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Buying Jewelry Online Without Getting Ripped Off

No one likes to get ripped off when they are shopping, particularly at this time of year with Christmas just around the corner and many shops jacking up their prices knowing full well that there will be a lot of shoppers out and about. One thing that I hate doing is jewelry shopping, and that is because I see how expensive a lot of the jewelry is and can just imagine how big of a markup is happening on each and every item.

The one really big thing that gets me is when it comes to diamonds and other precious stones like ruby and emerald. Your average joe consumer isn’t going to be able to tell the difference between a real diamond or a man made one and there are more than likely plenty of shady retailers who take full advantage of that fact and sell diamond engagement rings as the real deal even though they are man made diamonds. These things aren’t cheap either, with your average diamond ring costing at least a couple of thousand dollars, when a man made one would at most cost $50-$100.

Buying Rings Online

So the last time I bought Jewelry for my wife we went shopping and compared the differences between the “real deal” and the fake or man made alternative, but to make things interesting we didn’t tell her which was which and asked her to tell tell me which she liked better. As it turns out, she liked the man made diamond better because it looked brighter and sparkled more. The difference in price – $4,500 vs $175. It went to prove the point that the only person that really knew the difference was the man behind the counter who could look at each of them with a microscope and determine the real from the fake. To me, that just isn’t worth paying an extra $4K for that!

Anyway after we did that we did some Google searching for rings and found an online shop that specializes in promise rings, which despite not being in the market for a promise ring, we decided to buy it for her anyway as it was just a simple ring that didn’t scream promise ring, and for the price you just couldn’t go wrong at a little over $100. Overall her Christmas present which (if I had a spare $4,500) could have cost us a small fortune, ended up costing a modest $115 – pretty good if you ask me, and my wife is happy too!

Motto of the story – Don’t get suckered into buying an extensive piece of jewelry when no one will even know if you get the cheaper alternative.

Must have Military Equipment

As i’m sure most of you are aware, I love all things military. This means that I have ended up with quite the collection of military equipment at my house. I tend to buy military equipment because I know that it will last and it will stand the test of time. Anyway, the following list is my favorite military items in my collection. Enjoy :)

 

Military Knives

The military have some of the most versatile / best quality knives going around. My personal favorite is the KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife. It is a great all round knife that can be used for pretty much any situation. I like to take it with me whenever I go hunting or camping as I always find a need for it at some point.

KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife_

Military Backpack

Military backpacks are in a league of their own when it comes to durability. These things carry heaps of gear that weighs a tonne and they just keep on going. Military backpacks will normally cost more than the normal type of backpack that I am sure you are used to. You know, the one that is made in China that costs $10 and falls apart the minute you walk out of the shop with it. If you want a great backpack that will last for years and years (no matter the conditions) then do yourself a favor and just go get one. I did some searching around and found a great assortment of military backpacks, which look to be reasonably well researched.

 

Military Boots

I have a few pairs of boots that I regularly use, but without a doubt the best ones that have lasted the longest are my Tactical Boots which I actually bought from Amazon a few years back. I wear them pretty much everyday and while they don’t look brand new anymore, they are still in really great condition considering the amount of heavy use they get.

 

What is your favorite piece of military equipment that you own?

My Top 5 War Movies

I have always been interested in war movies, however I am often disappointed when I do shell out the cash to go see a war movie in the theater and it is the biggest load of trash you have ever seen.

So I have complied a list of my 5 favorite war / military movies in descending order (1 is the best) – I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

antietam-80541_640

 

5 – Platoon

This movie is about the Vietnam war. The US government drafts many teens to become soldiers who are then sent off to Vietnam and into an absolute blood bath. One of the main characters in the movie is Chris Taylor, he is allocated into a platoon controlled by two sergeants who don’t see eye to eye and who believe war should be fought their own way. One of the sergeants is Elias who is all about making sure they survive and believe in respecting the enemy while Barnes id essentially a brute who is more interested in bloodshed and being as violent / disrespectful to the enemy as possible. Essentially the movie follows Chris Taylor and how he deals with the two very different military commands each sergeant has.

Wikipedia – Platoon

 

4 – The Hurt Locker

This movie is top shelf and easily one of the best I have seen in the last 10 years or so. The movie takes place around the Iraq war and what it is like to be in the American bomb squad looking for IED’s. Essentially the entire movie revolves around a series of bomb threats that the unit has to investigate and diffuse. Each threat is intense and you really get a feel for what it would be like if you were in that situation – it really is thrilling stuff.

The Hurt Locker doesn’t glorify war at all and actually portrays an anti-war message throughout. It shows that real people are involved in these wars and they do get injured and even killed just for doing their jobs. It also shows the other side of the war and that the people being invaded are just like anyone else, only they live in this messed up war torn country (which they had no choice in). This really is a great movie and I recommend you give it a whirl.

Wikipedia – The Hurt Locker

 

3 – Saving Private Ryan

I’m not a big Tom Hanks fan, but in this movie he was superb.  Saving Private Ryan is set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. I would have to say that the first 30 minutes or so is some of the most intense viewing in a war movie you are ever likely to watch, it is graphic and it doesn’t shy away from exactly how brutal war can be.

The plot in this movie to me is a little lacking and also fairly unrealistic, but the war scenes and the acting make it more than a worthwhile movie to watch. In general, the movie focuses on a small platoon who’s mission is to find private Ryan who is MIA. The team has to overcome many obstacles along the way, none more interesting than some dissent amongst the ranks and the lingering question of why this private Ryans life is more important than the platoon sent out to bring him back to safety.

Wikipedia – Saving Private Ryan

 

2 – Full Metal Jacket

This is close to the best war movie ever made, although the second half of the movie is certainly not as good as the first half. It is really interesting to watch these marines training and being broken down by the system and turned into order following killers without question or remorse. I don’t want to write too much about this movie because I don’t want to ruin it for you, but make sure you watch out for the sniper scene in the second half of the movie – don’t worry, you will know it when it comes. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and you will be terrified the entire time. There are plenty of memorable quotes in the movie and if you liked any of the previous war movies I listed above then you will love this one.

Wikipedia – Full Metal Jacket

 

1 – We Were Soldiers

I remember seeing this movie at the cinema with a friend and her dad who was a Vietnam veteran and I’ll never forget what he said when we walked out. He said that it was the most realistic war movie he had ever seen and that finally someone had got it right. It was a toss up for me to put this movie ahead of Full Metal Jacket, but I believe it is a more rounded movie as it shows some of the aspects of the families at home who are also impacted by war, and not just the military personnel on the ground.

The movie is very graphic and extremely realistic to a point where you honestly feel like you are right there and you can feel your heart racing. There is no sugar coating when it comes to this film, be prepared intense war scenes with realistic characters and a great all round movie. You won’t be disappointed.

Wikipedia – We Were Soldiers