It was four years ago

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

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


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



by John Howland

 It’s Been Fun…Lots of Fun! 


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

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


Colin Hanson

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


From Small Acorns…

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


Boo! He’s Behiiiiind Yoooo!

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

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


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

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

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


I…Treasure Hunter

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

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


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

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

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


Look Where You Step…


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

Two birds. One stone, Job done!


Saving the Best till last – THE Team Effort!

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

Well done to all of you who made it possible.




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

I’ll see y’all in the bar






Filed under Metal Detecting

20 responses to “It was four years ago

  1. We are humbled by the mention, but make no mistake: The Ken MacIntyre cancer fund was the brain child of Dick Stout and it was he who got the ball rolling, plus arranged for most of the donations. Don’t let him fool all of you into thinking he is just a curmudgeon…the man has a heart as big as Texas. Thanks, Dick…uh, Bubba!

    • Butch thanks for the kind words but without you folks providing the air time and constant promoting, the effort would have not turned out as well as it did. Bottom line….the entire TH’ing community showed up and ponied up for a needy cause.

  2. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Great job to both of you on raising those funds!

    As for John and the 150th contribution, wow! Can this dude write!

    Four years, too bad I didn’t get on board sooner because your site coupled with John’s compilations are very enjoyable to me and this crazy hobby. Oh by the way, I like Minelab – they have been very good to me and they don’t pay either but John you have me wondering about the coil switch thingy.
    I work for the US Mint – you see I dig up their coins and recycle them but they haven’t paid me since I began doing this for them in the mid 90’s…..

    • Thingy? You sound like John’s wife Margaret….

      • Big Tony from Bayonne

        I sound like John’s wife? Hey I am not offended by that at all. No way even being from Jersey!
        Still John is a very colorful writer and deserves credit for his 150th addition to Stout Standards web site. Also, you deserve credit as well – after putting up four years of your free time to give the MD community the latest news and also for attempting to get fires lit under the arses of many folks to fight for their rights. And now more credit is due for both for both of you starting the USA PAS discussions.

        A huge thanks for both of your had work and efforts! If I see you two at a bar in AC – damn I’ll put up the twenty of the buds and oh yeah – large Merlots!

      • Thanks Tony….

        We did not start the PAS discussions here. That was Minelab and the Taskforce. We would like to think however that “lighting those fires” may have had something to do with it.

      • I guess you mean the Deepseeker?

  3. Thanks for sticking it out for 4 years and I hope it will be many more years of great information, good laughs and straight shooting!

    If you can just keep John in line, everything will be great! 🙂
    Garrett, what is the man thinking, White’s rule! In reality all the major and some minor manufacturers make great detectors, you just have to learn the detector to get the most out of it.

    • Mike I have been trying to put a White’s detector in this man’s hands for years….I can’t help it if he’s stupid. Then again the less people that know about how good of a machine they make the more we find.

  4. Hey, BT from B;

    Appreciate your words…it’s been a lotta fun and still is! The invitation sounds good; maybe we could bring the Texas lad – who cannot be named – along too? Yeah, sit him in a corner with a Dr Pepper while we get on the outside of a couple or five JD &7’s (large on the JD, short on the 7). If he stumps-up $20 we could let him join us?

    I wish you’d been with me when the lad from Texas who cannot be named for legal reasons, first supped a pint of room temperature, non-bubbly, English ‘bitter’ ale in the Mayfly. By the second pint (I paid for it, again) he was starting to develop a bar-room tan!
    If you’re ever over here there’s always one on the bar for you!

    Happy hoiking
    John H

    • Big Tony from Bayonne

      Your welcome John and you too Texas lad! And thanks for the invite – it would be memorable to say the least.

  5. Bob K

    How fast time goes, thanks for the past 4 years of great info and laughs. You have done great, and it helps to have great people like JOHN H , BIG TONY and many other wonderful responders. Keep up the great work and the help you do. PAS sounds like the way to go.

    Thanks again for all you done.

  6. Lisa MacIntyre

    One year ago I met this person named Dick Stout through American Diggers, Relic Roundup. It seemed unlikely we would ever become friends as we had, it appeared, such opposite views on the subject of archaeology and metal detecting. However, as we dug deeper it became clear that Dick and I had more and more in common. We were both devout animal worshipers, have many of the same ideologies, and were closer than we thought in the quest for saving and discovering history. Then came the illness of my son in June. Dick and I had become pretty good friends at this point and he was one of the first people, outside of the family, that I shared this with. Little did I know what he would do with this information. He spearheaded a massive donation of detectors, books, subscriptions, and gear and teamed up with Butch and Anita Holcomb and Jeff Lubert to raise money for my son’s expensive treatments. Dick never let up on garnering donations and support. The drawing that was held live on Relic Roundup presented one of the highest listening audiences to date. The outpouring of, not only monetary donations, but support was beyond my realm of comprehension. Our family can never, ever express our gratitude to every single person who touched our lives during this tough time. I love reading your blog, Mr. Stout, and I think you do an outstanding job of sharing a little piece of yourself with us all. I value your friendship and look forward to what the next four years will bring us. I truly enjoy reading John’s words of wisdom as well and I hope I can continue to enjoy your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and humor for years to come. To all the wonderful people I have met through this forum, I am grateful to have gotten to know each and every one of you, and I thank you for allowing me to share in your circle.

    • Lisa, thank you. I too have enjoyed our friendship and appreciate you putting up with all my anti-arkie comments and jabs. You are a worthy adversary and most important, an understanding one. As for everyone helping your family, we did it because we could and honestly it was easy. The hard part Ken handled….

      Lastly, did you really say “John’s words of wisdom?” Geez….I don’t believe it.

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