobby and its practitioners, and some still are trying to eradicate the hobby entirely, or to bring the hobby under their direct control with such stringent rules and regulations that it becomes pointless. With the advent of the 1996 Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquities Scheme, all backed by the British Government, the British Museum, and successive Culture Ministers the hobby has come of age and is well-respected and valued.


Q. Do you think that is a good thing or a bad thing?

A. Er…what do you think?


Q. Would you consider yourself to be a pioneer in the detecting community?

A. Not so much a pioneer, but I’ve always have been in the Vanguard in the fight for, and to protect the hobby. I simply object to people -- mostly from the Marxist/Socialist school -- telling me what I can or cannot do, based solely on their detestable political views. I don’t remember ever voting for these swine who’d just love to change the politics of it all. Frankly, I don’t give a shit for them! And they know it.


Q. Who is someone that you consider yourself lucky to have had the chance to go metal detecting with?

A. Oh, my late friend Ron Scearce.


Q. Take us down memory lane, tell us about one of your all time favourite hunts. What did you find and where?

A. In 1986 while on a visit to Atlantic City to help set up the World Council for Metal Detecting I had the chance to hunt close to, not on, the field of Gettysburg. Time was at a premium having just about two hours allotted for the hunt but I managed to lift a Confederate Minnie Ball. It sits at home in pride of place.


Q. Do you have any humorous adventures that you'd like to share with us? Maybe something funny that happened to you while metal detecting or a memory that you get a chuckle out of when you think about it?

A. Oh, there are many! But one favourite was on the site of the aforementioned roman villa; my pal had to answer a call of nature and disappeared behind some bushes on the perimeter of the field, followed by a piercing scream and him emerging clutching a smoking organ…he’d peed on an electric cattle fence.


Q. Have you ever returned a lost item to someone? If so, what was it and how did that make you feel. What are your thoughts on returning lost items?

A. Many times. It makes the hobby that much more worthwhile and personal. In one instance it led to an offer of farmland to hunt, anytime.


Q. If you could add one new feature to a metal detector design, what would it be?

A. A bottle opener/corkscrew?


Q. Where do you see the hobby of metal detecting in the next 10 years? Do you think the scale will tip towards more regulations against metal detecting, or do you think that organizations like Task Force For Metal Detecting Rights will help open more places to detecting in the future?

A. The hobby in the UK at least, has survived not because of organisations such as the National Council for Metal Detecting, but in spite of them! I wouldn’t mind betting the same applies in the States. Fortunately, with so many people in the hobby, both here and Stateside, hobby numbers mean votes. ‘I hunt and I vote’ is the new mantra that’s not wasted on politicians. The hobby is very weak in the States where by all accounts, the antis are successfully spreading the poison with increased land now off limits. It’s not because the antis are smarter, simply that the hobby has failed to defend themselves. It will get worse, but not here in the UK.


Q. Do you still get out metal detecting, and if so, what types of hunting do you like to do most?

A. I live by the sea on the England’s south coast so beachcombing is my game.


Q. How has metal detecting affected or changed your life?

A. It’s taken me around the world where I’ve met some the best people in the world in this hobby of ours. On the downside though, it’s brought me into close proximity with mad-hatter academics and others in the ‘anti’ lobby, some of whom are the most detestable creatures imaginable, over whom I wouldn’t urinate even if they were on fire. Some display obvious mental peculiarities which are ruthlessly exploited by the ‘back-room’ boys back behind the lines to fire the bullets they lack the courage to fire themselves.


Q. What do you think of the general standard of hobby websites & blogs?

A. Mostly pretty good, but I do wonder why some bloggers set themselves up as being holier-than-thou and actually link to the likes of Barford and Swift, or Paul and Nigel as they like to refer to them. When you look at their profiles all is revealed...."I'm new to this...only been detecting for a year"...and so on, ad nauseum. Why on earth would anyone think it's important, even desirable, to have Barford or Swift's approbation? Beats me. These naivetés are swimming with sharks as one humiliatingly found to his cost.


Q. You are probably the most hated detectorist in some archaeological circles there's ever been. Why is that?

A. They hate me alright, but they respect me. Not out of love, but they know if they start with their usual bullshit I'll step all over them. When they describe me as a 'dangerous nutcase' I know I'm striking home.


Q. Tell us about another hobby that you enjoy that we may not know about.

A. Fly fishing for trout and lure fishing for coastal bass. Sampling the wares of local micro-breweries!


Q. Lastly, If there was one message that you would like to share with the detecting community as a whole, what would you like everyone to know or remember?

A. You only get the hobby you deserve or are prepared to fight for. It’s an honourable hobby; a legal hobby and adds significantly to the greater knowledge of our common past. It is not archaeology, nor should it ever be; it’s all about looking for casual losses through the ages. Now if some academics don’t like it they can **** off!


__________________________________________________

EBAY RIPOFFS

I periodically check to see who is selling my books and if there are reviews, etc.. Never fails that I see a few of them being offered at ridiculous prices. Take a look at these: Ebay Listing - Ebay Listing - Alibris Listing.

Folks, do not pay prices like this. If you are interested in any of my books they are available from many, many sources at regular retail and in some instances even less....

__________________________________________________


************

March 5, 2014

JUST HANGING IN THERE..

Can't think of a better answer than "hanging in there" when people ask me how I'm doing. Of course no one really cares...it's just our Ça va or come stai. Anyway given my aching joints, weird ass ailments and warts, hanging in there fits the bill nicely, thank you. Today it's cloudly, cold and we're expecting rain this afternoon into tomorrow, and while I'd like to piss and moan about not being able to get out detecting, we need the rain badly and there's always the possibility that I would not feel up to it were it any different. So to all you over 70 tekkies who spend hours in the field....up yours! I'm just hanging in there.

I still haven't had the opportunity to give the new TRX pinpointer a whirl but hopefully sometime this week I will. In the meantime, DO NOT look for a video from me and DO NOT look for a magazine field test article. I do not take videos or photos when I am detecting, and I am not really qualified to write a field test. I will tell you what I think in due time and I am sure you will find lots of reviews, comments, videos and photos all over the internet, so why not "hang in there"...okay?

_____________________________________________


HOWLAND'S TIPS FOR THE AT PRO GOLD

My good friend, and habitual souse, John Howland sent along an interesting piece about ground mineralization and the Garrett AT Gold, and in it he offers up a tip or two from the horse's mouth (as in direct from the factory). Hope you will take a few minutes to read it.

Let me mention too that if you ever have questions for John, criticisms or just want to talk single malt scotches, email him at john.howland007@btinternet.com.

To read his latest update simply click HERE.
John Howland, on a beach near Bournemouth

************

March 2, 2014


SO WHAT FLOATS YOUR BOAT?

Joe Cook & his sparkplug collection

Despite the fact that I've been detecting for many years I still enjoy reading about what others are finding, and what it is that excites them the most. It seems a few tekkies will flip out over things that I might not think twice about...dog tags, tokens, badges, horseshoes, hinges and other similar items. I guess I tend to relate everything I see to my small world of coinshooting. Don’t get me wrong, I know there's a collector for pretty much everything under the sun. I remember finding out years after the fact that the late Joe Cook, a detectorist and good friend, collected spark plugs and unbeknownst to me, was quite an authority on them.

No doubt everyone's goals and expectations are different. I know that as I've gotten older (and more achy) my expectations are much lower. I am happy now with just one nice find each time out whereas a few years ago if I didn’t come home with at least a half dozen silver coins it was a bad day. Such were the early days of detecting...

I’ve also noticed that a lot of hunters today are better versed on dating and identifying their finds no matter what they are. Items that I casually threw in junk boxes are now being given a better look and a better pedigree. As a result I've learned a lot about croatal bells, buttons, spoons, bullets and miscellaneous hardware pieces. Now I need to sort through all those junk boxes looking for an overlooked gem or two.

So what do you consider a good day of detecting? Obviously we all want to bring home the gold but realistically that's not going to happen, and yes I know just being out of doors hunting with friends is in itself a good thing, but hell so is a cold beer. Leave that out and tell me what you consider a successful outing? Do you have a goal each time you head out? A preconceived idea of what you want to find or hope to find? Curious too if you have another hobby...

Nothing tricky here, just want to see what floats your boat, tickles your fancy, butters your biscuit, etc., and John Howland please be civil....

_____________________________________________

HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED

Not sure that this means much of anything but I was reading the latest edition of Western & Eastern Treasures magazine, and the standard listing of advertisers really startled me. I dug out some older issues and the changes within the industry are striking. The 47 different advertisers on the left is from 1984. The 2006 ad in the middle lists 21 and the March 2014 issue only 12.


_____________________________________________

WALLY IS ON A TEAR..

Well apparently Wally has another bug up his ass. So far today? Seven blog posts, all pretty much anti-detecting and surprise, surprise, I even got a mention. I seriously think he likes me?

Wally...there's an old saying that goes like this..."In order for you to insult me, I would first have to value your opinion", so keep banging away at that ole keyboard. You're knocking em dead....somewhere.

************

February 28, 2014


A PINPOINTER...POUR MOI?

It’s a conspiracy, set-up, plot, whatever, and I’m thinking a little payback may well be in order. You see yesterday my doorbell rang and when I went to see who was there I found a gal from UPS holding a package from Sweet Home. After signing for it I opened it and almost fell over! Are you ready? Stand back…take a deep breath, drum roll please….their new TRX pinpointer!

My first thought was this is some kind of a joke. Why would they send me this? They all know how I feel about pinpointers. Oh they’ve prodded me, kidded me and threatened to burn all my books if I didn’t get with the program, but so far I’ve pretty much been able to put them off. Well apparently they’re going to continue to turn the screws and won’t be happy until I cry uncle!

Anyway try as I might I couldn’t find out who the culprit was at the factory and decided to go ahead and give the TRX a look see. After taking it out of the box I was impressed by it’s looks and design. It was slim, compact and totally different than the older Bullseye model. It also has a couple of features for tekkies like me. One is the Lost Pinpointer Alarm. After five minutes of inactivity (power on) the TRX will sound off every 15 seconds, allowing the forgetful, the aged and inebriated to to locate it quickly. Also the bright orange screwcap will hit you right between the eyes.

White's new TRX's Pinpointer
The TRX also comes with a heavy duty holster

The TRX can be powered by two AA batteries or one 9 volt and comes with clips for both. A few other features: Audio & Vibrate Alert, LED light, Target Racheting, Ground Balance, Low Battery Alert and depth markings up to 9 inches. I was also impressed with the the heavy duty holster (belt loop & clip).

MAKING NO PROMISES

Brace yourself. I have decided to give this puppy a try. Weather and aches permitting, maybe even this weekend. Making no promises mind you but willing to give it a shot. It won’t be easy for me as I like to travel light and the TRX will be one more thing to take, one more thing to attach to my belt and one more thing to lose. Stay tuned!

To everyone at the factory….I WILL find out who’s behind this!
_____________________________________________

IN CASE YOU EVER WONDERED...

************

February 27, 2014


IS THIS YOU?

From the Paul Barford blog....

“The trouble is that it seems from everything one observes that in actual fact the capacity for the average detectorist to understand any of this rocket-science type stuff is pretty limited. It stands to reason that “the detecting community” cannot put any “learning into practice” if it is basically, for certain reasons having an origin outside the hobby, unable to learn anything at all. I would point out that this perhaps should be phrased the other way round, I do not believe that it is detecting that causes these problems, I would rather say there is a tendency for detecting to attract a certain group of people. PAS characterised them in social terms by postcode data, Minister Lammy saw them as including a lot of people “challenged by formal education”

“I am for ever being criticised for sharing my observation that many of the people you come across on the forums etc are not the brightest knives in the drawer, and many cannot even operate Basic English. This however is a fundamental fact which is the biggest stumbling block in the “they can be educated/they can learn” model. Many of them demonstrably cannot. They’re adults, have been right through school, but somehow came out with basic skills missing. Low standards of literacy on such a scale in a certain group mean something, they do not happen by accident”.

If you wondered why John Howland and I continue to take on the Paul Barfords and Nigel Swifts of the world, the above comments will give you the answer. Please read the whole post HERE and then tell me how you feel…


************

February 25, 2014


JOHN'S TAKE...

After reading my spiel about “Who Are the Best Hunters & Why?” John Howland added his two cents and I decided to share it here, as well as in the Malamute Saloon (link above). Thanks John…

_____________________________________________

EXPERTISE OR LUCK OF THE DRAW, by John Howland

So what’s your ‘High Five’ when it comes to metal detecting success? Do you set yourself high targets, or, are you a suck-it-and-see-I’ll-take-what-comes type? Or, are you a beach hunter for whom the beach is nothing less than a vast vault to which, through your skill and local knowledge, your metal detector is akin to the key on the side of a sardine can? Me? Oh, I’m with the sardines. I hunt coins.

The most well-known and successful detectorist in hobby circles is arguably, Chicago Ron. Why so? Not only does he make excellent Tekkie videos about How, Where, and When to hunt; but he puts his money where his mouth is, does the biz, and videos us the results. He is consistently successful aware of the foibles of his target areas and hunts accordingly. It’s probably fair to say that even with the kind of Mickey Mouse metal detectors that fall out of Christmas Crackers, ‘CR’ would still fill his boots with gold and put clean air between himself and a novice armed with the latest ‘Sooper-Dooper, Sat-Nav-Guided,’ jobby. He earns ‘Brownie’ points with me because he’s a firefighter and having worked with these guys in a previous life; well yeah…he’s an OK type of guy. Wouldn’t sharing a couple of pints with him in a decent pub.

So what’s it all about; this elusive butterfly of success? Patently, the measure of success comes in all shapes and sizes: Some of us measure it by the overall enjoyment distilled in a pleasant day out in the fresh air - in a back-to-Nature kinda way. Others see it in much the same but with the addition a few coins, clad nickels and dimes - chucked in for good measure. More often though, success is calculated by the steepness of the vertical line on the treasure graph in relation to the size and value of the ‘find,’ or the cash value of the cache, relics, or coins. Each to their own as the saying goes. The detecting hobby is all things to all men (and women).

Fly-fisherman, Charles Ritz, described success thus: No matter how good the rod, it’s all down to the hand that’s using it. Arnold Palmer attributed to his golfing triumphs to the fact that the more he practised, the luckier he seemed to become in competition. Marshall Zhukov the crusher of Hitler’s armies on the Eastern Front in WWII was more succinct: Train hard, fight easy.

Absolutely metal detecting has therapeutic qualities; I’ve never met anyone who could worry and hunt at the same time; and it’s a great way of recharging one’s health ‘batteries’ -- coins or no! Health-wise, time spent meal detecting is rarely wasted.

For Terry Herbert who found the £1,600,000 ($2,400,000 approx.) Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold, ‘success’ came after eighteen years in the hobby and fortuitously, while he was unemployed. Was it skill or luck that caused him to locate the treasure? Certainly he was in the right place at the right time, but had he not been au fait with the operational usage of his metal detector, he might have walked on by, and over, that fantastic hoard. The esoteric characteristic we call ‘luck’ plays a hand too, but why, or how, remains a mystery. Emperor Napoleon always asked before promoting any of his generals, “Is he lucky?”

But there’s another facet besides luck, in all this. What appears to be ‘luck’ is actually nothing of the kind. There are people in this hobby of ours who can ‘read’ a landscape with an uncanny ability, and will always come up trumps. It’s also a reality that many hobbyists are anglers, or former anglers; these people are experienced enough to look at a river or stillwater and know precisely not only where the fish are lying, but the species too. They bring this uncanny ability into treasure hunting. They’ll point to a hilltop for instance and mutter…”There!” They rely on a gut instinct to tell them where they’ll find coins, or relics. Hundreds of years ago they’d have been burnt at the stake for possessing this ability.

You can usually find John on
the beach. If not check the
closest pub...

I’m sure this ‘gut instinct’ is present in all of us; only in some it’s just sub-surface. In others it’s less well-defined and goes unrecognized. For example, have you ever detected an area you thought would be productive and where your ‘plan’ came together? You have? Welcome to Salem! Prepare the stake, Master Witchfinder General!

If you take this ability, this experience, call it what you will, and blend it with the capabilities of modern metal detector, you’ll find you’ve got some really powerful ju-ju on tap. Indeed, the machine itself is not the catalyst, but, when combined with the extension of your ‘unseen’ ability you will find relics in the places you suspected them to be.

It’s the same with beach hunting. I live by the coast. I know its moods. If you can recognize when a beach is ‘right’ after a strong blow; the ‘right’ blow, from the ‘right’ direction; and at the ‘right’ state of the tide when nature does the digging for you, then, and only then, might you be in with a chance. Then again, you have to know when to break the ‘rules’.

Allied to all this comes the ‘techie’ stuff. What machine should I use? Should I go with Pulse Induction, or VLF? What frequency? What coil….concentric or DD? What coil size? Where will I be searching and for what targets?

Expertise or Lottery? I think this is where we came in, but bear in mind; fortune favours the brave! Mostly.

________________________

Remember….

Luck is always the last refuge of laziness and incompetence….James Cash Penney

I’ll see y’all in the bar!


************

February 23, 2014


WHO ARE THE BEST HUNTERS AND WHY?

Okay, so who are the Indiana Joneses in our pastime? Who are the experts…the best of the best? The successful tekkies who always seem to bring home the bacon? Do you know any? If so what sets them apart from the rest of us? What do they know that we don’t? What’s their secret?

Well first maybe it’s a mistake to even throw such a label or designation out there? I mean how do we define success within the pastime? Just what sort of criteria would we use to determine that? I know in my case success is just being able to swing a coil and find a coin or two, especially the older I get. How about you? What is your definition of success? What keeps you going? My guess is most of us are weekend warriors, just looking forward to spending some time in the field, looking for that one neat find that will make our day or better yet, put us on easy street.

I think it’s important too that we always remember that what we do is a hobby. Some people love to fish, play golf, tennis or in the case of Paul Barford, piss and moan and play victim. We tekkies just happen to like finding treasures, big and small, and we all know the Mel Fishers within our ranks are nil and none. It’s a fun pastime that offers outdoor exercise, a little mystery and a lot of excitement. A manufacturer pretty much summed it up when he said….”we sell dreams”!

Chicago Ron

Now having said that, there are detectorists out there who are very successful in finding the better treasures and on a regular basis. They are few and far between but they exist. They exist because they have patience, perseverance and the time to pursue their dreams. They’ve been there and done that a lot more than you and I. Chicago Ron is a good example. He has pounded the beaches near his home day in and day out, and he knows when to hunt, where to hunt and how to maximize his time. He is also fortunate enough to be able to spend a few weeks hunting Roman, Celtic and Anglo Saxon treasures in the UK. No question Ron lives and eats treasure hunting.

Ron is not the only successful detectorist out there. There are a few others I can think of, but I won’t throw names out there lest I leave someone out. I use Ron because he is probably the most recognized name in the pastime. There are others who are also well known for mastering the sand & surf, and some who do themselves justice hunting old homes, cellar holes and Civil War sites . Their secret? In my mind it’s their durability, their perseverance, and their ability to keep at it day after day after day, no matter the obstacles or setbacks.

They also know how to research, how to ask the right questions and how to follow up after the fact.
Terry Herbert

Now before some of you start getting discouraged, remember that Terry Herbert, the finder of the Staffordshire Hoard, was unemployed at the time of his discovery, and while he had been detecting for almost 18 years, he was hardly an Indiana Jones kind of guy. He merely happened to be in the right spot at the right time, and as a result discovered what is considered to be the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure found to date (He no longer needs to think about working). I also doubt that Mr. Herbert was consumed with having the latest coil for his old White’s Spectrum or a camera to stick on his head. I suspect he, just like you and I, enjoyed the thrill of the search and nothing more. So keep on keeping on….you never know what tomorrow might bring or what that next beep might be…

Charlie Parker, one of the greatest jazz saxophonists ever, used to say….“You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail….”

_____________________________________

MOTHER SAID....

...there would be days like yesterday. Headed out with the MXT Pro and came home later with a whopping 41 cents....all clad! Guess I should have known better given the three Merc outing last week. Oh well, I can take it and buy a uh, er, um.... well, something dammit!

_____________________________________


THE "STEP UP AND CLEAN UP" EFFORT

Let me remind you again about this challenge. Your club could win a Coinmaster detector, compliments of White's Electronics. All you have to do is help out your local community, clean up the environment and promote your club in the process. How? Simply by adopting a park or a stretch of highway and/or shoreline to clean up on a regular basis.

The guidelines....

Send a newspaper clipping or email a link to a television blurb about your club's "Step Up and Clean Up" program. It must tell about or show your club actually at work, cleaning up your adopted area, and it must be dated after January 1, 2014. Send it to....

"Step Up and Clean Up", White's Electronics, Inc., 1011 Pleasant Valley Road, Sweet Home, Oregon 97386.

_____________________________________

************

February 21, 2014


COME ON FOLKS...LIGHTEN UP!

Attention! Calling any and all tekkies who enjoy a little humor now and then! I am starting a new club called, “Laugh A Little…Tomorrow Might be Too Late“.

No matter what I do anymore I seem to get myself in trouble by trying to add a little humor, a little wit, to metal detecting discussions and I am beginning to think we are not a very jovial group. Maybe it’s me or maybe I need to precede everything I say with a “please note the following is meant to be humorous and not an assault on your character”.

Back East we called it “busting chops”. Nothing personal, just a little sarcasm, a little humor inserted into everyday life. Apparently it’s gone missing or I am out of touch with what is considered good fun today.

I am someone who loves “busting chops” and adding a little levity to a situation when possible. My closest friends know that, and will usually come right back at me with more of the same. That’s just me (jeez, here I go again trying to explain who I am).

So please…if something I say sounds harsh or insulting try to read between the lines and see if maybe there just might be a little humor in it. Please? If not I hope you find nothing but bottlecaps, pulltabs, rusty nails and pieces of foil for the rest of your detecting life!

_____________________________________

PAS MAPS

Thanks to Peter Tompa and his Cultural Property Observer blog for the following link. Lots of fascinating information…

Mapping Coins from the Portable Antiquities Scheme

_____________________________________

THIS IS HOW WE PROMOTE OUR PASTIME!

You’ve heard me laud the Wheat State Treasure Hunters before and this is another reason why. They do this routinely. Thank you guys and gals. Great job!


_____________________________________

GALS, READ THE ABOVE…


************

February 18, 2014


I thought long and hard about what I am about to say here, and debated wether or not I should even bother to address the issue, but in the end I knew I had to.

My February 11th blog post was a somewhat tongue in cheek mention of a gal detectorist calendar...all based on the great photo Allyson Cohen had shared on her Detecting Diva blog. Her initial response was that she only knew of two other women tekkies and doubted something like that would be possible. In any case I decided to share a link to that post on three forums, hoping to get a few gals interested. I should have known better.

All three posts were met with a “what’s your agenda” response, so I quickly changed them to a “never mind” and/or “forget it”. In one instance the entire post was removed, even though they had a “female detectorist” link (which I shared in the comments section). On one particular forum someone commented...

“Actually I'll go ahead and say it- he's frustrated that he didn't get any responses, he rarely does because the main reason he posts here is to draw people to his website.”

followed by....

“You know I have not been here long enough to know better, so I'll risk saying this and hope not to offend anyone. I know nothing about Dick Stout however I was curious enough after all the banter to find his website and I have to tell you after a quick peek there was a lot of good stuff there! Again I hope my naivety doesn't bite me in the butt. I'm just saying......”

followed by....

“xxxx I certainly respect and commend you for bringing up your comment as xxxx said we don't hold tethers on anyone , they are free to visit here or any other forum , "so no offense taken" Most if not all the staff here have been either long time members or staff members on other forums in the past. We've seen or experienced things/ issues on them to know what we don't want on this forum so we try to be a different while still being friendly , open to have respectful honest discussion ,helpful and fun.

Mr. Stout was a renown and knowledgeable hobbyist in the metal detecting world years ago and sometimes raises important issues from time to time. However now he seems to spend a lot more time and effort on stirring the pot on forums to raise awareness about his website/blog which I was informed is "about him" and in my opinion not so much about the hobby anymore. Don't get me wrong I think he could be a valuable source of information and mentor to many new people getting into the hobby because of his knowledge and experience but I'm sad to say I don't think his focus or desire is to share that part of himself anymore. I certainly wish Mr. Stout the best in any future endeavor.


So here goes...

First off, Stout Standards is indeed “about me”. It's my blog. It’s about my past experiences, my family, my friends, my dogs, my cooking, my wine, my music, my travels, my aches, pains and warts. It’s about good times, memories, the weather here in Texas, my now infrequent detecting adventures and it’s about whatever crosses my mind. It’s a BLOG! It is NOT a forum.

I do not post on forums to “draw” people here. Oh I did in the beginning but finally stopped after being scolded for not contributing more. The last couple of attempts were meant to get people interested in a topic that I thought was noble or worthy of a look. Again I should have known better.

Would I like to have thousands of subscribers to my blog and website? Of course, but I know what I have to offer is not of interest to a great many and that's okay. I am pleased with my numbers and appreciate all those who subscribe to my blog. They, and my desire to write, are the reason I continue Stout Standards.

Neither my blog or website have sponsors. Despite the large White’s ad (website) I do not receive a penny from them for it. I do it because I like love their products and appreciate every single guy and gal who works there. Not only do they produce a quality product, they've done a lot of good and kind things for so many people over the years.

I also do not ask for donations like other blogs and websites. I do not sell T-shirts or caps with my name on them, and I do not ask you to vote for me so I can win something. I do not sell my books here even though I could. I respect the dealers too much. I do not entice others to subscribe to my blog by giving away prizes, nor do I bombard YouTube with my in the field detecting experiences (that would be a ROFLMAO experience).

I’ve also heard from others that my blog is boring, depressing and controversial, and some say I stir the pot just to get noticed. Well first off I have no problem if you find my blog boring. Hell I find it boring too. Is it depressing? Sometimes…what can I tell you? Is Stout Standards controversial? Often times yes. I and my good friend John Howland will stir the pot occasionally but almost always with good reason. You see we don’t like others misrepresenting what it is we do in an attempt to put our pastime out of business. Likewise our choice of words will sometimes offend but that’s just who we are. Consider yourself lucky you were never in our presence.

John and I go back a long way, fighting for detecting rights in the 80's as officers in the FMDAC and NCMD respectively. We still believe the pastime is worth fighting for today, and I will continue to stick pins in the three purported national organizations here in the states..seems to be the only way to make something happen. If they are going to advertise their intentions to represent us all then I am going to hold their feet to the fire and you should too.

Once again let me reiterate that Stout Standards is indeed about me. Dick Stout. Not Beanie, Booger or Bimmer Stout (yep, real names of relatives)…it’s about ME..Dick Stout. The old guy, the over-the-hill guy, the old timer, the curmudgeon, the cranky old fart or whatever else you care to call me. It’s okay. I can handle it.

I intend to continue my blog and website and I will surely stir the pot and offend someone here and there. If you find Stout Standards boring, offensive or depressing, I am sorry. I will not however change things just to make you happy. As for forums…I give up. I am not an over the fence “chatty guy” or small talk person. “Hi, welcome from Texas”, and “great finds Bob” are just not my cup of tea. As for current technology…can’t be of much help. I don’t know a thing about the latest 5XE, double DD, Piffwanger, Spider coil from Lithuania….nor can I tell you how to mount that video camera on your noggin. Just old school here….detector, headphones, digger and apron…what can I say?

Lastly, if you don’t like what I have to say here, that’s fine. No big deal. The mouse is in your hand, not mine. To those of you who do susbscribe and contribute so often…I thank you!!

Merriam Webster's definition of a blog:

“A Web site on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities and experiences...”

_____________________________________

JOHN HOWLAND, THE 1715 TREASURE FLEET & HIS TALE ON THE MONUMENTS MEN

Two days ago John Howland shot off an update to the Malamute Saloon and I apologize for just putting it up. No excuse, just dealing with a few things here at home. In his latest he sets the record straight in regards to the Warsaw Wart's version of the Monuments Men. I saw the movie Sunday and recommend it. I am sure liberties were taken within the script, buy it is still a very entertaining and fascinating story. Please click HERE to read John's latest....

************

February 16, 2014


A THREE GAL DAY!

Well I put the bones and body to the test yesterday morning, and didn’t fare all that bad, I fired up the MXT Pro and visited one of my regular haunts (which shall remain nameless to protect the innocent and my fun). The weather was exceptional...sunny and temps in the 60's! A real treat after the recent cold spell.

I started out as always in the "Coin and Jewelry" mode, and found a few clad pennies and dimes. After about 30 minutes I decided to check out the outer edge of the area (the only side with a chain link fence). Not having hunted it before I thought what the hell why not? I scanned about a foot away from the fence (five inch coil) and immediately encountered a lot of junk and questioned my decision.

Then I got an “iffy” signal....one of those “do I really want to put the ole knees through this”? I scanned North/South, East/West, up & down, in & out and the readout stayed pretty much in the 70/80 range with a depth reading of three inches. Anyway I decided to check it out and did my “jeezus maneuver" (drop to the ground, say "jeezus this better be good" followed “jeezus hope I can get up").

I only had to dig one plug (imagine that boys and girls...no pinpointer) and when I flipped it over I saw a Merc. When I picked it up it was not one Merc but three, one on top of the other and seemingly stuck together, however they separated nicely and I wound up with a 1939D in fine condtion, a 1944D in good condition and a 1941 in good condition. Not enough to buy that house in the South of France, but enough to make me smile.

I worked a little more around that fence, but didn’t find anything more. All told my time in the field was one hour, forty five minutes. My take (estimating the silver value) $3.42. That comes out to about $2.28 per hour. I know I shouldn’t look at it that way but this daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

_______________________________________

MY BLOG....TWO YEARS OLD

In three days this blog will hit a milestone, as in up and running for two years (my website will be 4 years old in March). I want to thank John Winter for encouraging me to start a blog. I was reluctant at first but now understand the need for comments, dialogue and debate....things that were not possible on my website. Thank you John. Thank you all too for reading and sharing your thoughts.

I hope to continue with both the website and blog but time will tell. The ole brain only holds so much and it's only a matter of time before you all figure out that much of what I say is utter BS.

_______________________________________

ARCHAEOLOGY...AN EXACT SCIENCE?

John Howland and I frequently check out Peter Tompa's excellent blog called Cultural Property Observer. I almost always find something of interest, and the following is just one example. Read it, along with the comments and then let me know what you think.

IS THIS SCIENCE?
_______________________________________

Sign outside a British pub

************

February 13, 2014


THE 1916 STANDING LIBERTY QUARTER...ONE "TITILATING" COIN

Back in 1915, shortly after World War 1 begin, the US mint invited a known sculptors to submit designs for a new quarter, one to replace the Barber. The winner, Herman A. McNeil, served up Miss Liberty in 1916, holding an olive branch in her right hand, a shield in her left and in the middle....a bare breast.

The sexy 1916 Standing Liberty
The modestly dressed 1917

Mystery surrounds the reason for choosing this design, especially given the titilating obverse. Typically the olive branch represented peace, the shield warfare and defense, but a bare breast? What were they thinking?

Anyway when the quarters were released to the public in January of 1917, religious leaders called them obscene, filthy and many conservative organizations demanded that the Mint recall them. The Mint sucumbed to the pressure and the coin begin to disappear from circulation, much to the dismay of Mr. McNeil. He was forced to redesign Lady Liberty, and rather than simply pull the drape over her breast he inserted a suit of armor up to her neck to show his indignation. Only 52,000 1916 quarters were produced (Philadelphia mint only), and today they demand top dollar in pretty much any condition.

Now I don’t know about you but I think we should demand a little more feminism from the mint today. The coinage we have now is dull and boring and I am just a little tired of Abe, George and Franklin D. All great presidents for sure but hey let’s bring back the gals and little excitement. The Seated, Standing & Walking Liberty coins, the Mercury dime and large cent...classic designs and all women!.

If you agree with me let's contact the United States Mint and let them know we'd like to see a gal or two in the future, and if they can't offer a bare breast, a little cleavage would be okay too!

___________________________________________________

IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG...


Well, Andy Baine (UK) contacted me to let me know about his new blog, and how it was his aim to show that we can do things in the right way, which I took to mean we were not doing it right now? Anyway I was somewhat leery of Andy's blog given that one of the two links listed was Warsaw Wally's! Adding to that foul odor were comments on Wally's blog indicating that he helped Andy set up his blog....I'm sure with no ulterior motive mind you.

Anyway it didn't take long for Andy's best intentions to fall apart, and he quickly found out just who Warsaw Wally is and how he works. His posts today bear that out. Andy, take heart that you are just one of many who have been bad mouthed by this man. I highly recommend you ignore him and get on with sharing your detecting experiences. His only interest and goal is to put the detectorist out of business. Hang in there...

Interesting too that Heritage Harry added the following to his blog today:

NOTE: Currently we’re getting a spate of metal detectorist sockpuppetry aimed at this thread in particular, no doubt intended to discourage recruits. We will delete them as we see them but if you do see any please disregard them. They are not representative of the vast majority of visitors here. Thanks.

What this means is don't bother to comment on my blog if you are not going to agree with me (as if anyone doesn't already know that). What a duo...Warsaw Wally and Heritage Harry. You can't make this stuff up!

___________________________________________________

CROSSING FINGERS

While most of the country is getting slammed with snow and ice the temps here were in the 60's today, and the weekend promised highs in the mid 70's. Have been feeling a little better physically the last couple of days (why do I know I am going to regret saying that) and hope to get in an hour or two of detecting Saturday or Sunday. My bottlecap collection needs attention.

___________________________________________________

SAD NEWS...

John Howland just forwarded the following to me:

It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Colin Hanson, Honorary Secretary and driving force behind the UK’s Federation of Independent Detectorists, who died on the 27th January after a protracted and gallant fight against cancer. Colin had been FID’s Hon. Secretary since it’s inception in 1982 and fought long and hard to preserve the hobby we enjoy today. He was also the leading light in organizing many fun-filled and enjoyable metal detecting rallies where, with his wife Elaine in full support, he took the rally scene in the UK to new heights. RIP Colin.

************

February 11, 2014

I love Allyson Cohen’s (a.k.a., the Detecting Diva) latest post and photo, and especially the comment from her Facebook friend Carol Rio, who said “Hey Allyson, we could do a calendar- the women of metal detecting!! Seriously, we could make some serious $$$ !!!”

Well Allyson and Carol, I will buy one and a lot of other tekkies would too. What do you say everyone, let’s get the ball rolling and encourage these gals to do it. I feel certain there are a lot of other female diggers out there who would be interested in helping.

I will gladly offer my services and critique all photos submitted. No charge either…

___________________________________________________

MY WORK FOR UNCLE SAM

To those of you who enjoyed my old Army photos….Uncle Sam was very appreciative of my bass playing prowess!

The USS Stout
___________________________________________________

HOWLAND TALKS TURKEY?

More news and drivel from the big guy across the pond. This time he wants to talk turkey or in this case the plural. Interesting post and food for thought… Hope you will take a moment and read John's latest by clicking HERE.

__________________________________

ONE OF THE BEST EVER..

Found the program for the Lost Treasure Classic, and wanted to share it here for all of you who might have attended, especially Roy Rutledge…enjoy.



__________________________________

For those of you who like to tell all……

“I’m developing an attachment for you-and it fits right over your mouth”

Karl von Mueller

************

February 7, 2014

THE TROUBLE WITH TROLLS...

is that they keep annoying people who are not the least bit interested in anything they have to say. Take for example the moron in Warsaw…

After a pretty fair trouncing the other day he continues to fight the battle, offering up just one more condescending and sorry attempt to impress someone. Worse yet he attempts to insult Lisa MacIntyre’s credentials. Credentials that he would give his eye teeth for.

Wally, go play in traffic. No one here gives a rat’s ass what you think about anything…

_______________________________________

BUBBA’S TAKE..

John Howland has a few words as well for the gentleman in Warsaw and you can read them by clicking HERE.

_______________________________________

AND WE CAN’T LEAVE OUT THE DIVA...

Allyson Cohen, a.k.a. the Detecting Diva, also picked up one of Wally’s insulting posts and responded with her own. The gal has a way with words. and takes no prisoners.

Mr, Barford’s “Spout Out”

_______________________________________

MY EARLY YEARS PLAYING MUSIC

For those of you who have asked about my musical past, I’ve put together a brief synopsis, and will be adding to it as memory allows (yeah right). Try not to laugh..

440th Army Band - I'm the fat guy with the bass
_______________________________________

MY FIRST MAGAZINE COVER

Was culling old magazines yesterday and found this one…first time I was on a magazine cover (well aside from Playgirl). World of Treasures was a sister publication of Western & Eastern Treasures back in the 70's and 80's. Those were the days when you could sometimes see what the photo was on the cover. The price: $1.00!


************

February 2, 2014

BUBBA, GARRETT & EINSTEIN

Well, the comments from the last post sure got hot and heated. Thanks to all who took the time to share their thoughts and ideas (the Warsaw wanker excluded). I am beginning to believe that anything along the line of a PAS here is pretty much pie in the sky stuff, as is “one” strong national organization for our pastime.


_____________________________________

HOARD FOUND IN SCOTLAND

Ayrshire Treasure Hunters Uncover Twynholm Silver Coins

_____________________________________

BUBBA’S TAKE ON GARRETT, BEACH HUNTING & EINSTEIN!

Mr. Howland has updated his UK Malamute Saloon link with a little bit of everything… If you are interested in German history, Garrett products, beach hunting and/or Einstein, give a look by clicking HERE.

_____________________________________

************

February 2, 2014


WHO WANTS A PAS HERE?

I think, or at least I hope, that most detectorists here in the states are familiar with the UK’s Portable Antiquities Scheme. Started in 1966 the PAS allows detectorists to report finds of possible archaeological importance without fear of recrimination and be assured that these finds will remain theirs or in a few instances be reembursed if a museum, college or institution is interested in keeping them and putting them on display. The Scheme has been a huge success and to real boon to the tekkies in the UK.

I 'personally' would love to see something similar here in the United States but before we go any further let me refer you to my post of March 9th, and March 11th of last year. They will shed some clarity (or maybe not) on my position or lack thereof. Would a PAS here be a help or a hindrance? Would it encourage more detectorists to come forward with their finds or would they be afraid of repercussions? Would it simply invite more restrictions? Is it even possible or feasible to accomplish something of that magnitude? And....does anyone really give a rat's ass about anything but what they are going to dig up next?

I feel pretty certain that relic hunters are not interested, and have stated such many times. Their rationale is ‘we hunt on private land, have had no problems and have nothing to worry about’. That's pretty much the same for those hunting the water. They too are usually immune from any type of restrictions, but will both parties be saying the same down the road? I have my doubts.

Let's be honest too...if we were to even attempt to push for something like a PAS it would take a unified, well funded group of people, dedicated to following through, no matter the roadblocks, and right now I don't see that within our ranks. Our three 'supposed' national groups seem to be hibernating at the moment, apparently “working behind the scenes” as they like to say. Sadly we are now a non-entity, an anemic and impotent group of hobbyists when it comes to accomplishing much of anything, let alone something of the magnitude discussed here. Oh I know we can rally a few phone calls and emails to piss and moan about this and that, but creating a PAS is not even in the same ball park.

I am well aware that I am stirring the pot again and being overly critical but I think it's a topic worth discussing. I may be wrong. If you are reading this...do you even want change? Do you really care? It's okay if you don't. Just say so but then don't bitch down the line when big brother bites your ass and it will happen. Maybe not now. Maybe not next year, but it will happen.

So, be brave and tell me what you think....

_______________________________________________________________________

THIS JUST MIGHT WORK!

Found this article on Eddy's Current's Facebook page and liked the sound of it. Why not a little humor? It's a fun pastime and just maybe this will help our image. I do however reserve the right to change my mind once this show airs. I've learned the hard way not to get excited about tekkie TV shows.

Talk about humor....what will the archaeologists in the future think if they should uncover this?

Man Buried on his Bike

_______________________________________________________________________

SNOWDEN'S SECRET CD LEAKED TO STOUT STANDARDS


"Like Karl Marx's grave, it's just another Communist plot," says Warsaw Right-wing activist...

************

January 29, 2014

A PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES SCHEME FOR THE US?

John Howland offers up a few ideas on how something like the PAS might work here in the states. I would love it of course, but have pretty much given up hope of seeing something like this in my lifetime. It would take a lot of money, effort and interest, all missing ingredients here in the states. I hope you will take the time to read John's thoughts. Perhaps down the road someone will take up the mantle and make it happen.

Please take the time to read John's ideas on this subject by clicking HERE
_______________________________________________________________________


THANK YOU BUT JUST GIVE ME EASY...

One of my enjoyments is reading before going to bed, but the last book I bought, which shall remain nameless, was a dud. Sounded like everything I was interested in, and would up being all those things I hate. Not only that, it was an expensive. Anyway I needed something to stare at last night so I grabbed a few old detecting books off the shelf and headed to bed, figuring anything would be better than what I was “trying” to read. It was a good move.

Oldies but goodies..

I don’t know what it is. It could be senility or just a longing for the good ole days but these dog eared paperbacks were, and still are, interesting, informative and a helluva lot of fun to read, and you know what I didn't have to decipher, tax the brain or scratch my head. Another plus? They were actually "written by the author"...imagine that? I know, they're not as glamorous as those on the market today. No color photographs, glossy cover or scholarly diagrams, just down-to-earth how-to stuff.

Interestingly enough I woke up today and found this referenced 2009 article on a detecting Facebook page. It's from the Ohio Metal Detecting website, one of my favorites. I offer it here only because it's night and day (no pun intended) from my reading last night. It's a well written and detailed article, full of useful information for today's tekkie...I guess. For me, I will stick with the oldies but goodies.

I'll never understand how you all can find the time to research when you are spending so much of it analyzing, deciphering today's equipment and learning how to hone your film making techniques? And yes, I know I am from the old school and out of touch, but you know what? You just wait...


_____________________________________________________________

THE "STEP UP AND CLEAN UP" EFFORT

Let me remind you again about this challenge. Your club could win a Coinmaster detector, compliments of White's Electronics. All you have to do is help out your local community, clean up the environment and promote your club in the process. How? Simply by adopting a park or a stretch of highway and/or shoreline to clean up on a regular basis.

The guidelines....

Send a newspaper clipping or email a link to a television blurb about your club's "Step Up and Clean Up" program. It must tell about or show your club actually at work, cleaning up your adopted area, and it must be dated after January 1, 2014. Send it to....

"Step Up and Clean Up", White's Electronics, Inc., 1011 Pleasant Valley Road, Sweet Home, Oregon 97386.

************

January 26, 2014


MHO & UMO'S...

I promised I would respond to Lisa MacIntyre's recent post....

First I think you all know of my love for archaeologists. This is the result of years and years of trying to talk to them, understand them, work with them and cooperate with them. At this point in my life I no longer try.

I came to know Lisa after debating her on the American Digger Magazine's Relic Roundup show. Labeled the Tekkie vs. Arkie showdown we did two hour long shows that ended with no clear winners. Didn't change my mind at all but I came away with a lot of respect for Lisa. Why? Because she was a receptive and considerate listener and understood our plight. She did not attempt to belittle or diminish what it is we do, and seemed willing to compromise and work with us....surely not endearing her to her archeological freinds or peers.

I was familiar with the Florida artifact case having seen it promoted on a Polish blog a few months ago. Of course the blogger was drooling all over his keyboard because that type of writeup causes people like him to orgasms. I thought then and think now that the methods used to arrest the accused were over-the-top and seemingly unnecessary. I use the word seemingly because just maybe there were circumstances that led the officials involved to believe that there might be resistance or weapons involved, although I find no mention of that being the case in any of the articles I've read.

I have reread the original article that started this firestorm and I must now agree that it was somewhat slanted. Didn't change my mind or my feelings but it was pretty obvious. Not being familiar with the newspaper in question one can assume it's just another case of biased journalism which seems to be norm anymore. Likewise the responses from the archaeological links were what you would expect as well.

I think it's important for both sides to look at this particular issue and try to see both sides. Not easy to do I know.. A few excerpts from the article links below...

"This is not the situation of a family out hiking and finding an arrowhead or other artifact that they want to take home," Brown said. "We did not target the casual collector. These subjects intentionally destroyed lands and rivers for their own personal gain. Some even made their entire living on these illegal sales."

"The methods used by those charged were extremely damaging to the environment", officials said. "They were operating on state lands, illegally dredging rivers and digging massive holes in pristine wooded areas".

"Bendus said the laws against illegally grabbing artifacts were strong enough, but that the state needs to get better about working with collectors and archaeologists to make a dent in the practice"..."I think we need to come up with some creative solutions beyond the laws".

**********************************

I think somewhere there's a working solution for all this, and it's probably coming up with a program similar to the UK's PAS, but I doubt anything like that will happen in my lifetime. One can only hope. Interestingly enough Heritage Harry offered this ridiculous post today. It's a joke just like his Artefact Erosion Counter. He and his Polish counterpart obviously have way too much time on their hands but thats what happens when you don't have any friends.

Anyway I have mixed feeling and emotions about all this. I am a detectorist and I will always stand with my fellow tekkies and collectors. On the other hand we are a nation of laws, and we cannot and should not arbitrarily decide which of those we will honor or break. We don't have to like them but we must obey them. The answer I believe is finding a way to change them so that all parties have an equal say, if that=s even possible....

_____________________________________________

WHAT TO DO ON A COLD DAY!

Finally spied three more boxes of UMO’s in the garage, and decided to sort through them and see if maybe I overlooked any goodies. I used to use plastic shoe boxes to store these unknowns and somewhere I still have a few more stashed away. Where they are is anyone’s guess.

Clockwise, pen knives, scouting items, sinkers and watch parts…

Anyway, sorting through these boxes took a lot more time than I’d anticipated. I found myself looking at things a little closer, and yep, found a few keepers, as in coins. Not sure how they wound up there but they did. When I look at all the miscellaneous items in these boxes I now understand why my back hurts so much!

Amongst the trash I found two old large cents, pretty much dateless, as well as a holed silver quarter and a 1926 Philadelphia Sesquicenntenial International Exposition coin or token. Not worth a great deal but a nice memento that needs a separate place among my keepers. I also found three very dark toned Kennedy half dollars and a 1972 Eisenhower dollar (same condition). No idea again why they look as they do or how they wound up in these boxes, but then again I cannot remember what I had for breakfast this morning.

Keys seemed to make up the majority of my UMO’s, along with a few bullets, shell casings, scouting clasps and match box cars. There were also a few pieces of junk or cosmetic jewelry scattered throughout but nothing of significance or of value, and oh, what was left was still UMO’s.

Gotta tell you it was fun looking over all these items and now I have a hankering to find the rest of my UMO’s!

Clockwise, keys, dateless large cents, junk and junk jewelry..
_________________________________________

UPDATE ON MALAMUTE SALOON POST

Just got a followup tag from Howland to his most recent post, and you can view it by clicking HERE. Believe it or not he gave a nod to Wally! As Fats Waller used to say "One never knows, do one?"

************

January 24, 2014

Today is guest post day, and one of my favorite arkies (in fact the only arkie I will listen to), Lisa MacIntyre does the honors. I have read through her comments here and have some thoughts, but will share them later on or in a future update. Please feel free to share your opinions or suggestions....pro, con or I don't really care...

Thank you Lisa....


DOES BREAKING A BAD LAW LESSEN YOUR CULPABILITY?

Hi all. Lisa here. For those that may not know me I am an archaeologist. (I feel like I’m at an AA meeting when I say that). I met Dick, and a lot of you out there, through one of the many detecting sites, blogs, radio shows, etc., and many of you have become very good friends. Dick Stout is one such person.

I want to start with a brief update on my son, Ken. As a refresher, Ken was diagnosed in June of last year with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the ripe old age of 32. At the time of diagnosis his insurance had hit its max and he was basically uninsured. Dick, along with American Digger's "Relic Roundup" show, spearheaded a fundraiser that ultimately raised $7000.00… 99% of which came from the metal detecting community. I am happy to say that on January 16th of this year, Ken had his last chemo treatment and is officially in remission. It has been a long, scary, tough road, and there is still a long road ahead, however we made it through the roughest part of the road. We can never thank enough, those of you who donated and offered words of support. Thank you for being there for me and my family!

*************************

Now on to the down and dirty....

Recently an article was circulated by a detectorist friend that was written in the Tampa Bay Times by reporter, Ben Montgomery of Tampa, FL. and by columnist, Daniel Ruth. The article by, Ruth titled, “Ridiculous ‘raiders of the lost artifacts”, sets the stage of the reporting that follows. “There are more than 8 million stories in the naked swamps and forests of Florida. This is one of the absurdly ridiculous”….

I will give Mr. Ruth credit; he knows how to set the tone.

“Consider this scenario: one of the Timucua 14 winds up in the slammer and finds himself sharing a cell block with serial killers, rapists, child molesters, drug dealers and bank robbers when one of them asks: "So, what are you in for?" Hot arrowheads and felonious possession of a fossil. Really?

Are you fired up yet? The article is laced with innuendos that the perpetrators were poor unsuspecting souls who were tricked and that the FWC is nothing but a bunch of thugs out to throw innocent people in jail for picking up a few arrowheads. Nothing could be further from the truth. I take offense with this article in that it is exactly what reporting has come down to in our era. Sensationalized. Nothing better than the National Enquirer.

Are there truths here? Sure there are. Are they written in a way as to make the reader sympathize with the accused? Most certainly! Mr. Ruth even goes so far as to state that the arrests have led to a divorce, seized property, and a suicide! This is not reporting. This is nothing more than pandering to an audience. It is irresponsible at best. The article lessens the value of the reader’s intelligence by stating..

“No one would argue that it is important to protect Florida's fragile ecosystem and its history from those would who would rape the landscape for greedy motives. But the Timucua 14 were hardly the Medellin Cartel of flint rock. It's not as if these folks were conducting Florida panther hunts or feasting on bald eagle foie gras.”

Exactly what does killing eagles and panthers have to do with preserving and protecting Florida’s history from people stealing artifacts on NPS land and selling them in a theft operation? You see, Mr. Ruth fails to mention the actual facts of the operation. Without going into a back and forth I will add links to both articles and the FWC press release along with responses from FPAN and The Heritagist. Please read them all with the same open mind I have given you.

Mr. Montgomery’s article, titled “North Florida arrowhead sting: What’s the point?” is no better, stating how badly the accused were treated, whimpering, shackled, etc.. It should come as no surprise that people who are arrested are treated this way. Do I believe law enforcement takes liberties? Sure I do. Am I happy with that? Of course not! However, the article alludes that these were unwarranted arrests against poor unsuspecting law abiding citizens. Not true. These people clearly broke laws, and remember, this was all done on public land, not private! Is the punishment too harsh? I can’t say. How do you put a value on a piece of pottery, or a projectile point, or land being destroyed?

Lisa Hume MacinTyre

I may not agree with a lot of the laws against metal detecting, however I stand behind observing those laws. There are a lot of things I think should be legal but breaking the law because I think a law is wrong does not get me a free pass. I sign petitions and write letters to my officials to get these laws changed. I break the law; I take the risk of being jailed. These people broke the law. I also disagree with the way detectorists are treated and labeled by many in my profession. For that I can only say I am working to make it different. In the meantime, don’t break the law!

I mentioned my concerns to the person that posted the article by Montgomery, stating I felt this type of reporting does nothing to bridge the gap between our camps. These articles, I feel fuel fires we are trying to extinguish. In fairness, the other side of the story should also be published so that people can make an informed decision and I even provided that link. For this comment and suggestion I got blasted. I was called names, accused of being one sided, my profession was attacked, and a friendship was ended.

I feel that I have done my best to listen to complaints and search for valid compromises. I have sat quietly while my education has been attacked. I have responded with dignity whenever I have been accused of belonging to a profession out to have all detectorists thrown in jail. I have risked my career to voice my concerns and fight for detectorists rights. However, I will not be accused of being one sided and that does not give anyone the right to, call me names, slander my profession or education, and consistently lump me into a category of evil naysayer if I disagree with an idea or opinion. I feel that most of the complaints I hear are very valid. I have done my best to seek solutions, and will continue to do so. Granted I have not done much lately, but I did have that little son with cancer thing to deal with. I think I have proven that I can compromise and be fair. I will not stand by, however, while irresponsible articles like these are written from either side of the fence. If I am deluding myself, please feel free to let me know. I might listen!

References:

Ridiculous Raiders

North Florida Arrowhead Sting

Saving Florida's Past

Archaeology & the Media

FWC Shuts Down Crime Ring

Florida Authorities Nab Criminal Network

************

January 22, 2014

THE BRIT HAS A FIT!

Well Bubba’s had it! He’s blown a fuse over Wally & Harry and doesn’t hold back. Of course he’s never had much of a problem sharing his views about these two yahoos. Please, when you read his rant understand that anti-detecting and collecting propagandists are not limited soley to the UK. They are here as well and we not only need to be vigilant, we need to be proactive, because unlike the overly vocal Barford & Swift comedy team, ’our detractors’ here in the states are working quietly behind the scenes to cast us in a bad light.

Please read John's "Fight the Good Fight" HERE.
_________________________________

BUBBA IN A BLAST FROM THE PAST!

Know he will be pissed at me for sharing this old photo but I don't care.... Howland singled handedly crashed and smashed two double deckers in a little over a month. It was then he took up detecting (and smashed two detectors in a week).

_________________________________


WHO NEED'S A CAMERA?
Matinee idol Paul Tainter

If you are movie buff I encourage you to see the movie “Nebraska”. Not only is it a terrific film, it includes my old friend Paul Tainter, of Treasure Expo and Exanimo Press fame. Yep, Paul and one of his pals were extras in the movie, which featured Bruce Dern, Stacy Ketch and June Squibb.

According to Paul he worked two ten hour days plus one 6 hour stint and enjoyed every minute. You will find Paul in the two or three bar scenes, and your best chance to see him will be when Stacey Ketch is standing, talking to a group at a table (Paul is seated at the front of the bar).

Paul said the interaction with director Alexander Payne and Bruce Dern was something he’ll never forget. Nebraska is up for five Oscar nominations..best picture, best actor (Bruce Dern), best supporting actress (June Squibb), best cinematography and best director (Alexander Payne). Not that anyone cares but I would have to rank it as one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

_________________________________

AFTER MARKET COILS

Well thought sure I would get more feedback on this topic but nada. Apparently those who spent their hard earned cash on these coils love them to death (or too embarrassed to say otherwise).

_________________________________

ARKIE GUEST POST UP NEXT!

Not sure what to expect but archaeologist Lisa Hume MacIntyre is preparing another guest post for Stout Standards. Kinda scares the hell out of me but I promised her I would offer it up here as written. Thanks Lisa (I think)…

************

January 15, 2014


AFTER MARKET SEARCHCOILS….ARE THEY REALLY BETTER?

Being the ‘Johnny-come-lately’ that I am, I just recently became aware of all the heightened interest in ‘after market’ searchcoils….most of them made overseas. My question? Are they actually better than what the manufacturer offers or are they just “hotter” (as in chatty and overly sensitive) or better because at such a high price they have to be? After perusing forums, websites and blogs it seems the jury is still out.

I know that when I worked for a major manufacturer years ago we made and sold searchcoils to a retailer so that he could put his label on them and promote them as “deeper” when in fact they were basically the same coil that we sold as stock (I am pretty certain as well the other detector manufacturers were doing the same thing). I guess you could call it Marketing 101 or the power of positive thinking (which incidentally I firmly believe in).

Anyway I would love to hear from those of you who purchased any of these after market coils, about your experiences and whether or not you’ve found them to be as advertised. Thanks…

__________________________

2012…A GREAT YEAR FOR THE PAS

990 Items Classified as Treasure During 2012 According to the British Museum

_________________________________

BE FOREWARNED!

Have been chatting with the man who runs the Malamute Saloon about Stout Standards and we’ve decided that we will continue to do what it is we do, and that those who find our comments old, boring, depressing, trivial, insulting and of no significance, have absolutely no appreciation for intellect, brilliance, genius, good taste nor insulting and crude humor. You lose. We are who we are… c’est la vie!

___________________________

ALL YOU CECIL B. DEMILLES…BE CAREFUL

A few months ago I brainfarted…“How long before detecting videos on YouTube wind up getting someone in trouble?“


Well no one has gone to jail yet, but the Indians are starting to circle the wagons. Be careful what you throw out there...


____________________________

AND YOU WONDER WHY…

I am not a big fan of forums

____________________________

LAST TIME I TALKED WITH NIGEL FROM REGTON…

************

January 15, 2014

DISAPPOINTED

I found it interesting that a recent post about the Farmers Insurance commercial garnered so many responses yet my follow-up about how we can improve our lot resulted in exactly three. Funny how we can come together, write emails and make phone calls when we feel slighted or insulted yet beg off when it comes to doing anything that involves getting off our asses. Yep, the times, they are a changin’……

______________________________


TASK FORCE UPDATE?

Upon checking my emails I saw that the Task Force had finally updated their website. I thought wow, about time….last one was early in October. After reading this latest “update” I was dumbfounded. It went like this:

UPDATE – JANUARY 15, 2014

Dear Task Force Members:

The Task Force realizes it has been a while since there has been a report on its efforts on behalf of the detecting community, however, we want to assure you that the Task Force is still working diligently behind the scenes to protect your rights and the hobby.

It has been a long road, and the current issues the TF is working on and bureaucratic road blocks the Task Force has been up against, unfortunately, have not allowed these issues to be solved as expediently as the Task force would have liked.

While the Task Force would like to share every move it makes on a public forum, such as our website or Facebook page, the TF decided that at this time, the detecting community, and the hobby as a whole would be better served by the Task Force not making it’s strategy public.

We thank you for all your support, and expect to have more information to report in the a very short time.

Sincerely,

Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights Foundation


*************************

Why the secrecy and this after a fairly expensive one third ad in the recent Western & Eastern Treasures magazine (offering only a link to their website). If I had not been privileged to be part of the efforts of the FMDAC back in the early 80's I might not be so critical. Today I just don’t get it. Sorry…

______________________________

THE POLISH TROLL

Ah, knew it would not be long before Wally, the24/7 master troll entered into the Farmers Insurance picture and today he added this. It’s amazing what lengths an obsessed, monomaniac living in Poland will go to just to push his agenda, whatever the hell that is…

Wally, with all due respect, you're an asshole!

______________________________

DIGGERS SHOW TO RETURN IN FEBRUARY

Had been wondering if any of the TV detecting shows would be renewed and it looks like “The Diggers” will be on the telly next month. Apparently they’ve the best formula given that successful programs are those that have above average viewing audiences and happy, willing advertisers. My congratulations to them...


************

January 9, 2014


ARE WE DUE AN APOLOGY?

I received the following from Carter Pennington, former president of the Task Force, with a comment of “the portrayal continues”. I have to agree and think we need to respond in some manner...

Is This Really Who We Are?

The Complete Commercial

This Farmer’s Insurance commercial is currently running, and I remember watching it thinking how wrong it was but kinda let it go. Now that I've seen it again I think the company owes the detectorist an apology. What do you think?

________________________________________

BUBBA’S TAKE ON RECENT UK STORMS…

John Howland sent over a report about how the recent UK storms have affected the beaches there, and since I don’t have anything much to offer I am posting it here on the home page. Thanks Bubba…

THE BEACHES ARE RIPE!

For over three weeks severe gales and driving rain have lashed many southern UK beaches ripping their guts out and causing untold misery to coastal home owners.

In parts of the Isle of Wight the near monsoon rains have poured off the cliffs stripping away the top sand layers exposing not only rare fossils, but also the gold and coin bearing layers all well within easy reach of metal detectors. Only the brave or foolhardy are venturing forth into the continuing maelstrom, and only the terminally dim sally forth equipped with non-All Terrain machines. Once all this horrendous weather abates, I’m sure we southern beachcombers are in for a bonanza.

There’s a strong likelihood that gold and silver coins from coastal shipwrecks will roll ashore too; high value Spanish, Portuguese, and 15C English coins are on the cards to put in an appearance. If you tempted to hunt below the High Tide line, make sure you are in possession of your free Crown Estates Foreshore Permit.

Report all gold and silver items, especially coins, to the Receiver of Wreck (the maritime Coroner). Whatever happens next is in the lap of the gods; either you’ll get the full market value if they decide to retain the find(s), or, whatever it is will be returned to you. Other non-precious items can be reported to the PAS for their database.

If you’ve legally found it – you can legally sell it.

__________________________________

Academics will do anything for the working class…but get off their backs...

(Apologies to) Karl Marx

I’ll see y’all in the bar!

************

January 5, 2014


LET'S SEE WHERE 2014 LEADS...
Just keeping warm...

Decided to keep on with the blog & website for the time being and see how things go in the days ahead. I will share whatever is on my mind, detecting related or not and you can decide whether it’s interesting, boring, depressing or utter bullshit. Whatever your take I understand....

The past few days I've been doing a lot of reading, too much eating and trying hard to keep warm. This current cold spell is affecting a lot of folks, and I especially feel for my friends in the Northeast. As much as I dislike where I am living now I do not miss digging snow or dealing with frostbite. Hang in there Yanks!

On another note it seems the new year has barely begun and we are bombarded with even more detecting forums, blogs, FB pages, broadcasts and vanity movies. Peeing my pants wondering what new reality shows will be on the tellie...

Okay now that I've pissed off a few of you I will get off my soapbox and wish you all a great 2014. Get your detector, your pinpointer, your headphones, your pouch, your shovel, your digger, your kneepads, your camo, your camera, your GPS, your smart phone, your script and your ass out in the field. Good hunting....

_____________________________________________________________

Cartoon courtesy of Dave Denison
_____________________________________________________________

HOWLAND'S TAKE ON 2014

Unlike me John Howland didn't take a step back to think things over. It's always forward and upward, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Of course single malts have a lot to do with that. The older they are the nastier he gets. He won't admit it but he too is a curmudgeon and a soused one at that. Having said that I am happy to have him aboard here....

John sent along his latest thoughts and observations and I hope you will take time to read his take on 2013 by clicking HERE. As usual, he takes no prisoners.

_____________________________________________________________

THE "STEP UP AND CLEAN UP" EFFORT

Let me remind you again about this challenge. Your club could win a Coinmaster detector, compliments of White's Electronics. All you have to do is help out your local community, clean up the environment and promote your club in the process. How? Simply by adopting a park or a stretch of highway and/or shoreline to clean up on a regular basis.

The guidelines....

Send a newspaper clipping or email a link to a television blurb about your club's "Step Up and Clean Up" program. It must tell about or show your club actually at work, cleaning up your adopted area, and it must be dated after January 1, 2014. Send it to....

"Step Up and Clean Up", White's Electronics, Inc., 1011 Pleasant Valley Road, Sweet Home, Oregon 97386.

_______________________________________________________________________


************

Click here for:

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM NOVEMBER 2013 THRU DECEMBER 2013

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM SEPTEMBER 2013 THRU OCTOBER 2013

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM JUNE THRU AUGUST 2013

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM APRIL THRU MAY 2013

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM FEBRUARY THRU MARCH 2013

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM DECEMBER 2012 THRU JANUARY 2013

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM OCTOBER 2012 THRU NOVEMBER 2012

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM AUGUST 2012 THRU SEPTEMBER 2012

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM JUNE 2012 THRU JULY 2012

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM APRIL 2012 THRU MAY 2012

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM FEBRUARY 2012 THRU MARCH 2012

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM DECEMBER 2011 THRU JANUARY 2012

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM SEPTEMBER 2011 THRU NOVEMBER 2011

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM JUNE 2011 THRU AUGUST 2011

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM MARCH 2011 THRU MAY 2011

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM DECEMBER 2010 THRU FEBRUARY 2011

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM JULY 2010 THRU NOVEMBER 2010

LATEST NEWS ENTRIES FROM MARCH 2010 THRU JUNE 2010