The Legend-News

Monday, 1999 October 18 : Volume 2, Number 41

Trail of History
Trivial fact: McHenry, Illinois is closer to Chicago than it is to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rockford, Illinois is closer than Milwaukee. So, go figure out why I can drive to Rockford in a hour, Milwaukee in an hour-and-a-quarter, but it takes at least an hour-and-a-half to cross the Chicago city limits (no, O'Hare Field does not count).

I made that round trip three times last week, semi-commuting to a training class in the far northwest corner of Chicago, and the traffic -- except for Friday afternoon at noon -- sucked. Of course, on a normal work day, I can get to the office in ten minutes, and it's six miles away from my house in McHenry.

But on the bright side, even though a little rain fell, I spent Saturday at Glacial Park in McHenry County, participating in the 10th Annual Trail of History. Northeastern Illinois does have a long history, even if most of it got paved under in the 'six-county area' (Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, Kane, McHenry). Out here in the sticks, we've had explorers in the 1600s, Revolutionary War battles in the 1700s, and the Underground Railroad in the 1800s, plus a large park that was sculpted by a glacier. The glacier's gone, but the small rocks that it left behind explain why McHenry County is unofficially known as the Gravel Capital of Illinois.

That Roger Roller Skate In The Monfort Lane Thinks He's Doin' Daytona, or, Surfin' With The Rubber Duck
Sudden Realization of the Week Department: except for some footnotes on "Super Slab Showdown", I haven't tackled one of the major themes of C.W. McCall: the jargon of Citizens' Band Radio. Being too lazy to research the subject myself, I sent the Rubber Duck out to compile a list of CB lingo and 10-talk.

The Duck's conclusion? There's not much out there on the World Wild Web. A beginning list can be found at "Wierd Trucker CB Talk" (yeah, "wierd" is misspelled). Plus, there's a 10-code table following the slanguage list.

In "CB vs The Internet", there's a comparision of terms used on CB and the corresponding idea as it relates to the Internet. Take it lightly.

Now "10-code" pages are a bit more common, but there are a lot of them. As far as I can tell, there is no single, official, 'universal' list of meanings for 10-codes. Some of the numbers, like 10-4, 10-20, 10-7, and 10-9, have consistent meanings in most lists. But most of the other numbers show a wide variation, especially if the 10-code list in question is one that's in use by a police department. The 'standard' codes used by truckers may refer to different situations, such as 'burglary in progress' or 'disabled vehicle'. This leads to the conclusion that 10-codes are a language, and that there are a lot of dialects.

As you can see, there is little agreement on the meanings of many of the 10-code. For example, on the page at 10-Code, 10-34 is listed as 'current time', when we usually 10-36.

So you've got the slang, and you've got the 10-codes. But how do you spell something? No, "D as in Dog, N as in Nancy" isn't the best way. There is a standard phonetic alphabet used by the United States military:

But, like the 10-codes, there is some variation in the civilian world:

To quote an unremembered source, "That's what so great about standards: there are so many to choose from."

Happy Birthday To Bill
Just a reminder: only four weeks until the anniversary of Bill Fries' birthday, which is 15 November. You can write to him at P.O. Box E, Ouray, CO 81427-0589; but anything sent to "C.W. McCall, Ouray, CO 81427" will find its way to Bill. He'll be 71 this year.

Song A’ Th’ Week
You did pay attention to this week's lesson, didn't you? If you still can't figure out the lyrics, check the footnotes. Heck, read the footnotes anyway!

Super Slab Showdown

(C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis)

From the album Rubber Duck