Real Man Of Genius

A while ago I got a note from a great fellow blogger of long association, El Guapo. Why, after ignoring him on this deployment, he opted to bring me in on this I have no idea, but that’s just who The Guapster is. Anyway, the idea he pitched was a celebration of no less than John Erickson’s birthday. I’ll have you know that Erickson is by far my most prolific commenter, and until he finally got off his ancient ass and made his own blog, I kind of felt like a co-blogger with him.

So with the gauntlet – or Guaplet – so manfully thrown down, I cannot back down from this challenge and have rearranged my schedule accordingly so I could wake early on enough mornings to have some bandwidth to post this in time.

Unless you live under a fucking rock, you’ve likely heard of John Erickson. I suspect he’s got more blog post comments out in blogland than Wilt Chamberlain has surprise babies. Imagine my surprise in the Summer of 2011 as a new, untested blogger when Erickson shows up and commandeers my commentary with full-page expository on the nuances of militaria and World War II equipment that even I didn’t know. Thus started our painful relationship of coblogging. I’m still unclear about which side John fought on in WWII – Britain, Canadia, or Germany… but past is past, right?

What many of you out there may not know is that John’s expertise in all things mechanical goes back for years. Born on the US/Canadian border (literally) without arms or legs, he managed to overcome his disabilities and join productive society via the nefarious world of goat husbandry. Things were rocky at first, but once someone straightened him out on the definition of ‘husbandry’ all charges were dropped, and the local farmers put away their weapons.

Closely tied to this, you may also be amazed to know that John Erickson’s interest in military equipment is founded in many key events from his life. At some unrecorded date, it was John himself that discovered smooth stones fly truer than the rough sort. Rumor has it that an embarrassing day with Ghengis Khan led to the invention of the stirrup, though he’s not cited anywhere because he was recovering from the severe trampling he received after sliding off under the pony.

Rumor also has it that he was the first to exit the field at Balacalava, saying the prophetic but unrecorded words, “Fuck you guys and your charge. I want my stirrups!” More modern history has also failed to record John Erickson’s greatness and contributions, but his own commentary – legendary as it comes – has fully documented this. I can at least give him some solace by informing him that his efforts to make the AMC Gremlin a military staff car were approved, but the paperwork – sadly – was lost.

Were I musically inclined, I’d compose and perform a “Real Men of Genius” ode to John Erickson, but luckily I’m just bright enough to know that I wasn’t created to be musical. So I’ll conclude this rant in the same thought, and capture in words my thought as follows:

“Happy Birthday, Sir John of Erickson! Here’s to you, Mister Unsung Inventor Of Obscure But Important Military Hardware and Fittings.”

And of course a respectful nod to Mrs. Erickson, who keeps John on his meds… thankfully, she’s opted not to do a cake, because the number of candles on that baby to celebrate John’s hatching would be seen from fucking Mars.


El Guapo

Doggy’s Style





Madame Weebles


Archon’s Den

The Idiot Speaketh

85 Responses to “Real Man Of Genius”

  1. He really is an enigma…

  2. Sorry, spelled it wrong…amoeba 🙂

  3. I think I first found John on your site & am glad to call him a blogging buddy now myself. Great post Brain!

  4. As President of Canadia I approve this post. Nicely done Rants! Rock the fuck on!

  5. Oh! Happy Birthday Mr. Erickson!

  6. Guap Rocks. He is a friend that goes beyond the call of duty,’Nom not the damned game.
    Oh, more importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mr Erickson!! Must become a reader if the Rant recommends you.

    Huge apologies for not thinking to send you a care package. Know you have not given an address, but of all the people (aka fave writers and heroes) you’re the one I so wish I’d have truly felt happy (and deranged considering your potential nommy gifts) to send a gift to.
    Do you have an APO address?

    Holiday noms (sans file or hacksaw) may be a bit stale but promise toys and unusual toys as well. No not THAT kind of toy. Thinking you;re surrounded by men.
    Get the feeling that Mongo Straight.

    So far have given to personal charities -in family and friend’s names- as holiday gifts.
    You my dear, deserve a little something to cheer your days in the desert. Maybe some hot refreshing soup?

    May be a lurker recently, but thinking of you.
    ~Miss R

    • Guapo does rock. I look at El Guapo and think, “Gee, if only I weren’t such an asshole, and so cranky, and so ranty, and so goddamn ugly – I could be Guapo’s pinky finger.” All credit to Guap on this effort!

      Roger on the straightness here, I agree violently. As for a care package, I appreciate it but would commend you to any of the outstanding Soldier support organizations who do those mass-support shipments. Honestly, that would please me more than anything. Lurk all you want, Rachel.

  7. […] Guapo Brain Rants The Idiot Speaketh A Frank Angle Fiftyfour and a half Benzeknees Fear No Weebles FASAB […]

  8. John’s knowledge is amazing and his humor warped. Great features of a perfect blogging buddy.

  9. Good job. Do you think he’ll comment? 😉

  10. The Elite of Just Alright Says:

    No. This is going to end very badly Rants….I can see it already. 😉

  11. You give me too much credit.
    I just wanted to introduce John (who I met here) to others, so I could get him out of my hair.

    Happy birthday, John!

  12. Luv El Guapo! 🙂

  13. ‘Rants, what can I say? You are FAR too kind, and I am definitely going to find a way to pay you back. Actually, I just sent you something special. Well, TWO somethings special. The Reaper just fired them, they should be to you in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…… 😉
    And how could ANYONE think I’d let this go by without a comment? After all, that’s one of the things I do best! 😀
    And Guapo … I’m comin’ for ya! Just ask Frank – once you get me, you NEVER get rid of me! Bwa-ha-ha-ha! 😉

  14. I also met John on your blog. He was taking over your commenting privileges. As a result of it, I thnk he has adopted me a his Granma. Unfortunately, it was to late to mail him a card… I will wish him a very Happy Birthday here. 😀

  15. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Perfectly done in Rants~style! I loved it and laughed all the way through it!

  16. Thanks for the heads up, Rants!

    John ~
    In the spirit of Grampa Ghingis himself, I offer this:
    (to the tune, vaguely, of Volga Boatmen:

    Happy birthday! (unhh)
    Happy birthday! (unhh)
    May the candles on your cake
    burn like cities in your wake.
    Happy birthday! (unhh)
    Happy birthday! (unhh)

    • Karen, I gotta ask – do the letters SCA have special meaning for you? If so, that’s where I first heard a variation of this song. If not, that’s okay – you gave me a HUGE grin! Either way, thank you VERY much! 😀

      • Uhh, Yah!
        Society for Creative Anachronism!
        One of my fave ‘creative outlets’ and ‘brief escape from reality’ trips ~ for almost 25 years, now OMG!

        Now you’ve got MY curiosity piqued ~ where, when, and do you still play??

        Lady Kharmin Klayote, GDH, OPF, ODB (Midrealm)

        • I never did, but my wife did for a while down in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area where I met her. (Well, I met her at a sci-fi con, but she did SCA down there.) We never got into it up in Chicago, although the Sergeant Major of our British WW2 re-enacting unit, Bruce (I’m gonna slaughter this) Mayhugh (?) was very active in it. The most I ever did was lead our sci-fi club up to the Bristol Renn Faire in Wisconsin with the whole group costumed and packing steel. We stymied the Queen’s Guard who were pursuing “Robin Hood”! (I’m gonna write that story up one of these days.)
          And now, poor Rants is sitting in his cargo container, reading this and saying “God, this guy just keeps getting WEIRDER!” 😀

          • You have simply lived a long and mah-velous life, my friend! Keep it up!

            Awright, so I did a couple of Chicagoland SF Conventions for a long time too… WindyCon and CapriCon. I was part of the group originally behind ConSanguinity, too, though mostly not from enthusiasm but from proximity…

          • Is all of this code?

          • Nope, not code at all. Con-goers are quite warm, actually! (Think of it this way – if I say APFSDSDU, you and I know what we’re talking about, but most other folk don’t. She and I say WindyCon and CapriCon and SCA, she and I know what we’re talking about, but nobody else does. Same stuff, different fandom. 😉 )

          • Achtung! Schutzenschnehr!

          • I never did many of the “general” cons, I was far more into the media stuff. I worked and supported the big Blakes 7/Brit media con out in Oakbrook in summer (whose name escapes me for the moment), as well as the media con that ran at the Hyatt O’Hare (the big copper beast with the 4 round towers, just off River Road). My wife attended several Windycons, and I think a few CapriCons. I spent much of the late 80s on the road, hitting small media cons, usually Trek related. I ended up first as a groupie of Grace Lee Whitney, then her friend, then her escort on TrekCruise West in 1987. A friend tackled me as I walked onto the ship, begged me for a HUGE favour, then asked me if I could escort Grace as her assigned escort had gone sick. Hmm – would I want to escort my first-ever crush, a lady I had adored from afar for decades and close up for two years? 😉
            We traded in the con scene for re-enacting in the 90s, following a brief hiatus while I worked in Springfield, Il. If you’ve ever met Tamy Vermande (she dressed for a while as Princess Leibacca, the result of a fun-filled evening between Leia and Chewbacca), that’s my missus. 5′ zip, curly reddish-brown hair, likes to walk her husband head-first into warplane wings in museums. 😀

          • Neat story, John.

          • 😯
            Why ~ no, Rants! Whatever gave you *that* idea? 😕

            The first Google listing for both “WindyCon” and “CapriCon” are their official websites, and surely you’ve heard of Renaissance Festivals? The same goes for Bristol. and the SCA for that matter. Although is a much more informative site, if you’ve no idea what the whole thing is about…

          • If only I had the time… wow.

          • Okay John ~ so what Does APFSDSDU mean anyhow?

          • Armor-Piercing, Fin-Stabilized, Discarding Sabot (Depleted Uranium). It’s a tank round made for killing other tanks.

          • Aw, you took my answer, ‘Rants! Dang it! By the by, do you call it HESH, HEP, or just Squash?

          • Just ‘HE’ – High Explosive, Karen.

          • Ahhh! Big-Ass Boom Round! Got it!
            thanks guys!
            I do like “Squash”, though, John!

  17. […] these other birthday tributes: Fasab, Elyse, Guapo, Weebs, Doggy, Jamie, Brainrants, Benzeknees, […]

  18. A fitting tribute to the man of many words and a warped sense of humor.

  19. It’s just a really comfy place to hang out, man! And you have interesting friends over alllatime…

  20. I was just about to wonder out loud how *you* could reply to those 4th level comments, in order, but then I remembered “It IS his blog, and HE gets the Dashboard!” 😉 and Duh!

  21. Am I still kicked off your site or can I wish John a happy belated birthday?

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