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?