#232 More Companies, More Changes

This is my Day of Archaeology 2014 post. Click HERE to go to the DayofArch page and see hundreds of great posts about the day in the life of archaeologists across the globe.

First, a big thanks again to the organizers of this event! It’s a lot to put on something like this. Go and buy something from their store to support this for many years to come!

Welcome to my fourth Day of Archaeology post! Hard to believe this has been going on for four years now. Every year, so far, I’ve been at a different stage in my life. Nothing stays the same around here, ever! Here are my last posts: 1st year here and here2nd Year, and 3rd Year.


When I wrote my 2013 Day of Archaeology post my new CRM company was just seven months old. I had done a few projects, but, I was mostly focused on the arduous task of business development (BD). I’ve never been good at BD. It seems that no one actually teaches you how to do it. So, I never really learned the ins and outs. I do have some networking skills, which helps, but that’s not all BD is about.


I’ve got a few more contracts down, but, I seem to have put the CRM side of DIGTECH on the back burner. That’s not to say I would turn down a contract if I were approached, I just don’t have time to go seek them out right now. What I’m really focusing on is my other company, Field Tech Designs.


This is what I’ve been working on for much of today’s Day of Archaeology.


I’ve been subcontracted to do the excavation for a project in Lake County, CA and the fieldwork starts next week. It’s actually a pretty sweet gig. DIGTECH will do all the fieldwork, but, we aren’t doing any of the artifact analysis and report writing. While I do enjoy those phases of work, I don’t really have the time for it right now. So, this gets me out in the field, shovel in hand, and then allows me to get back to other tasks.

For the fieldwork, we’ll be using iPads rented from my other company, Field Tech Designs, to record the shovel tests and excavation units we’ll be digging. I’ve created custom forms for the shovel tests and spent a portion of today creating the excavation forms.

Working digitally will allow us to transmit the completed paperwork (should digital forms be called, electrowork? digiwork?) to the PI at his office 200 miles away every day. With cell service, we can transmit the forms as we finish them.


I’ve also spent some time coming up with the various pricing models we’re going to have for our tablet rental program. Over the last few months I’ve gotten the sense that some companies are a bit apprehensive about buying a fleet of tablets for their fieldwork. I don’t know if it’s the upfront cost of the tablets or the thought that they could easily break (which isn’t true). Either way, I thought that since they are used to renting things like Trimble GPS units anyway then a tablet rental would just make sense. Renting the tablets allows Field Tech Designs to assume the burden of keeping them maintained and updated while always giving the client the latest and greatest.


For the custom forms we are creating for our clients I always make a video detailing the use of the form and how to turn the digital data into a CSV file and then a Word Document. It’s pretty straight forward, but, if you’ve never done it there are a number of steps that just make more sense when you can see them.

Working on video editing this afternoon made me realize just how old my MacBook Pro is getting. I could really use an upgrade soon!


I spent some time thinking about, and taking notes on, some things we’re going to talk about in the podcast we’re recording on Saturday. The CRM Archaeology Podcast is up to episode 38 and we’re still going strong. We’ve released an episode every other Monday for the last year and a half and we never lack for things to talk about. That’s why I’ve come up with another idea…


I feel that the current podcast could really be split into a bunch of other shows. The shows would be essentially single topic shows that focus on really digging into whatever issue they are concerned with. I’m not going to go into too much detail right now, but, stay tuned for a lot more content about CRM Archaeology in the coming months.


The last thing I did today was some research for a new company. This new entity will have something to do with aerial drones but I’m not going to go into it right now. We’re in the research phase right now. Since the FAA here in the U.S. is still up in arms about using drones for commercial purposes, we have some time. I’m a licensed pilot, though, and that might go well for me if the regulations go the direction I think they are going to go based on some information I recently received from an FAA official here in Reno. Interesting times are ahead in the world of Drones.

So, working on tablets with Field Tech Designs, researching a new drone company, and trying to, sort of, find more work for DIGTECH so I can test out all my ideas…busy day. Unfortunately, nothing I did today directly made me any money. One thing you learn while you’re indulging your passions and chasing your dreams is that money isn’t always the reason to do things in life. If you keep doing what you love and work hard at it then the money will come.

Oh, I also turned my popular series of blog posts, the Shovelbums Guide, into a helpful guidebook for CRM Archaeologists at any level. The book was published by Left Coast Press in April and is called the, “Field Archaeologist’s Survival Guide: Getting a Job and Working in Cultural Resource Management”. You can find it on Amazon and at the Left Coast Website.

Enjoy the other posts for the 2014 Day of Archaeology!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the field!

#216 Cobra JumPack #CES2014

216 Jumpack.png

This is one amazing battery back and it’s something no field tech, and no field vehicle, should be without. Cobra is known for making car radar detectors, but, they have an electronics division that does so much more.

The Cobra JumPack is a small, hand-sized power pack. It sports a 7,500mAh (that means it can charge something for a really long time) battery, an LED flashlight, and surprisingly, it will jumpstart the battery in your car not once, but, several times. That is simply, amazing. On top of all that, the JumPack takes only a few hours to charge.

The JumPack will be available in April (just in time for my birthday!) for $129.95. I’ve owned similar power packs that I paid about $100 for. It’s worth the extra $30 for a flashlight and car jump starter.

Would you use this? Would you recommend your company buy them for the field vehicles? If you have a large, clunky, battery charger for jumpstarts in your field vehicle, would you switch to this? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the field!

#212 June Sun Exposure Monitor #CES2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 10.42.47 AM.png

 June, by Netamo

This handy little device actively measures your sun exposure and the current UV index in real time. The companion iPhone App tells you all about the sun conditions around you.

The way it works is through a stylish crystal that you can wear as a bracelet, or pin it to your hat, backpack, or field clothes. Check the UV index throughout the day and put on the appropriate sunscreen with the right SPF and in the right quantities. 

I think this device would be great for people that don’t like to put on sunscreen first thing in the morning and would rather wait until they need to. Also, sunscreen only lasts so long and if you put it on too early and don’t reapply it loses it’s effectiveness.

I have to admit, the style of this device is a little feminine. However, I'd gladly pin the crystal to my backpack and still get all the benefits. Actually, that would probably work better anyway. Many archaeologists wear long-sleeve shirts that would cover up the crystal anyway.

What do you think about this? Would you use it? Would it help? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the field!

#197 Field Tech Incorporated

So, a few years ago I had an idea to create what would amount to a temp agency for field techs. It would be a company that is solely devoted to supplying field technicians to other companies for their projects. I didn’t feel I had the credentials or experience to start such a company at the time. Well, after hearing about a similar company started by a former project roommate of mine, and, after talking to a few CRM friends, I think the time has come for a venture like this.

#186 Book Review: Resume-Writing for Archaeologists

UPDATE:  Bill will have this book for free on Amazon from July 26 to July 30. Pick you your copy and put your review in the comments!

CRM Archaeologist, author, founder of Succinct Research, and podcaster on the CRM Archaeology Podcast, Bill White has a new book out! This is another great resource that every archaeologist should own. Even non-archaeologists will get some great information from this eBook.

The book is available on Amazon for about $5 as an eBook. Save it to your smartphone or tablet so you can access it whenever you need to. 

With a great layout and organization this book helps you recognize where you can improve your existing resume or can help you create one from scratch. Bill talks about, not only what makes a resume attractive to employers, but, also how to design your resume so it actually has a higher profile when job search software is used. There are certain buzz words and other words that you can put in your CV to ensure that the screening software your future employer is using puts your CV in the "call" list. 

Even if you've been a CRM archaeologist for many years you can still benefit from the information in this book. Download it and keep it as a reference for when you need your next job. 

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the field! 

#171 Word for Archaeologists Pt. 3.1: Tabs

This post is part three in a series of posts dedicated to making the lives of archaeologists sentenced to a career using Microsoft Word just a little bit easier. Part 1 is here and covers Track Changes. Part 2 covers Styles and can be found here. You can find information on a variety of topics by going to the blog’s website and typing something into the search field on the right side of the page. Let me know, in the comments below, if there is something you would like me to research and blog about, whether it is archaeology related or MS Word related, and I’ll do my best to get it out there. Tabs are so fascinating that I had to break this up into two posts. This is the first one.