What My Stats Say…

Over the past few months I’ve looked at the number of visitors to my site and which particular posts attracted the most.  Not surprisingly they were the ones that had lots of photos & videos and where I use terms like “the best”, “how to” and “where to”….a.k.a. top-secret revelations.  I found this pretty funny because I haven’t had a revelation since grabbing Sarah’s butt in 5th grade.

Likewise, when the topic was anything other than the above the the hits went down.  I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone is looking for some new item to spend their hard-earned cash on or some dark, long held secret formula that will put them on easy street (do me a favor….when you find it share it with me please).

I am somewhat disappointed but not really surprised. The pastime has changed dramatically in recent years, and showing my age, I am not sure it’s for the best. I would like to think that you are interested in other aspects of the pastime (like whether we will even one two or three years from now), but it appears that’s not the case.  Funny thing is it will affect you more than me….


Look, despite being a voracious reader I enjoy looking at photos too (take Playboy for instance), but come on, are we that so wrapped up in this pastime that we can’t see the forest for the trees?  Can’t we find a way to consider and discuss the more serious topics, the larger picture?  How much more money must you spend and how many brains are you going to pick to find out there are no magic potions or quick fixes out there?

I know you are tired of hearing me say it, but metal detecting is not rocket science. You can pretend it is and buy every little doodad that comes out that promises to make you the next Mel Fisher and you can make all the videos you want, but it all comes down to swinging that coil in that place that offers the best return on your time. I also think the recent detecting reality shows accomplished nothing more than to create a large group of wannabe TV stars.


Stout Standards is not going to change, nor do I expect you will either.  What I would hope however is that we somehow can create an atmosphere of caring about more important issues than what detector Jim Bob was using when he found that Confederate buckle.  Bottom line is he found because he was in the right spot at the right time and just happened to scan his coil over it (JMO). I would also like to think that we haven’t forgotten the years of hard work that Eddie Black put in trying to overturn the metal detecting ban in Louisville, Kentucky but apparently we have. Could we have helped Eddie and made a difference there?  Who knows, “we” never really tried.



Abilene first high school in Texas to wear camouflage helmet!



A couple of days ago I shared a link about the recent Viking hoard found in Scotland and there’s a very ice write-up about Derek McLennan, the finder, on John Winter’s blog.   John also posted a link to the entire 3rd episode of new BBC show The Detectorists.  Click HERE and enjoy.  Thanks John.






With daylight’s shortening hours commensurate with rapidly falling mercury levels, and the barometer’s hands in brickfast descent, there’s nowt like a winter warmer to come home to at the end of a hard day’s hoiking, particularly after several hours’ out on the coast muscling up to the breakers in an easterly wind. When I say ‘winter warmer’ I don’t mean snuggling up to a busty wench either (Oh, how I lie!), or a hunky bloke (depending on what floats yer boat!). What follows is a little about food and drink which is probably of more interest to my UK reader, than my US one, as I’m reliably informed two of the ingredients are not available in the colonies.

One of mine and hunt-partner Jack Dey’s winter favourites is a Thermos of hot beefy Bovril. What I find so amazing is that while the colonials have the technological know-how to put a man on the moon; make the best metal detectors, and lead the world in truck-loads of science and allied technologies, they are unable to avail themselves of a jar of this superb, world-beating beef extract. Neither it seems, do they have access to that other mighty British innovation, the OXO cube. Sheesh!

Nonetheless there’s an added twist to this elixir that comes courtesy of the Royal Navy….a hefty glug of (preferably) dry sherry. On a cold, bitter, winter’s day nothing beats this wonderful brew (well, almost nothing). Make the brew in a jug according to the directions on the packet/jar of Bovril/OXO, glug in the sherry and pour into the Thermos.

With this brew swilling around yer innards I doubt you’ll never feel the cold ever again, and if you choose sup this ambrosia at the end of the day next to a roaring log fire…well, you’ll likely sweat your nuts off! The ladies will have to make their own arrangements.

And now to the tastier victuals…aside from all those Mescalero Apache recipes about roasting cowboys over log-fires, or that redneck stuff about marinating arkies in moonshine, or, Jim Bowie’s way with fillets of Brown Bear – this is authentic, good stuff.

Firstly, take one arkie [Ooops!], a large glass of red wine, and quaff deeply. It has nothing to do with the recipe but you’ll feel a whole lot better! Gets you in the mood, so to speak.

OK. You’re gonna need: (for one serving) one pound of mussels, one chopped onion, 4-fluid ozs of Scotch whisky, 4-ozs of double cream, ½ teaspoon English mustard, a dash of nutmeg, ½ teaspoon of ground coriander, a shake of garlic granules and chopped flat-leaf parsley as garnish.


Rinse the mussels under running water and remove the grit and all the bits of seaweed, and throw away any shells that are open – why? They are, as the Cockneys have it, ‘Donald Ducked’ and not to be cooked or eaten. I rinse mine a couple of times under fresh running water.

Place the chopped onion in a large pan, sweat off until translucent, and stir in the mussels with a wooden spoon. Mix ‘em well.

Pour the whisky and the cream into a bowl, add the mustard, nutmeg, ground coriander and the garlic granules (I prefer to mash a clove of fresh garlic) and pour this over the mussels. Bring the whole caboodle to the boil then simmer the lot for between five and ten minutes by which time the mussel shells will have opened and bin any that haven’t; they are not fresh, and probably poisonous.

Dish up the mussels with the chopped parsley sprinkled on top and pour the juice from the cooking pan over the whole shebang, and wash down with (large) glasses of (mildly) watered whisky. Serve with warm crusty, or garlic bread. YUM!

Double-up on ingredients for any additional servings.


And God said: ‘Let there be Satan, so people don’t blame everything on Me. And let there be archaeologists, so people don’t blame everything on Satan.’



Certainly looks like it, with one ‘Paul’ (of Barford), who currently describes himself as an ‘British archaeologist,’ has – like his biblical namesake, Paul (of Tarsus) – undergone (apparently) a Damascene Conversion if his pleas for fidelity, decency, and morality, are to be believed….take a peek:-

“Where possible… […] …let’s have facts, verifiable facts rather than all this politically-motivated myth-making.”

(Oooh! He’s up for a seat on God’s Right Hand, surely?)

“Unless western diplomats chatting to journalists at the after-conference shindig can actually cite concrete information, we are entitled to treat such unsubstantiated and unsubstantiable allegations with a dose of scepticism, and even suspect these stories are being totally made-up…[…]… Come on, where is the evidence?”

Now known as ‘St. Paul of Warsaw’, his demands for unvarnished truthfulness from others have painted him into a corner, leaving him little wiggle-room, since that which he demands of others he must – to avoid charges of hypocrisy – apply to himself. What price then his fact-free, Artefact Erosion Counter (AEC), it being a propaganda exercise, chock-full of, “unsubstantiated and unsubstantiable allegations,” and unverifiable facts, wholly designed to smear and sully; in this instance the reputations of Britain’s thousands of detectorists along with the administrators of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Certainly the metal detecting community, and to a lesser extent the CBA’s rank-and-file, are entitled to treat these, “ unsubstantiated and unsubstantiable allegations,” on which the AEC is based, with as he might say, a “dose of scepticism, and even suspect these stories are being totally made-up […]”

Undeniably, ‘St. Paul of Warsaw’s position is indefensible if he refuses to renounce the AEC; when he intones of others, “Come on, where is the evidence?” Of course there is no evidence and never was, but in order to live up to his newly found credo, he’ll soon (presumably) dump the AEC lacking as it does, PAS-quality data. Presumably our newly self-beatified ‘Worthy One’ will have no truck with his previous unscientific speculations concocted in a downtown Warsaw lean-to. Even when attacking that fine body of men and women, Britain’s detectorists, along with his trade-mark discourteous and ill-mannered insults flung at the PAS, he blunders back into his AEC-style inexactitudes; “quite a few […]” and, “a few…[…],” et al, ad nauseum.

Maybe, just maybe, ‘St. Paul of Warsaw’ is scrotally-deep in the quagmire of bovine scatology of his own making and in too deep to extract himself without appearing a bigger buffoon, or to prevent the CBA’s top-brass – who stepped into his elephant trap – from looking complete idiots by their tacit and ill-advised thumbs-up of his science-free AEC twaddle.

So, hypocrite, or Heavenly? Writing the Cultural Property Observer, Washington lawyer, Peter Tompa’s formidable blog, former US diplomat Arthur Houghton, a highly respected Getty Museum Curator is unequivocal.

“The ever undistinguished and much ridiculed Mr. Barford is wreathed in hypocrisy.”

Another Warsaw Wind-up?


“You seem to have more than the average share of intelligence for a man of your background,” sneered an archaeologist to the treasure hunter witness at a Treasure Trove inquest

“If I wasn’t under oath,” replied the treasure hunter, “ I’d return the compliment.”


Hot Toddy

This magic potion cures coughs, colds, scabby dooh-dahs, and all known ills. Drink it just after turning in – you’ll soon be in the embrace of Morpheus. You will need:-

Two-fingers of Scotch whisky (vertical not horizontal)

A good teaspoon of honey

A tablespoon (or two) of fresh lemon juice

Boiling water.


In a mug, add the honey, lemon, and whisky. Pour over the boiling water and fill. Drink! Sweet dreams.



Ever wondered why some archaeologists – especially the appalling, bobble-hatted, wispy bearded, amateur variety (and that’s just the women) – want it all for themselves? Then have a look at the Heritage Journal webpage for an answer; check-out the ‘Comments’ by some of the snooty nitwits who want the whole heritage shebang for themselves. Not that they are any more qualified, or entitled to it, than detectorists you understand, it’s just they THINK they are morally and ethically superior, revealing a hideous brand of academic snobbery of the worst kind. Ever heard of arkies signing finds agreements with landowners as we do? No? I didn’t think so.

It might be in you and your landowner/farmers best interests to forewarn them of the dangers of doing deals with archaeologists to prevent excavations turning into pseudo-intellectual grabfests. Make sure that if they are tempted to let these pseudo-academic hoikers onto their land, then they should be advised to demand that all artefacts are shown to them, recorded with the PAS, and returned to be disposed of in a manner that suits the landowner. And don’t forget to inform them of the implications if treasure is uncovered. They are entitled to 50%!! Better still have the arkies sign a copy of a finds agreement similar to that used by detectorists.

Better still have them include a paragraph signing over ALL treasure rewards to the landowner/farmer.  After all, archaeologists never tire of telling us all how they are not in it for the money.

Look after your landowners and they’ll look after you.



The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy….William Hazlitt

 I’ll see y’all in the bar!



Filed under Metal Detecting

5 responses to “What My Stats Say…

  1. wintersen

    Dick – my blog always goes into overdrive when St. Paul of Warsaw links to my site. Every cloud has a silver lining. You shouldn’t be doing too bad either!

    As for the Winter-Warmer British Bake Off Mussel extravaganza … what a waste of Howland’s talent … didn’t mention once the One recently recognised as a Saint.

  2. Bob K

    Yes don’t change your blog and l won’t change. ( wife would get upset ).
    also you left out the ginger in the hot toddy.
    have a great weekend.

    • Bob, suspect John was drinking the Toddy when he wrote the recipe out….

      • Ah! Ginger! Not tried that version…am reaching for the whisky, lemon, honey, and ginger as I write…for purely experimental reasons!

        Thank you too, JW, for your warm words. Now if I could find a pot big enough……….

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