Monthly Archives: September 2011

1. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
If you see a firearm or pick up a firearm, always treat it as if it is loaded. If you remove the ammunition, check the chamber and you are certain that it is unloaded, still treat it as if it is loaded. If you go to a gun show or a gun shop and are looking at a firearm that is given to you by the clerk, make sure there isn’t any ammunition in the weapon and visually and physically check the chamber. If you don’t know how, ask.
2. Never point the muzzle at anything you aren’t willing to destroy.
Note: Just in case you might not know what the muzzle is, it is the front of the weapon where the bullet comes out.
This is a big one. I remember one time I was at work, and I received a call along with several other officers to a house reference a subject with a gun. There was some yelling and screaming from the neighbors at the houses and in the end we had to take a Yugoslavian SKS Rifle out of the house for safekeeping. The officer that secured the weapon, took it to the rear of his cruiser and I went over to see if I could help. After removing the magazine and clearing the chamber, he then began swinging the muzzle around and swept it past me. I grabbed the side of the barrel and told him to be careful. He said the gun was empty in an attempt to reassure me. I told him that I was “allergic to muzzles” and asked him to point it away from me. Don’t ever assume that anyone with some perceived knowledge about firearms from Law Enforcement or military backgrounds will know how to be careful. You have to protect yourself at all times.
3. Be absolutely certain of your target and what’s behind it.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to use deadly force, there is more to it than just having the justification to shoot. You must also be able to justify where and why each of your spent rounds were fired. Even if you have the justification to use deadly force, but the background behind the threat or your target isn’t clear, meaning, someone else could be in the line of fire, you bring yourself into a liability situation that may be impossible to get out of and would prove to be extremely costly, literally and figuratively.
4. Keep your finger off the trigger guard until you are on target and ready to shoot.
This sounds simple, but if it was always followed, it would prevent a lot of accidental shootings. There has been extensive studies done that if a person is startled, one of the involuntary things that their hands will do is to clench up into a fist. If your finger is on the trigger of a firearm and you are startled enough, BANG. Keep your finger on the outside of the trigger guard, well away from the trigger. You wouldn’t want to stumble and have your finger slide onto the trigger. The next time you watch a television show or movie and see someone holding a firearm, check and see if you see them rest their finger outside of the trigger guard while they are standing or walking around. This will give you some indication if the actor received any training in the use of firearms.

Always Remember…you don’t have permission to quit.

Jeffrey Washington

Now when I say ordeal, I’m not talking about all negative here. Yeah, I know, the costs could be looked as as negative but mainly I’m speaking of the process.

Many times the thing that prompts you to get a roof replaced are a leak or something going on in the inside of the house. Been there, done that. We had one of those, but surprisingly it probably wasn’t related to the roof. That’s another roof project

Our chimney on the side of the house was leaning about 2″ at the top. Maybe 5 degrees from its original position. When we called a few companies to come out and give us estimates on doing the roof, only one of the companies actually went up on the roof. Their estimator told me about the chimney, which I had just seen, a few minutes earlier while walking another estimator to his car. I was surprised that only one of the companies that we called, even commented on the chimney. Especially considering that the repair would need to be done so that the roofers can properly install flashing around the chimney. Right after we had the chimney repair done, there were a couple days of rain. Just enough that, in the recent past it would have leaked quite a bit. NO LEAKS.

Oh by the way did I say the Chimney Mason, shows up on a Saturday morning, unannounced except for a knock on the door and begins the work, which took a day and a half. I’m not upset about it, I’m just saying…a phone call would have been much appreciated.

The hardest thing about the bidding process was making sure that you were going to get a reputable company. I’ve watched the Holmes on Homes show on TV in he past, where he goes to houses of people that contracted to have some work done. Usually the contractor, screws them over some type of way or short changes their renovation or repair. This story had me somewhat paranoid as I didn’t want to be one of those people. Granted many times they either found someone that didn’t want to get a permit or they ignored red flag after red flag. There were a couple glitches in the process and I wanted to make sure they weren’t true red flags. To this point, the company has appeared to do a good job as promised. Get a few estimates. Check their Better Business Bureau ranking. Google the name and see if their are any hits about the company.

As I write this, they are banging away on our roof. Tearing up the old shingles, replacing some boards, cutting for a ridge vent, etc. It sounds like we have some rogue squirrels beating up our house. My wife Amy, says it sounded like the Jolly Green Giant is kicking our house or the WWE is having a grudge match and flying off the turnbuckles.

At one point I considered doing the roof myself. I’ve helped do maybe three roofs in my adult life, including my neighbor across the street about a few years ago. Now I have a bit of knowledge in a lot of things, but standing on top of two story house is not really my cup of tea. I can and have done it, but I don’t really care for it. After checking some of the prices of the shingles, I found that just buying the materials would have cost about half of having the job done professionally. They can do it in a day. It would have taken me substantially longer than that. I acquiesced and let the pros do it.

The true gratitude that I have about the process is that the work will be done. It looks great and matches our home better than the old black roof. The guys that are working so hard and doing a phenomenal job that is so appreciated. It looks like any leaks will be abated and we will have some peace of mind for years to come. I’m glad we got it done. It was way past time and all is good from the roof down.

Remember…you don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington

I have to admit that I like it too. This guy has made a series of Allstate commercials. Not sure if it makes me want to buy Allstate insurance or not, but a few of them are quite entertaining.

She’s been an at home Mom for some time now and she finds this hilarious. Actually I don’t think she has ever dealt with a tantrum from our kids as she would have pulled the car over and handled the situation, but as mothers and fathers I think all of us can relate to the “little one” in the back having a meltdown.

Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington

The title to this post might sound a bit strange, so let me explain. I’ll speak of this person in general terms non gender specific to protect their identity.

I was once talking to someone years ago that went through some serious life issues when they were younger. They told me their personal life was turned upside down and they spent a lot of time trying to repair the mess that they created. One day we were talking and the conversation came around to that little voice that directs us all. You know the voice. It’s the one that tells you right from wrong or which direction you should go when you are confronted with that proverbial fork in the road. It has many names; God, universe, conscience, your spirit, the list can go on and on. Essentially it is the core of your being guiding you through life.

Well this friend, said that the little voice didn’t speak to them anymore. I sort of laughed it off, but I was curious what they really meant. This person had ignored that little voice for so long that it didn’t talk. It seems somewhat laughable, but it gives you something to think about. Can you ignore your conscience for so long that it stops guiding you?

The good part of the story is that when I asked this person that same question a few months ago, they said the voice was speaking again and this person was making sure to listen. Now I’m not speaking of this like GOD is speaking to you in some loud booming voice. This voice, as I call it, can primarily be a feeling that comes to your mind and heart when you need to make a choice.

Personally I have found that if I listen, it never guides me the wrong way. It has saved me lots of trouble in the past and I depend on it to protect me in the future. I believe if you take the time to listen, it will protect you in your life as well. Go for it. Trust it and it may just surprise you.

Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington

Many people don’t think about this beforehand and then find themselves stuck in this very situation. With a little foresight and planning you may just be able to get out from under the problem without any hurt or harm coming to you and yours.

Picture this scenario. I pack up my family and tell them we are going to a festival at the Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. We decide to take a bit of a scenic route and drive our car towards downtown through various neighborhoods on Woodward Ave, which goes from Pontiac to downtown Detroit. Now if you’ve ever been where I’m speaking of, you know that there are parts of this street that have some of the nicest homes and small businesses that don’t make you feel nervous at all. Then there are other parts, “the hood”, where you better watch your back and the persons beside you as well. I use this location as an example, but let’s be real. There are parts of most cities that most of us wouldn’t be caught in if we had a choice.

Now imagine, if while we are driving through the rough part and our car breaks down. Now I know what is probably going through your mind. You may be thinking, I’ll just use my cell phone and call for help or call AAA or something like that. I admit in a pinch that is your best option. And it’s always good to have options. What if I tried all of that and nothing worked. NOTHING. Now I’m stuck with my family in our car, in a neighborhood I know nothing about and I might need to walk to get some help. How are you going to do it. I’ll give you three words: Act As If.

Act as if, walking in this neighborhood, is as normal as the sun coming up in the east in the morning. Act as if, there is nothing to be nervous about and you can get to your destination or find that help you need.

You may want all of you to stay together if you have to leave the car. If that is the case, make a point to blend into the surroundings as best as possible. Look around at the people walking around in the neighborhood. How are their clothes fitting, colors worn, etc. Do all that you can to make yourself and the members of your family look like you belong in that neighborhood. If you are a family group but you don’t see other entire family groups walking around, keep that in mind. You can split up and walk on different sides of the seat or one group ahead of the other to give more space and bring less attention to yourselves. Use your imagination, but by all means don’t forget to, act as if. If you have little kids, make a game of pretend of the experience and have them be little actors.

No matter how difficult the situation may appear, the mental aspect of it can carry you through. If you believe that you can get through it, more than likely that is just how it will happen.

Remember…you don’t have choice to quit.

Jeffrey Washington

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