Tomorrow, Alan Holcombe, Corporate Manager at White’s Electronics, turns 69, and I want to be the first to wish him a Happy Birthday! Alan has been a close friend of mine now for 30 years, and while many of you may not be aware of it, a great friend to you all as well. I was going to try and list all the many things this man has done for the pastime over the years, but it would be impossible and would take way too much time.
There are so many instances of where he waded in to help someone, some group, some effort and in almost every instance, without any fanfare or publicity. If I ever needed help or knew of someone else needing it, I knew I could count on Alan to be there. He is not only liked and appreciated by those in the pastime, but by his competitors as well.
Alan I typically wish someone a happy birthday by saying “have one for me” but I know you don’t drink, so how about simply “have a great day and thank you for being such a good friend” (and while I don’t fit into that maroon jacket any longer I will always cherish it).
PRIZES ON THE WAY…
As of yesterday all of the prizes given away in the recent Ken MacIntyre effort were sent out or are in the process of being sent out. If you were one of the lucky winners and do not receive your prize within a reasonable time, be sure to let me or the folks at American Digger Magazine know. Thank you all again for contributing to a good cause…
WHY A WEBSITE & A BLOG?
I have been asked numerous times why I have both a blog and a website when it appears that both offer up the same information or as so many call it, bullshit. Well, let me try to explain…
I have always been intrigued and fascinated by eye-catching websites (and no Howland they were not porn sites). So back in 2009 I decided to take a course in basic website construction at a local community college. That took up two nights of my week for about four months, and I thought what the hell, let me see what I can create. I was stumped initially about what sort of site I might work up, but then realized it was only natural to bore the crap out of people with my metal detecting stories. It also made sense in that I had a lot of photos that I wanted to preserve (hundreds of which are 35mm slides which I am still searching for).
In any case I started the website “Stout Standards”. How did I come with the name? Well it took a lot of thought. I toyed with “Stout Stuff”, “Stout’s Story”, “Stout Shit” and yes even thought about giving Chicago Ron a run for his money with “Dallas Dick”, but after Googling that I quickly decided that wasn’t going to work. Anyway, Stout Standards began in March of 2010, and was quickly recognized and widely acclaimed as the cream of he crap when it came to HTML code. I remember going onto a few website forums asking for assistance and being told I needed to forget everything I learned and start over…
No matter I plodded along, learning something new here and there, and I am proud to say that today my website is still crude and half-ass backward, but hey it’s mine! My handiwork, my effort and it’s been a fun experience. Later I found out that the layout irritated Warsaw Wally terribly and that sealed the deal. I had to keep it going.
Then in early 2012 John Winter, my twin brother in the UK, suggested I look at WordPress, a blog site that was not only free, but easy to use. There were numerous theme layouts to choose from, and all allowed for back and forth dialogue, something that was missing on my website. I was reluctant at first but eventually gave it a try and voila! I now have Stout Standards, the BLOG.
After almost two and a half years of doing the website I could not bring myself to take it down. There were photos, articles, guestbook comments, and a lot of entries that I didn’t want to lose. It was also my baby, no matter how bad it looked or read. I had and still have fun working with it, and who knows, maybe a few years down the road they will refer to it in an adult ed class as “how not to do a website”….
So, der ya go!