I went into town Wednesday to see my regular doc (normal blood work) and we got to talking about this and that.

Afterwards, because we had touched on guns (he’s an M-4 owner, I’m an AK guy) I got to wondering if anyone had ever seen what I describe as a “Ricochet Table?”

What I’m looking for is a table that would list maybe 5-6 rows (horizontally) of different bullet types. E.g: .22, 9 MM, 5.62, 7.62X39, .50, Buckshot, #4 birdshot.

Then, across the top a list of materials. E.g. Water, wood, sand, soft dirt, hard dirt, rock/concrete, and metal.

Then in each of the squares, you would put in the minimum angle for ricochet and then maximum as well as % retained energy.  This latter would involve ballistic gel, of course and some calculations.  And if the water testing was done, especially with  a .50 cal. you might not want to be the pool owner…

A couple of examples: #4 birdshot impacting water at 46 degrees I figure would lose most of its energy and about zero ricochet.  

On the other side, a Barrett .50 instructor I know claims a 1-mile kill of an alligator (while teaching .mils on contract)  with one skip about 24 feet in front of the target at a very low angle. (Don’t ask how I learn this stuff. You pick up a lot of random info over half a century if you want to capture it.)

Since the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection (ricochet), if I figure a round into the dirt at 80-degrees, it doesn’t seem to reflect. But when you get down around 30 degrees, depending on hardpan and such, then things change around.

A lot of it has to do with mass and this leads to the whole kinetic energy part of the chart.

I half-expect that this chart is out there somewhere, but even if my Barrett friend has the long shot data, it doesn’t translate to the other calibers and muzzle velocities.

If you ever find such a thing, of feel like sharing, please do.

Interesting idea for a novel in there, too:  An assassin who kills only by ricochets that he has refined into a high art.  And he’s captured working out angles hustling pool… maybe use the moniker Rick Shea in there, too…

(If you decide to rip this idea off and publish a table, please credit www.urbansurvival.com)

Chasing Off Telemarketers

I’ve gotten fairly proficient at running-off telemarketers that mess with my day.

One approach, and it doesn’t take much time, is to answer the phone “You buying or selling?

When the startled caller says either selling or “neither” – which is always a lie – a simple click will do.

I got on to a new one yesterday:

Hi. This is George Ure’s artificial intelligence voicemail system. Press 1 to leave a message, 2 to leave a callback number, or press zero to talk to the operator.”

My first victim pressed zero. Memorizing DTMF (phone) tones is a useful art.

You have pressed zero. Apparently you did not understand that Mr. Ure is not taking calls right now. Good-bye.”

Whoevers the Business Solutions outfit with the 201 area code is, it will be instructive to see if they call back.

If they do, the call will be answered something like this:

Hi. This is George Ure’s artificial intelligence voicemail system. Our records indicate you have called before and failed our access threshold. Good-bye.”

Other times, when I see a number I haven’t seen before, I’ve done things like a sex-chat script; a Tourrette’s laced spew of invective; and so forth.

One classic was when the “Hi, this is tech support calling about your computer” and I ripped them a new one (without swearing which is unusual for me) until the pitchman finally said F.U. and hung up on me.

I felt successful for several days after that.

Getting after telemarketers is really once of the few handles you can pull in life. I’ve tried things like “Who are you voting for in the presidential election?” [“wrong answer.” – click] to simply “Speak and be heard.

Uninvited telemarketers are like time trespassers and I feel compelled to confront them, just as a well-armed family member would be expected to confront any trespasser on our property.

If you have any really GREAT approaches, it might make an interesting ebook.

It’s not that I am against people making a living in sales. In fact, I would recommend anyone who is serious about making money in sales (which is where all the money is these days) read a good book on the topic like Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling,

But if you’re calling a person whose name is known, the worst approach is to say in the first line the name of the company you are with.

When someone says “Hi Mr. Ure, this is so and so from XYZ business solutions…” the click is quick and inevitable.

On the other hand, if someone calls and says “Hi George. I can make you some money by…(fill in). Interested?

In this second case, they had my name, they wanted to make or save me some money, the area of interest was stated, and they weren’t hard-selling.

ALL grown-up business people appreciate a direct approach. When someone calls and says “Hello, Mister George?” again, the click is instantaneous. It’s axiomatic that we don’t deal with offshore sweatshops.

If you have ideas, send them along.

Around the Ranch: Vacation Planning

In less than two weeks, Elaine and I will be heading out on a working vacation. For me, it’s a chance to see America up close and personal. A chance to see what’s going on in truck stops, see what small towns are up and coming and which ones are falling victim to corporatism.

On our last trip, I thought the Nampa, Idaho area looked like it was in a mini-boom. Boise, Idaho was also the nearest thing to a boom town I’d seen in a while. But we’ll see how they look this year, perhaps.

The return route is our ‘Casino Road” that takes us a more southerly route, but again, if you have been someplace once, or twice, you can get a “feel” for how the business is doing.

There are two main tools I’ve been using for this year’s planning.

If you do a Google Search and put in something like “Directions from Montalba, TX to Tacoma, WA” you can play with online mapping fairly effectively. If you have multiple monitors (you don’t?) one can be the route tool while the other will sit on TripAdvisor, or other hotel-picking site and you can shop your way through things that way.

Panama and his bride will be here while we’re gone…so no worries there. Panama will be “preloaded” with checks for the couple of bills that come in every month; I’m still not a fan of direct withdrawal from our checking account.

Trust few, sleep well.

This won’t get rolling until the weekend of the 15th, but consider you forewarned. I look forward to our travelogues, even if a few readers don’t. I would still like to be a travel writer (for money) rather than almost anything else. But those jobs are few and far between.

I think everyone harbors some kind of “dream job” that we never really get after. As life’s finishing line is out there, these little forays across America allow me to Walter Middy-it.

Write when you get rich,