Celebrate working men and women

Labor Day is a bit of a misnomer. While it may seem like a day devoted to work, many workers in the United States and Canada don’t work at all on Labor Day. 

Labor Day is much more than the unofficial end to summer. Labor Day weekend tends to be the last big travel weekend before the holiday season, benefitting towns and businesses that cater to tourists. But while road trips and backyard barbecues are now staples of Labor Day, the origins of the holiday bear little resemblance to the celebrations of today. 

Labor Day in the United States dates back to the 19th century, though its origins are still debated by historians. According to the United States Department of Labor, recent research supports the idea that Labor Day was the brainchild of machinist Matthew Maguire, who supposedly devised the idea in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. Others attribute the holiday to Peter J. McGuire, a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor and general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. 

Historians say the first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York. This was based on plans from Maguire’s Central Labor Union. Other states and cities would eventually adopt the first Monday in September as Labor Day. As labor unions grew, other cities started celebrating Labor Day, which McGuire suggested should be a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

Soon the popularity of Labor Day grew and recognition by the government followed. By 1885, municipal ordinances recognizing Labor Day had been passed, and they inspired state legislation. While Labor Day was first celebrated in New York, in 1887 the state of Oregon became the first state to officially pass a law recognizing the first Monday of September as Labor Day. New York, along with Colorado, Massachusetts and New Jersey, implemented Labor Day observations soon after. 

On June 28, 1894, Congress officially passed an act that declared the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday. This applied to all states as well as the District of Columbia. Labour Day also is celebrated on the first Monday of September in Canada, where the day celebrates workers and the labor union movement. 

It’s important for people living in North America to recognize both the significance and the history of Labor Day, which is about far more than backyard barbecues and the last of summer jaunts to the beach.

6 ideas for rainy summer days

Rainy Day.jpg

Summer vacation means spending time outdoors and enjoying sunny skies. But not every day will be sunny and clear. For those banking on spending long summer days outside, rainy days can put a quick damper on those plans. However, poor weather doesn’t have to diminish all of the fun. The following are some go-to ideas that can keep summer vacationers happy even when the rain is falling.

  1. Visit area museums. It’s probably been a while since you’ve looked at the sights in your hometown, and rainy summer days provide the perfect opportunity to take them in from a tourist’s perspective. If you are away from home when the rain starts to fall, inquire about any unique indoor activities the area has to offer. Hotel lobbies and concierge offices typically have lots of brochures advertising nearby activities.
  2. Do a scavenger hunt. Make up clues and hide a prize to be discovered at the end of the hunt. Scavenger hunts can keep children or adults occupied until the rains subside.
  3. Have an indoor campout. If weather cancels your plans to camp out under the stars, pitch your tent indoors and camp under the ceiling. Tell scary stories and tinker with s’mores recipes to make your indoor camping seem more like the real thing. 
  4. Stock up on board games. Board games are the original boredom-busters. They’re portable, and they can quickly turn a rainy day into something much more tolerable. Up the ante and have winners from each game compete against one another in a game of a different type.
  5. Head to the theater. Catch that summer action flick or curl up next to a sweetheart and watch the latest romantic comedy. Some movie theaters even offer discount tickets at certain times during the summer.
  6. Don’t be afraid of the rain. Unless you’re a certain witch with a wicked streak, chances are you will not melt in the rain. Summer rain actually can be refreshing, so put on your rain jacket and enjoy a stroll or even find a way to have fun in the rain. It’s alright to get messy during a rainy day volleyball or football game. Just be sure to run inside the moment you see any lightning. 


Fun ways to stay cool

Summertime heat can affect energy levels and take their toll as heat waves overstay their welcome. Days upon days of rising mercury require enterprising individuals to find ways to stay cool.
Summer heat and humidity can be both daunting and dangerous. People who are unable to cool down and stay hydrated run the risk of heat stroke. Symptoms of heat stroke include a body temperature of 104 F or higher and feelings of confusion. The Mayo Clinic notes that heat stroke also may cause slurred speech, irritability and even seizures. Heat stroke is often identifiable by an absence of sweat, a rapid pulse and headache.
Staying cool should be a top priority when temperatures become extremely hot. Fortunately, there are fun ways to stay cool and beat the summer heat.

  • Visit the beach. Head to the seaside for a day of enjoyment on the coast. Temperatures tend to be cooler at the water’s edge, and there may be a nice breeze blowing in. In addition, you have water from the ocean, bay or lake to refresh you. Always use ample amounts of sunscreen and reapply often. Invest in a beach umbrella or pop-up tent that can shield you from the harsh rays of the sun. Bring a folding kiddie pool for young children and fill it up with ocean water close to your beach blanket so you can keep a close eye on youngsters as they do their best to stay cool.
  • Get wet in creative ways. Water balloon fights can be fun, and there are many additional and clever ways to get wet and cool off. If you have a trampoline, set a sprinkler or hose to mist and let the kids jump while getting wet. Jumping, in turn, will cause extra splashing. Give little kids a regular spray bottle they can use to spray plants, outdoor furniture, toys and even themselves. They’ll have a good time and stay cool in the process.
  • Transform your backyard into a waterpark. An old tarp coated with a little dish soap and water can make an impromptu water slide. Set up an obstacle course outdoors where kids must run through sprinklers, jump through hoops and dive into the pool. The more variety you can create, the more likely kids will forget the heat and have fun.
  • Set up an ice-cream making adventure. Invest in an ice cream maker and spend a particularly hot day making your own flavors. When the ice cream is set, create a fixings bar with sprinkles and toppings. 
  • Take a trip to the movies. Movie theaters often set their air conditioning systems to arctic levels, which can be just what the doctor ordered on a steamy day. Plan an excursion to the movies, taking advantage of matinee prices where available. 
  • Visit an indoor ice rink. What better way to stay cool than to spend an afternoon ice skating? Channel winter temperatures during the heart of the summer heat. Remember to dress warmly as it will be cold indoors, and have a change of clothes ready when it’s time to head back into the summer heat. 

Pay it forward with our Local Police officers.

Pay it Forward!
The Gun Cleaners would like to offer the members of the public an opportunity to "Pay it Forward". You can purchase a gun cleaning ($30) for a police officer at any of our Gun Cleaners Locations. Your purchase will be posted onto a "Thin Blue Line appreciation board" with a note of encouragement from you. Any police officer that brings a gun in for cleaning from now until August 31st, 2016 will get to use your posted cleaning to cover the cost of his gun cleaning. This is a great way that the Gun Cleaner's family of stores and customers can show the members of the police force that we stand with them in the fight against terrorism.  A Clean Gun is an Accurate Gun!
Simply click on the link below to "Pay it Forward" in support of our nations police officers.  Your message of support will be posted in our store location for an officer to receive and use to professionally clean his firearm.


  • Starts

    19 Jul 2016

  • Ends

    31 Aug 2016

  • Location

    Gun Cleaners Store Locations


  • 1) (Qty 1) Pay it Forward Gun Cleaning – $30.00 (USD)
  • 2) (Qty 5) Pay it Forward Gun Cleanings – $150.00 (USD)
  • 3) (Qty 10) Pay it Forward Gun Cleanings – $300.00 (USD)
  • 4) (Qty 25) Pay it Forward Gun Cleanings – $750.00 (USD)

Tips for a fun and frugal road trip

Driving vacations are popular for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is flexibility. Such excursions are not restricted by flight schedules, and travelers often feel as though they have more control over their trips when traveling by car rather than traveling by air.
Road trips also can save travelers money, especially when traveling in groups of three or more and expenses such as fuel and tolls are shared. In addition to sharing the road with a few friends and family members, road trip enthusiasts can employ several other strategies to enjoy a vacation that’s both frugal and fun.

  • Downsize your vehicle. While prices at the pump have been more driver-friendly in recent months, road trippers who drive large sedans, trucks or SUVs might be able to save money by driving smaller vehicles during their trips. Especially small vehicles may be impractical and uncomfortable depending on the number of people who are making the trip, but mid-size vehicles with ample storage space tend to be more fuel-efficient than large trucks or SUVs. If someone in your traveling party drives such a vehicle and it’s in good shape, take that car instead of a larger alternative.
  • Get a tuneup. Another way to save money on your road trip is to get a vehicle tuneup in the days before your trip is set to begin. Let your mechanic know you are planning a road trip and ask that a full diagnostic test be conducted to make sure everything is running efficiently. An air filter nearing its expiration date may be worth replacing, as a new filter will help to save money on fuel. In addition, replace tires with worn tread, as old or inadequately inflated tires will force the engine to work harder, wasting fuel and costing you and your fellow travelers money along the way. 
  • Consider various types of lodging. Road trippers who plan well in advance may be able to find great deals on lodging, but too much planning may cost travelers some of the flexibility and freedom they were hoping to enjoy during their vacations. Weather permitting, campsites can be unique and affordable places to stay. When planning your routes, choose roadways that are close to popular campsites, avoiding campsites that are too remote, as such sites may cost you in time and fuel what you’re saving on lodging. If campsites are unavailable, download hotel website apps on your phone and use these apps to find affordable rooms as you go. Simply showing up to hotels without reservations is unlikely to yield great rates, but apps may offer discounted rates on rooms hotels are simply looking to fill at the last minute.
  • Bring your own food. Fuel, lodging and food tend to be the three biggest expenses on driving vacations. Travelers who bring their own food can save a substantial amount of money and maintain some control over what they eat. That’s a big benefit for men and women who like to eat healthy and prefer to avoid the fast food fare that tends to be the only options available at rest stops.

Road trips make for great vacations, and travelers can take many steps to make such excursions more affordable without sacrificing fun. 

Keep pets cool, comfortable and safe during hot weather

Summer may be a time for vacations and recreational activities for human beings, but pets may not be privy to the same luxuries. Summer recreation may not always include our four-legged friends, as summer heat and other issues can pose a threat to companion animals. As a result, pet parents must make pet safety a priority when the weather heats up.
The Humane Society of the United States says that the summer months can be uncomfortable and dangerous for pets. Temperatures that may be tolerable for adults and children who are dressed accordingly may not be so for animals covered in fur. It’s vital to help pets stay comfortable and safe as summer temperatures heat up. Pet parents also must be aware of particular dangers that go hand-in-hand with summertime activities.

  • Practice vehicle safety. It is never acceptable to leave pets in parked cars, even for a minute. Temperatures inside vehicles can rise quickly and considerably in a matter of minutes, even with the windows opened slightly. HSUS says on an 85-degree-day, temperatures inside parked cars can reach 102 F within 10 minutes. Pets can suffer irreversible and even fatal organ damage in that period of time. If you have to run errands, keep dogs and cats at home where they will be more comfortable.
  • Stay off of hot asphalt. If you’ve ever walked on the hot sand or an asphalt driveway on a hot day, you understand just how scorching those surfaces can get. Dogs and cats do not have protective shoes to wear, so safeguard the delicate pads of their paws by keeping companion animals off of hot surfaces. Schedule walks in the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler.
  • Schedule a pet grooming visit. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation suggests speaking with your veterinarian to see if it’s appropriate for your pet to get clipped shorter or to be shaved in the summer. But a fur coat can offer protection from the sun, so weigh the pros and cons before taking action. Apply sunscreen to your dog’s skin if he or she has a thin coat.
  • Provide a way for pets to cool off. If you’re hot, chances are your pet is hot, too. Offer a means for pets too cool off, such as a wading pool when you are outside. Offer plenty of fresh water. Keep pets who do not enjoy the heat indoors with the air conditioner running on hot days.
  • Look for indicators of heat stress. The American Veterinary Association says heat stress is marked by heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea, or wobbly legs. Move pets exhibiting such symptoms to a cool place, drape a damp towel over the animal’s body, rewetting the cloth frequently, and get the animal to the vet as soon as you possibly can.
  • Exercise caution in the water. Dogs can get swept away by rip currents just like human swimmers. If you will be boating, invest in a life jacket for your pooch and look for water hazards, such as currents, sink holes, and blue-green algae in lakes and ponds.

Enjoyable ways to spend Father’s Day

Many dads and father figures will attest that Father’s Day is special because they get to spend it with their families. While the gifts might be nice, it’s the time together that dads truly cherish. 
Family members who want to make Father’s Day extra special this year may want to put extra effort into customizing Father’s Day fun rather than shopping for gifts.

So what equates to a fun-filled and enjoyable day for fathers? That all depends on Dad’s interests. While no two fathers are the same, there are some universal ideas that can make for a memorable Father’s Day.

Rest and relaxation
Fathers do a lot for their families, and many fathers have hectic daily schedules. Come Father’s Day, Dad may just desire a day when he’s not called on to do anything. Provide this for him by removing many of the responsibilities that can bog your father down. This includes chores that may be tackled on Sundays or even responsibilities that Mom often relies on him to tackle.

Special dinner
On this special day, Dad may deserve a dinner that stands apart from more routine family meals. A specially cooked meal that the entire family prepares together or a reservation at a favorite restaurant will no doubt bring a smile to Dad’s face. Make sure that the meal includes his favorite foods.  

Favorite activity
Plan the day around an activity that Dad enjoys. If he’s an avid fisherman, this could mean taking the rods out and spending a few hours seeing what’s biting. Or it may involve attending a ballgame, watching his favorite movie or playing a few rounds of golf.

Father’s Day is a special day that many fathers would insist is even better when spent with family.

The history of Memorial Day

Though many people are quick to refer to Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer, the day is much more than that. Initially known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day to remember those military members who died in service of the country.
The origins of Memorial Day remain a topic of debate. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y. as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. However, the roots of Memorial Day likely run much deeper, as researchers at Duke University note that during the Civil War, organized women's groups in the south had begun to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers.

Memorial Day as we know it today can likely be traced to Charleston, S.C., where teachers, missionaries and some members of the press gathered on May 1, 1865 to honor fallen soldiers. During the Civil War, captured Union soldiers were held at the Charleston Race Course and hundreds died during captivity. Upon their deaths, soldiers were buried in unmarked graves. When the Civil War ended, the May Day gathering was organized as a memorial to all the men who had died during captivity. The burial ground was landscaped, and those freed as a result of the Civil War played an integral role in the event at the Charleston Race Course.

While the event in Charleston might have been the first Memorial Day-type celebration in the southern United States, General John A. Logan is often cited as inspiring similar events in the north. As commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' organization for men who served in the Civil War, General Logan issued a proclamation just five days after the Charleston event that called for Decoration Day to be observed annually across the country. Logan preferred the event not be held on the anniversary of any particular battle, and thus the day was observed for the first time on May 30. Celebrating the day in May also was significant to event organizers because May is a month when flowers are in bloom, making it easier for observers of the holiday to place flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers.

In 1868, events were held at more than 180 cemeteries in 27 states, and those figures nearly doubled in 1869. By 1890, every northern state officially recognized Decoration Day as a state holiday. But southern states honored their dead on a different day until after World War I, when the holiday was changed to recognize Americans who died in any war and not just the Civil War. Nearly every state now celebrates Memorial Day, a name for the holiday first used in 1882, on the last Monday in May.

Happy Memorial Day!!!!