In today’s world of cell­phones and wifi, some­times it’s hard that not that long ago we were using very dif­fer­ent tech­nol­o­gy to com­mu­ni­cate across dis­tances. For instance, radio! And what I’m gonna kind of talk about right here and right now is Ham Radio, oth­er­wise known as ama­teur radio.

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An exam­ple of what the top of my fam­i­ly van looked like…

My dad was a radio enthu­si­ast. We were one of those weird fam­i­lies that had a large radio anten­na attached to our chim­ney and at least 4 giant anten­nas on the top of the van. Dri­ving into park­ing garages was always ter­ri­ble because they would all get knocked down and you’d have to climb up on the roof to make them stand up again.

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This is what it felt like inside of my fam­i­ly car.

Back in the days before the inter­net, I think the radio was prob­a­bly the coolest things. With some wires and an anten­na, you could com­mu­ni­cate with real live peo­ple for miles around. And my dad did that. He had a whole group of friends from all of the dif­fer­ent states. Like I said, the­se days, that’s real­ly not impres­sive. but in those days… he nev­er knew what they looked like. He nev­er saw their faces, just a voice from a box in the night.

So at this point, you’re prob­a­bly like whaaat. who cares and also what in the world does this have to do with today? Well, today is 10–4. Octo­ber 4th. But it just so hap­pens that 10–4 was a comon radio code, back in the day. There were a bunch of ‘10’ codes: 10–4, 10–20, 10–33…. They all meant some­thing. Because, you know. when you’re talk­ing over a radio wire that doesn’t have the best recep­tion, some­times it’s eas­ier to say a bunch of num­bers than it is to say all the words you want to say.Like 10–33, for exam­ple, means “Emer­gen­cy!! Every­one STAND BY!” It takes a lot less time to say 10–33 than to start yelling and freak­ing out over the radio.

So I know I’m show­ing my nerd right about now… or prob­a­bly also my age. Ham Radio was a big part of my child­hood. When we went on road trips, we didn’t lis­ten to music, we lis­tened to the truck­er chan­nel. It lead for some very col­or­ful road trips…. Truck­er talk is exact­ly what you think it would be. Except that some­times they do actu­al­ly talk about phi­los­o­phy.

imageAny­way, I told you that my dad was a big radio per­son back in the day. And so when his radio friends found out I had been born on Octo­ber 4th, (hap­py birth­day, me!) I became a famous baby. In the HAm radio com­mu­ni­ty, any­way. I
was the 10–4 baby. Even years after I was born, my dad would get in con­tact with an old radio bud­dy and they’d ask, “How’s the 10–4 baby?” “Oh, she’s fine. she’s 9 now.” That’s me. I’m famous.

By the way, 10–4 means “I acknowl­edge” or “I heard you and under­stand”. The best way to say it to pull out your best cow­boy accent and say “ten four, good bud­dy.”

Have a good 10–4 guys!

So, what do you think?