The Legend-News

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Monday, 2003 October 20 : Volume 6, Number 19

What We Got Here

Okay, you're looking at the date above and it says "20 October 2003" and then you're looking at your calendar and it says "22 October 2003" and you're thinking, "what the heck is he trying to pull?" Well, today really is the 22nd, but I sent this issue back two days so that it would be published on time and it's not my fault that you didn't read it until now.

So there.

— Ed.


75 Years Of Bill Fries, 30 Years Of C.W. McCall

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday, dear Willy
Happy Birthday to you!

Well, not quite, but almost. Bill Fries, the Real C.W. McCall, will be 75 years of age on 15 November 2003. If you've got an urge to send him some greetings, post them to

Bill Fries
P.O. Box E
Ouray, Colorado 81427-0589 USA

(If you're in the USA, you may safely omit the "USA" in the address.)

And if you've got an urge to get his autograph, you may send items to the same address. However,

[One last warning: do not perform the song "Happy Birthday" at a paying gig, else you'll owe Time Warner a few cents. The song is, strangely enough, still under copyright until 2030.]


Brillo Pad

When you're listening to your CB or scanner, you'll hear a lot of bad transmissions and static which often make a conversation difficult to understand. Despite its portrayal in fiction, radio communication using low-power transmitters is not always clear and reliable.

And brevity transmissions are common: you may hear police refer to a "417" or a "390", shorthand references to types of crimes. And on the CB bands, you'll often hear "10 Codes", which are references to situations important to truckers.

There is no "official" list of 10 Codes. A particular code may have two different meanings, depending on where you are in the USA. But here's a list of the most common 10 Codes that you'll hear, and their explanations. The next time that you listen to the CB, you'll know just what the heck those drivers are saying.

Most-Used 10 Codes

These are the 10 codes that you'll hear most often. Their meanings are fairly standard.

A 10 Code can be used either as a question or an answer. For example, "10-36" means "what is the current time?", and "10-36 is two forty-five" is the answer.

10 Code Meaning
10-1 I am receiving poorly.
10-4 Message received. "10-4" does not mean "yes", although it is often used in that manner.
10-7 I am out-of-service, going off the air.
10-8 I am in service, back on the air.
10-9 Please repeat your message.
10-10 I have completed my transmission; I am standing by with my radio on.
10-20 What is your location? Usually asked as "what's your 20?"
10-36 What is the correct time?
10-100 Nature is calling, a.k.a. "I've got to go to the bathroom".

All Of The 10 Codes

At least, the ones that I know about.

10-1 I am receiving poorly.
10-2 I am receiving well.
10-3 Stop transmitting.
10-4 Message received.
10-5 Relay this message.
10-6 I am busy, stand by.
10-7 I am out-of-service, going off the air.
10-8 I am in service, back on the air.
10-9 Repeat your message.
10-10 I have completed my transmission; I am standing by with my radio on.
10-11 You are talking too rapidly.
10-12 I have visitors present.
10-13 I need advice on road or weather conditions.
10-16 Make a pickup at…
10-17 This is urgent business.
10-18 Do you have any messages for me?
10-19 No messages for you; return to base.
10-20 What is your location?
10-21 Call me by telephone.
10-22 Report in person.
10-23 Stand by.
10-24 I've completed my last assignment.
10-25 Can you make contact with…?
10-26 Disregard my last message.
10-27 I am moving to channel [channel number].
10-28 Identify yourself.
10-29 The time for contact has expired.
10-30 That does not conform to the FCC rules.
10-32 Radio check.
10-33 Emergency at this station.
10-34 Trouble at this station, requesting assistance.
10-35 This information is confidential.
10-36 What is the correct time?
10-38 An ambulance is needed.
10-39 Your message has been delivered.
10-41 Please tune to channel [channel number].
10-42 There is a traffic accident at [location].
10-43 There is traffic congestion at [location].
10-44 I have a message for you.
10-45 All stations within range, please report.
10-50 Break; or, "please let me use this channel".
10-62 I'm unable to copy; use the telephone
10-65 I am awaiting your next message or assignment.
10-67 All stations comply with the this order.
10-70 There is a fire at [location].
10-73 There is a speed trap at [location].
10-75 You are causing interference.
10-77 Negative contact; or "no".
10-84 My telephone number is [telephone number].
10-85 My address is [address].
10-91 Talk closer to the microphone.
10-92 Your transmitter is out of adjustment.
10-93 Check my frequency on this channel.
10-94 Please give me a long count; count from one to ten.
10-95 Transmit a dead carrier for 5 seconds.
10-99 Mission completed, all units secure.
10-100 Gotta find a toilet.
10-200 Police needed at [location].

By the way, about the title of this article, "Brillo Pad". That's a steel wool pad with soap inside, or "tin fur". Get it? "Tin fur"? C'mon, these are the jokes, folks.


Meanwhile, Back At The Critter Ranch

New Critters On The Block

Clay Nelson, Payson, Utah:

I remember many times as a young boy splashing through mud and the muck in my dad's old ford truck… He always listened to C.W. McCall. I loved that music then… and i still love it more than ever. It is not uncommon for me to go splashing through the mud and the muck with C.W. playin loud as can be in my jeep. I have turned many people my age who were not fortunate enough to ever hear his music on the radio when we were kids. They all love it too.

Mike Duncan, Riverview, New Brunswick, Canada.

Critters In The Wild

David Frederick the publisher of CONVOY: The Movie, The Music (a.k.a. "The CONVOY Movie Site") has begun a discussion group for the movie and related phenomena. You can find it at ConvoyMovie.

Rob sent to us some pictures of the ERTL "CONVOY Movie Truck".

ERTL CONVOY truck in package ERTL CONVOY truck out of package ERTL CONVOY truck, just the truck

Old Home Café: The Next Generation

Episode XXVI

Indian summer had rolled into the Loess Hills on the day before. The frost of last week had given way to a warm day of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature would be about 25 degrees Celsius, if you weren't in the USA.

Outside the Old Home Café at 6 A.M., the sun was nowhere near being visible; dawn was waiting for a quarter 'til seven today. But fog obscured the street: looking out the Main Street window, Jon couldn't see the bank. The lone lamppost on the corner tried vainly to illuminate the sidewalk outside of the Café.

A blue truck, moving slowly down Main, pulled up next to the diesel pumps. Its driver alighted and began to fill his tanks.

Inside the Café, Jon was observing the weather while May handled the early customers. June should have been working today, but she was taking the day off to drive to Omaha to see a specialist. Jon hoped that the news would be good.

Jon couldn't clearly see the tractor through the fog; he thought that it was a Kenworth. But he did see three people approaching the Café, and they appeared to be coming from the back end of the trailer. That's strange, thought Jon. There are no new cars in the lot, and semis don't carry passengers. Where did these people come from?

The trio entered the Café. A young man, about thirty, held the door for a much older, gray-haired man and a woman wearing a greasy jumpsuit and carrying a small black duffle bag. "Thank you, Michael," said the gray-haired man.

"Just respecting my elders," said Michael, as the door closed behind him.

"I'm not going to believe that," said the old man. "But I'll take the compliment anyway." He and the young man sat down in the corner booth, while the woman headed for the restrooms.

Jon grabbed a carafe of coffee and headed for the booth. "Good morning, folks. What can I get you?"

"Coffee. Black, and lots of it," said Michael. "Devon?" he asked, looking at the old man.

"I'll have tea, please. Do you have any Earl Grey?" asked Devon.

"We've got thirty-four different kinds of tea, sir. My girlfriend insists. There's bound to be some Earl Grey in there somewhere," said Jon, as he poured a cup of coffee for Michael. "Cream?" he asked.

"No, I take it black," said Michael.

"Back in a minute," said Jon, as he went to fetch a pot of boiling water and a bag of Earl Grey. On his way back to the kitchen he passed the woman, who was now wearing blue denim jeans and a t-shirt. The greasy jumpsuit was probably in the duffle bag, thought Jon. As he entered the kitchen, he heard Devon call out "Bonnie!".

Jon rummaged through a cabinet in the kitchen and found the Earl Grey tea; Twinings, to be precise, in a yellow pouch. From the coffee maker he filled a small stainless-steel pot with boiling water.

The three customers where studying a map when Jon returned. Devon was saying something about "…car should be about here, if my guess is correct." Jon set the pot and tea bag in front of Devon. "Anything else?" he asked.

Bonnie spoke up. "Pancakes, a half dozen. Blueberry syrup, if you have it. Two English muffins with butter and grape jam, three eggs scrambled, bacon, and a large orange juice."

Michael appeared to be shocked. "Bonnie!" he said. "That's quite a bit for you."

"Just something to get the taste of those MREs out of my mouth," she said. "You try living on them for three days, Mister Expense Account." She glared at Michael.

Jon took Michael's and Devon's orders. Eggs and sausage for Michael; Cheerios for Devon. Jon thanked them and headed back to the kitchen. Their orders were ready in less than five minutes, as Mike the cook had anticipated everything except the Cheerios — which he wouldn't cook, anyway — and by the time that Jon gave him the order, the eggs, bacon, and pancakes were already on the grill and the muffins were in the toaster.

The group conversed over breakfast, occasionally consulting their map. Jon overheard the words "kits" and "flags", but the details where drowned out by the myriad conversions taking place at the other tables.

By the time that they had finished, the sky was beginning to lighten. The blue Kenworth had moved over to the parking area. Jon hadn't seen the driver enter the Café, but he figured it must be one of May's customers at the counter. When Devon asked for the check, a grey-outfitted driver had glanced at the group then tossed five bucks on the counter, picked up a quart Thermos, and headed for the door.

"Thank you, my good man," said Devon. "Excellent service in this small establishment. I shall endeavor to stop by in the future."

Jon picked up the dollar bills which Devon had laid on the check. "And keep the change," said Michael, and he, Bonnie and Devon rose and departed.

Jon watched them walk across the lot towards the blue Kenworth: they walked towards the rear of the trailer. The fog was beginning to lift, but not enough for Jon to see exactly where they went.

A few seconds after they disappeared into the fog, the blue Kenworth pulled out of the lot and headed north, and Jon returned his attention to the Café.


Song A’ Th’ Week

The long days are over, and you're now waking up before sunrise. Until the government makes you change your clocks again.

Night Rider
(Bill Fries, Chip Davis)
From the album Wolf Creek Pass

[A ghostly chorus]
Night rider

Well, a-truckin' on the night line, quarter past five
Tryin' to get my rig an' me to 'Frisco alive
Fog lights up tight, a-givin' me the creeps
Just a Winnemucca trucka with a load a' black sheep

[A ghostly chorus]
Night rider

I got a belly full a' jelly and head full a' pain
Bennies spinnin' spider webs, a-messin' my brain
Tryin' ta get myself together with a shot a' black C
What I really oughta get me is an hour a' Zs

[Chorus, but not ghostly]
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights, 'til you've gone blind

Well, Alabammy Mammy got a spell on my life
Kansas City Kitty cut my heart out tonight
I lost a C-note in Reno off a' Keno and craps
And now Smokey's on the overpass a-settin' his traps
White lines lasers burnin' holes in my eyes
Feel like I'm hypnotized, think I'm gonna die
Interstate 80, gonna get me no sleep
Just a-winkin' and a-blinkin' with a stinkin' load a' sheep

[Chorus]
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights, 'til you've gone blind

[A ghostly chorus]
Night rider

[Ghostly, but it's not the chorus]
Ba ba black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sah, yes sah, three bags full
One for my master, and one for my dame
And one for Jimmy Bowen who lives in L.A.

[Chorus]
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind (yeah)
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind

[Psychotic cackling here. He's losin' it.]

Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind

[Fade out]
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind
Night Rider, Night Rider, losin' your mind
Look at those lights 'til you think you've gone blind


Next Issue. Like a weather forecast, predicting an event two weeks in advance isn't easy. But there ought to be an issue of The Legend-News on 3 November, whether I like it or not.


The Legend-News is published fortnightly — unless the fortnight is the fifth Monday, in which case it's published fortnightly-and-a-half — by TechRen Enterprises, just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right. Contents Copyright 2003 TechRen Enterprises, except for anything that we borrowed from someone else. Thanks to Bill Fries and Chip Davis for the words and music. "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"