The Past and Present of Military Coins

Military coins have been around for a very long time. No one is really sure where they came from. What is true is that these coins have become more and more popular.

TV shows, movies, and even books have made these coins popular. Jon Favreau, the man who directs the Iron Man films, was known for handing out challenge coins to members of the military who assisted in making their film. TV shows like JAG have featured challenge coins once or twice on their show.

custom coinsThe popularity of these coins stems from the certain mystique that they have, much like other military traditions. Military coins have become a symbol for the camaraderie of those included in the military. For those curious and have no clue, below is a short breakdown of the past and present of these challenge coins.

The different origin stories

They may have been around for a long time, but no one is entirely sure where these coins actually come from. There are several stories and no one is absolutely clear on which of them is actually right.

One of the stories revolves around a downed American pilot. This man carried with him a medallion around his neck. He received this medallion from his lieutenant who came from a rich background. Back then some of the men who enlisted for World War I were young undergraduates from universities like Yale or Harvard.

The pilot was captured and deprived of his belongings. He escaped his prison and was eventually met by the French. He presented his medallion as proof that he was a friendly soldier. The French recognized his medallion. This is the oldest story that refers to the origin of military coins.

Another story deals with spies during World War II. Spies behind enemy lines would carry with them old French coins. These coins served as bona fides. This basically meant that a spy had to bring their coin to the meeting in order to prove to the others that they weren’t a spy.

The other story traces its roots to the Vietnam War. Soldiers had this unique habit of keeping live ammunition with them at all times. They would then slam it on the table to challenge one of their peers. If the challenged failed to slam a bullet, he would then be obligated to buy that person a round of drinks. This practice was banned and instead of bullets, soldiers carried coins.

Trend setting Presidents

Presidents of the United States are now known for handing out challenge coins to random servicemen that they encounter as well as visiting dignitaries. This tradition started with Bill Clinton whose portrait in the White House prominently features his own collection of challenge coins in the background.

George W. Bush is famous for giving out his presidential coins to people who served in Iraq. President Barack Obama on the other hand is known for having placed challenge coins to victims of the Forth Hood shooting back in 2009.

These presidential coins are some of the rarest that a person could ever hope to get their hands on.

The copycats of military coins

The tradition of having challenge coins is no longer limited to the military or the branches of the governments. There are so many organizations out there that now have their own set of challenge coins. Each of these organizations issue coins to their members in order to make their members feel special or that they belong to the group. It’s also given out as a reward for special services rendered or going above and beyond the call of duty.

NASCAR, Eagle Scouts, NFL players, and other organizations have begun to issue challenge coins as well. Granted, not all of them follow the tradition that these coins can be used to obligate someone to buy them a round of drinks, especially the Eagle Scouts, but the symbolic spirit of military coins is still there.

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The Right Team to Have When Buying Real Estate

Buying a home is the ultimate dream of perhaps everybody in the world. However, this is not an easy undertaking, unless you are a millionaire who can spend and lose money if a mistake was made. Buying a home requires a lot of painstaking tasks to be done and this is a journey, which, when completed, will result to a very rewarding experience. Considering that you may not be an expert, we will be discussing the right people to work with before you buy your own house. However, let us first talk about the basics of buying real estate.

How Much Can You Afford?

So many people fall victim to seemingly low prices of mortgages but they do not realize that all these loans will pile up and soon, they will be heavily in debt and will have no choice but to sell the house. Before you can buy a house, you need upfront money which will be used as downpayment or reservation fee. Next, you will need funds to pay for the home.

To determine how much you can afford, sum up all the amount of money that you already have and add the amount of money you can spare on a monthly basis for your mortgage. This is what you can afford.

Never borrow money for your downpayment and at the same time, borrow for your mortgage. Before you realize, you will soon be heavily in debt. The downpayment money to use should be money that is already available. This should be your money that came from your savings. It is also not wise to spend your entire savings for the downpayment because you will later on need money for other stuff, like paying the team of people who will work with you.

As a general rule, the cost of the house should not be more than three times the amount of your yearly income. This also applies if you have a spouse. Your combined net income in one year multiplied by three years will give you a rough estimate on how much you can afford.

Your Real Estate Team

It is not advisable that you make decisions on your own. Always work with experts who will provide you the right services for this investment. You will need the expertise of a real estate agent, a lawyer, an appraiser, and a home inspector. Below we will discuss the role of each person so you will have an idea what they do.

The Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are responsible for finding the house you want based on your specifications and budget. There are things to consider when you are choosing a real estate agent. Most real estate agents are normally seen in open houses. Ensure that you at least know someone who has worked with that agent. Feedback is important because these people will tell you their own experience upon working with the agent.

You should also ensure that the agent you get has enough time for you and that he is hard-working. Good real estate agents should have the motivation to close a sale. Real estate agents who pass you to their assistants are not good picks. They should take care of you personally and responsibly.

Knowledge is also important. Agents should be able to answer your questions about mortgage and paperwork. The agent should be able to clearly define how much you need to shell out and how much you will have to pay for the amortization.

The Lawyer

Lawyers are there to protect your assets and financial interests. Without lawyers, you may fall victim to swindlers who show you document after document of liability and contracts. Find good lawyers who will explain in detail the contents stipulated in the contract. Good lawyers will also tell you your rights as a buyer and owner of the house.

When buying a home, the lawyer should provide you the steps to take from signing off a deal to the very last steps of transferring the title deed to your name. It is important that you understand the terms and conditions of the sale so you are guided accordingly.

The Appraiser and the Home Inspector

These two people work together. The appraiser’s role is to determine whether the price is right or too steep. The appraiser considers the age of the building, location, and the current market value of properties. The appraiser will tell you if the house for sale is a good deal or not. They know whether the house will appreciate or depreciate in value in the years to come.

On the other hand, the home inspector will check for damages in the house; he will give you an estimate of how much you need to shell out for needed repairs. A good home inspector must at least have a background on engineering or architecture. Home inspectors will check the physical nitty-gritty of the house, so to speak.

There you have it. These four people are very valuable when buying a home. They will be your guide to successful home ownership. Sometimes, a single person may be an expert in several fields and finding a person of this variety is a great deal since you will be paying for the services at a cheaper price.

For example, an appraiser may also be a home inspector at the same time. The amount he will charge for his services will be lesser compared to paying two separate individuals offering different services. Without a strong team such as this, you are susceptible to fraud and getting ripped off. Some deals may sound topnotch but you might realize later on that you are spending more than what you can afford and you are getting less than what you paid for.

Property If you think about investment in real estate then go through it.

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How to Buy Golf Clubs

Playing golf is not an easy task. A lot of factors come into play that determines if you’ll have a great day playing or not. One of the factors that can either help or hurt your game is the type of golf club you are using. Because of this reason, as well as other peripheral factors such as price, you’ll need to take your golf club shopping seriously. How can you ensure that you’ll acquire the right set of golf clubs? Here is the step-by-step guide on how you can shop for the right set.

1. Determine your budget- Buying your own set of clubs can turn into a potentially expensive affair. Completing a set may set you back hundreds of dollars. For the more advanced clubs fitted with the latest golfing technologies (ex.: carbon fiber shafts), it can even cost you thousands of dollars. If you are short on the budget and you’re not playing often enough to justify the costs, you can settle for the less expensive sets. You may also downsize the number of clubs you actually bring to the course, only carrying the most basic ones.

Golf Clubs2. Determine your skill level- Your skill level actually dictates strongly which direction should you take on your golf club shopping. If you are just a newbie who’s starting to learn the nuances of the game, there’s no real reason yet to invest on expensive and exclusive golf clubs. Getting an entry-level but reliable club set should be more than enough for your needs as a beginner. However, as your skills advance, you can potentially benefit from upgrading your arsenal of clubs.

3. Consider how many clubs you’ll actually need-The rules dictate that you can carry up to 14 different clubs on your bag during competition. The reality is that you may not even need to use up all 14 slots! In fact, there is such a thing as having one option too many. As a rule of thumb, the most basic golf club set you can assemble should include a driver, a 3-wood, a hybrid, a 3-iron, a 5-iron, a 7-iron, a 9-iron, and a putter. As you get the hang of how golf clubs function, you can steadily expand to get more club variations.

4. Consider shaft flex-Shaft flex is a very important consideration when selecting a golf club. Flex pertains to the ability of the shaft to bend as forces are applied into it during the execution of a swing. This is an important consideration to have as shaft flex can either complement or compromise one’s swing. A more flexible shaft, classified under classes like regular, senior, and ladies, are best used by those who don’t have a strong swing. On the other hand, a stiffer shaft, classified under the stiff and extra stiff classes, are best used by professionals and those with a naturally powerful swing.

5. Consider shaft length-The length of the shafts of your golf clubs can either help or hurt your golf swing. Having clubs that are either too short or too long can compromise your swing, affecting both your range and accuracy. The arc and plane of your swing are both affected by the length of the club. Those who have a fundamentally sound swing can benefit from having a longer shaft, which creates more leverage for longer range of strokes. Those who are still working on their swing consistency can benefit from a shorter one.

6. Go for club fitting- This is one of the most underrated steps in buying golf clubs. With the help of club fitting, a professional will help you find the set of golf clubs that actually fits your physical dimensions, your swinging style, and your skill level. While some people think that only professionals stand to benefit from such a practice, it’s a fact that anyone, no matter the skill level, can benefit from using the right clubs. You can get club fitting services at your favorite golf store or clubhouse.

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SEO Features and the Need to Use an Original SEO Post

Using an Original SEO Post for your webpages is just one method of utilizing Search Engine Optimization as an online marketing strategy. Before jumping in and using this particular method, you first have to understand what SEO is and how it works.

Search Engine Optimization began in the mid-1990s when search engines began cataloging the web. Initially, webmasters only needed to submit their URLs to search engines in order for their websites to be indexed. Site owners soon realized the benefits of having their sites ranked highly in searches—since most users of the internet rarely go beyond the first page of search results when browsing. The earlier a site’s link appears in search engine results, and the higher the site’s link is listed in search results, the greater chances it has of attracting visitors.

SEOAt its core, Search Engine Optimization is an attempt to increase website visibility (and, concurrently, product visibility for businesses) in organic searches. Organic search results are unpaid and are the natural results for a particular keyword (minus the paid ads). SEO is not necessarily confined to text or written content—it is also widely used for image searches, video searches, local searches, and academic searches. This works by considering the mechanics of search engines, researching what people actually search for, and what search engines are preferred by particular consumer sections. What could be done next is HTML coding to increase site relevance to specific keywords or to remove indexing barriers in search engines; using backlinks; or optimizing website content. Using an Original SEO Post to increase relevance in web searches comes under the last one.

There are specific methods used by Search Engine Optimization service providers (or, simply, Search Engine Optimizers). These are usually classified into either black hat or white hat methods, which are broad categories of SEO methods. White hat methods involve strictly following search engine guidelines for SEO. But this is not solely about following guidelines. White hat SEO is generally described as user-oriented; the focus is on creating content, like a creative Original SEO Post, which users would actually want to read and would be accessible via searches through the use of choice keywords. This is done instead of trying to trick search engines into ranking the site higher in searches.

Black hat SEO, on the other hand, employs techniques and methods that are disapproved of by search engines. This includes, for example, using invisible text by either formatting it in the same color as the background or by positioning it off-screen. Cloaking is also used in black hat SEO—this involves linking to different pages depending on whether the page request is initiated by a search engine or a human user.

Specific SEO methods include, among others, indexing, preventing crawling, and increasing site prominence based on content. Most search engines use crawlers to index websites for their search results; some search engines require manual submission for indexing, pending review of the site. Note that not all pages may be crawled by search engines for indexing. Sometimes it is also necessary for websites to ensure some of their pages or not indexed—this could be done by instructing spiders not to crawl specific pages. Login-specific pages like shopping carts are usually excluded from crawling. User-specific content like in-site searches are also excluded—with Google even warning webmasters that internal search results are considered spam, and as such, these should not be indexed.

Increasing website prominence by optimizing content is also an SEO method. Constant updating of content and strategic use and placement of keywords are ways to increase site traffic and prominence in search results. Using an Original SEO Post to attract search engines through keywords and to appeal to readers through its informative and creative content falls under this, and is perhaps one of its best examples.

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