2015…The Good & The Bad

Decided to look back over 2015, and see what has transpired here on Stout Standards.  As I expected there were highs, lows and in-betweens.  Good posts, okay posts, what the hell were you thinking posts, and here and there a few responses from enemies and ne’er-do-wells. Such is life. Anyway here are a few of the highlights, or lowlights, depending on how you look at them.


Starting the new year I made “Resolutions”, most of them tongue in cheek, and the only one I stuck to was “eating more pasta”.  Then later in the month I was fortunate to get three very good tekkies, Dave Wise, Todd Hiltz and D.J. Yost to share their take on my favorite machine, the MXT Pro.

On a sad note an old friend and detecting pioneer, Jack Gifford, passed away. The month did finish on a high note however in that I found a new friend and partner in Digger…..


Top, left to right, D.J. Yost, yours truly with Jack and Myrna Gifford. Bottom, left to right, Todd Hiltz and Dave Wise and my new pal, Digger



In February I offered up a few tips on finding and hunting old “picnic groves” in hopes that it would spur a little winter research.  Then referring to John Howland’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” post, I got a few tekkies pissed when I wrote the “Okay, Take Me On” followup.  Jeezus, come on folks somebody has to stick needles.

On the 10th of the month I was pleased to tell you about “Paul Tainter, Mr. Treasure”. Paul is an old friend and truly a pioneer in the treasure hunting world.  His Treasure Hunting Expos are legend, and were a helluva lot of fun.


Just a few of the participants in the early Treasure Expos…Michael Paul Henson, Richard Ray, Carl Fismer, Glenn Carson, Abe Lincoln, Bill Smith, Jimmy Sierra, Phil Caldwell, Jim Detloff and of course Paul Tainter (in all but bottom center photo).



March started off with a little levity, or at least I thought so, with a fun post on “monikers”, then I had to vent (I know, what else is new) with “Will We Ever Grow Up” and “The More the Merrier”.    unfortunately we are still big on quantity, but not so great with quality. Then someone named Marcus took exception with my blog (again, what else is new) and I responded with  “Monday Madness”, in the hopes that Marcus would then think better of me, or kiss my ass and move on.  March was also the month when the FMDAC made it’s yearly announcement that they are still alive, and to say yes Virginia, there will be a hunt this year.



Had a little fun with the “Should I worry” post to start off the month (never fails to be a few April Fools out there). Then sadly we lost another treasure hunting legend, Charles Garrett.  I shared my association with Charles in a later post that month titled “The Charles Garrett I knew”.


John Howland hit a milestone in April with his 200th contribution to Stout Standards.  Who could have imagined he could stay sober to accomplish such a feat? Later in the month I came across a tekkie’s attempt to continue his hobby by asking others to donate money.  To read more click on “Talk About a Big Pair”.  Then for the second time in the month I lost another friend, Ralph Smith.  He wasn’t a tekkie, but a musician, a roadie and one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. His passing was a shock to me and a great many others….


RIP Ralph Smith



May had sort of a New England flair to it in that my book “In Search of Treasure” was named the TH’ing book of the year at the BONE event in New Hampshire, and Yankee magazine profiled Rick and Lance Comfort in an article titled “Buried Treasures, Stories Beneath Our Feet”.   Then later on in the month tekkies Dave Wise and Terry Charest held an impromptu hunt that wound up being called Digging in New England.  The monies collected were donated to local area charities, and from what I hear, this may become a yearly event. Will let you know if I hear more on this….


Photos from Digging in New England…

Finally I offered my views on “Finding the Very Best Detector on the Market”.   My point being is the methodology out there to really make this determination? I don’t think so….




Cartoon courtesy of Glenn McCoy

In June I was astounded at the pricey boot camps for Minelab and XP Deus users.  Never thought I would see the day tekkies would travel long distances, and shell out $125 to learn how to use their detector.  A sign apparently of the times. and the well to do among us.

Then later on in the month someone got pissed, and asked why I just didn’t share everything that ticked me off and get it over with….so I did!  One hundred in total.  The post was called “You Know What I Hate?”

Next I was reminded of just how complicated we can make things today with “I Didn’t Ask For Any of This”  And it’s still true!  Finally, I offered up my thoughts on the new White’s TreasureMaster.

First outing with the TreasureMaster

First outing with the TreasureMaster



Was feeling homesick and sorry for myself to start off the month of July, and talked about it in a post called “Sit Down, Have A Beer With Me” .   Then I finally got out and did a little more coinhunting with the TreasureMaster, and shared the results in “The Treasure Master, a Second Look”.  Then, while no one asked,  I offered my thoughts on the Diggers season premier, and while I know a lot of you enjoy the show, I just can’t get into the overt silliness, and the over the top assumptions on every find.  Having said that they’ve obviously been entertaining enough to last for more than one season, so my hats off to KG and Ringy.




Not much happening in August, but did share an interesting effort by Randy Bradford to preserve out history, and hope that he’s reading this and will report back on his progress.  If you are interested in reading more or in helping Randy, click HERE.

The TV producers, or so they said....

The TV producers, or so they said….

I also enjoyed writing “In the Dark Recesses of my Mind”, reflecting on a very brief moment when I was the talk of the industry, and another about the possibility of having organized hunts on TV back in the 80’s.



Phil and I....

Phil and I….

In mid-September I reviewed another tekkie TV show called Rebel Gold, and while I hoped it would finally be one I could hang my hat on, it was not.  It simply mirrored every other detecting show that came before. Disappointing to say the least.  Then I poured a glass of red and showed my age with “You Can Be Anything You Want to Be” and found out that I was long in the tooth.

At the end of the month I talked about my trip to Denver to visit my brother Phil. It saddened me to see him in a wheel chair, and not be able to converse. We always enjoyed talking about growing up, music, the entertainment industry, movies and all things New Jersey. The irony or sadness in all this is?  Phil used to make his living as an announcer.  As I write this he is hanging in there, and under hospice care.



To start the month I had a few positive responses when I shared tips on how to go about knocking on doors.  If you haven’t read it, and are somewhat timid about presenting yourself to strangers, give “Knock, Knock, Who’s There” a look.   Then on the 9th of the month I put up a post titled “Why Not Here“.


And I STILL say why not here?

It was something I really felt had merit, but unfortunately the responses went off track, and one particular individual tried to take the piss out of me.  I stewed for a day or two, and let my steam out with a follow-up called “That Raw Nerve”….

Later in the month I finally prodded deep enough to get responses from two of the national groups. Miracle of miracles!  If you care you can read them by clicking on WWATS/Task Force Responses.



Had a whole lot of fun writing and creating “New Statistics for the Pastime”, and going by the comments, a lot of others had fun with it too. Then I unintentionally stirred the pot with “Are We a Simple Lot or Just Too Busy to Care”.

I did learn however that I shouldn’t offer opinions, and that if I wanted more visitors/readers I must produce more useful material.  So, after almost four years of blogging, I will work harder to tell you where to hunt, how to hunt, what to look for, how to photograph your finds, how to make exciting videos, and how to retire on the treasures you recover.  And finally, to those of you who find my blog boring, I may tell you what to do with your detector. Stay tuned….



To start this, the final month of the year,  I offered my views on how NOT to get kicked out of your local park via “A Spoonful of Sugar”.  Then sadly, I lost two more dear friends.  Dick Tichian, a long time friend and detectorist from New Jersey, and Jerry Nowak, musician, composer and arranger, also from NJ.  2015, enough, please!

Dick Tichian

Dick Tichian


John Howland then graciously picked up the slack for me, and offered insight into the recently discovered “Watlington Hoard”.  Thanks John, and thanks for all your contributions to the Malamute Saloon over the years. I owe you (but not that damn $20).

I have no clue what the rest of December will be like, but sure hoping that it doesn’t take any more of my friends.  I’ve lost way too many. Finally, thanks to all of you who took the time to comment, share your thoughts and ideas. I seriously doubt I would continue writing without your participation.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas to all…be safe and be sure to have one or two for me!








Filed under Metal Detecting

9 responses to “2015…The Good & The Bad

  1. danhughes1

    Dick, looking at your list of friends who died over the past year reminds me of my mother’s address book. She’s 90, and whenever a friend dies she crosses out that name and number in her book. That book has 90% of its entries crossed out with heavy black marker. So sad to look at.

  2. My physiotherapist insists that I always use my back-up phrase: EVERY DAY’S AN ADVENTURE! Bah! Humbug.

  3. Yo Bubba:
    That’s it then…the 20 Bucks are history!
    Hope you, Fay, and the family have a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016, and of course the same goes to all Stout Standard readers.

  4. Bigtony

    Thanks for the recap – good stuff for sure! Hopefully my research this winter will be more fruitful then last year’s
    Sorry about losing your buddies…it’s never easy no matter when it happens. I have lost a few detecting buddies in the past and know the feeling.
    My best to all for the remainder of 2015 and best of luck and health in 2016!

  5. Paul Sampson

    Good recap. Love your blogs. Reminds me to try and get out and hunt some. Merry Christmas to all.

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