My last post about Dave Wise and Todd Hiltz elicited some heated back and forth comments. While it's good to get things off your chest I would urge to put the anger of the moment aside, revisit it later or even sleep on it....then look at things again. If not, your hastily put together comment or response will almost always come back and bite you in the ass. Trust me, been there and done it.
Anyway as a follow-up to that topic Roger Barbrick forwarded the following article and all you cellar dwellers need to read it and be careful....thanks Roger.
Heading to Denver for the weekend to see family and looking forward to it. Have never been there but from what I hear it's a great place. Will be the first time in a long time I've seen mountains.... no such thing here in Texas, at least in my neck of the woods. I will say however that I was disappointed to learn that the term "mile high city" referred to something other than what I thought.
In the meantime I've turned this update over to the Malamute Saloon. If you once again see a mention of two sick wannabe arkies don't get excited. It's a one time mirage....
Those readers with a query about the ATPro International, or who disagree with, or dispute anything I’ve written - about anything - or who wishes to point out an error I’ve published, please put fingers to keyboard and say so! I’ll take more notice if you use your own name…after all; you know mine. Don’t be like one person who disagreed with something I’d written, and then failed to pay me the common courtesy of saying why!
Okay… so let’s get the juices flowing. In my view, the Garrett ‘ATPro International’ is just about the best all-round machine ever made (especially on beaches) and for the price is an absolute steal. It’s waterproof to ten feet, dustproof, and relegates ferrous junk to the trash can when used up in the trashy dry sand areas of the beach. Over wet saltwater sand, it’s up there with the Great and the Good.
That said, despite what the men-in-white-coats in downtown Garland would have you believe, it is a machine that takes some learning, and in my view, is not for the hard of understanding. Take the Stradivarius violin for example; most violinists can bash out a tune on one, but in the hands of a maestro, well…need I go on?
In a beach environment, the ATPro ‘International’ works BEST in the hands of a user who not only knows how to operate it, but who also knows WHERE to use it!
One of the facets that makes the ATPro so versatile is the variety of ancillary coils available from Garrett but the most common error I encounter when chatting with beachcombers is nearly all them opt for a large coils and empty finds pouches. Big coils, they imagine, equals more and deeper finds…WRONG!!! WRONG!!! WRONG!!! Apart from having the obvious advantage of slightly greater ground coverage, and their slightly greater depth on coins and rings, large coils in my experience are less useful than small 5-inch ones.
If you really want a second coil always choose a small diameter one as this will give you unrivalled access to the ‘money vault’ which lays in that part of the beach where BBQ’s are held and identified by a profusion bottle caps, foil, ring-pulls, cola, beer cans, and all manner of other metallic junk people are too lazy to take home or drop in the nearest litter bin. It’s the area where other hunters steer well clear and for good reason; standard and large coils in these areas are as much uses as concrete parachutes. They ain’t a lot o’ good either in the rocky areas of beach where many coins are ‘end-on’.
As an illustration, my 4.5-inch ‘Super Sniper’ for example, lifted a 2,000-yr old Roman coin (Rome Mint) from a beach where a local user was hunting with a non-Garrett machine lashed to a coil the size of a wagon-wheel. He walked over it! Small coils rule in rocky and trashy areas; I’m not arguing the point… I’m telling you!
Those of you who like watching videos of coins and finds had better go and put the coffee pot on as they won’t find that kind of dross here. Come back in ten minutes while the rest of us get to grips with the assholes plaguing this hobby. Many of our new readers probably don’t realise that the blogosphere ‘out there’ is populated by some very unpleasant people who have lost all grasp of reality, manners, and who are mostly posing as ‘serious’ heritage types who surrendered what shreds of common decency they possessed to behave like hormonal teenagers who can’t have their way in outlawing the metal detecting hobby. Mostly we ignore them; they being toothless pit-bulls, but occasionally, the extent of their low-calibre, low-brow, and invective requires exposure.
A reader e-mailed me just the other day threatening; “If you continue to insult, gouge, fight, poke fun at, and keep ripping the crap out archaeology, you’ll give me no option but to continue reading the ‘Saloon.’!!! JC.” Presumably the editorial content of SS and particularly that of the Malamute Saloon now gathering momentum to JC’s liking, is also becoming more widely read with greater attraction for enthusiasts from both the detecting and non-detecting communities who share our pro-collecting, pro-detecting, and pro-PAS stance; and join us in in condemning the anti-PAS heritage circus not only as a politically driven cess-pit. The lunatics, as one reader put it, are almost running the archaeological asylum.
Despite the caricatures (of Dick Stout, and me ) drawn by the pro-nationalisation ‘Chuckle Brothers’ who’d like to keep ‘Uncle Joe’s’ ‘Red Flag Flying High,’ (by transferring property from private to State ownership) our mission is not to ridicule’ archaeology per se, but to expose the Rancid Reds and their worker/drone/clones and sundry hangers-on (colloquially, ‘The Haemorrhoids’) who are anxious to implement draconian curbs on the buying, selling, finding, and dealing in all antiquities in accord with the sentiments expressed by a former Director of the Council for British Archaeology, who was widely reported in the UK’s, Farmers Weekly, in 1982 as expressing at a public meeting that:-
“The trouble with a Thatcherite* government is that it looks after the interests of the landowner too well. In an ideal society all land would belong to the People. Unfortunately, we are some way from the nationalisation of all antiquities.” I know it to be true, I was at that meeting. [*Margaret Thatcher, who with President Reagan, defeated Communism. Dick]
Even today, many people still find those views appalling; along with all those who still slake their thirsts from the political samovar. Nevertheless, the Red Flag is still waved by cronies in the attacks on metal detecting and collecting. The fly-in-their-ointment being that the US and UK are property-owning democracies and far from ready for a Revolution any time soon. On a personal level, little nauseates me more than the following homage by Paul Barford, who describes himself as a British archaeologist living in Warsaw, Poland since 1986, who wrote in the Preface of his book, The Early Slavs: Culture and Society in Early Medieval Europe:-
“…as mentioned above, the present work is the result of a lengthy stay in what was then the People’s Republic of Poland, the Government of which was extremely generous in supporting my research, which then enabled me to take up employment at the University of Warsaw to continue my work. Let this book be in a small way part of the repayment of my debt I owe to those who helped my research. ” Ugh, sick bag, please!
Simultaneously as Barford was being bankrolled by the communists and getting a leg-up into university, indigenous Poles too, were also enjoying the fruits of Polish Communism; food rationing; imprisonment without trial; political dissidents murdered; suspects tortured, and generally on the receiving end of the full attentions of the Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa, or SB, the Internal Security Service established in the People's Republic of Poland in 1954. The most infamous case was the torture and execution by the SB of Catholic priest Jerzy Popieluszko in 1984. Since 1990, several SB operatives have been tried for their crimes. The SB is also suspected of killing Stanislaw Pyjas, and Catholic priest Stefan Niedzielak. It is reported to have abused priest Roman Kotlarz, who died mysteriously after a beating.
Paul Barford in my view, ought to be thoroughly ashamed of his hand-in-bra relationship with one of the most atrocious political regimes in modern history and he should acknowledge publically, again in my view, that he owes the Polish People a fulsome public apology. Neither is he in any position to question or criticise the integrity of others since his own moral compass is, well….questionable. The problem for radical ‘archaeologists’ is that people in democratic societies usually end up voting for what they want; usually making the kinds of life choices the radicals hate - in our case metal detecting. They have in the eyes of the majority, become irrelevant.
If you care to study the claptrap and drivel on any of these so-called ‘academic’ - not to mention whining, bleeding heart, archaeology blogs masquerading as moral high ground archaeo-fact sites – all of which portray YOU the hobbyist as serial heritage criminals, thugs, knuckle-draggers, and uneducated oiks as one of their number likes to describe hobbyists (but who himself is deeply suspected to have the psychological condition known as Narcissism), you will be more than amused to read that hobbyists don’t enjoy a monopoly of the villainy:-
All of this I joyfully bring to your notice with huge dollops of out-and-out contempt, scorn, and unreserved disrespect, which I think regally befits these dim-witted, ethics-free shysters who seem blissfully unaware of the Berlin Wall’s demise in 1989; that Communism is now in history’s cess-pit and huge swathes of Europe returned to democracy; or that the world has moved on. They are desperately unhappy their hidden agendas (modelled on that which enslaved Europe, Post WW2) are being put under close scrutiny. In response, to having their oddball views given the third-degree their fall-back position is always ’victim mode,’ the default refuge of the gutless.
One has only to spend a few minutes perusing the more loathsome and hideous examples of these archaeo-blogs to understand the mind-set that drives them. However, such is the archaeo-blogosphere these days, that like death and taxes, those with an axe to grind will always be with us.
The news items outlined above are of the kind these commissars of chaos - amply typified by the likes of the usual and familiar suspects - persistently fail to remember when dishing out the malice and invective against collectors, detectorists, and any archaeologist/historian daring to oppose their views; and even castigate them for keeping silent. One of their number, Nigel Swift, Heritage Action’s Head Boy, scrapes the bottom of the barrel by inventing rural characters who purport to ‘advise’ farmers and landowners with vacuous baloney - posing as factual - about detecting. Mercifully, the irony is not lost on many landowners and farmers, who know that if ever these political archaeo-morons ever take power, they along with me no doubt, will be in the first wave of the Capitalist Class to be put against a wall and shot.
In his on-going crusade for damaging ‘evidence’ against the hobby and hobbyists, Swift has taken to furtively hanging out in metal detector retailers and online forums earwigging on private conversations in the hope of hearing detectorists talking ‘dirty’ using words like ‘treasure’, ‘hammered coin’ ‘night,’ ‘sell’, and ‘hawk’. Saddest of all is how one of their denser bigots, who, as the current joke doing the rounds has it, now cleans latrines having lost what zlotys he had by investing in a franchise to repoint the Berlin Wall in 1990…..Ha! Ha!
And if you think double cream is thick, wait till you read their blogs! Seriously though:-
TAKE A GOOD LOOK at some of these cretins – or to use the vernacular of the obscene – knob-heads. They are precisely the kind of jihadists who strive (unsuccessfully) to destroy the PAS; to insult its administrators; to insult the staff of the British Museum; and to remove any public involvement in the heritage equation; and to bring ‘archaeology’ under their intellectual control and then… want taxpayers to not only foot the bill, but to entrust them with the oversight of the archaeological record. The only collateral these zany zealots have is their fact-free, heavily-discredited, junk database, known laughably as the Artefact Erosion Counter (AEC) which already has reduced ‘archaeology’ to the realms of make-believe. Decent, hard-working archaeologists deserve better than this kind of sewage …but when the Council for British Archaeology tacitly approved this same AEC pigs-swill in a failed attempt to score a point against the hobby…it turned itself into a music-hall joke. The longer the CBA remains linked to the kind of junk archaeology as typified by the claptrap of the AEC…the more of a sick joke it becomes.
In the radio world AM stands for Amplitude Modulation. In our world it stands for Archaeological Moron. I will not begin to tell you what FM stands for….Malamute Saloon
As I scan the various treasure hunting websites, blogs and FB pages I am always drawn to and impressed by two individuals in particular. Todd Hiltz and Dave Wise. In my mind they are tops when it comes to doing it the “right way” and by that I mean they research long and hard, then take the information and run with it, busting their butt in the process.
I’ve shared their videos here before and surely will again, but if you are interested in all of them you will find them here. Todd just added the following one today and I wanted to be sure to share it here too. How I wish I could go back and do this sort of thing again. I can still see those wooded area out my back window in New Jersey.
Have been reading of late about the various Atlantic City casinos closing their doors and that’s not good news for those tekkies who frequent the beaches there. Then again I can’t see “Big Tony” or “Lucky Lou” lounging on the sands.
I remember they were just beginning construction on the Taj Mahal when we were holding the FMDAC convention in 1987 and it was supposed to be the end all, the king jewel of Atlantic City. Now it looks like they will be next on the list.
Here’s hoping things improve….lots of memories and good times there.
Not a big fan of all the self-produced videos out there but it sure would be nice if all you Cecile B. DeMilles would share what detector and what size coil you are using along with any other useful information, like where precisely the site is located, etc.. I know, not funny huh?
You can however still breathe heavy and grunt...
I get kidded a lot about my name but it could be worse . I once knew a Barbie Kew and used to have a customer at Borders by the name of Anita Dick (my apologies to the gals). No lie!!
My wannabe look-alike John Winter recently put up a post that I wanted to share here. It’s about a British tekkie who exemplifies the best of who we are and how we help the local community. Thank you Keith Dodds and thank you John for sharing thia...
As of October 1st I will no longer be sharing links on the various metal detecting Facebook pages. Hope you will add your email address there where it says “Follow Blog via Email” (left column)...
For some time I posted links to my SS updates to a few of the zillion Facebook related pages. I have decided not to continue doing that as of October 1. I will however continue to visit those pages and comment when I can, if for no other reason to bust balls where appropriate....
One of the reasons for this is that I would frequently get "likes" a second after posting the link, which told me that individual or "liker" didn't even bother to read the blog post. Likewise every so often (and man do I mean every so often) I would get a comment or question about a post that really should have been added to the blog, not the FB page. Just recently someone questioned something John had said and I had to copy it and forward it to John for an answer because he is not on Facebook (nor are many other tekkies). John claims he has better things to do with his time (like find his way home from the pub).
Anwyay if you enjoy reading SS and you have been doing it on Facebook, I hope you will take a second and add your email address to the "blog" (left column where it says Follow Blog via Email).
In the past I’ve shared links to my updates both here and on other related Facebook pages. As of October 1 that will no longer be the case. If you are in interested in future posts simply add your email address to the link in the left column that says “Follow Blog via Email”.
Your comments as well are better addressed when posted to Stout Standards itself and not here on Facebook. For those of you who follow the blog via the SS Facebook page you will continue to receive updates there.
I understand Stout Standards is not your typical metal detecting blog or site (as John Howland likes to say we are an ‘acquired taste’). Both John and I have been around the block a few times and tell it like it is. Neither one of us detects as much as we’d like to, nor are we inclined to post the usual “look at what I found today” type videos.
We often shoot the breeze….sometimes we shoot from the hip and every once in a while we even shoot ourselves in the foot. We are also quite willing to beat up some of the more inflammatory archaeologists, or those posing as such.
Finally we share what we think are the important issues vital to the continuance of our pastime which unfortunately, few in the hobby seem to care about anymore.
So again, if you are interested in keeping abreast of what John and I have to say (or preach), just add your email address where it says “Follow Bog via Email”. We both thank you and appreciate you very much…
This has nothing at all to do with detecting but I have to mention it....
Yesterday I went to the Post Office to mail off a book. On the way I was held up at a light because someone in front of me was texting on her "smart" phone and decided to not go on green until she was done. When she finished and put her foot to the gas I was left with red. Then at the post office I waited in a long line (what else is new) and listened to a lawyer "shout" a conversation with his client to everyone within fifty yards on his "smart" phone. Next I turned around to make small talk with the gentleman behind me but he was staring at his "smart" phone and nodding his head oblivious to anything I was saying. Finally on the way home I decided to stop in the neighborhood market to pick up a couple items and you guessed it....I stood in line while the gal getting checked out AND the checker were chatting on their "smart" phones....
I hope that before I leave this world and my ashes are strewn to the wind I have the opportunity to grab one of these "smart" phones from the user and shove it their smart ____!
Since all is nill here and since John Howland will not accept the fact that the Surfmaster is an infinitely better machine than the AT-Pro, I will turn today's post over to him and let him ramble. If you happen to be an AT-Pro user you should find something useful in his words. Thanks Bubba....
As most proficient UK beachcombers are (presumably) aware, 5p and 10p coins (along with 1p and 2p coins) are iron-cored. However, when they are found in ‘recently lost’ condition the ATPro reacts favourably to the copper wash exterior of the 1p’s and 2p’s, or the nickel wash of the 5p’s and 10p’s. BUT, when these coins have been exposed to prolonged periods in a saltwater environment the iron core ‘bursts’, whereby the coins invariable register as ‘Iron’ - similar to bottle caps – by setting-off the ‘Iron Audio’ mode. In this condition they are worthless anyway…or ‘Barfords’ as me and Jack Dey call them…as in:-
”Found anything Jack?”
“Yep, a couple of £1-coins, and a Barford.”
Though the ATPro’s ‘Iron Audio’ feature is a superb innovation - like when the first loaf of bread came sliced - relegating steel bottle caps to the dustbin of history, which on the face of it is no bad thing…but… BEWARE!
On a recent beach sortie and for some fortuitous and unfathomable reason I dug a dubious ‘iron’ signal and into the sandscoop came a ‘burst’ 5p. I checked the hole agan, and a strong ‘77’ digital signal sounded indicating a £1-coin. Sure enough, in the next scoop of sand , up came a shiny £1-coin. The 5p had partially ‘masked’ the £1-coin having been directly above it or at the very least, overlapping it, thus presenting a dubious ‘Iron’ signal to the ATPro. The ‘Iron Discrim’ was set at ‘35’ my normal beach setting. I doubt whether a smaller coil would have separated the two, BUT, that £1-coin could have been a gold ring! You get my drift? The odds of a ‘burst’ 5 or 10p coin masking a gold ring are, well, who-knows-what, but certainly possible has as happened with the £1-coin.
I now operate the ATPro with the ‘Iron Audio’ facility ‘ON’, but with the ‘Iron Discrim’ to ‘15’ or less, in the hope that ‘bigger’ more valuable targets will overpower ‘burst’ 5 or 10p’s. I don’t how these settings affect US and Canadian users, though I understand that some Canadian coins can be more than a twinge in the rectal region. Perhaps ‘Bill from Lachine’ will chuck in his ten cent’s worth – all contributions gratefully received.
If you hunt beaches and bays where huge tidal ranges are the norm, what follows just might save your life. Those of you already aware of the ’12-ths Rule’ then I suggest y’all put the coffee pot on, or pour large Bourbon, or go and get your leg over, while I explain to the less knowledgeable.
Right! For you newbies it’s all about numbers…..Remember…..1, 2, 3 …. 3, 2, 1.
The Flood Tide (incoming) runs for six hours from LOW and HIGH Water; not at a constant flow, but slowly gathers speed galloping in during the 3rd and 4th hours of the flood, with the pace decreasing towards High Water. On some slightly shelving beaches where there might be up to, or over 400-yards of exposed foreshore, it races in faster than some people can walk and cutting off the unwary an consigning them to an untimely death. You can work out the speed of the tide by knowing its range and if you don’t know what ‘range’ means…don’t go out on a beach until you do; and that ain’t negotiable. An incoming (Flood) tide runs approximately for six hours at roughly the following rate:-
1st hour is equal to 1/12 of the tidal range… Rises 3-ft
2nd hour is equal to 2/12 of the tidal range… Rises 6-ft
3rd hour is equal to 3/12 of the tidal range… Rises 9-ft
4th hour is equal to 3/12 of the tidal range… Rises 9-ft
5th hour is equal to 2/12 of the tidal range… Rises 6-ft
6th hour is equal to 1/12 of the tidal range… Rises 3-ft
If say, there’s a 36-ft tidal range in your area, then you’ll see from the above scale, the greatest movement of water occurs during 3rd and 4th hours of the Flood (incoming) Tide. This is especially critical if you’re say, wreck hunting, at the back of a horseshoe-shaped bay backed by high cliffs.
Assuming then, you are hunting in a 36-ft tidal coastal location, the speed of the Flood Tide during the 3rd and 4th hours is rising at the rate of 1.8-inches per minute. Once the ‘tips’ of the horseshoe are covered by the Flood tide - your escape route is now effectively blocked - you are in deep, very deep, doo-doo! Your only ‘out’ is by climbing the cliffs.
I never ceased to be astounded by the number of beachcombers who cannot read, or even grasp the rudimentary essentials of a Tide Table... after all, it’s basic knowledge not rocket science, as is getting a handle on local weather conditions. Here in Dorset, sadly, we lose at least one angler every year somewhere along our magnificent coastline and often on the deeply shelving, and unforgiving Chesil Beach, which in a fierce ‘South Westerly’ is a death trap….locals avoid it like the plague in these conditions; they know the fish will still be there the day after!
There’s a place I know where high value Spanish gold and silver coins can be found washing ashore where on a Spring Flood Tide the window of treasure hunting opportunity is about one hour. Whenever I hunt here, I ALWAYS carry a mobile phone and a smoke distress flare – just in case.
Tomorrow is September 11th, and a date that America will always remember. I decided to once again share my post of previous years here. It is how Fay and I remember that day and how grateful we were and are to be Americans...
There's no question that 9/11/2001 will forever be etched in our minds. Much like the Kennedy assassination we know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news....
Fay and I were in France, and did not learn of the attack until the next day. I know, hard to believe, but true. We got up early that morning (remember.....six hours difference in time) in Casis, a seaside town in Provence and headed to St. Remy, where we were looking forward to the Wednesday market the morning of 9/12.
We decided to stop for lunch at noon in Orgon, a small town about 10 miles east of St. Remy. After all that is what one does in France at that time of day. Everything pretty much comes to a stop from noon to 2pm and eating lunch is serious business. Like always when we are on the road we stopped at the first restaurant, cafe or bistro we came to. We think now that we were just about midway through our meal when the attacks in New York were taking place.
After leaving Orgon we headed to St. Remy, and checked in at our hotel, the "Les Antiques". The man at the desk was polite but said nothing about what had or was happening in the States. We dumped our bags and headed to Chateau le Baux just outside town. This ancient site was perched atop a very steep hilltop where we could literally see for miles and miles. I remember the breathtaking view to this day and how I just kept staring.
We were amazed that we seemed to be the only ones exploring the area and of course later understood why. We spent quite a while roaming the area and then returned to St. Remy. Since we had a four course lunch we decided to save some money and picnic outside our room on the patio. We picked up some cheese, sausage, bread and of course a bottle of the local wine, and had a very relaxing meal. Tired from the travel and the exploring we showered read some and turne in early.
The next morning, as we were getting ready to go to the market, I happened to turn on the TV, and saw videos of airplanes flying into buildings. At first I had no idea what this was about and remember saying to Fay, “come here and look at this. Is this for real?" We were stunned and I might also add, scared. Scared because we were 5,000 miles from home and our family.
We were scheduled to fly back to the states a few days later, but because of the grounding of aircraft we had no idea if our flight would be there for us. We had no choice but to continue on with our trip, but this horrific event was ever present in our minds. The French were fantastic, offering us lodging, hugs and tears. Michel Tocque, my treasure hunting friend in Brittany, also called, offering his home for as long as we needed. I cannot tell you how grateful we were.
The next few days were difficult in that local newspapers were non-existent and most of the places we were stayed did not have TV’s. Most of what we learned came from other travelers along the way. We continued on to Ile le Sorgue and stayed with Poppy and the late Pierre Salinger, who were also understanding and gracious hosts. Amazingly our flight was not cancelled or delayed and we were even treated to first class for our return trip, thanks to American Airlines.
On touchdown at Dallas/Fort Worth airport every passenger applauded and it was a feeling I will never forget. The customs agents as well were extra kind in their duties, adding “Welcome Home“...
It took us a day or two to fully grasp what had happened, watching continuous TV coverage, seeing video and photos not seen prior. What a horrendous tragedy it was. We would never be the same. I will also remember how everyone came together, and American flags were flying everywhere. We were Americans first and ready to stand together against whomever was responsible for this attack.
I loved hunting the beaches of France, especially along the Mediterranean coast but now it looks like my next trip there will be without a sand scoop. As if things were bad enough already! Poor me....
Well a few of you were amused by the shoe method of opening a wine bottle so I thought I post the following for all you unedified tekkies out there (save this one Howland).
John Howland sent me his latest update to the Malamute Saloon and decided to share it here as well. The guy always make me laugh and it's truly a blessing that we are not living on the same continent, hunting together. If you sometimes think his stories are way out there, hard to believe, far-fetched....you are wrong. I cannot ever remember hunting with him where the laughs weren't a mile a minute, the oddball situations a common occurence and the local pub the perfect place to rehash it all. In fact if there were not a bar within a reasonable driving distance he would not go detecting.
We've both aged some (John a litle more gracefully than I) and we've not seen each other (except for Skype) for some time. If and when we do get together again I will remember to bring a video camera and share the adventure, uncensored.....
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I often meet many people on the beach while out treasure hunting who are keen to learn about metal detectors and the kind of things we find and the final question, is invariably, “Where can I buy one and how much do they cost.” I try to be helpful and spend time in answering enquiries and in one case, it rewarded me handsomely by securing an inland site. Take the other day for instance:-
It’s early an early September day and a gentle south-easterly is rolling in across the beach under a canopy of clear blue. There’s a hint of autumn in the breeze. I’m out hunting on my favourite beach and all is well with the world: The kids are all back a skool after the summer hols, but today it’s mostly people of a certain age strolling, or walking their pooches along the sands. Half an hour and several coins into my sortie I am brought up sharp.
There before me stands a mangy, wire-haired terrier with a striking resemblance to a used Brillo Pad defiantly hampering my progress; slobbering with a tennis ball in its gob and demanding I play some game Throw and Fetch. It drops the ball at my feet…Yap! Yap! “Go on, piss off,” I mumble under my breath.
“Muffin! Muffin! Leave that man alone,” shrills a female voice. I look up and there walking towards me with a movement like a Swiss watch, is a stunning, twenty-four carat brunette with the body of the Venus di Milo (plus the arms of course) registering 9.6 on the Richter Scale of Fanciability. She’s making a happy man feel very old.
“It’s ok,” I say, “Just lurve dawgs. He’s a real beaut. I lurve terriers,” lying through my teeth.
“Don’t mind him, he’s only playing. Muffins’ ok.”
“I hope you find some treasure,” she smiles
Oh Satan, get thee behind me. I press on in my quest for gold.
Two more coins later, two pairs of legs from the knees down hove into my field of view, again barring my progress. I look up. “Excuse me, but could you tell me where I can get one of those?” he says pointing at my ATPro, “My wife has always fancied detecting.”
The owner of the voice is a middle-aged guy, with his wife in tow, and who I recognise as former television/media man now happily and recently retired (he tells me) living spitting distance of my favourite section of Dorset beach.
“No problem,” says I, “What do you want to know?” and I launch into the vagaries of beach hunting hereabouts. “How much do you want to spend on a machine? Budget?”
Up speaks his wife. “Well it’s got to be light, and I reckon I can get him to spend £200.” He nods in agreement. I give hubby Regton’s details. “Just ask for Nigel or Marcus and tell them you’ve been talking to John from Bournemouth. They’ll know who I am.”
“What metal detector would you recommend?”
“Easy. It needs to be light enough for your wife to handle, with top performance, and with a little horse-trading you’ll get a good deal. Go for the American-made Garrett ACE 250 bundle…headphones and the whole nine yards. But first have a log chat with Nigel, explain your needs and I’m sure he’ll put you right, Garrett or no.”
“We’ve a friend who has acres of farmland in Wiltshire and he’s found bits of roman pottery after ploughing. Will an ACE work there?” Hubby says.
“Absolutely,” says I, “Just make sure you report anything of historical interest. You might even start a collection of roman coins, for where there’s pottery, coins always follow.”
“And gold treasure?” she asks excitedly.
“Maybe. Who knows?”
“What a great fun. And I guess the excitement is never knowing what you are going to find,” she exclaims excitedly.
“ Got it in one!”
“Well, good luck, and perhaps we’ll see you on the beach fairly soon,” and with a friendly wave my two new recruits stroll off down the beach. I like the sound of that Wiltshire farmland…could there be an invite in the wind? Oh, well…press on.
Down at one of the boulder groynes (sea defences) I take a break. Then he/it appears, clad head to foot in cammo gear, spade, a haversack that must weigh 20 kilos, and a coil half the size of New Jersey, specs with lenses that could have come from the bottom of milk bottles, and a set of choppers that wouldn’t disgrace Bugs Bunny.
“Farnd anyfing, mate?”
“Er…not much,” I lie.
“I have. Free gold rings and a loada £1 coins. I put them in me car,” adding for effect, “You gotta know whatcha doin’ darn here.”
“Oh, well done,” I say hoping he’ll bugger off forthwith.
“Yeah,” he says, “I duz a lot wiv the archaeologists. They call me when they need a proper search.”
“I can see why they would, you’re an expert,” I reply.
“I bin doin’ this for too yurs,” then he/it claps eyes on my ATPro.
“Ah, I see yoo got the Garrett, I prefer one of these though,” (name deleted to save embarrassment to another well-known manufacturer).
“I offered them [Garrett] suggestions how to improve depf, but they didn’t reply,” he/it replies.
“Tragedy,” I say, “They’ll never know what expertise they’ve missed.” He ponders the fact, then moves upwind of me. Wow! If you wanted to hide money in his house, you’d hide under the soap…you follow my drift?
Then off he goes into the wild blue yonder swinging his half-acre sized coil about a foot off the sand. It takes all sorts I suppose……
In a recent Press Release, the Portable Antiquities Scheme announced a further cash injection from the Heritage Lottery Fund:-
The British Museum announces today a new Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) initiative that will greatly increase volunteer involvement in archaeological heritage across the UK. PAS Explorers is a five-year project that will create a national network of up to 500 trained volunteers who will participate in archaeological finds work in their local areas, sharing information through the PAS database and within their local communities. The project is generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with a grant of £792,000 over five years.
Roger Bland, Head of the Portable Antiquities Scheme said:
Volunteers have always been vital for the success of the Portable Antiquities Scheme and this generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will mean that we can not only provide many more volunteering opportunities, but also give them the chance to develop their skills. This will enable us to meet our core aim of increasing our knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales for the benefit of all.
Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund added:
This wonderful project will help spread the reach of the Portable Antiquities Scheme even further across England and Wales. Enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers are the life blood of the scheme: without them it would falter. In recognition of this, individuals will be given further opportunities to widen their knowledge and involvement which in turn will improve the recording of archaeological finds and raise awareness at a grass-roots level.
The PAS Press Office advises in its ‘Notes to Editors’:
The Portable Antiquities Scheme
Thousands of archaeological objects are discovered every year, many by members of the public, particularly by people while metal-detecting. If recorded, these finds have great potential o transform archaeological knowledge, helping us understand when, where and how people lived in the past.
The Portable Antiquities Scheme (www.finds.org.uk) offers the only proactive mechanism for systematically recording such finds, which are made publicly available on its online database. This data is an important educational and research resource that can be used by anyone interested in learning more.
The Portable Antiquities Scheme is managed by the British Museum, and funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through a ring-fenced grant, the British Museum and local partners. Its work is guided by the Portable Antiquities Advisory Group, whose membership includes leading archaeological, landowner and metal-detecting organisations.
I found a photo Kenny Briggs (a.k.a. the 'Wisconsin Locksmith') had posted on Facebook and had to not only share it here but do a comparable 'Dallas Dick' matching photo. Granted his photo represented the equipment of three tekkies but check out my trunk. Jeezus so different. Most definitely new school vs. old and without a doubt a rich vs. poor thing. Poor me...
For the life of me I can't figure out how I ever became addicted to this pastime 40 years ago. I mean I didn’t have an expensive digger or shovel....just a blunted end screwdriver. Didn’t have knee pads either...just a lot of grass stains to deal with. I also didn’t have a leather pouch to put my finds in. Just a funky, fifty cent carpenter's apron. One pocket for trash and the other for the good stuff. Poor me...
When it came to headphones I used the cheapest Radio Shack had to offer, and a video camera? What for! What would I do with a 3 minute Super 8 film without sound? Likewise my detector didn’t have an ID meter or pushpads. I had no other choice but to "listen" to all those crazy audio tones and navigate all those high tech knobs and switches? I mean damn, gimme a break. Poor me...
I have no idea either how I ever found places to detect without Google and email. I actually had to read books and knock on doors. Last but not least I didn't have camo clothing nor need to be invisible in the field. Just plain ole jeans and almost always raggedy ass shirts that had seen better days. Poor, poor me.
For the record what I did have was a helluva lot of fun, a boat load of old coins, rings and jewelry. Yes compared to today I might have worked a little harder but the competition was not what it is today. I also had more than my share of productive sites lined up at any given time.
Anyway that was then and now is now. Hopefully you will be saying something similar thirty or forty years down the road. I hope so and I hope you know all this was ‘tongue in cheek’. I appreciate what today’s tekkies are doing and finding. This latest video from Todd Hiltz is a great example (I hate Todd Hiltz and Dave Wise with a passion).
Poor, poor me…
Some of you newbies will have arrived here out of sheer of curiosity I dare say - morbid or otherwise – others will have been shepherded to the Malamute Saloon by very second-rate, down-market, archaeo-bloggers, who want you to experience how a real blog is run and written; one where self-deprecating humour rules and where absolutely no-one has their heads stuck up their arses. Read the intro to this section of Stout Standards and you’ll get the drift of what to expect…if that’s not to your liking then you’d be well advised to ‘Foxtrot Oscar’ immediately.
Herein, as you’ll discover, we defend our excellent, educational, and wholesome hobby and give full support to the UK’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), which, unlike the heavily discredited Artefact Erosion Counter (AEC) - no doubt spawned by Wyborowa and Wincarnis-fuelled scribblings on the back of a beermat in a downtown Warsaw speak-easy - the PAS’s database has solid foundations and has proved its worth time and again as the launch pad for countless academic theses and formal studies. To date, no one has yet based any formal academic study based on the admitted guesswork upon which the AEC is founded.
We at Malamute Saloon are avid and unapologetic defenders of coin and relic collectors, and coin and relic collections, both private and public. Neither is this a forum for debate. If you don’t like what we stand for, then bugger off back to the twerps who sent you here; but I know you’ll return.
Contrary to what the hare-brained numpties on the fringe of the archaeological world profess is ‘The Truth’ (more correctly their Truth) herein you’ll find the facts…not the gangrenous propagandist claptrap of the hard Left - mostly driven by washed-up, peripatetic sock-puppets of Polish Communism - but good old fashioned, common-sense and fair play. We do not believe that private property (or collections) should ever be grabbed and state-owned. Ours, in the UK at least, is a property-owning democracy and long may that continue. You disagree? Then North Korea is your Shangri-La.
The Malamute Saloon is the metal detecting blog the nutters and psychos on the fringe of radical archaeology hate the most and I am arguably, the most hated detectorist, writer, and an author of the lot. Why? Because I/we fight my/our corner; take no prisoners, and continually shred their specious arguments against metal detecting and collecting. Mostly though, we ignore them, as entering into debate with the kind of souls who pull wings off flies is a futile endeavour. Nevertheless these are the kinds of people archaeology allows itself to be represented by - without comment - and who are …frit, yes, frit, to rein them in. Small wonder some many people regard some UK archaeologists as …gutless shysters.
Simultaneously as detectorists are being berated by the loony fringe for all manner of heritage ills, hundreds of thousands of unrecorded and unclassified artefacts from so-called ‘proper’ archaeological excavations are languishing unloved in sheds and hangers across the British Isles. The scandal of the archaeological record is a shambles unlike the database of the Portable Antiquities Scheme now nearing to record its one millionth artefact on its infinitely valuable database, of which the overwhelming majority of its records are detector-found pieces. The current outrage is not of detectorists’ making but of archaeology’s own, prompting the serious question of whether the nation’s heritage ought to be left in, or indeed is safe in, the hands of archaeology. On present form, it’s unfit for purpose.
Incredibly, archaeological finds are normally NOT RECORDED on the PAS database – though they are encouraged to do so. The loss of vital archaeological data is incalculable. Vitally heritage data has gone down the drain; lost forever by the UK’s bumbling excavators who as the evidence shows, don’t know their arses from their elbows. Even the most vitriolic of anti-detecting evangelists and archaeo-bloggers, Paul Barford, was inspired to write, “The problem, however, is one that affects museums throughout the British Isles.” I doubt there will be a public enquiry into the scandal. There never is… when arkies are involved.
So there you have it…the stall is set out…take it or leave it…but I know you’ll come back.
Welcome to the Malamute Saloon.
Hope you are all enjoying the Labor Day weekend and the official end of summer, although you can't prove it to me. I haven't experienced a real fall in Texas since moving here here 26 years ago. Summer just never wants to end and about the only orange or yellow you will see is your lawn dying. I have come to the conclusion that only those born here love it here. The rest of us just keep playing the lottery in hopes we can win enough to move...
Many thanks to Gary Killmer for sending along the following newspaper article and a special thank you to Mike Cogan, the detectorist who made the story possible. I must say however that the lady's comment "some broke metal-detector dude might pocket it" kind of burned my butt. Apparently any other "dude" finding it and pocketing it is okay, not to mention wearing rings worth $13,600 to the beach is not exactly one of this gal's brightest moments.
Congratulations to Dan Hughes and his "In the Treasure Corner" podcast. Friday marked it's six year anniversary (157 total episodes). I love listening to Dan's laid back style and his podcasts are always interesting. If you have never listened to "In the Treasure Corner" do yourself a favor and do so today. You won't be sorry.
Thanks to my wife for this extremely important survival tip. I urge you all to view it, memorize it, practice it and never, ever forget it. It just might save your life. It saved mine last night...
Asked my friend John Howland to help me with the glossary of a detecting book I am working on but I think it was a mistake. So far I've gotten these back....
AUDIO IDENTIFICATION - “Hey sweetheart, what’s your name?”
2D COIL - The one you put on your detector the day after Monday
CUSTOM PROGRAM - 2 shots of bourbon, 1 of green chartreuse and a splash of bitters
DOUBLE BLIP - Rapid fire gas
FREQUENCY - The number of times I stop to pee on the way home
NON-MOTION - Why they usually throw me out of the pub
REJECTION - The story of my life
RELIC - What all the gals call me
SKID PLATE - My undershorts
THRESHOLD - How long I can go without a beer
Unfortunately the only exciting things going on with this over-the-hill tekkie are trips to the doctor and dentist. The doc is still trying to figure out what's wrong with me, aside from being a pain in the ass and the dentist doesn't really care. He's just happy taking my money. Then again if I was feeling fine I'd still be in the house because it's too damn hot to be outside. So der ya go!
I did come across a few recent articles and thought I would pass them along in case you haven't seen them...
Ron Guinazzo, as in Chicago Ron, was featured on a recent WGN-TV show in Chicago and the segment was nicely done. Ron is without a doubt the face of the treasure hunting pastime here in the US and deserves a lot of credit for promoting it. He’s pretty much done it all and I am jealous. Not so much of him and his accomplishments mind you, but of his fiance Gretchen. She is much too good looking to be getting married to someone named “Chicago Ron”. Apparently she never saw “The Godfather”...
Be sure to watch this and if you get a little bored hang in there....Gretchen comes in to the picture before too long.
I thought this was pretty damn cool, especially because it happened in New Jersey. No detector needed on this one...
Even though I have detected here numerous times I still found the following article fascinating. Maybe I need to go back and give it another go?
John Hooker took Gary Kemper's comment here on SS and dissected it, giving me further food for thought. Gary said..
"I think what would be interesting would be a real progression of history shown by an archeologist that claims to be interested in the history of an item. A presentation of how a person found an item and sold it and made a house payment or fed their family or passed it down to a family member.
When they talk about history they are not interested in some types of real history but only in the types of real history they promote. They want to control history which is their right to do if they find an item. They should not have the right to force people to prolong the history of an item in their way."
And John's final paragraph pretty sums up Gary's take....
"What exists in museums has been "ritually killed". It exists apart from human touch behind glass, no longer able to intimately interact with the lives of people. The conservation of objects is also the destruction of time as a natural process."
Think about that my friends....I certainly will. Thanks John and thanks Gary.
The following news release is about a planned development here in my neck of the woods and it caught my attention because nowhere could I find any mention of archaeological surveys or concern. Now I understand that this sort of thing goes on all the time here in the good ole US of A, but why does a builder get the go ahead to plow, dig up and build on 196 acres of farmland (see page 3) yet we are banned from detecting 2 or 3 acres of park land and chastised if we detected the aforementioned farmland for relics. Just don't get it anymore....sorry.
Thanks to Jessie Thompson for making me aware of the following article.
Since I seemed to get myself in trouble of late I will turn this post over to the kind hearted and loving John Howland, the old (and usually soused) Brit who lives in the South of England...
Hope you all get out detecting this weekend and find a few keepers....
Whenever I’m Stateside I’m nearly always a vague source of fascination (and amusement, I suspect) for the people who work in shops, stores, and bars. For example:
Me: “May I have a pack of cigars please?”
Shoplady, shouting into the stockroom: “Hey, Thelma, getcha ass out here!”
Thelma appears: “Hi”
Shoplady: “Could you repeat that please?”
Me: “May I have a pack of cigars please?”
Thelma and Shoplady in unison: “Wow, so polite. We just lurve you Australians.”
Barman: “Hi, what can I getcha?”
Me (having learned they don’t do ‘pints’): “A large beer please”
Barman; “Sure, coming up”
Barman, plonking a large glass of cold beer on the bar: “You like our beer?”
Me: “Sure do”
Barman: “What, better than your Aussie stuff? Anything else I can getcha?”
Me: “Where can I find the fags?” Silence falls across the bar.
Barman: “Huh? Fags?”
Me: “Yep, I’m gasping for one.” Two guys on stools slowly move away to the other end of bar.
Me: “Yeah, I’m right out. Watcha got? Winston Soft Packs?”
Barman (along with the two guys at the end of the bar look very relieved): “Oh Right! Fags yeah. Guess that’s Australian for cigarettes, huh? ”
Dick appears from the Gent’s toilet and catches the last part of the exchange.
Dick whispers conspiratorially to the Barman. Both look sideways in my direction. Barman nods. “Ah, English.”
Five minutes later…
Me to Dick: “What does ‘dumb arse’ mean?”
I never found out what it means, or its connection with the fruit of the Lime tree.
I found this phrase on John Hooker’s excellent blog as part of a larger comment by someone from Dallas, Texas:-
“[…] negative Jungian state known as Enantiodromia. […]”
Well, that’s easy for you to say Dick. Now try it without a glass of Merlot. Enantiodromia? Sounds like something the Doc prescribes to get yer bowels moving.
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) says on its website that archaeology:-
“[…] provides graduates with skills in problem-solving, data analysis, report writing, independent and logical thinking, group work, understanding statistics, public presentations, lateral thinking (that is being able to make connections between seemingly unrelated types of information), and many other key skills.”
Hmmm. Fine sentiments indeed. Presumably then, these skills are widespread?
However, when it comes to the aforementioned,“data analysis, report writing, independent and logical thinking, group work, understanding statistics,” and so on ad nauseum, these ‘skills’ are rarer than rocking-horse shit on a couple of blogs ostensibly populated by people claiming to be ‘archaeologists’ and/or ‘heritologists.’
Displaying a total lack of what the CBA reckons makes for good archaeology, “data analysis, report writing, independent and logical thinking, group work, understanding statistics,” one blog has what it reckons is an Artefact Erosion Counter; a ludicrous, home-brewed propagandist monstrosity, where, “data analysis” is nothing more than guesswork masquerading as fact. Even more derisory is that the CBA actually demonstrates its own grasp of, “data analysis, report writing, independent and logical thinking, group work, understanding statistics,” by giving a tacit thumbs up to this farcical AEC nonsense.
So much then for…” problem-solving, data analysis, report writing, independent and logical thinking, group work, understanding statistics, public presentations, lateral thinking (that is being able to make connections between seemingly unrelated types of information), and many other key skills.” Archaeology will never be taken seriously whilst it propagates dual standards; claims to be a science yet supports AEC-style rabid guesswork; whilst simultaneously denigrating metal detectorists for the very kind of inaccuracy on which the AEC is founded. . Not much “logical thinking” nor “understanding statistics” in evidence there you might think.The only excuse for the CBA’s collusion with the Nabobs of Nonsense must surely be they didn’t fully grasp the depth of drivel involved.
TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this behaviour, for these are precisely the sort of people active in archaeology who want to grab more and more of your rights, but want to be trusted with the accurate recording of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as "archaeological policy".
By contrast over on the UK’s Portable Antiquities Scheme website (a factual database), they have this to say:-
“Over the last 15 years more than 920,000 archaeological finds have been recorded by the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme for the advancement of archaeological knowledge. In the same period over 8,500 finds have been reported as Treasure, enabling the most important finds to be acquired by museums across the country. In 2012, 73,903 finds were recorded by the PAS, and 990 Treasure cases reported.”
If only something similar could be brought into being in the US.
Dear Mr Howland
English Heritage supports the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), is represented on it's Advisory Committee and endorses the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal-Detecting in England and Wales, indeed the English Heritage logo appears on the back of the printed version of the Code. As an organisation English Heritage recognises the contribution that Responsible Detectorists, who report their finds and findspots through the PAS have made, and are continuing to make, to our understanding of our past.
I hope this helps, we would be delighted to welcome you as a member. Please do let me know if I can be of any assistance [phone number and address deleted to prevent ‘trolls’]
Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
[Name deleted as above]
I share his email response here and wonder how many others also received one? My guess is not too many. If you want to read Bob's letter to the mayor you will find it in the comments section in the above link.
Dear Mr. Sickler:
Thank you for your letter to Mayor de Blasio regarding metal detecting in City parks. The Mayor asked Parks to respond. I was concerned by your statement that Parks’ rules governing metal detecting are discriminatory. Our regulations regarding metal detecting are an appropriate exercise of the Agency’s responsibility to protect and preserve parkland.
Parks Rules at Section 1-04(b) (5) specifically state “No person shall use a metal detector in any park, except in unvegetated beach areas. Use of metal detectors in other park areas will be permitted if the prior written consent of the Commissioner is obtained.” The rule clearly provides for the Commissioner’s discretion in establishing access for metal detecting in city parks. Likewise, there are established rules that govern most activities in parks -- including dog-walking, swimming, barbecuing, bicycling, flying model planes, skateboarding, and ice-skating, among others -- which similarly grant the Commissioner discretion in establishing access.
In selecting parks appropriate for metal detecting our agency has worked with horticulturalists, arborists, environmentalists and other organizations such as the Landmark Preservation Commission in effort to balance the concerns of the metal detecting community with our responsibility to conserve and maintain New York City’s parkland.
Over the past ten years, we have met periodically with representatives of the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights to discuss proposed detecting sites and guidelines governing documentation of “finds.” Throughout this time, parks have been added and removed from the list of suitable metal detecting sites for various reasons including replanting needs, turf replacement, capital work, storm/extreme weather damage or other ecological concerns.
Our most recent meeting with representatives from the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights took place on July 23, 2014, to discuss their concerns regarding the status of metal detecting in various city parks, and the possibility of opening additional parks to metal detecting. Pursuant to that meeting a review of the parks where the activity is currently not allowed is underway. We appreciate your patience during this process.
We understand the desire of metal detectorists to be able to pursue their activity unencumbered by regulations or restrictions. However, it is practical, prudent, and necessary that everyone who visits and uses parks cooperate in preserving and protecting these precious green spaces for all visitors -- present and future.
Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate your support and patronage.
Michael Dockett Assistant Commissioner Urban Park Service
NYC Parks Arsenal North 1234 Fifth Avenue, Room 225 New York, NY 10029
Thanks Bob for sharing this resonse and for always taking the time to fight city hall when needed. For more information on the NYC parks situation go to the Task Force for Metal Detecting website.
Just received a video from the one and only Andrew Whittaker, a wacky British friend of mine who always seems to have a little too much time on his hands. It's necessary to show his first one so that the second makes more sense.
I saw the following link yesterday and after reading it through a few times and wanted to share my thoughts....
First off this to me is just another example of the archaeological community offering a crumb to the detectorist. The cost for this class is $165 for the two days and that apparently does not include lodging. So add in that and of course your travel expenses. Why doesn’t Modern Heritage or Minelab pick up the tab?
Next you will be required to sign the following ‘ethics pledge’.
“I will neither purchase nor sell artifacts. I will not detect on any property without written permission of the land owner. I will record all discovered sites within 30 days with the state site files. I will keep records on the location of all materials I recover. I will not excavate any targets below the topsoil/plowzone. I will not disturb any human remains. I will report sites threatened by development or other actions to the state archaeologist or state historic preservation office. I will share data and knowledge with professional archaeologists. I will partner, when feasible, with professional archaeologists to assist in the preservation and study of archaeological resources. I will strive to be a responsible avocational detectorist. I understand that violation of this pledge may result in my name and contact information being removed from the APP database of responsible avocational detectorists.”
Maybe I missed something but where is the pledge for the archaeologist? I would personally never sign this pledge despite the “professional recognition” being promised. I can read between the lines and I am fine without that certificate or accreditation.
Next I found the following offensive….
“This class is intended for avocational metal detectorists who are serious about working with professional archaeologists”
Was it really necessary to insert the word “avocational” (as in amateur) and come on, when have detectorists NOT been serious about working with archaeologists? We’ve been trying for years and years to no avail. All that has happened is we’ve helped them do their work and in the process we lost more and more areas that were once available to us. So let me ask….when will the archaeological community be serious about working with us? When will they speak up and tell a city or town council that the park they have closed is not really of any historical significance? The answer of course is never. They want it all.
One of the topics in this course will be “A discussion of why partnership is advantageous to both parties, and ultimately benefits our historic resources and heritage”. Willing to bet that the advantage will be theirs and not ours. Just a hunch...
Then we have “The delineation and the ethical expectations for both professional archaeologists and avocational detectorists.” The key word here is ‘delineation’ as in “let’s be clear it’s our way or the highway. You will be told to do what we tell you and not one thing more.”
I know what I’ve said here will result in a lot of negative responses but it’s based on my 40 years of detecting and experiences with archaeologists. I no longer pee my pants or drool over the possibility of working with them. When “they” decide to step up to the plate and help “us” then I may change my mind. Until then I am not a second class citizen or detectorist and I am tired of pissing in the wind.
Not much has changed here in Stout house or for that matter here in the Lone Star State. Currently going through the annual "are you shitting me" category on the " Stout Scale" and suspect it will be awhile till I get out beeping. I know some of you can take the heat but ole "Dallas Dick" cannot. In the meantime I am keeping cool reading, writing and going to the movies.
John Howland did send me the following and I wanted to post it up before the weekend. Hope you all get out find some treasure (as in anything that will piss off an arkie). Later....
Some of you might remember that some time back while beachcombing I found a Roman coin? Well, after a lot legwork it turned out to be a Dupondius (Latin two-pounder) of Domitian, a brass coin used during the Roman Empire and Roman Republic valued at 2 asses (1/2 of a sestertius or 1/8 of a denarius), and probably shows Fortuna the goddess of fortune and personification of luck in Roman religion, on the reverse.
Though she might bring good luck or bad: she could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Justice, and came to represent life's capriciousness. The dupondius was introduced during the Roman Republic as a large bronze cast coin, although even at introduction it weighed less than 2 pounds. The coin featured the bust of Roma on the obverse and a six-spoked wheel on the reverse. Though not in the best condition, being the best part of 1,800 years old, it represents a rare piece for the particular area, and maybe an important piece in the local archaeological record owing to its find spot. I shall carry it as a good luck token. In the hope it leads me to buried gold.
It shows, yet again, the value of metal detectors in heritage research. I am keeping the record of its find for future referral.
Financial value? Not a lot.
I always enjoy reading Allyson Cohen's "Detecting Diva" blog but her latest update is terrific and I highly recommend you read it. She offers up a lot of good information that will get your brain working and juices flowing....
WWATS has now pushed back the unveiling of their "new" website until September 15th. It was supposed to be up and running May 15th, but they have been pushing it back each month, supposedly because they are having trouble getting their old content moved to the new site. Come on WWATS...most of the information you have up now is not worth saving. It's old, as in ancient. Likewise the FMDAC's "New" link will take to you November of last year (nothing new on their Facebook page either).
Let me suggest both groups get together with the Task Force, pool your resources, become one, find officers who have more time to deal with things, charge $50 a year for membership and start being more visible and more active. Othewise pack it in, dissolve your groups and call it a day because all you are doing at this point is wasting time trying to pretend you can make a difference.
Finally, If detectorists balk at paying $50 a year you are all wasting your time. It will take money to be successful and if tekkies can spend $1,000 to $2,000 for a detector they damn well can afford $50 to support their hobby.
Okay done venting....
Since the sun’s rays are unworthy of my adonis-like body and my aches and pains not worth aggravating, I dont’ have much to offer this time around. No exciting photos of finds to wow you with or stories of bravery and valor. I realize this will ruin your day and I apologize. You will just have to ‘bite the bullet’ and get your fix on FB or the forums.
The following will not mean much to most of you but I am sharing it for any of the early FMDAC folks who are still around.
I received an email from Bruce Hazelman, an old friend and part of the original FMDAC cadre, informing me of the passing of Mark Halliday. Unbeknownst to many, Mark, or “Doc” as he was known, left us in 2013 and Bruce just recently found out via a letter from Mark’s wife Donna. Mark was one of the first FMDAC supporters and was part of the group that traveled to England for the Longleat Rally and World Championship in 1987. While there we detected a few Roman sites and Mark came away with a gold stater, the best find of our trip.
Mark was in the Air Force at the time he and Donna met up with us in London and it became his lifework. He retired as a Master Sergeant in 2006. To Donna and family my belated condolences.
I'm currently reading a book titled Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson. It's non-fiction, a real page turner and if you are from New Jersey you will love it even more. Thank you Lisa MacIntyre for sending it to me.
Came across an old photo of Batman and Robin the other day and had to share it. ‘Robin’ is an old friend who lives in the UK, but I won’t mention his name because I don’t want to embarrass him (clue....think Regton, Ltd). Keep in mind this was not Halloween or a costume party….just a typical weekend in the West Midlands. Another reminder that one has to be very careful when dealing with British tekkies. A strange group they are...
If you hate pulltabs, and we all do, here’s a gal who’s on the lookout for them. I met Claudia Zimmer through a friend on Facebook and had to share her passion and here. Her creations are mind boggling.
According to Claudia “this type of craft is very popular in Brazil, where I am from”....
I asked Claudia if she purchased these pulltabs new and she replied "No, they are all used in cans before they get snapped off. I buy them on eBay. Some lots are in better shape than others. I still have to sort, toss the bad ones in the recycling bin, wash and disinfect". Need something to do on a rainy day?
If you are interested in learning more check out Claudia’s website here and if you are on Facebook enter “Pop Top Lady” in the upper search area. Thank you Claudia for allowing me to share your story here on Stout Standards.
For those of you who are also interested in this topic I wanted to pass along this recent news story. For those of you who are not, at ease and light 'em up if you got 'em....
For the two Limey guests at the FMDAC’s 1986 Atlantic City bash (yours truly and Gerald Costello) the whole shabang was a revelation: Indeed, Atlantic City itself was a revelation: Trump’s Castle Hotel and Casino our home for a couple of nights was, yeh you guessed it, a revelation. The huge laser display board flashing out the message; Atlantic City Welcomes the Federation of Metal Detector & Archaeological Clubs, was, well,… illuminating! Geddit?
Trump’s Castle as one would expect from a hotel Donald T puts his name to, was A1, First Class, Top Hole; resplendent with its glitzy décor and general razzmatazz that makes Buckingham Palace look like a hovel. We’d been a long time on the road and Gerald and me were ‘Donald Ducked’ [Cockney rhyming slang for exhausted] by the time we reached our destination. The prospect of crashing-out in our room on the zillionth floor of this cultural edifice, beckoned enticingly; like a $20 trollop to a sailor. They say that on a clear day, from the zillionth floor and looking south, you can even see poverty.
Slinging my suitcase and valise on my bed, I settled into a comfy chair, feet up, and spun the top from a bottle of Rebel Yell, and with full ice bucket on tap, a soft-pack of Winston King Size, and the prospect of a great two days ahead of me, all was fine with the world. “Good God, “says Gerald, “You’re not going to drink all that tonight are you?”
“ ’kin watch,” I says, “Shit, bourbon makes me sooo horny.” It sure cured Gerald’s snoring: he never slept a wink that night, while I however, slept the ‘Sleep of the Just’; I’d teach him to buy ‘dry’ plane tickets.
At the following evening’s pre-dinner drinkies do, I bumped into Dick Tichian; bumped into former US Marine, Cliff Stefens; stepped over Dick Stout; bumped into several pleasant ‘suits’ from Whites, Garrett, and Tesoro, along with characters who’ve passed into treasure hunting folklore lore. “Hey, over here!” shouted the now sadly late Sam Abramo, an attorney of some repute, clutching a replica of the Hand of Faith gold nugget, the largest at the time ever found with a metal detector, and something ‘on the rocks’ in the other.
“You drinkin’ Jaarn?”
“You kiddin’ me Sam? C’mon, get ‘em in ya bloody cheapskate, I’m thoisty.” I liked Sam. He was the kind of guy who if he couldn’t do you a good turn, wouldn’t do you bad one – which is saying something for a lawyer - his wit was as sharp as his fees. He lived respected and died regretted. A good bloke.
The sun came up early the next day, and Stouty having surfaced from his pit and lurching into the real world rendezvoused with me in the Breakfast Bar, where over bagels, orange juice, and coffee - good US coffee - conned asked me, if I’d like to address the assembled throng later that morning on the topic of treasure hunting in the Old Country. “Yeh, no probs,” I lied, “But what do you want me to speak about?”
Ever the diplomat, “You’ve bull-shitted your way in the hobby so far, so do what your good at,” he charmingly reassured me.
According to the billing I’d be the second act following what was in the event, Charles Garrett’s spellbinding talk about electro-magnetic fields in relation to treasure hunting with metal detectors, followed by an equally engrossing tale of his search for the Nez Perce Indian Treasure. Yeh, ‘preciate, Dick!
There was no way I was going to compete with ‘Charlie G’s’ offering notwithstanding his reputation in the treasure hunting fraternity, his scientific background, and his role in the Apollo missions. Talk about after the Lord Mayor’s Show has gone past all that remains is the crap!
Nevertheless, diving straight in I regaled them heartily with stories about ‘mud-larking’ on that section of River Thames that flows through London, along with tales about hunting for Roman, and Celtic coins, and all about the one guy who hunts ‘eyes-only’ on the banks of the Thames to feed an unfortunate habit. “Great Jaarn,” one said later,” Really soporific!” I think that’s Arkansas patois for super-duper. Eat your heart out Charlie G!
Well into my stride I threw out challenges:-
“Any questions?” expecting in-depth treasure hunting queries.
From the back of the auditorium came…"Do you have ring-pulls in Britain?" (Oh by the way, and for the information of anyone from rural Arkansas reading this, we have running water, street lamps and electricity here in the Old Country).
“Yeh,” I shouted back, “And if I’m not mistaken they’re a bloody US invention.” He seemed proud of the fact they were. I guess he was from Arkansas.
"What about archaeologists?" someone else enquired.
“What about them?”
“Do you have good relations with them?”
Recalling the sharp wit of a cockney NCMD member who shall remain nameless, I adapted his legendary retort to a similar question some years earlier and luckily, failed to quote him verbatim, “Well not personally, but I know one detecting club secretary who’s fu…er… sleeping with one.
“Do you have any trouble from them?”
“Only the fact that a bunch of the loony fringe [yes, we had nutters even in those days] have been seeding fields with tin-tacks to disrupt metal detectors. The farmers aren’t best pleased since these creeps are doing this at night and cattle are picking them up on their tongues and legs.”
The following day’s AC Beach Hunt was, yeh, was you’ve guessed it… unlike any detector hunt either I or Gerald had seen before or been involved in. Back in the UK hunt prizes where mostly trowels, finds aprons, a metal detector donated by a manufacturer if you were lucky, but here, they were giving away the kinds of prizes people wanted; cars, metal detectors in profusion, and ancillary kit like you’ve never seen. What an eye-opener, but most of all, it was a supremely enjoyable treasure hunt populated by guys and gals, who from what I could fathom, were the cream of the rank-and-file of the US treasure hunting community. I even won a Compass metal detector and managed to stow it aboard on the plane home. We made many new friends too, which in a way gave way to the infamous incident of the ‘Twenty Bucks’.
What happened was this:-
On the AC Boardwalk with Stouty, we met up with some of the above mentioned treasure hunting reprobates. “Hey, Jaarn, loved your gags last night at the dinner. Fancy a beer?” What? Has the Pope got a balcony? So off we all trooped – detectors and all - into a Boardwalk bar where the draught ‘Bud’ flowed copiously accompanied by equally plentiful Bourbon chasers. “I didn’t know you English guys drank Bourbon chasers,”said a guy from Arkansas, “Well,” I said, “We don’t all drink medieval mead and dress like Robin Hood.”
“Yeh, but you guys got all them ancient ruins,” a guy from Little Rock said.
“We lost a lot of them, not so many nowadays,” I countered.
“How come,” he says.
“In the late 1940’s and 50’s most GI’s stationed in the UK married ‘em and took ‘em back home.”
“Ah, I see. Right!” Yep, definitely from Arkansas.
“Hey old buddy, old pal, my old mate,” whispers Stouty, “Any chance of a loan, say $20? It’s my round soon…and well…you know how it is.” As the saying goes; a friend in need is a pain in the ass. I coughed up the dough.
“Yes sure,” I replied, thinking to myself, ‘shit,’ another Lend/Lease deal!
Any suspicions I had about Stouty’s connections where confirmed when he took me and Gerald to the best table in one of Noo Joisey’s top eateries where the clientele all bore striking resemblances to the likes of ‘Bugs’ Moran, ‘Bugsy’ Siegel, ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd, John Dillinger, ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly, ‘Legs’ Diamond, and Frank Costello, all of whom had a Jean Harlow type blonde ‘broad’ hanging from their arms. The rest looked like they’d tried to go the distance with Rocco Francis Marchegiano.
The Italian proprietor, a real one-off, whose only word in English in which he was fluent which began with the letter ‘F’ and who realising Gerald’s surname was Costello, his Sicilian bon hommie really came to the fore. I kid you not, it was a night to remember.
More next time.
The "New Joisey eatery" John is referring to was the "Lighthouse" in Weehawken, New Jersey, without a doubt one of the best Italian restaurants I've ever eaten in and that includes
Italy as well. The only name I knew the owner by was 'Romano" and he was a delightful man. Unfortunately the Lighthouse is longer in business....
Following on from the previous curry recipe here on the Malamute Saloon I’m relieved that no-one has yet complained about having the red-hot rectals, or of marking out the hockey pitch as we sometimes refer to the morning after effects. I live in hope, ha, ha, ha! A good hot curry should induce sweating which in turn cleans the pores of the skin and what follows, though a little cooler, will do precisely that.
Hot curries are addictive in that they cause the body to release endorphins (a natural pain-killer). The same effect is possible with hot Tex-Mex chili too I suspect. But hot curries are for Sahibs, the menfolk, not wimpy gringos.
This curry is finished off with serving bowls of sultanas, chopped boiled eggs, chopped fresh tomatoes, and desiccated coconut, crispy poppadums, from which the diners add according to taste, along with a dollop of apple, mango, or tamarind chutney. A sprinkling of sliced bananas is a useful addition to counter the fire of the chillies. Always serve with boiled rice.
1. Melt the butter in a large, sturdy pan (a cast-iron skillet is ideal) over a medium heat. Add the steak, in batches, and fry for a few minutes until browned and then remove to a plate. Add the onions to the same pan and fry for 10 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown.
2. Add the garlic and fry for one minute, and then return the meat to the pan, along with any juices on the plate. Stir in the chilli powder, turmeric, one tablespoon of the garam masala, and the salt, and cook for one minute.
3. Add the stock, followed by the coconut and sultanas. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes to an hour or until the beef is tender. Stir in the remaining garam masala and serve. Often, a good dollop of straight-from-the-fridge yoghurt (Greek style) over the beef soothes the heat. Enjoy!
Remember the Golden Rule about drinks with curries….it’s water always, beer sometimes…wine NEVER.
An archaeologist and a treasure hunter are sitting next to each other on a long flight. The archaeologist thinks (as they all do) that treasure hunters are so dumb that he could get one over on any one of them dead easy...
So the archaeologist asks if the treasure hunter would like to play a fun game.
The treasure hunter is tired and just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and tries to catch a few winks. The archaeologist persists, and says that the game is really, really, a lot of fun.
"I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me only $5; you ask me a question, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500," the archaeologist says.
This catches the treasure hunter’s attention and to keep the archaeologist quiet, he agrees to play the game.
The archaeologist asks the first question. 'What's the distance from The Earth to the Moon?'
The Treasure hunter doesn't say a word, reaches in his pocket, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the archaeologist.
Now, it's the treasure hunter's turn. He asks the archaeologist, 'What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?'
The archaeologist uses his laptop and searches all references he can find on the Net. He sends e-mails to all the smart friends he knows, all to no avail.
After one hour of searching he finally gives up. He wakes up the treasure hunter and hands him $500. The Treasure hunter pockets the $500 and goes right back to sleep.
The archaeologist is going nuts not knowing the answer. He wakes the treasure hunter up and asks, 'Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?'
The Treasure hunter reaches in his pocket, hands the archaeologist $5 and goes back to sleep.
One particular club that I have a real fondness for is the Wheat State Treasure Hunters. They are a big part of the Wichita, Kansas community, giving metal detecting programs to those living there as well as elsewhere in the state. They also adopted a local park and once a month members meet to help maintain it. Anyway I became aware a while back that their program this month was going to be a talk by the State Archaeologist, but what really got my attention was his name. Dr.Robert Hoard. Seriously? Hoard?
After the meeting Steve Ukena, president of the Wheat State group, shared a summary of it on their website and I want to interject my thoughts (I do this with Steve’s approval).
First I applaud Dr.Hoard for traveling almost 150 miles to talk to this club. A very long drive for anyone, especially without being reimbursed. Thank you Dr. Hoard, and for the record me thanking anyone within the archaeological community is big deal (if you are smart you won’t mention my name to your colleagues). Okay, let me cut to the chase and give my thoughts on Dr. Hoard’s talk, and remember I am using Steve’s summary for what follows…
Steve commented “I think Pulltab and I were both a little taken back on how much our States archaeology department already works with metal detectorists. Dr. Hoard had several examples of dig sites that included the use of our equipment. He mentioned several times that he sees our tools as a useful extension of their equipment. They use several types of ground penetrating radars and other very high tech equipment but he definitely acknowledged that sometimes our equipment is exactly what they need to help them piece together the puzzles of history”.
My question is...did they use detectorists on any of these projects or did they use detectors themselves? That wasn't really clear..
Then "Sites - Dr. Hoard informed us that any citizen can create, document, and file a site through his department. He acknowledged the fact that they will never have the time, money, and other resources to do a full dig on every site. He encouraged us to create sites based on our finds."
Damn, finally an archaeologist admits they will never have the time nor the money to find it all. Hallelujah! Praise Wally!
Next, "Artifacts - Plain and simply put their department is not interested in every artifact we find". Hmm, could have fooled me! This was followed by "However, they would like to be informed about them on the field site registry".
Well this sounds great but realistically given our years of dealing with the archaeological community what tekkie is going to do this. Lets be real, please. If this sounds unethical then you call the state archaeologist next time you find a relic and tell him all about it and don't forget to tell him the exact location.
If they really want us to come forward they need to be specific as to what the repercussions will be, if any, and how will it affect our ability to return to the same site.
Then the following really hit home with me "Dr. Hoard agreed that most humans like recognition for the work they have done. He also said that there are times when these details fall through the cracks".
No kidding! I remember three instances where I and a few others fell through the cracks and as far as I am concerned they will be the last. We not only didn't get recognition, we didn't even get a thank you at the end of the day.
Then the biggie - According to Steve "The only bad news (if we can call it that) that came out of the meeting was the following. Our state has an Artifacts Act that was passed in I believe in 1967. This act prohibits the removal of artifacts from public lands whether they be State, City, Township, or County. As soon as he informed us of this the room got kind of quiet and we all paused to contemplate what these words meant. Does this mean we can’t metal detect in local parks? No it doesn’t mean that. It does mean however that under current law we would have to get a permit to collect artifacts out of public land. Well a permit wouldn’t be a big deal right? I had to ask the question. How would we go about getting a permit? The short answer was that you have to have a masters degree and apply through their department".
Hmm, yeah right, let me dig through the garage and see if I can find my diploma (and they want us to come forward with our finds?).
Finally Steve said "Dr. Hoard encouraged us to come up with some new wording and revisions that could be made to this law to keep everyone happy"
Steve, good luck with that. When you do affect some change in the law that will recognize our right to pursue our pastime without ridiculous restrictions, let me know.
Okay let me wrap this up by saying I mean no ill will to Dr. Hoard, and as I said above, for him to go out of his way to speak to the Wheat State club, is admirable and very kind of him. Likewise I hope, that Steve and the Wheat State Treasure Hunters will not think less of me for sharing my thoughts here. Meetings and programs like this are great and can be useful but only when some sort of "real" change results. Now beat me up.....
Now beat me up....
There was a comment to my post of July 31st from Eddie Black. Eddie, as I am sure many of you already know, has been fighting the powers to be in Louisville, Kentucky, to overturn a ban on metal detecting in city parks.
He asked "Wonder why Louisville has not received help with parks Dept. banning metal detecting. Is this a no win situation?" His question is a valid one, especially since the Task Force, back in the spring or 2013, was supposedly on top of the situation. I followed up Eddie's comment with three more of my own, trying to prod an answer out of them but apparently they are too busy. So let me try once more here and see if someone might take a few minutes to answer Eddie and the rest of the tekkies in the Louisville area.
Well for whatever reason John Howland has decided to reminisce. He usually only does that (or slurs that) when he's about ten minutes away from passing out. What really scares me however is that he has labeled this update part one! I mean who knows what evil lurks in this man's pickled and demented mind. One can only imagine...
A warning John...be careful what you say. I have your wife's email address.
By the time the 747’s wheels hit the tarmac early evening at JFK, the urge to kill my traveling companion, the NCMD’s General Secretary, Gerald Costello, had somewhat abated. “I’ll get the tickets,” he’d shouted excitedly down the phone a few days earlier. Okay, that’s great, I thought, and it wasn’t until the Trolley-Dolly came around at 35,000-ft asking what I’d like to drink that I realised the pillock had booked us on a ‘dry’ flight with a certain Middle-Eastern airline. I mean there’s only so much bloody cola you can drink on an eight hour flight, so I settled for a Tonic Water, ice and a slice, pretending it contained a shot of Stolichnaya. The old boy behind us seemed to be ordering an inordinate amount of 7UP.
Walking back from the toilet to my seat, I noticed the obviously seasoned traveller, in the seat behind Gerald, surreptitiously sipping from a brown paper bag; and I caught a brief flash of the neck of a Jack Daniels bottle. Bastard! No wonder he wanted 7UPs. For the rest of the flight very time the paper bag rustled Gerry took a sideways glance at me, shrugged, and mouthed the words, “I didn’t know” somewhat apologetically, like when your beloved forgets to put on the handbrake and your car rolls into Cadillac.
“Some of the people on here look a bit dodgy to me,” Gerald whispers, “Reckon they could be hi-jackers?”
“Arab terrorists don’t hi-jack their own planes, though if they do, you’re gonna be right in the shit,” I snarled.
“Yeah,” I said cruelly, “When they check your passport and see your name. Think about it. Goodnight.”
I was soon in the arms of Morpheus but not so deep as to mask the rustle of the paper bag behind. It was like being staked out by the Comanche’s near to a bucket of water. My thoughts turned to mugging the old boy for the JD, but let them go as I didn’t fancy getting 200 strokes in some Arabian market square, or something equally unspeakable; I was after all on Arab territory.
When I awoke - over the North Pole - and with a mouth drier than a Sheik’s short hairs, my companion was wide-awake, apparently trying to suss out which of the passengers might be a potential hi-jacker. Revenge is sweet (but dry). [Note to Dick. That’s why he looked so shagged out when you picked us up at JFK. Ha,ha.
Mid-evening saw us being chauffeured out of JFK and Noo Joisey bound, having been met by Dick Stout and the fragrant Fay. “You OK with the route, honey?” Fay purred to hubby Dick. “Yeah, yeah, no sweat.” We were impressed.
And so it came to pass. That journey from JFK via the Big Apple, to Frenchtown NJ as I recall, has entered into treasure hunting legend. Never before had I realized that New York has two Empire State Buildings, or three squares named ‘Times.’ What a city. We were impressed.
Around midnight we arrived at our motel. It seemed like we’d been driving for hours. We had been, thanks to Dick’s familiarity of New York City. “Is there anything you guys want?” Says Dick.
“Disregard anything he says,” I says, pointing at Gerald. “Yep, I really need a beer.” Gerald stared down at his shoes.
Opposite was an oriental-themed bar. “I’ll get ‘em in,” I says, stepping up to the bar. “What’ll ya have?” drawls the barman. I resisted the urge to do a Randolph Scott; “Hey, gimme two fingers of Red-Eye and tell Doc Holliday the Limey’s here.”
“A pint of lager and whatever those guys are having.”
“A pint? Pint?”
“We don’t do pints.” Conversation nearby, stopped. People turned in my direction.
“Just find the biggest glass you got and fill it to the brim,” I says.
Up comes a foaming quart, as the barmen sets about serving drinks for Dick, Fay and the dastardly Gerald. Just as he’d finished setting them up I plonked the empty jug back on the bar…the sweetest beer I’d ever enjoyed. “Same again mate,” I smiled, “Same glass’ll do.”
The guy sitting at the bar nibbling nuts gently moved away. He wanted no part of a guy who drinks beer twice from the same jug.
Conversation resumed all round, with obvious relief that the guy who drinks from the bucket ain’t a psycho. Well I was wearing a tie after all, and I am English.
The penny dropped and my new pal, the barman, smiled knowingly…"OK. Right-on! You’re an Australian!”
In the days when the sun never set on the British Empire and you colonial rebel Johnnies along with that Washington chap bent their knee in obedience to the British Crown (let’s hear it for King George, Hurrah! Hurrah!) and well before you expatriate scallywags chucked all that tea overboard at Boston, we Brits were already developing sophisticated palates with hot and spicy grub from imported from our lands in India, then under governance of the British Raj.
Curry was king and of a kind that makes so-called Tex/Mex chili a poor relation not to mention knocking it into a cocked hat. If you yearn for heat and fire…have a go at this if you think you’re hard (or stoopid) enough.
This Chicken curry recipe from Madras (also known as Ghandi’s Revenge for reasons that might become obvious early on the following morning) should do the biz…
Cut the chicken into strips or cubes and put aside. Heat the oil and add the onions and cook until they start to soften which will be about 5 or 6 minutes. Once the onions have started to brown add the chillies, the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 3 minutes. Then add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, curry leaves and chilli powder and leave to cook for a further minute or so.
In that time, season the chicken you set aside earlier with the salt and pepper and add to the pan and cook stirring the pan until the chicken begins to go golden brown all over.
At this stage you’ll want to add the water and the chopped tomatoes and then bring to boil. Once the pan is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan stirring every so often. Let it simmer for about 30-minutes and add more water as needed if it begins to stick or the sauce becomes too dry – remember to stir well if you do need to add water. At the end of the 30-minutes, stir in the garam masala and leave uncovered for another 10-minutes, again taking care not to let it dry out.
When the cooking’s finished and you’re ready to serve the chicken madras, garnish with a handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, and serve with boiled rice, naan bread, or chapatti.
Remember the Rules: With curry it’s water always, cold beer sometimes, and wine NEVER!
....your sweetie says, "Let’s go upstairs and make love," and you answer, "Honey, I can't do both!"
....your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you're barefoot.
.....the porn you bring home is "Debby Does Dialysis.
....a sexy babe catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door nearest your car.
.....you remember when the Dead Sea was only sick.
....you don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go along.
....when it takes longer to rest than to get tired.
....when you are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.
...."getting a little action" means I don't need to take any fiber today.
...."getting lucky" means you find your car in the parking lot.
.... an "all-nighter" means not getting up to pee!
.......Statistics show that at the age of seventy, there are five women to every man. Isn't that an ironic time for a guy to get those odds?
A snake and a rabbit were racing along a pair of intersecting forest pathways one day, when they collided at the point where the pathways meet. They immediately began to argue with one another as to who was at fault for the mishap. When the snake remarked that he had been blind since birth, and thus should be given additional leeway, the rabbit said that he, too, had been blind since birth. The two animals then forgot about the collision and began commiserating concerning the problems of being blind.
The snake said that his greatest regret was the loss of his identity. He had never been able to see his reflection in water, and for that reason did not know exactly what he looked like, or even what he was. The rabbit declared that he had the same problem. Seeing a way that they could help each other, the rabbit proposed that one feel the other from head to toe, and then try to describe what the other animal was. The snake agreed, and started by winding himself around the rabbit. After a few moments, he announced, "You've got very soft, fuzzy fur, long ears, big rear feet, and a little fuzzy ball for a tail. I think that you must be a bunny rabbit!"
The rabbit was much relieved to find his identity, and proceeded to return the favor to the snake. After feeling about the snake's body for a few minutes, he asserted, "Well, you're scaly, you're slimy, you've got beady little eyes, you squirm and slither all the time, and you've got a forked tongue. I think you're an arkie."
About two weeks ago I tried to wake up the three "supposed" sleepig Giants...the FMDAC, the TFMDR and WWATS. I caused a little stir among the Task Force and Allyson Cohen, their Vice-President, Treasurer and pretty much the glue that holds everything together, responded. Thank you Allyson. As for the FMDAC and WWATS? Nada! Zilch! Nothing! Both groups are apparently missing in action or inaction to be more precise. So let me see if I can find another way to poke them and get a response.
When we started the Federation back in the early 80’s we had no intentions of becoming a ‘national’ organization. We were only concerned with forming a small regional coalition of metal detecting clubs. Our goal? To try and tackle a few problem areas in the Northeast and to share ideas, programs, events, etc.. We met the 3rd Sunday of every month in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, with delegates traveling from Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and of course New Jersey.
We elected officers, formed committees and everyone involved went the extra mile to make sure the group met it’s goals. As we continued on our accomplishments were being noticed elsewhere, and we started receiving letters from clubs all across the country, asking how they might join our effort. We grew quickly and in a little over a year we represented well over a hundred clubs.
How did we accomplish this? By communicating and let me remind you that back then personal computers were few and far between. As I remember Archie and Rosalie Ray, our Legislative Chairman and Secretary respectively, had an Apple IIE, as did I. It ran on a DOS OS and the only thing I was able to use it for was printing out lists on a gigantic dot matrix printer. As a result I communicated with everyone via US mail (you do know what that is right?).
I suggested we have a newsletter and we decided to call it “The Quest”. I enjoyed doing it although when I look back now I have no clue why. I would type the newsletter on my trusty IBM Selectric (loved that typewriter), use trace-on letters for headlines and graphics, then take it to work and print it (I paid my boss $20 per month for the paper and ink used). Then in order to save paper, I would copy and reduce two pages at a time so that they would end up on one 8×10 sheet of paper. The difficult part was copying on the reverse side so that when folded the pages were in order. Once folded the newsletter wound up being 5½ x 8 inches is size. When I finished this I took the pages home, collated, stapled and mailed them out to each club (one for every single member).
Fast forward to today and pretty much everyone has a computer, ipad or smart phone and we have this neat thing called email. We also have blogs and websites, quite a few of which are free and easy to use if one is inclined to put their brain to work. So why aren’t our national groups communicating? I have no clue whatsoever. They profess to represent us but consistently keep us in the dark about their efforts. As a result few if any tekkies are inclined to part with their hard earned money when anyone floats the idea of financially supporting ONE national group and hell I can’t blame them.
So come on big three….speak up. Get pissed. Call me a troublemaker, rabble-rouser, antagonist, instigator, whatever. In this case you would be correct. That’s my purpose in writing this and as I said before if you are having problems, no big deal. Every organization has them. Don’t hide them. Tell your members. They will understand, trust me, and if you don’t have the manpower and need help say so as well. I can’t guarantee that you will have a zillion people rushing to help but hell give it a shot. Likewise if you are not all that excited about the job, the challenge and the effort needed to make things happen, dissolve your group and ask your members to join forces with one of the other two. There’s just no excuse for not communicating.
If we don’t come together and if we don’t start being proactive, we will soon be out of business and I know for a fact that there are people out there working overtime to make sure it happens. I don’t mean to paint a doomsday picture but the writing is on the wall. Hopefully I have pissed off a few major players in each organization that I get some sort of response.Time will tell.
I found this article the other day and had to share it here. You see all too frequently we are painted with an extremely broad brush as bad guys by those in the 'holier than thou' enemy camp, yet when misdeeds like the following happen they are always labeled inaccurate, miscontrued, taken out of context or political in nature. Yep, only detectorists are capable of such things. Just ask any archaeologist. They will tell you exactly "how it is". Hmm, yeah right....
My twin brother John Winter sent along the following article and suggested I might not like the English countryside next time I come over. Not sure if he's trying to tell me something but I offer it here for your consideration too. If you are one of those who pays six months worth of car payments to detect the UK fields it might be of use....thank you bro!
I have been retired now for almost three years but I am constantly looking for ways to make money. If you remember I thought I had come up with a way to do this when I posted A Way to Make Money On the Side back in October. Well all that kind of fizzled out and I was back to square one UNTIL a friend posted the following on Facebook.
I figure if she can do it for $60 and hour I can do it for $30 and make a killing (women only of course). I need your feedback on this however. I emailed the article to Fay and told her about my plans and the only response I received was ROFLMAO. I have no idea why but she has never been very supportive of my plans and projects but that's okay, I will have the last laugh when the money starts rolling in.
In the meantime I need to pick up an appointment book and decide on a catchy name for the business. So far I have come up with "The Cuddling Curmudgeon" and "Clinch the Grinch". I also thought I could offer beer (for an extra fee of course) and use "Hug & Chug with a Slug". I wanted to use my name but everything sounded obscene and I didn't want anyone to think I was some sort of gigolo. I stopped with all that a couple years ago.
Tomorrow is Fay's BD and I wanted to publicly wish her a great day. I won't tell her age because she would beat me profusely, but she is much younger than I. I also hope she enjoys my presents... a 50 piece wrench set, a new vacuum cleaner and a set of dish towels (okay, just kidding. I didn't get her the dish towels).
Had the best day for coins in a long time. Came home with five silver quarters and an exciting morning. About as good as it gets anymore...at least for this Bubba. I'm not sure about sharing the site for fear it will be overun with tekkies but I just might later on...
It's been hot as hell here with temps around 100, and I decided it was time to get off my ass and wash the pug bug. I love my old yellow Beetle and do my best to keep it looking good. Anyway I drove around the corner to a carwash and inserted five dollars into the change maker. Out came 20 quarters, three of them silver. Needless to say that called for another five dollars! The next batch? Two more silver quarters. If it were not so hot I would have gone home, grabbed a stool, poured a stiff one and played slots for the rest of the day. Unfortunately the silver ran out after a few more bucks.
There was a bank a couple doors down and I was tempted to cash a check and sort through some quarter rolls but changed my mind. I Used to do that years ago but that was a different era. Anyway I will stop back at the carwash today and give it another go....just in case. I mean who needs Vegas?
While perusing Facebook I came across a photo of my old friend Nigel Ingram, owner of Regton, Ltd. in Birmingham, England. Apparently he recently attended a school reunion and one of his classmates decided to post a photo. From what I gather none of the wives were present and things got a little out of hand. Well Nigel, my friend, what is this photo and my information worth? And and don't forget you still owe me few bucks from way back when.
Someone sent me the following and I am sorry I don't remember who. Anyway it's a nice write-up about tekkies in the NYC area....enjoy
I get at least two or three emails a week asking for advice on detectors. "What should I buy?" "What detector you recommend for a beginner?" "Is this detector better than that one?" "What detector do you use?" "What's the best detector on the market?" etc., etc., etc.. Anyway I decided to share again a post I did back in the fall of 2013. You can take from it what you like...
IF you want to get started in this pastime how involved do you want to get? Is this a serious interest or merely a curious one? Next, how much are you willing to invest to get started? Metal detecting is no different from any other hobby. Golf, fishing, photography....all great pastimes, and all involve an initial investment. I was once a fishing fanatic, and the more involved I got, the more money I spent. It was my passion, a way to rid myself of worries and stress, and while I hated the alarm going off at 5 AM, a couple of hours on a trout stream, with the mist rising and the sun just coming up, was pure magic and a great start to my day.
IF by chance your interest in metal detecting stems from watching one of the treasure hunting TV shows, save your money. What you see is not the real world, nor are the prices placed on the finds even close to accurate, and if you think the participants make their living treasure hunting, think again. One or two might be associated with a manufacturer and be paid to use their products, but otherwise I doubt they live on their TV star salaries.
IF you are interested because you are sure that your now deceased Uncle Zeke buried gold in his backyard, rent a detector and go find it. No need to spend a lot of money. Uncle Zeke probably didn't bury it deep, if he buried it at all, and while I have no doubt that caches exist, so do rumors and tall tales.
IF you're a numismatist and want to find old coins, jump in, join the club. That's what got me started, and there's still a lot of money in the ground, despite what some are saying.
IF you want to be a beach bum, and find things in the sand and surf, go for it. Lots of fun, fresh air, and with the current price of gold at around $1,400 per ounce, you just might bring in a few extra bucks. Just don't quit your day job! The worse that can happen is you come home empty handed with visions of bikini clad young gals etched in your brain. If you decide to go this route be sure purchase a water proof, multi-frequency model detector.
IF you just want to metal detect for the fun of it, hell yeah do it, but purchase a low end detector. Most all the MAJOR manufacturers offer "turn on and go" entry level models that are well made, capable of finding neat things, and are very affordable. Do NOT however buy a detector from a large department store chain. They simply sell them, probably know nothing about how they work, and if you have a problem, you're "shit out of luck". Deal with a local dealer, who will be there to demonstrate and offer assistance if and when you need it.
Research, attend a local club meeting, ask questions, rent one, try 'em out, take your time and try to make an educated decision (if there is such a thing). Also starting out with an expensive, top-of-the line metal detector does not insure success or better finds. If you don't walk over it, you won't find it, so spend your time, not your money, thinking about where to use it.
Before I tell you what the best metal detector on the market is, you need to tell me which automobile is better. Ford or Chevrolet and why? Then you have to tell me which company makes the best golf clubs....Calloway, Ping or Titleist? Next, which is better? Canon or Nikon? Coke or Pepsi? Coors or Budweiser? You do know where I am going with this right?
As far as I am concerned there's no such thing as the "best detector on the market today". The best detector should be the one you can afford and the one you are most comfortable with. Spending a lot of money might get you a little more depth, but it will also get you a 200 page user's manual and a sore arm to boot. I have been through the "need to have the latest and best" phase and now realize that's all it is....a phase, an imagined need.
Ask any detectorist today what detector they think is best and they will probably tell you it's the one THEY are using at the moment. After all if they like it, you certainly will too. Well, er, not necessarily. I am willing to bet that same detectorist has gone through a lot of different makes and models over the years, and the one he is using now is simply the latest gal he's taken to the dance....
What do I use today? Well, not the top of the line model, not the entry level model, not the one with all the bells and whistles, and not the one that goes down fifteen feet. The metal detector I use is lightweight, comfortable, easy to understand, needs little if any in-the-field adjustments, and because of that it's the best one on the market today (to me). So the next time somebody asks me about which detector is best, I'm gonna say "I got your best detector, right here pal!"
Now do yourself a favor and try not to make all this stuff rocket science...it isn't. It's a hobby, a pastime, nothing more. Just go do it for crissakes and stop worrying about which detector you "think" you need to have. And most important, have fun will ya?
For the record I am currently using the MXT Pro and I love it.... I give my reasons HERE
One of the best sights in my part of the English Riviera is seeing treasure hunters out on the wet sand at Low Tide and keeping well away from the ‘Dry’. Sure, they will find coins and rings but not in any profusion. Some will find more than others but the one thing they all have in common is they are following a dictum penned when UK beach hunting techniques were in their infancy. That dictum states the best place to hunt for rings and jewellery is out on the wet sand at Low Tide.
In those early days over thirty-five years ago, the development of successful UK beach hunting methods was a ‘suck-it-and-see’ learning curve, and yes, sure enough the early pioneers did find gold and silver below the High Water mark; and that apparently, sealed the deal. But it ain’t necessarily so.
Like inland hunting, the best finds (usually) come from habitation sites or where people gather in number: The equation is, High People Numbers + Habitation/Meeting Places = Casual Losses. However, on beaches it’s a little different in that in the UK where water temperatures are generally nippier; most beach users tend to stay up in the dry sand areas, with only a small percentage venturing into the briny even on the hottest summer days. In Florida, Spain, and in the hotter beach resorts, the opposite is true; more people are in the water, thus, losses are commensurately higher.
Rings (for example) found below the High Tide Line, have been washed there by eroding wave action having originally been lost in the dry sand. Some of course ill have fallen from the fingers of swimmers and medallions torn from their necks by wave action. Indeed, popular swimming holes in lakes or non-tidal places will see a gradual build-up of lost items.
Certainly wave action tends to distribute items by weight and shape. The 9-carat ring* in Photo 1 weighs in at 2.8-grams and was found ( by Jack Dey) amongst sea shells of the same weight close to the High Tide Line, dry sand side, and the inference is clear. Nonetheless, quality finds will nearly always come from areas where:-
(a) Beach users gather, usually signalled by an abundance of trash (a sure sign of treasure)
(b) Using the correct coil configuration (size and type) for the prevailing conditions
(c) Working slowly amongst the junk
Had Jack assumed the digital readout of ‘52’ was a pull-tab it would still be there waiting for another more thorough detectorist. Injudicious use of the Discrim Mode can be costly – I and Jack dig all signals…we also have an enviable collection of pull-tabs.
My best piece of jewellery to date, can be seen on the Garrett website, and came from way up in the dry sand with a Sea Hunter II pi, having drawn a blank on the wet. It’s hardly forensic proof I know, but I’m quite content that the dry sand is the vault, and a carefully operated metal detector the key.
*Registered ‘52’ on the Garrett ATPro International – as do pull-tabs.
Q: What's 6” long, 2”wide, and drives women wild?
A: a $100 bill!
“Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.” – George Carlin
I asked God for a good site to detect, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I went out Nighthawking and asked for forgiveness. – Me.
What they’d have you believe…
All archaeological research is groundbreaking.
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure Act have revolutionised archaeology, ensuring that finds found by ordinary members of the public are rewriting history. Many of the most important finds have ended up in museum collections across the country, thanks to the generosity of funding bodies. The PAS is a key part of the British Museum's nationwide activity to support archaeology and museums through its network of locally based Finds Liaison Officers (FLO). The Museum is committed to the long-term success of the scheme.”
My last post got me thinking about just how easy it is to communicate today. There’s no excuse for any organization to not meet regularly or to keep their members in the dark about things that matter. Think about it? Telephone, teleconferencing, mail, email, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, a website or blog are just a few and most are FREE. There’s also been a big increase in podcasts, which while not free, would seem to be a great way to get all parties involved on a regular basis. So, come on guys…get your act together and communicate.
I also wonder how many of the above technological advances have played a part in how we are viewed by the public, not to mention our saber-rattlingl adversaries (a.k.a. arkies). We have long blamed TV shows for tainting our image, but how much of a role have you and I played in doing the very same thing?
Yes, shows like Diggers, Dig Fellas and Dig Wars have sometimes made us look bad but compared to what’s available on social media, they come off as quite tame. To understand what I mean check out all the tekkie videos on YouTube. How many do you see where pulltabs and bottlecaps are the norm? Oh, a few maybe, but most only show the best of finds and if I were a newbie I would be running to the closest dealer to “get me one of those”. Likewise I have to cringe when I see a video where Cecil B. Demile is not just digging a hole, he’s digging a quarry so he can show you that wheatie (that was only two inches down). As a result we are all dealing with the aftermath and fighting city halls all across the country.
“You should be careful what you wish for, as the reasons for war get confused. One person can be very clear in their motives, but others can have different agendas”…… Dougray Scott
Listen, I am a big fan of socal media but it does seem like we are sometimes beating the hell out of our hobby with it. The word saturation comes to mind. When I started out there were treasure hunting magazines and that was it. You learned by trial and error and best of all you never had to look over your shoulder. I remember too how great it was when I ran into another detectorist and we could exchange ideas and stories. A rare occasion for sure. Today? I can sit in front of my computer and find anything and everything I need to know about the pastime, both good and bad….unfortunately those that want to put us out of business do the same.
And for whatever reason it seems we are in competition with each other and it’s only getting worse. Facebook pages are a dime a dozen anymore. Forums? After you visit a few you realize that the same people are on all of them, and you better be careful what you say because ‘only the regulars’ have all the answers. I do like blogs. I find them personal and often filled with topics that are not the typical ‘look what I found’ BS.
Podcasts too are increasing and gettng more notice. I wonder however when they will run out of topics or guests and cut back on their schedules. Having said that there are always new people entering the hobby and will find the info new and useful.
I have no idea of the costs involved with podcasts but I think it would great to be able to tune in to the monthly meetings of the Task Force or FMDAC and be able to ask questions or comment?
Now that I have finished my pissing and moaning let me say that there are a lot of informative sites out there that entertain, instruct and inform. I have my favorites that I check each day, but I would never attempt to list them here for fear I would omit one or two and frankly, each to his own. Finally do me a favor. If you love to share your thoughts, your videos and your finds on the internet please think carefully before you put them out there for all the world to see. I can assure you there are people trolling the internet just looking for the bad and NOT the good.
Now excuse me while I finish editing that video of me detecting in a thong...
“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” –Winston Churchill
It’s been over 30 years since I started the FMDAC and I know my memory is not what it used to be, but I will never forget the dedication, the caring, the hard work and the unity we had back in the early 80's. We worked hard, accomplished much and even formed the World Council with England and Canada. Remember too that was before we had social media and cellphones.
Today the FMDAC’s website is pathetic and frankly they should be embarrassed. In today's world any worthwhile organization has to have an attractive website that not only draws in the first time visitor but keeps him coming back. One that is easy to navigate, that is informative and updated regularly. If I were interested in being a member of the Federation and saw that their latest update was eight months old I would surely see what else is out there.
Then again WWATS is no different. They have been promising a new website now for almost six months and the launch date keeps getting pushed back. I understand that putting together a website is not an overnight proposition but there are “free” how-to programs out there that shouldn’t be all that difficult to learn. Their current website is out of date and cluttered.
The Task Force too needs to come forward with updates on the Cook County, Illinois and Louisville, Kentucky efforts. Are they being worked on or have they been stalled or closed out? Let us know please. I love their work with Minelab in trying to develop something akin to the PAS but realistically speaking that’s a long way off. In the meantime…
Why these three groups are so lax and not updating their members is beyond me. A mere weekly comment of “hello”, “we’re still alive” or even “boogity boogity” (thank you Richard Pryor) shouldn’t be all that difficult and if you are having problems, just say so. Be upfront, honest and I think you will find your membership understanding and willing to help.
I have long pushed for “one national group” to represent us. One whose officers are paid, one that deals with issues on a daily basis and one that is financially viable. Impossible? Why? Are you not willing to contribute or pay for such representation? If not then tell me just how much is your hobby worth? $25 a year, $50, $100….?? Spit it out. Tell me. Likewise how much are the manufacturers willing to contribute? Minelab contributed $40,000 to the Task Force a couple of years ago. Would Whites, Garrett, Fisher, Teknetics, Tesoro be willing to do the same? If so would they and could they do so on an annual or biannual basis? And what about the magazines, distributors, dealers?
I know I put myself on the spot with a few of these questions but again if I don’t ask them, who will?
Finally and for the record, I do not want to see bad things happen to any of the three groups I just mentioned. All have good intentions I am sure. I just want them to do what they promise and if they can’t then say so. In fact say ANYTHING!
That John Winter is up and running again with his blog, and in fact the old man just put up a new post titled “The Zuphen Quadrant in the XP Newsletter”. What does that mean? You can find out by clicking HERE.
Joe Patrick's guest post from Saturday garnered a lot of visits and views and I can't thank him enough. Hopefully I can persuade him to do a few more.
Joe emailed me yesterday and suggested I might want to share the following video from the Time Searchers in that it defines their goals and efforts. Enjoy...
Just wanted to say Happy Bastille Day to all my French Friends, especially Michel & Joelle Toque and family. Would love to be there celebrating with you. Have a few for me please....
As if we didn't already know, this is how we are viewed in the archaeological blogosphere. This comment is from a "supposed" archaeologist's blog....
"Can archaeologists use metal detectors properly?"
If by "properly" you mean "non-selectively" which is the proper archaeological approach, the answer is yes. As could chimps.
Thank you for so comprehensively demolishing the false claim that detectorists have a special skill that is relevant to archaeological investigations. Their sole skill is in ignoring certain beeps, something no archaeologist will require them to do.
After watching the Joe Patrick interviews I conned him into writing a guest post for Stout Standards and I know you will enjoy it. First off most tekkies who have been around any length of time know who Joe Patrick is and listen intently when he talks. He knows the ins and outs of treasure hunting and when it comes to metal detector design and performance, he's tops!
In the following he shares his thoughts on some of the older detector models he's used over the years, and if you are in the market for a backup or simply a decent inexpensive detector to start out with, take notes. Also for those of you who haven't viewed the Time Searchers interviews that Rodger Blissman and Bill Leydic did with Joe, you will find the links right after the article. I would also urge you to view the rest of their offerings by clicking on 'BilltheRelic' underneath each. The videos cover everything from Digging in Virginia to the Antiques Road Show.
Thanks Joe, Bill and Rodger....The rounds are on me next time (and Joe I still have more hair than you do)......
Old, Does Not Necessarily Mean Obsolete!
Today’s high-tech metal detectors are certainly amazing and have made many detectorists believers in their enhanced capabilities— even basic “beginners models” are “light years” ahead of their older contemporaries— especially in how many features you get at such low cost.
I have to admit that for the most part, newer detector designs are more sensitive and detect deeper, have more and better discrimination possibilities and their recovery times are faster—meaning a better chance of success when searching trash-filled sites
I currently own several of these newer, “advanced” metal detectors and while I use them often, I still continue to use some “old-time” favorites that even after decades of time still provide a high level of performance and are actually quite enjoyable and “reminiscent” to use.
Many readers of this article may know me from my many years of involvement in the metal detecting hobby and industry. To those who may not, a search of YouTube™ will turn up some videos of myself and a recent personal interview. I have been involved in this avocation for over 30 years now as a detectorist, metal detector dealer, designer and manufacturer of detecting accessory products, author/writer/columnist and a metal detector field tester.
All of this “exposure” and experience has fortunately enabled me to own and use many different brands and models of metal detectors of which I’ve had some personal favorites.
This article is to pass-on to readers what I consider to still be some quite-worthy metal detectors even though some may now be considered quite old or even outdated “antiques” by some. So, my point being, “Old, Does Not Necessarily Mean Obsolete!”
Back in my early days of metal detecting, my first good metal detector was a Garrett. Back then, I had “green blood” flowing in my veins! I was a die-hard Garrett ADS II user and fan. But as good as that detector was, at the time, one of my all-time favorite Garrett’s since was the GTA-1000 and later the GTAx-1250. The GTA-1000 was truly a revolutionary detector and a joy to use. It was extremely versatile and super easy to learn and use. Its only drawback – in my soil – was limited depth in the discrimination mode - the improved GTAx-1250 had slightly better depth. Today, the GTA’s can be found in used condition for very reasonable prices and I would not hesitate to recommend or use one for sites that do not have super-deep targets. I used mine with the 5” x 10” DD elliptical coil and really liked and recommend that setup—as it covered a lot of ground and provided very good pole balance.
Back in the 1980’s and beyond, I was selling Tesoro detectors, a brand that I still consider the metal detectorists’ “workhorse”—affordable, well made and no-nonsense features and performance. Tesoro’s have stood the test of time. I would not hesitate to recommend any Tesoro model and many of them are favorites of mine. But if I had to pick one, it would be the original Bandido or one of its newer versions. It is fairly lightweight and has great sensitivity, depth and discrimination. It has been well-proven for relic, coin and jewelry hunting.
White’s is probably the best-known metal detector company and they have certainly contributed much over the years. They have produced many outstanding metal detectors but perhaps none had/has as many loyal users as the 6000 series does. There were many versions manufactured in this series, so look for a model that offers target ID and other features that you may want. A good 6000 can still hold its own as compared to many detectors on the market today. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to buy or use one!
Compass metal detectors are perhaps a name that many new detectorists are not familiar with, but I can tell you that in their day, they were a force to be reckoned with! They made some outstanding metal detectors and had many loyal users.
Though big and heavy, my all-time favorite Compass “machine” was the X-100 Challenger. What a “Challanger” it was! It was the “Cadillac” of Compass metal detectors and one that can still hold its own in the field today—I preferred the black control box color scheme over the green.
Just take a look at one sometime. I am certain that you will be very impressed by its many features and versatility. It had the best all-metal depth of any detector I had used up to that point in time and its target ID was excellent! The only drawback to owning a Compass detector today is that the company is no longer in business, so service may be a problem if needed.
Then there was the original Teknetics company! WOW, is all I can say! A true innovator that made detectors that just made me drool! I’ve owned and used many of their models and while I prefer the Mark I overall, it just didn’t work as well in my mineralized soil as did the 8500B.
If you have low-mineral ground, I highly recommend a Mark I, but if your ground is mineralized, stick with the 8500(B). Both were and to some extent still are outstanding. I prefer the hip-mounted versions in both models as their control boxes are somewhat large and heavy, especially when loaded with the 14 “AA” batteries required to operate them.
Back in the 1980’s, Teknetics acquired the Bounty Hunter Company. Under Teknetics engineering, several innovative models were produced with the Big Bud and Big Bud Pro being my favorites. If you can locate a clean, used, Big Bud Pro do not hesitate to buy it as many detectorists who own one are reluctant to sell theirs. For being a single-frequency VLF detector it is a still a “quite capable” detector, as compared to many of today’s comparable single-frequency VLF’s.
The original Fisher Company was the “world’s oldest metal detector business” and produced many types and models over their long history. Perhaps my all-time favorite was the CZ-5—a very simple to use, uncomplicated metal detector that offered great performance and depth.
You may have noticed that I said the CZ-5 was “Perhaps my all-time favorite Fisher”? Well, that’s because I also hold in very high regard any of the 1260 series detectors—the 1260, 1265 and 1266. These three can still run circles around many newer detectors as far as actual in-the-ground performance is concerned.
One drawback to most vintage Fisher’s though is that they “like iron” and do not discriminate it well due to the detector’s high-gain sensitivity. Still though, I can highly recommend them and they can often be found at very reasonable prices.
One of my personal “oldies but goodies” that I have owned and used for many years is my trusty Pillar 4 metal detector. A Pillar what, you ask. Yes, it is one of those brands that most people have never heard of. From what I’ve been told, it is a slightly modified original-model Tesoro Eldorado that was produced under private label by a “spin-off” Tesoro company for Pillar.
Compared to the Eldorado, it is slightly more compact. I have extensively used both the Eldorado and the Pillar 4 and find the Pillar 4 to have slightly better iron discrimination—either of these two vintage metal detectors can provide hours of enjoyment and “have the goods” to produce outstanding finds. I can highly recommend either one. Note: I converted my Pillar to a hip-mount and it is super lightweight and comfortable to use! I use it primarily for “wood’s hunting” where I usually “run” low discrimination, do not need target ID and dig all targets. In its hip-mount setup, the pole and coil only weigh about 1.5 pounds, which is extremely lightweight and comfortable to swing… Even all day!
I want to preface this next recommendation by saying that for me, my ground and the types of metal detecting that I do my personal all-time favorite metal detector is the Minelab Sovereign.
Now 20+ years old, the Sovereign (and its various versions) has served me extremely well! I can highly recommend any model Sovereign that you can get! Whether it be coin, relic, jewelry or beach hunting the Sovereign does it all and very well.
I have extreme confidence that no matter the site, type of detecting or conditions “my” Sov’ will come through—twenty-plus years of using it has proven that out time and time again. If I could own only one metal detector, the Minelab Sovereign is it!
The above article is based on my 30+ years of experience and exposure to many brands and models. It is impossible for me, in this very limited-length article, to mention the many other great, vintage detectors. There are so many! Do not be reluctant to try one.
My purpose in writing this is to just raise awareness that though many of these vintage models may be long forgotten, they are still quite capable of locating plenty of “treasure” for any current user.
With many new detectors now costing well in excess of $1000+ dollars, those detectorists with limited resources may well look to some of these excellent older models and their reasonable prices. Most of these vintage detectors sell for far less than $500, with many in the sub $300 price range.
So, don’t ever assume that old and vintage means outdated or no longer worthwhile. Just pick up, use and learn to operate one of the above, or other comparable vintage “machines”, and be prepared to be amazed while having some great fun!
I saw two trees fighting over a dog. Yep indeed I did. Temps are in the 100's every day and one inch cracks in the soil are over the place. Even Barnum won't even go out and do his business. He pees out the the window now.
When we moved to Texas back in 1988 Fay and I tried our damndest to detect in the summer months but soon found out it was a waste of time and energy. Our diggers hardly made a dent in the soil and it wasn't unusal to find a new penny 10 inches down in a crevice. We wound up with blisters on our hands and very little to show for our efforts. Unfortunately nothing at all has changed here in North Texas. When July and August roll around you just make sure the ole AC is tuned up and working real good cause it won't stop running until late September, if you're lucky.
We have a few man made lakes around but they are suffering from drought and giving up lots of old tires and trash. I often wonder how people can eat the fish they catch from these waters. We could drive five hours South and hunt the beaches in the Galveston area but that's not a convenient option for us, not to mention it's even hotter there. No matter how you look at it detecting in Texas is hell right now.
Okay, I am done pissing and moaning now so all you die hard Texans come beat me up. You will just be pissing in the wind. YOU have fun in the sun. Not me.
Allyson Cohen, a.k.a the Detecting Diva recently had surgery and is home recuperating. I know we all wish her a fast recovery and if you would like to do so personally there's a contact link on her blog. Allyson hope your recovery is a fast one and that you are in the field soon. Besides Dave Wise and Todd Hiltz need someone to kick their ass.
I remember sharing a story about a guy and gal who had a tekkie wedding, and one where a tekkie proposed to his gal during a hunt in the UK but this is a first for me. Thanks to Tommy Decker for sending it along.
Since I have given strict instructions to scatter my ashes in the South of France this sort of thing is out of the question for me. Then too John Howland asked a long time ago if he could have my detectors when I kick off, and to this day he continually asks me how I'm feeling. Bastard.
Metal Detecting, or as some like to call it, treasure hunting, is not an exact science, nor is it a subject you need to have a degree to excel at. It’s a fun filled, healthy outdoor activity that often turns into an addictive pastime, but to make that happen you need four things....a goal, decent equipment, a plan and a basic knowledge of how to research. Capisce?
First off people generally buy a metal detector to find "something". Whether it’s coins, relics, gold nuggets, jewelry at the beach or Uncle Buddy’s stash, they usually have a reason for getting involved and as such they already have a goal. Of course there's alway the Indiana Jones wannabes who want to find the holy grail. Unfortunately they will be wasting their time and money. I've aready found it....
Next, assuming they studied the various manufacturer catalogs, and compared the apples and oranges, they bought the best detector they could afford. Whether or not they bother to take the time to learn it’s features and capabilities is of course another story. If they don’t their treasure hunting days are usually short lived.
Next comes a plan. How are they going to go about achieving their goal? Will they head down to the schoolyard, the beach, the gold fields or Uncle Buddy’s farm? Most likely they will do all four without any prethought whatsoever. It’s usually open the box, turn that sucker on and out the door! And don’t tell me I’m wrong. I’ve not only seen it....I’ve done it myself!
This probably should be the first on the list and not the last because to me it's the most important. You can have all three of the above but if you don’t take time to research that detector will quickly wind up in the closet. Understand that the odds of you finding a hoard, the Middleham jewel, or Uncle Buddy’s stash, are slim to none, so do yourself a favor and spend more time finding a place to take your detector than you do using it. Depressing I know, but as Joe Friday would say, “just the facts, ma’am”....
Now having said all this I confess that I have not practiced what I preach. As of late I find it more convenient to sit on my ass with a glass of wine and tell YOU all what to do. Not so much because I want to but because it’s all I can do right now. I am however sitting here holding the holy grail, looking at houses in the South of France and planning my next move. You'all stay tuned....
I could refer you to the comments section from June 29th (Task Force Call to Action) but I want to make sure you see and read Bob Sickler's response(s). Bob as you know is the author of The Detectorist, and a true pioneer in this pastime. Along with writing Bob was a long time field tester for Western & Eastern Treasures and 'always" told it like it was.
Back in January of 2012, Bob wrote a letter to the Alabama and Kentucky legislators, regarding potential damaging legislation and it was titled "Metal Detecting — More Than Just a Recreation". It was outstanding! You can find it here. Bob has once again hit the ball out of the park with his recent letter to the folks in New York city and I want to share here again.
To Whom it May Concern,
I am of the proud American fraternity calling ourselves Detectorists. We use metal detectors to find coins, items lost from history, and we occasionally find and return valuable lost wedding, engagement, and school rings… But it goes way deeper than that. When we search city parks in particular, we who are responsible always locate, remove, and dispose of buried trash in our pursuits. This metallic trash often contains bottle caps, pull-tabs, tin foil, nails, rusted debris and just about anything deliberately careless people would discard in our NY parks. Worse yet, we find dangerous items such as broken glass, knives, firearms, hypodermic needles, drug paraphernalia, and live ammunition. Your own Police departments may have called upon us who volunteer to help solve criminal investigations. We do all this for the good of others without compensation. Did you know this?
Although I personally do not travel to search New York City parks, I am 62 years a native New Yorker and have enjoyed my “recreation” since 1968. I enjoy hunting parks in my hometown and others around the state. It has come to my attention and is upsetting to me that New York City parks are being closed to metal detecting without an explanation. I find it hard to believe that anyone in public office can discriminate against our recreation while allowing other uses of the park that cause harm and take little or no action against offenders.
Please know in all recreations not all participants will use the best judgment and thus can cause harm to the ground they frequent. It is the integrity and intelligence of the people who practice the recreation and not the recreation in general that can become the problem. I would ask you to rethink blanket and partial closure of NYC parks to metal detecting. There are far too many laws today that unnecessarily restrict people in their pursuit of recreation and health. I myself depend on the strenuous exercise metal detecting affords to fight diabetes.
I still have faith that there are some in government who are quick to know the benefits of a cleaner public park system for all voters to enjoy. Just think about the discarded needle removed from a city park by a metal detector user that could have given one innocent child AIDS. The permit system is an equitable and intelligent way to handle those who would practice any recreation on public property. Please do not close parks to those of us who want to do right by others and enjoy ourselves in the process.
Robert H. Sickler (author of “DETECTORIST, A How-to Guide to Better Metal Detecting”)
Bob then left the following comment...
While I don’t travel to NYC to use my metal detector, this issue can spread like cancer to other areas in the state I do frequent, thus my reaction. Truth be known, I have a NYC reservoir in my own “back yard”. It “gives” our native water to those thirsty in NYC. It was placed there by eminent domain at the turn of the 20th century forcing my great-grandfather and his family (and many other local families) to reside elsewhere without choice.
In this water shed area there is a recreational area mandated to the people they displaced. It is there I have metal detected for 30+ years. Several years ago I had a NYC BWS Police officer walk up to me as I was swinging my detector. I smiled and thought another one of the officers was just inquiring as to what I found that day and would go back to work and leave me to enjoy my recreation. (There are no signs to this day that specifically restrict the use of a metal detector on these grounds.) Not this time, I was told to leave and not come back. I was dumfounded! I did a little research on the officer and found out he is also an avid metal detector user… Is this jealously or was he actually doing his job?
So to any of you who think a far away place “doesn’t concern me”, think again. Voice your concerns about metal detecting closure when you see it happen. We do not need an organization to unite us nationally.
This was how Scott Clark described the following and I must agree. I've only just started to play around with it but I love how easy it is to use. Thanks Scott....appreciate your sharing.
The 4th of July is one of those holidays that makes us realize just how lucky we are to be living in the United States of America. A place where, despite your political differences, your religion, your nationality, your wealth, you can stand up and say what is on your mind without fear of recrimination. As simple as that may sound there are millions of people around the world who do not have the same privilege, so while indulging yourself this weekend remember our troops stationed abroad who are fighting those who wish to take that right away....
Lastly, eat some BBQ, a burger, a hot dog, drink a beer (a glass of red for me), enjoy the fireworks, and when your wife is not looking, sneak out and go detecting. After all it is independence day!!
Tomorrow would have been my Mom and Dad's 77th anniversary and there's not a day goes by that I don't think of them. How I wish I could go back and spend more time with them. If your parents are still living treasure the moment and let them know how much you love them, before it's too late.
Just a reminder to take a few minutes and help the Task Force with their efforts in New York city. No matter where you live it DOES affect you in many ways. For more information and to help click HERE.
Sharing John Howland's latest contribution here as well as in the Malamute Saloon. John again offers up tips on the Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold. In the UK John is considered to be one of the best when it comes to detecting the coastal areas. In fact the tekkies there call him 'The Son of a Beach"....or something like that.
If despite owning a Garrett ATPro International (ATP), your haul of gold rings is a tad on the lean side, try this over the next three/four beach outings. Dig all signals of ’45’ and above -- it’s soft sand after all -- in PRO ‘Custom’ with Iron Discrim at ‘30’, or, in PRO mode with ‘All Metal’ and ‘Iron Discrim’ set to ‘00’ out on the wet stuff. Besides digging pull-tabs, you’ll also be digging platinum too!!!! Let Stouty how you get on, with pics if possible for publication on here.
Indeed, you can ‘sharpen’ the ATPro by dropping the GB to between ‘12’ and ‘14’ when working over dry, or saltwater (wet) beach sand. It’ll be noisier than normal, popping and crackling and liable to take those among you of a tense disposition to the edge of insanity….but you will find deep coins and rings especially when harnessed to the ‘45’ technique. Give it three/four goes, eh? But I have to say, that I cannot pay the medical bills should you go completely doolally!
Despite what Garrett’s blurb writer says about the ATGold (ATG) not being up to the mark in a saltwater environment, this supreme nugget hunter actually turns in a not half-bad performance over the salty wet stuff. So, if you’ve got one of these jobbies and fancy a few hours on the beach…give it a go! It’s superb up in the dry sand when in DISC 1 mode.
However, if during your beach sortie and for some inexplicable reason you’re tempted out onto the wet sand, then DISC2 (US coins mode) is where it’s at! It’s a pre-set mode that eliminates one pixel of foil and two pixels in the pull-tab range, and Ground Balance accordingly. You’ll soon start digging coins and if you’ve been a good Boy Scout, heavier gold rings will start to show – at least those weighing in excess of 4-grams. You can forget smaller, thin-section gold rings, but then again, half a loaf is better than nowt in an area previously thought to be off-limits to ATG’s. How do I know this? Garrett’s Steve Moore tipped me off when I had a problem with a section of highly mineralised beach known to contain some tasty bits and pieces.
I haven’t a clue about this latest Garrett (pi). Sorry folks!
A Scotsman and his wife were walking past a chic new restaurant.
"Did you smell that food?" she asked. "Incredible!"
Being a kind hearted Scot, he thought, "What the heck, I'll treat her!"
So, they walked past it again...
A fine example of the legendary ‘375 Plus’ was sold at Bonham’s Auctioneers for the record sum making it the most expensive car sold in Britain. Only five were built and they competed in the 1954 World Sports Car Championship; at Le Mans, Silverstone, and in the Italian classic, the Mille Miglia. This particular car still bears traces of the 1957 Cuban Grand Prix race colours.
But let me play Devil’s Advocate for the moment. Following the dictum of archaeology’s ‘Hard Left’ faction who promote the notion that all land, artefacts, and collectibles should belong to the People (read; them!), would this Ferrari be better served – as would all other collectibles presumably – by being taken into public ownership, as opposed to being stored in a private collection where it will (according to them) only be appreciated by privileged few? But as an archaeological artifact, one has to ask; has this superb example of automobile heritage lost its contextual importance? Further, is it ethically right to deal and profit in or from collectables?
Perhaps it all depends who’s in power at the time, and who defines what constitutes a ‘collectable’. I suspect Stalinists, Marxists, Leninists, Ho Chi Minn-ists, Pol-Pot-ists and émigré Englishmen of the Burgess, Philby, and Maclean manqué, will have little doubt.
My apologies to Ole Blue Eyes, but this is serious. Can you believe it: The USA getting so far in the World Cup when England went out in the early stages? I mean, it’s the English national game! It’s simply not cricket, old boy. How would the former-colonists like it if an English team went to the US and won their World Series? Huh? Huh? And what’s the FMDAC/NCMD or Task Force, doing about it? That’s I’d like to know?
I reckon ‘Yogi’ Berra (NY Mets, and Yankees) had it right when he said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
(1) An old Jewish man is dying in his hovel in the Steppes of Stalinist Russia. There is a menacing banging on the door. ‘Whose there?’ the old man weakly enquires. ‘Death,’ comes the ominous reply. ‘Thank God,’ he says, ‘I thought it was the KGB.’
(2) A KGB officer is walking in the park and he sees and old Jewish man reading a book. The KGB man demands, "What are you reading old man?"
"I am trying to teach myself Hebrew," the old man replies.
KGB presses on, "Why are you trying to learn Hebrew? It takes years to get a visa for Israel. You would die before the paperwork got done."
"I am learning Hebrew so that when I die and go to Heaven I will be able to speak to Abraham and Moses. Hebrew is the language they speak in Heaven,” the old man replies.
"Ah,” says the KGB man triumphantly, “What if when you die you go to Hell?"
"Russian, I already know," replies the old man
(3) Why do communist archaeologists operate in threes? A. One to read, one to write, and one to keep an eye on the two intellectuals.