Halloween is coming fast!

halloween costumeHalloween is coming fast! So, it’s time to start thinking of costume ideas. Pirates of the Carribean was big this year, so here’s a cool Pirate costume you may like. This pirate ensemble includes gold brocade vest with attached satin sleeves and ruffled collar, long blue coat with metallic braid trim and gold antique buttons, hat with gold trim, black vinyl boot tops trimmed with gold braid, black satin eye-patch, clip-on pirate earring. Pants and shoes not included.

You can buy it at this store.

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Labor Day Barbecuing

grillGet ready for your Labor Day barbecuing with a brand new grill!

Charcoal or Gas grill?

Statistically, 81% of all U.S. households own a barbeque grill. Slightly more than half of those are gas grills while about 47% are charcoal. Either will do the job, however the debate about which is best rages on. Some people say that the smoky flavor of charcoal enhances the taste of the food, plus charcoal grills have almost no mechanical parts. Charcoal briquets, lighter fluid and a little patience (while the coals heat up) are just part of the grilling experience. Others say that gas is the only way to go because you can begin cooking within a few minutes of turning on your grill. Ask friends and neighbors about their preference then chose which style fits your lifestyle. Let’s break it down just a little more.

    Charcoal – These grills are traditionally round or oval shaped, and are made of coated steel to prevent rust. Some also come with side trays and wheels so they can easily be moved. The charcoal sits on a grate rack inside of the bowl. The actual cooking grate sits above the charcoal. Lighter fluid is the most common way to start the charcoal grill, however you can also use a “chimney” starter that uses newspaper. Once the fire is lit the coals should be ready in about 15 minutes. Make sure the coals are evenly distributed to achieve even heating throughout the grill surface.
    Gas – Gas grills use either LP (liquid propane) or Natural gas. They are specifically manufactured to use just one of these types of fuel, although some gas grills can be converted. Make sure you specify the fuel type when ordering. Gas grills are generally more expensive than charcoal grills because of the design and use of mechanical parts. The most popular materials are cast aluminum and stainless steel because they keep the flow of hot air inside your grill. This is called convection. You may also hear the term “double walled,” which means that the hood is made of two pieces of steel or aluminum with a small air gap in between. Good stainless steel grills will often be made of heavy gauge #304 stainless steel, which retains heat and will not corrode. Gas grills generally come with a stand or cart and most have wheels. Finally, some gas grills are made to fit into a permanent frame or counter top space, called a built-in. They are popular with outdoor kitchens and patios and have the same cooking performance as grills you see on carts or pedestals.

Since Labor Day is soon, here is the history…

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

“Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country,” said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. “All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man’s prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day…is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation.”

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.