2020 – The Year That Wasn’t!

Photo by Edwin Hooper

Hard looking back at 2020, it was such a dismal year on so many fronts.  Let’s all cross our fingers that 2021 will be the year we became whole again.

As I’ve done every year I looked back at what I’ve written for the past twelve months and I can’t believe I was able to once again baffle you with BS.  Just an innate talent I guess. In any event pour a double, here’s a LONG synopsis of Stout Standards 2020. 

Thank you all for following along in 2020 and for being so patient and tolerant with this old beeper!


Started off the year with resolutions (“Here’s to 2020” ) and it looks like I failed rather miserably.  I got somewhat excited about digging after getting the Simplex later in the year but failed to get out as much as I had hoped.  I also upped my game somewhat when it came to spending more $$ on wine – Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon ($6.99).  And yes I gave that extra attention to my shadow, Digger! Love that little guy.

Then there was “Old Problem -New Idea where I tried to persuade the manufacturers to take a role in organizing/uniting us all but as expected no one picked up on it and I didn’t receive replies from any of them. I will cut them a lot of slack given how the year turned out.

Ended the month with “Perish the Thought” cajoling and persuading John Winter to get back to blogging and sure enough he’s back. If you don’t read John you should. Check him out at John’s Blog.



Writings of KVM

February was a slow month for me. It began with Musings & Mumbo Jumbo in which I spouted off about a lot of things. Especially cool was the release and receipt of Randy Bradford’s 3rd volume of “Selections from the National Prospector’s Gazette & Treasure Hunter’s News (Karl von Mueller). It’s title “Examino Exposes”. Great series, great reading if you are a KVM fan.

February was also the first time I had to deal with skin cancer surgery (tho it wouldn’t be the last). Scary stuff and it will continue be an ongoing concern for me. Many years of being outside finally took it’s toll.

The month ended on a sad note when I discovered that Archie Ray had passed away. Archie and his wife Rosalie were dear friends and two of the forces behind the success if the FMDAC back in the early 80’s. He was our legislative chairman and did a terrific job keeping us abreast of what was going on throughout the country and accompanied me on trips to Washington for congressional hearings. Archie was also a successful and prolific TH’er.  Read more at “Never Get So Busy“.

With Archie, Washington D.C. – circa 1985



Ah, the start of Covid 19, or at least the start here in the States. A time we will all remember for sure….

Anyway my first post was Grillin’ & Busting Chops” – pretty much a lot of random brainfarts.

Next up  was “No Such Thing” – my take on the “best” detector on the market.

Best detector?

Then lo and behold I got caught up in the Covid shopping frenzy, a.k.a. the “touch that toilet paper and you’re a dead man” caper. “Going Zonkers” was putting it mildly.



April started off with me bitching about the quarantine. I’m real good at that. Bitching that is, not quarantining.

April was also a month that begin the never ending countdown for the new Garrett detector – marketing at it’s finest (I guess?). Later in the month I talked about the traits that make for a successful detectorist (Slapdash Scrawl”).


  • keeps a low profile
  • goes about his business quietly and professionally
  • knows when to talk and when to shut up
  • doesn’t need praise or adulation
  • knows the history of his locale
  • keeps detailed records
  • doesn’t need a posse or gang when he detects
  • spends his time detecting, not making videos
  • knows the various nuances of his detector and what it is saying
  • sticks with the tried and true approaches and settings
  • usually has an assortment of old sites at the ready
  • keeps his detector and equipment clean – ready to go
  • is not obsessed with every new product that comes on the market
  • has chutzpah and isn’t afraid to knock on doors
  • prefers great finds to likes, votes and followers
  • is able to recover a target without leaving a trace
  • doesn’t need five different searchcoils to be successful
  • spends his online time learning and researching
  • is good friends with the local librarian
  • usually has a plan of action for each site
  • never gives up on a site
  • will dig the signals you pass up
  • doesn’t need to wear camo to find the better stuff
  • knows to expand the boundaries of a productive search site
  • keeps his finds out of site at home and online
  • never brags about his finds
  • sends $50 every month to Dick Stout


Better Safe Than Sorry was a post to talk about my concern about covid-19. You see I’m old but not quite ready to go if I don’t have to….

Wound up the month with “Just Rambling on About Nothing” – sharing a scary night of storms here in north Texas, a.k.a tornado alley. Also got into some the mundane questions that get asked online and offered a few tips….



Best part of May was Clive Clynicks Q&A. His work ethic and his finds blow me away.

Clive & friend Roland Marc Dacourt

Then I expressed my concerns about the increasing competition in Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd. It’s only going to get worse too.

May was also the month that Garrett unveiled it’s new and overly marketed detector, the Apex Ace.  I talked about it more than once in The Garrett Ace Apex and It’s All Good Sport“.

Finally, I got off my ass and did a little detecting and regressing, taking the ole Garrett Groundhog out for a spin (Groundhoggin’ During Covid). No earth shattering finds, more a walk in the park but it felt good.



The month started off with –Sad News from Across the Pond and the passing of Stephen Grey’s wife Rachael. Stephen is a good friend and contributor here on Stout Standards.

Rachel & Stephen


Then the announcement that  White’s Electronics was closing it’s doors. While many had hinted this might happen it was still a shock. Here’s hoping the great employees that worked there are back on the feet at this time. They’re certainly deserving.

John Howland also gave permission for me to rerun an old article of his titled “A High Seas Treasure Mystery“. You can find it under A Way With Words.

June was also a big Q&A month featuring Ed Merrill, KG & Ringy and Julie Argent. Great info!! Thank you all.

Ed Merrill, KG & Ringy & Julie Argent



Started off with a bang as in July 4th.  Then I segued into a melancholy/bitching post titled 2020-An Anomaly or a Sign of Things to Come?

Shooting From the Hip – covered a few related news items that I thought needed to be shared.

Next something constructive and informative – a Q&A with Kimmie Price!

Kimmie Price



August started off with moi being a clairvoyant and it was a lot of fun – if you’re interested see 2021 – Coming Attractions

Then TADA –  I got a new detector!! Thanks to Nokta Makro for getting me enthused again. I was reluctant to do a field test/review given my semi-retirement (a.k.a. It just hurts too damn much anymore) but glad I did. The Nokta Makro Simplex+ is one very good detector and it got me motivated again. Love everything about it and anxious to take it a few good places.

Simplex+ – a lot of detector at a great price.


Later in the month I wrote a blurb titled What Floats Your Boat” and it basically asked those who had the Garrett Apex on order what they were looking for, what they were hoping for and I got a lot of feedback. Have to wonder too now that it’s been out for 4 months what they now think. Might be a good topic after the first of the year.

The Garrett Apex Ace

Finally I had fun with a lot of the Apex customers, who knowing that Garrett had started shipping, became impatient and just a little testy. Reading their rants cracked me up and in fact I called it Y’all Crack Me Up!”


Oh and I also bit the bullet at end of month and bought the SP22 8 inch coil for my Simplex!



Started off the month sharing what’s in store for we older tekkies – “Old Diggers Never Die”

Then a little scattershooting about having patience when learning your new Apex.

Lastly The Simplex SP22 & SP24 Searchcoils – My Take. Great additions to your arsenal IMHO.



Paul Tainter’s Treasure Hunter’s Express

Thanks to Paul Tainter the month started off with a little info on George Payne, a gentleman whom we all owe a lot to. If you not familiar with the name please read Have You Thanked George Payne Today?

After a couple of throwbacks I shared the news about Garretts purchase of White’s Electronics.

Then came a great question and answer session with Toddy Irvine.

Toddy Irvine


Then I had to bust chops again about all the unnecessary accessories you’re buying.  If you’re interested the post wasCome on Now, Really?”

Finally ended the month with a reprise of a blurb I posted in June of 2015 titled You Know What I Hate?



First in November was a pity me post titled A Pandemic Day in the Life of an Old Beeper, explaining the ups and downs of a day out detecting in 2020.

Next Andy Sabisch was kind enough to grace my blog with a Q&A.

Andy Sabisch


I followed Andy’s story with a review of his The Simplex+ Handbook….an excellent guide for the Simplex owners/users.

Next Steve (the Suffolk) Sifter shared his story and expertise  in another Q & A. Thanks Steve…

Steve Sifter


Ended up November discussing the pro’s and con’s of trying to determine a detector’s depth. See But How Deep Will it Go?”



This the final month of a dismal year started off with a discussion of this blog titled 8 Years & 873 Posts Later

Then there were two throwbacks (what can I say, I’m lazy and I’m hurting). If you interested either of these oldies – “Do You Have UMO’s?” and It’s Throwback Thursday

A few of Joe Cook’s UMO’s


Then I got into how the Covid problem has affected us here in the Amesbury house. I titled itHo, Ho, Ho or Ho, Ho Hum?

Just before the update you’re reading now I rambled on yet again about a favorite topic of mine, Social Media. and how it’s all a jungle out there.


Thankfully 2020 is almost over! Hang in there, stay safe, better days are coming. Appreciate you’all!




December 27, 2020 · 11:14 am

20 responses to “2020 – The Year That Wasn’t!

  1. john taylor

    hi dick! was food shoppin’ and came across the “rooster” rex goliath! ehe! heh! he! hot damn dick! that’s a cheap buzz! $7.99 the bottle! read the very interesting story on the back label about the 47 pounder! jeez! a 47 pound chicken!..who da thunk! gonna try me some “mango” 20-20 $ 1.69 the pint! how’d i get so lucky? 2021 here i come! ehe! he! heh!. i’m just sayin’


  2. john taylor

    i am just “chuckling” to myself as i write the message !..he! heh! he!dick! i gotta tell ya, that’s a “big ass” bird on the bottle! 47 pounds but ”roosters” are notoriously tough eatin’ i’m sure in liquid form must be easier on the palate!i’m just sayin’


  3. Well Dick, you found a lot to write about in this dismal year~keep it going, 2021 has got to be better. Happy New Year!

  4. Oh yeah, forgot to mention…er…um…er, $20? Maybe in 2021? There’ll be no accrued interest since 1986. Just thought I’d mention it.
    i’m just sayin’

  5. Tony

    Hey whoa, 873 posts! Man that is a ton of articles no wonder why I don’t remember some of your year in review.
    Wishing a blessed New Year and a very heathy one to you and all of your readers and contributors! Cheers!

  6. john taylor

    correct john! may be a while! horses are notoriously slow. especially if they have to swim the atlantic! keep pitchin’we’ll get there! ..i’m just sayin’ happy new year to you and yours!


  7. Packrat

    I wanted to thank you for telling us about the KVM new book last year. I would never have known to buy it and it was just as good as his treasure hunting Manuel’s from the past. One of the greats

    • Glad you liked it Larry. Thank Randy for putting these volumes together. I believe he’s about to come out with volume 4 any day.

      Happy New Year Packrat….

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