Saturday, December 28, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,731; 28 December 2013

On 7 May 2008, I hosted the hash from my little house in McLean for the first time (first time at the house, you understand; not first time hosting).  It was about a week after I'd moved in to the house, and there was some confusion about finding a corkscrew.  Otherwise, all was well -- as I recall, I even had the necessary baking utensils to offer oatmeal cookies hot from the oven.  Today I hosted the hash from the little McLean house for the last time, again with decorative cardboard boxes strewn about the place.  Oh, woe and sadness, though you wouldn't think so from the weather.  Given a desire to empty a few cupboards and the late-December date, I'd planned a hot chocolate stop, which proved entirely unnecessary under sunny skies and temps in the 50s.  Gracious, it was lovely, and almost everyone at the On In stayed On Outside.  Bonus points.
So many bonuses in today's hash!

A few other bonuses:  Robin came back to the hash, albeit just because she knew I needed help with egg-scrambling.  Blazing Straddle showed up with a cane and walked over a mile despite her recent knee surgery.  Packing Pink Heat showed up with one foot in a post-surgery boot.  I set both eagle and turkey trails; the turkeys had seven water crossings, not including the five with bridges of some sort; the eagles had nine, plus three bridges.  (There were a few dampened tootsies, according to report, but no drownings.)  Jeffy Lube, the eagliest eagle, ran just over eight miles.  The hot chocolate stop included rum and amaretto and cookies.  Paddle My Candee Ass had a birthday, and Big Balls on Deck provided a cake liberally bedewed with amaretto (there it is again) and bedecked with cream.  ("This is disgusting!" exclaimed one hasher, gobbling it down.  "It's all hooch and butterfat!")  BC3 thought Rough Cut looked like crap, and he never looks bad after a run.  Jeffy Lube declared the trail, "perfect" -- but he's got issues.  Someone else said the eggs were perfect; thanks again and again, Robin!  And then...

birthday crown?

Hang on. First, the trails:  all the walkers decided on the two-mile, sidewalk, out-and-back that includes the garden tour at St. Dunstan's.  Most of the runners chose the roughly four-mile turkey trail.  Under threat of burnt offerings, several decided to eagle, which gave them a bit less than six (of true trail, anyway).  Then, the food:  brunch = bagels, salmon, scrambled eggs and mimosas, although enough people drank beer that there was only one left.  Warm cookies; birthday cake.  Mufti on roll; Lori hit 88, the double eights, ooooh.

And then... about 15 minutes after the last hashers departed, the doorbell rang.  Double Breasted Booby and Rick were on the stoop!  They had raced down from Long Island hoping for a few minutes of hash time, but got hard ciders and a short visit with just me instead.  Zipperhead phoned while they were there and said he'd just realized the hash was at 11:00, not 3:00, and had turned around and gone back home.  So silly.

I don't usually get many photos when I host, but the ones I did get are right here.

No, you do not get credit for the run.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,730; 21 December 2013

Happy Solstice, everyone!  That would be winter solstice, despite the shorts and t-shirts abounding at today's Heat Miser Hash.  Heater Beater and Easy Strider weren't certain how many folks would make the loooong drive (50 minutes from McLean; what are you Great Falls-ers complaining about?) out to the newly-opened Hamilton House, but between 70+ degrees, the festive Spirit of the Season, and, one suspects, affection for our hosts, something like 40 people made the trek.  Many arrived on the early side, and wandered the House marveling at the excellence of HB's design and ES's execution of a textbook rehabilitation.

Hamilton = happy hillbillies

Then they gathered out front, and learned about the turkey trail and the eagle trail and the possibility of a pit stop, and then they streamed cheerily into the street, walkers staying behind.  Those walkers got succinct instructions (four judicious lefts, essentially, would take them through the scenic village and bring them back to the House) and strolled away.  A rough split of the crowd:  maybe ten walkers, six eagles, 17 turkeys and four host-y types.  Easy Strider drove off with a case of water in the trunk, apparently in an excess of guilt over his eagle trail (Jeffy Lube:  "It was gravel road up, and then gravel road down."), and was past starting to get nervous before he found his eaglets.  They were mostly not in need of water -- it was warm, not hot -- but appreciated the thoughtfulness.  Meanwhile, the turkeys were most of the way home, and ES almost had to run them over before managing to offer water.  Richard:  "Where's the beer?"

They know where the beer is...

The beer, of course, was back at the On In, in the refrigerator, which made for a very crowded kitchen at times.  There was also Provencal vegetable soup, from BC3's recipe, and butternut squash soup, ham and cheese and freshly-baked bread still warm from the oven.  Blow in the Hole provided big butterscotch oatmeal cookies for afters, and I shan't tell (without financial inducement) who ate four, maybe more.

Mufti called the roll as per, and Judy got cheers for her first run, and a polite, understanding nod for the news that she birthed Greg.  Not your fault, that collective nod said clearly.  And anyway, he married well.  The big guy -- retired Navy pilot, Warrenton resident -- you know him -- seems to have gotten yet another new name for his 200th.  Once I've figured out what on earth was happening, I'll update this post.  UPDATE:  "he just took advantage of the opportunity to tease me about multiple names when he gave me the engraved cup."  Before leaving, reluctantly, the Mufti led the group in a spirited rendition of 'Jingle Bells,' which he claims is a GFH3 Christmas tradition.  And maybe it is.  You can see him conducting his choir in the pictures here.

The Christmas chorale

Saturday, December 14, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,729; 14 December 2013

Zipperhead reminisced, somewhere around mile three, that today's weather was very like that of his first hash, some 28 years ago, or was it more?  Brow furrowed, he set off jogging again, and so we learn no more, for now, of that historic event.  It is not surprising to those who know and love this hash that he would have kept showing up, but for anyone else...  It was sleety and slushy and chilly and rainy and slippery by 3:00pm, though the Mufti and Phoenix Rising set out to set whilst the worst of the weather was still waiting behind the cloud cover.  PhR, of course, would have set an eagle trail and 40 miles of false trail regardless of weather, or the Mufti's protestations.

Rare photo of Hash 1,729 where the camera lens wasn't spotted with freezing-rain drops.
There were about 25 of the true faithful gathered under uncertain skies for the brief, and only five of those were walkers.  The runners ran off toward the lake, and a few moments later, the walkers followed.  And then the rain started again.  PhR got into his van and drove away to skulk near a particularly devious backcheck, where he enjoyed the discomfiture of FRBs Easy Strider (that's right; 50+ and riddled with Lime disease, and he's an FRB) and Jeffy Lube.  As best I can tell, the run was mostly paved, with true trail of about four miles.  It was about three miles in that Zipperhead started his reminiscences referenced above, as the heavens piddled and moped and spat and shoved slushballs down the backs of people's necks.

At the turkey/eagle split, the pack divided about evenly, with the promise of turkey soup luring ten or twelve onto the shorter route.  No eagle soup awaited the tough guys, but Blow in the Hole had lots of fun finishing as Eagle FRB.  Incidentally, Lori deemed that turkey soup 'perfect,' which is unsurprising to those who've had BC3's cooking before, and it was supplemented by fresh-from-the-oven cheese-melts built on pesto and tomato covered garlic toast.  Man, were they good.  And rich.  Really, how the crowd managed to stuff in almost the full platter of sweet breads, brownies and cookies is a mystery.  Black Box wine and Face Plant beer also proved popular.

But nothing is more popular than Mufti's roll call!  And this week's was a doozy, as, for the first time in the history of the hash, he missed someone; to wit:  the man formerly known as Cockpit... oh, why go on?  Anyway, celebrating a 200th with near-misses, the Mufti mentioned Ugly, But... (best name ever!), Massive Surveillance Ball, Grab My Joystick and other nonsense, and then recounted a sordid story of post-Exec Comm skullduggery, and then revealed the new name:  Big Balls on Deck.  Then there was a confusing bit with Flowerkraut objecting, and some lackluster attempt at re-voting, and then we were done.  As BBoD says, "It's a step -- a small step."

Helpful friends offer beveragic assistance.

Bottoms up, as they say in the Navy.  Or maybe they don't.

Peace at last.

Next week:  Hamilton, and worth the trip!  All virgin territory.  And the week after that, 11am at my house for the last time.  Oh, sadness.  This week:  pictures right here.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,728; 7 December 2013

Djamiss me?  I missed you, up until the moment I stepped out of the car in Leesburg this afternoon and thought, '[Expletive delete] it, it is [expletive deleting] cold.'  As the Mufti more eloquently phrased it, "This is the coldest forty degrees can get."  Something about the humidity, the light breeze and the overcast skies combined to make the day feel unseasonably chilly.

But that's not the important part!  What really matters is that 29 hashers took advantage of light traffic to tootle out to the historic village for another Rough Cut party.  RC set trail by himself, having forgotten to get back to any of the several volunteers for co-hare.  Arguably a pity, as somewhere around the fourth mile the pack got terminally confused and short cut their way back to the On In, except for Mini Schlonga, Paddle My Candee Ass and the soon-to-be-renamed (could never be soon enough for him) Cockpit Ejeculator.

Valiant took a few walkers, and one stroller (heh heh) to check out big trees, whilst Moaner and others chose to meander the quaint downtown streets, festively be-decked for the season.  No one stayed out too long, though -- you could sense the pizza from a mile away.  Rough Cut also provided his standard buffet of chips and trail mix, plus holiday-type cookies for dessert, augmenting Lezley's birthday cake.

Mufti's cheery roll call failed to count Mango, Piper and Nathan, but caught the Naughty Nurse and Gene Pool Zombie, demoted months ago to the B list.  Suck Squeeze Bang, desperate to reach 300 and a new name, showed up in a wheelchair; the Executive Committee celebrated Cockpit E's 199th with a meeting; and we finally got to meet Jen Rough Cut, who stopped coming years ago due to the 'wild' nature of our group.  That would be many years ago.  Many, many years ago.

Being otherwise occupied at the time, I failed to get a good photo of Jeffy Lube hitting me, but there are lots of other pictures here.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,723; 2 November 2013

Glorious weather, beautiful foliage, and no suspicion that Phoenix Rising had paired up with The Pumpmaster to set the trail combined to induce over 40 hashers to come out to Great Falls today.  (Also about 10,314,612 people to pack onto the Georgetown Pike on their way to Great Falls Park, resulting in a traffic jam extending from the park to the Madeira School, creeping along at about seven mph.)  And, while no formal polling took place, it's not unreasonable to assume everyone enjoyed the event mightily.


Of course, it's entirely reasonable to assume a collective shudder shook the crowd when Chip Off the Old Dick's male parent and Air Horn's male offspring stepped forward to claim credit for engineering the run.  The former is notorious for deciding that he just can't skip this beautiful bit of scenery through here, because people will enjoy it more than enough to make up for the additional 2.7 miles it adds to true trail.  The latter is about 30 and a personal trainer, a profession notorious for believing that people should push themselves just a little bit further.  That's right!  One more!  You can do it!  And how 'bout one more after that!  You can do it!

Well, almost everyone did do it, though Pumpmaster, as sweeper, offered up a nice bit of shortcutting for some of the stragglers.  Gale, seeing confusion in the crowd early in the run (Gale, they are always confused), took off up Beach Mill and finished about 45 minutes ahead of anyone else, and missed several really beautiful bits of scenery.  Those bits of beautiful scenery were enlivened by a thick coating of drying leaves over fair-sized, jagged rocks; bonus yay!  And some of those rocks and leaves were muddy and wet!  And no one returned to the On In via stretcher!

Note challenging footing, skillfully handled.
Note beauty of trail.

I have no idea what the walkers got up to.  I have been away too long and forgotten how to do a Hash blog.  Sorry.  I do know there were a lot of dogs at the event:  Mango, Piper, Espeon, Abby, Kylie, Ralph, some golden-retrieverish pup, maybe more.  The sign on the door to the Horn family hashing suite read, "No dogs," but Air Horn kept inviting them in.  For a cat man, he has a very generous nature.

He's also a generous host, and got in Peruvian chicken for the crowd, with that tasty green sauce, plaintains and some kind of yucca or sweet-potato fries, plus salad and cookies and seven-layer dip and other stuff.  Magnificent, and perfect for the warm-but-starting-to-get-chilly weather and the longish run.

The Mufti called the roll with his usual flair.  Little Ricky Tutu, whom we don't see tutu often (ha ha!), reached number 111 (ooooh) and Moaner Lisa achieved 965.  Somewhat ironically, she advised LRT to "get a life."  Great weather, beautiful trail, good friends, fab food, dogs everywhere and plenty of beer and wine served at appropriate temperatures... how much more of a life does anyone need?

Photos via this link.

GFH3 Run #1,722; 26 October 2013

Severely Last's 300th run with GFH3, in a month full of 298th and 300th runs with various hashes for him; discounts at the Old Brogue.  He celebrated by re-claiming the name "Bad Dog."  I am going to swipe the Mufti's notes to try to fill in some blanks.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

In Memoriam; Bea Ross - Funeral Saturday 9 November

Bea accepts accolades from the Mufti at the 31st Anniversary Hash, June 2013

Bea Ross died at home on Friday 25 October 2013.  Her three daughters have scheduled a funeral mass for Saturday 9 November at 11:00am at St. Theresa Church in Ashburn, followed by a reception at the River Creek Club in Leesburg.  They'll be updating her Facebook page Wednesday or Thursday 30/31 October, and expect to have an obituary in the Washington Post this weekend.

To Bea or Not to Bea hosted the hash numerous times at her home in Ashburn, and always offered us a great party with a generous buffet.  For this year's anniversary hash, she made nine pounds of Southern-style barbecue spareribs.

One of my favorite Bea memories:  at a McLean hash at Cocked and Loaded and Queen Cobra's, I set a walkers' route that included a narrow bit of trail on a ledge above the Potomac.  Bea was one of two walkers who followed the set path, and she came back saying, "I'm terrified of heights, and that bit along the river was awful for me.  But I didn't look down and I kept moving, and I did it!"

When she first got sick late this summer, she asked for ice cream.  Blow in the Hole and I found that Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia met her sodium restrictions and brought a pint - she loved having it, though was pleased to have BitH spoon feed her as she was seriously exhausted by her illness.

Please feel free to share your memories, either in the comments section below or via e-mail to me.  I'll post them as I get them.

In February 2013, at Phoenix Rising's hash.

In March 2013, at Easy Strider's.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,720; 12 October 2013

Riley's first set!  Maria's cooking!  I know this one was great.  Details, please.  I do so want details, suffering as I am so very far from you.

In March 2014, Chip Off the Old Dick provided details as follows:

A coterie of ragamuffins gathered Saturday afternoon to celebrate the end of our fall flooding.   An intimate group – ten walkers and ten runners or so – gun shy from an eventful week of rain (more than six inches at Dulles from Monday through Saturday) gathered at a dry start near the USGS.  We appear to continue the trend of small fall turnouts.  [you fools – Maria’s cooking, and you’re not there?  -ed]

Co-hare Phoenix Rising jumped in the breach to set what seems to be his eighth trail in ten weeks. Some retirees move to Florida, some play golf ; apparently PhR plans and sets trails with his free time.  In atypical CoToD fashion the usually subversive co-hare revealed at chalk talk that this was to be an A to B .... necessitated by the looming threat of afternoon rain and little overhead cover at A.  Bags were loaded into the Phoenix Wagon ... en route to B the co-hares checked in to verify the small group was staying together, including Bad Dog/Perseverance keeping pace nicely through the first part of townhouse zig-zagging.  Wagon continues to B with beverages in tow.   As Mama put the finishing touches on food prep, Riley slept like, well, .... a baby.

Back on trail, the tiny pack of runners, mostly together, made through trail and neighborhoods around Dogwood Elementary School, then snaked though assorted apartments and townhouses before moving east-southeast, crossing (underneath) Reston Parkway.  The pack explored what the trail system associated with Snakenden Branch had to offer.  Very little?  It's woodsy trails only at this point as the pack looped around and ON IN with a tame trail (Manic Mechanic's Garmin said six miles), ending at the Pony Barn Pavilion. Seemed that Easy Strider was first to arrive and Perserverance made it before nightfall, as he always does, getting ready for his epic celebration the following week.

Well-rested Riley joined in with Just Susan for a family affair feast. We had just enough rain for the co-hares to validate their decision to go A to B (and isn’t that the purpose of having at least one hare with a degree in psychology) for a covered location.  After a quick clean up, the remaining walkers and runners were shuttled back to start.  Many thanks for the flexibility and cooperation everyone showed in offering rides and bringing out their personal sun to a soggy, soggy week.

Photos from other lands:





Monday, October 7, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,719; 5 October 2013

Who, where, how far; someone fill me in, please.

For instance, did you see any wildlife on trail?

PS:  Blow in the Hole, I hope you didn't stay up all night waiting for me to post.  I was in the wild, without interwebs.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,718; 28 September 2013

UPDATE from BC3, with my sincere thanks:

"A smallish group had a convivial time crossing the bridge into Maryland and a really nice walking trail -- paved & wooden in a woods buffer zone... lovely. ...a number of folks were wearing Mufti Appreciation shirts."

It had to be great, right?  Great location, experienced hares, and the weather was good, right?  Anyone have anything to add?  I can't say much, as I was distracted by the talent show at the Kalona Fall Festival, featuring:

Jim from China, who got the crowd on its feet with his amazing beat-box act;

Husband and wife, maybe, doing a Sugarland cover;

A clog dancer performing to some sexier-than-you'd-expect-in-Amish-country song; and

Two quite young and sophisticated boys performing 'Build Me Up Buttercup' with word-perfect intro patter.

So someone's going to need to fill me in...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,717; 21 September 2013

Hands up if you ate so bloody much pizza, in response to Hash Hero Chugger's pleas, that you may never walk again.  Pity, because the walking around Chugger's place in Great Falls is lovely, even in intermittent showers that eventually (as today) settle down to a steady rain.  "We need this rain," Rough Cut pointed out, with truth if not originality.

And certainly the 20 or 25 hashers present today looked revived and refreshed and soaked through as they arrived, pretty well grouped together, back at the cool, dry garage they'd departed an hour or so earlier.  (Incidentally, the group included Mini Schlonga, back from interhashing through Europe.)  Chugger and Phoenix Rising are to thank for taking a lesson from last week and ensuring they placed checks everywhere there needed to be a check, and a few extra places, too.  That diligence kept the pack mostly packed as they raced along a mostly off-road trail.  As promised in the brief, they crossed no major roadways; "Springvale," Chugger clarified, "is not a major roadway."

Someone in this group is thinking, "Oho!  So we head west..."

The walkers split into two about-equal groups, one sticking to pavement (street-walkers, heh heh) while the other headed into the homeowners' association-maintained woodsy trail around a little pond and up a good hill and then the wrong direction somehow or other to miss the second part of the woods trail.  Oh, well.  Kylie and Abby don't like to stay out in the wet too long, anyway.

Back at the garage, there was a spread you wouldn't believe, with fancy sandwiches on seeded bread and ciabatta warm from the oven, and fruit and cheese and chips and homemade cole slaw (very excellent) and other salad-like items...  and those were the appetizers!  Dominos delivered about 1,000 pizzas minutes later, each one a different set of toppings, including fancy things like banana peppers and spinach, and mainstays like ham and pineapple and just pepperoni.  Easy Strider:  "Snausages!" (imagine boyish grin and thrilled intonation).  And only later did the dessert trays come out, laden with pastries.

Plus stacks and stacks of pizzas off the the right somewhere.

Mufti called the roll for this, run number 1717.  Get it?  The double 17s?  Ooooh.  PhR and Chugger and Trish got well-deserved applause, and while I didn't actually hear her, I can't imagine Paint in the Ass didn't urge everyone to make the trek to Maryland next Saturday.  It's a great location for both running and walking, and well worth the trip.

Along about 5pm, with Chugger urging people to take home some leftovers, PhR went out into the wet in his old Volvo to find Spurt.  The expletive-deleting rain had washed away some chalked X's, but not the mistakenly-laid, flour checks those X's were designed to keep people from finding.  So Spurt was way off where he shouldn't have been, and willing to take PhR's taxi service.  Remember, everyone, that sidewalk check is designed to wash away easily.  Anyway, Spurt should have worked up enough of an appetite on all that extra trail to take care of the extra pizza...

Here's what it looked like up until the camera battery died.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,716; 14 September 2013

What a very special treat for the runners:  Gurr's Hill and Oleta's Hill in the same trail.  "Ole Fud insisted we have both," Phoenix Rising explained.  "I don't know what it's called, but there was a hill that was really sucky and it really hurt and I thought I was going to pass out," Blow in the Hole reported.  "That's Gurr's Hill," Ole Fud said with confidence.

So O.F. and Strac insist the trail they set was about four miles, maybe a bit more.  PhR believes that, setting all the false trails, his total run this morning was about six miles.  Every runner who managed the true trail asserts, via GPS reading or just that unpleasant feeling in the lungs and quadriceps, that she or he slogged nine miles, give or take a few tenths.  The term "death march" rattled about the On In.  It was all great fun for the casual observer, heightened by the general gorgeousness of the weather and the specific gorgeousness of the Fuds' landscaping, which soon had even the most exhausted of the pack succumbing to the beauty of Great Falls in the sunshine.

It's a running club.  Someone run!

The group took a bit of time to gather -- this first Saturday thing is so confusing -- but once there were about 30 ready to go, O.F. offered a military brief, with comments on infantry and artillery, and wisecracks from draft-dodger PhR.  Then the pack circled about the first check, tried this way and that way, and eventually more-or-less headed down the driveway.  Chip Off the Old Dick rather brilliantly thought to ask for guidance, and subsequently headed straight out the back gate, shouting, "On on!" until a couple people heard him and the slow turning toward true trail began.  Suck Squeeze Bang leaped out of her car and noted that for once, arriving late paid off.  Through the woods, up the street, and to the third check, at an intersection, for several minutes' milling and jogging long ways in wrong directions and muttering imprecations, before they headed toward Runner Road and another eight miles or so to go.

They're so small.  How much shoulder do they need?

The walkers, meanwhile, splintered:  some headed down the drive and along the paved pathways; others followed instructions and the runners' trail as far as Arnon Chapel, whose dog-unfriendliness inspired a few 180-degree turns.  It took a while, but eventually everyone met up again, with a handful of sitters and latecomers, on the deck, where Felicity served up a perfectly-dressed quinoa salad and a pasta salad that were ideal for the weather.  PhR chose the beer, so it was heavy on IPAs and Yuenglings.

The Mufti called the roll:  double ones and double fours for Zipperhead (1144, you see), and 99 to the cup for John, Jay and Mike.  Politicking madly, the Mufti insisted his "and a great run"s were offered "with trepidation," but cheers resounded through the quickly cooling air.

Still figuring out the new camera; rather overexposed photos are on view here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,715; 11 September 2013

Boring, boring, boring.  That’s pretty much what you get when you try to set a fast trail with reliable artificial light throughout, and that’s pretty much what you need for the last Wednesday Hash of the summer.  The On-In is incrementally less fun, for some people at least, if someone remembers that so-and-so and someone-else were both here at the start but aren’t here at the end, and must be flailing around somewhere in the dark woods without any beer.  Hence, true eagle trail tonight was 3.75 miles of almost all pavement, with large, bright and frequent Ons.

It was a lousy day for setting -- hot and humid with baking sun -- but an okay evening for running and walking -- a little less hot, still very humid, and a bit of color with the sunset.  The pack totaled 25, and took advantage of the two-mile and three-mile splits, with usual suspects going the full distance, which totaled over five miles thanks to the gas station/repair shop parking cars on top of the hash marks.  Sheesh.  Plus, a few of what Phoenix Rising was so kind as to refer to as 'devious' backchecks.

False, but lighted and paved, trail at the start.
Valiant skipped the trail completely, not realizing that it is his voice that resounds in my head as I set, admonishing, "Hares should understand that these little blobs of flour just aren't good enough."  There were some really big blobs on this trail, Valiant, though of course not as big as the impressive catalba tree? or something like that? he found in the local nature preserve.

Most everyone was back before full dark, but the flashlight came out soon after to help improve beer-label viewing.  Supper was a variety of bean-and-rice and chicken-and-rice casseroles, with a few warm cookies and two outlandish chocolate cakes for dessert.  The cakes were courtesy of the Oral Advocate, who discovered them when he stopped for a biking-break at Great Harvest and thought them so good he drove back there to purchase a pair.  A kind contribution to the hash indeed, and even kinder when be-candled in celebration of my birthday last week.  You know, if you sing along with the hash birthday carol ("Happy birthday to me," etc.), it doesn't sound nearly so bad as if you just listen.

Mufti's roll call revealed the double 4s for Gale, and 1144 for Rrocks Starr, #3 for Rachel, and.......  #199 for the Duck Sucker.  There was a meeting of the executive committee, from which a new name for Suck Squeeze Bang arose.  She may be called either Wait, Wait or Just a Minute based on her contributions to this naming session.  The Duck Sucker will definitely be renamed [redacted] at the next meeting of the GFH3.

Welcome home and thanks for the cake!

By the way, this all took place in McLean, where the Veggie Wedgie (what a dumb name) hared and hosted all alone.  I'm still figuring out the fancy new camera.  It looks like it's smarter than I am, but this is the best it could do for pictures.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,714; 4 September 2013

Most of tonight's 31 hashers made it to the Duck Sucker's by 6:30, though traffic was certainly a bit icky.  But oh such a good thing they did, as those woods -- and co-hares Dances with Bulls and Zipperhead made the most of the woods, and even more of the river -- get darned dark once the sun starts thinking about setting.  Despite a challenging inlet/waterfall crossing, however, everyone (except maybe Severely Last, but his consistency in living up to his name is scarcely news) made it back to the house before losing the light entirely.

Now, about that water crossing:  apparently there was a turkey/eagle split, and turkeys got water while eagles got rocks.  However, I think everyone except Chip Off the Old Dick made it to the promontory near the waterfall where a big rock on one side of the inlet bore two large floury arrows pointing toward a big rock on the other side of the inlet, which bore two large floury arrows pointing toward dry ground.  Pickled Peter barely hesitated before wading in to water that ran almost waist-high.  Easy Strider and INDY turned around and headed back into the woods, emerging on the rocky crags, or craggy rocks, just in front of the waterfall and stepping carefully across to scrabble up onto a ledge where two folks we don't know were embracing.  The embracers scrabbled down and walked purposefully away, and the rest of the pack split about evenly between dry and wet crossing.


And where were the walkers?  No clue -- they had a recommended trail leading to the waterfall, but other than Chris and Gale, it's unclear whether anyone made it there.  Fortunately, anywhere you ramble in Scott's Run is bound to be lovely and at least mildly challenging.

Challenges accepted earned their reward at the On In, where fancy sandwiches imported from Georgetown were waiting, garnished with excellent kalamata olives.  Zipperhead apparently chose the beverages:  several connoisseurs rated the beer as 'swill;' no complaints noted ref: the wine.  There may be a theme emerging...

SSB took this one; that's why it's so artistic.

There was probably dessert and there were certainly chips, but I got caught up in roll-calling and water-volleyballing and neglected to investigate.  For the third time this lifetime, the Mufti entrusted me with the official roll, and so far I haven't left it in a flood zone or anything.  The responsibility fell to the assistant associate Mufti this week as the Mufti is vacationing in Duck or someplace like that, whilst the associate Mufti has decamped, with three tubs of Vaseline and a large box of bandages in assorted sizes, to the land of his ancestors (viz: Italy).  Nothing terribly exciting in the roll, though Rachel returned for run #2 and a stellar performance in the volleyball court ('in' not 'on' as the court is in the swimming pool).

And the weather was perfect.  Thanks to Suck Squeeze Bang (19 runs to a new name!) and Blow in the Hole for photos, which you can see here.

To Bea or Not to Bea hospitalized

Please check your e-mail for news about Bea.  If the e-mail didn't reach you (Air Horn, Brogue Bait will have the info on your behalf), please contact me.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,713; 28 August 2013

YAAAY!!!  Another first-time host, and in that very pleasant part of Herndon that offers lots of access to the Sugarland Run trails, with a generous backyard, generous parking, and a generous host.  So, many thanks to Gale for stepping up, and may her clean-up be easy and her leftovers few.

Tonight's hash netted about 32 runners, walkers, hosts, co-hosts, chefs and loungers-about, and our hares made a point of sending people out pretty promptly at 7:00'ish, mindful of the ever-shortening daylight.  (NEXT WEEK'S HASH WILL START AT 6:30 -- given the location and the extra 30 minutes, you might expect a woodsy trail.)  The runners dashed away briskly, trying to outrace the humidity, and the walkers strolled off in the opposite direction with local resident Beef Strokemoff acting as guide.  They've got a very nice paved loop of about two miles for walkers, with some of those fun Herndon stepping stones over a couple of creeks.

Everybody loves a water crossing!  If these were runners, Chip Off the Old Dick would be where the dogs are, and Bionic Babe would be up on the stepping stones.
The runners also got some creek crossings, but apparently weren't always certain they were stepping on the right stones.  Easy Strider seemed, to the impartial observer, to be promulgating a calumny when he suggested that "the girls got to gabbing" whilst setting the runners' trail, and therefore scattered their flour less often and in less visible locations than they otherwise might have -- but later Lori, Suck Squeeze Bang and Bite Me confirmed his hypothesis.  Apparently, they also waited out the thunderstorms with a bottle of wine before setting out to set.  So the pack got maybe a little straggly and a bit short-cutty, as it sometimes does. 

About that Easy Strider:  he was a walker last week, given illness and injury.  This week, he was recovered enough to be FRB by a comfortable margin, with the twin engines of Lyme disease and a broken rib apparently turbo-charging him along the trail.  First-timer Rachel demonstrated a nice turn of speed, with Pulls Out Early helping her interpret the (few and far-between) marks.  And everyone else made it in, hot, humid and happy, before darkness fell.

At the on-in, they discovered barbecued chicken, beans, potatoes, corn and two salads (including kale -- last time the hash got super-food, anyone?), as well as a bountiful assortment of beverages including a growler of beer -- from Sweetwater, Brent thinks.  Brent also thinks that the hash should always be hosted by good-looking women who have time to shower and change into their fancy duds before the on-in.  Others may have ideas about what Brent should do, and should make suggestions directly to him.

Hail to the chef!

Mufti's roll call included Rachel's first, Kyren and Chris's seconds (Chris was the bbq chef, very handsome in his brightly-colored apron), and Suck Squeeze Bang's birthday, with a big chocolate cake with extra frosting.  Pulls Out Early (who left early) hit 222, and Rrocks Starr hit 1166.

Animal sightings:  two shelties, one fox, and a few deer.  I don't know why two guys in grey and black insisted on being in the photo of five guys in green, but you can see all the pictures here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,712; 21 August 2013

Gracious, what a lot of soggy corn chips remain after the hash has departed...

So, it was hash hero time again, and once more unto the breach, dear friends.  The Veggie Wedgie (what a dumb name) threw open the door of her gracious McLean home (and promptly started shrieking, "Bugs!  Bugs!  Shut the door!"), welcoming 29 hashers on an overcast evening that wasn't quite as hot 'n' humid as feared.  The call for volunteers yielded three:  let us now praise our favorite hashers.

The brave, smart, strong, sensitive, witty, beautiful, noble, chic, fascinating and in-all-ways wonderful Paddle My Candee Ass arrived from distant lands (Warrenton) at 7:45am to help set, prepare food, lug furniture and beer around, and accidentally do all the cooking and most of the hostessing, before leaving about 14 hours later.  The thank-you note is in the mail; it ought to be a medal.

Chip Off the Old Dick, whose hash heroics are already legend, arrived about 3pm (fresh from Phoenix Rising's retirement lunch, but a smidge confused on how this retirement thing works if he's still going to be, well, working), and headed up the street to navigate the entire trail as insurance that VW hadn't messed it up.  Along the way, he came upon six teenagers commencing some sort of carnal activity in the woods -- when was the last time that happened?  And when he got back to the future on-in, he declined to shower and change because, gods and nature love him, he was happy to sweep up after the pack.  So he just shotgunned about three quarts of ice water and greeted the slowly-gathering hash.

HEROES!!  Photo taken after PMCA got all scratched and hot and dirty setting trail, and before she got all scratched and hot and dirty making dinner.

The Mufti, may his name be praised forevermore, arrived about 6:30pm with the much-needed ice for the future cold beverages.  Thank you!  And shortly after him, the rest of the crew made their various ways to the driveway, and with the clouds lowering, blotting out the setting sun and rising full moon on an evening when the trail warranted as much light as possible, we kept the brief brief and kicked everyone out onto the street.

The walkers got a one-mile turkey or as-long-as-you-like eagle trail, and a few actually opted to eagle it a bit.  Eagling also offered more off-pavement walking, so it's a lovely choice.  Having finally put enough "T" and "E" marks on that sidewalk that they actually found the split, I shall now retire that trail.  The runners' trail, however...

It was a thing of beauty, I'm assured, to the 'true hasher' (Phoenix Rising is, apparently, a 'true hasher').  For the 'regular runners,' who just want to get out and back as easily as possible, it was somewhat uglier.  Radar came down somewhere in the middle:  "It's a great Saturday-afternoon trail."  Meeee-OWW!  Rrocks Starr thought it so good I should set it again, sometime when the hashers can actually see it.

I did mention in the brief that there was a half-mile stretch of bushwacky/shiggy-ish stuff that might feel a whole lot longer.  And provided a water/beer/Mike's/DCoke stop, and provided a sweeper who knew where he was going and what everyone should be doing.  So there.  Nonetheless, when called on for a merciful mission, I zoomed out and collected a handful (bit more than a Honda-ful, but not quite a someone-will-have-to-sit-on-Mike's-lap-and-don't-pretend-you'd-mind-that size load) of hashers who'd gotten fed up.

Speaking of fed up, what with water-stop providing and mercy-missioning, I abandoned PMCA with two large pots of boiling water and a mess of corn, potatoes, sausage and shrimp to turn into dinner in a strange kitchen.  (If she ever came over to make a nice supper for me, my kitchen would not be strange to her.)  Anyway, all the walkers and two runners returned before I did, demanding wine and chips, and PMCA coped so admirably she should be knighted or something.  I did make sure she had a glass of bubbly, and I don't mean Perrier water, before I took off.  And I think that helped.

Her shrimp boil got highest praise, most of the runners covered true trail, the cookies were warm from the oven, and the beer held out, if only barely.  The generous hashers even showed willing to sit outside in a light drizzle rather than plonk their shiggy-ish selves down on my cream-colored couch.  So all in all, I'm claiming a success, and extra points if first-timer Karen (99 to the etc.) actually shows up again like she said she will.

What with one thing and another, I had limited time for photography.  However, there are a few photos; you can click here to look at the pix.
Doggy bags and everything!

A million thanks to the Mufti for ice and to INDY for starting a discrete clean-up while several of us were still drinking under an umbrella, a hundred million to COtOD, and a gazillion magillion jillion to PMCA.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,711; 14 August 2013

Setting a marvelous example for too many of her confederates, Brenda hosted her first hash tonight, and did so in splendid style.  She booked one of Reston's many pavilions and scheduled a break in the recent heatwave to ensure a warm, dry, sunny evening.  And she got Tasty Cakes to help her set a (less-than-ten-mile) trail -- and finally, she tossed in what may be the state's largest, champion, pig-nut tree for Valiant to discover, and measure with the help of Air Horn.  Yowsa.

No wonder he feels obligated to declare himself "present."

Most people drive to the pavilion Brenda booked via Temporary Road, or by North Shore heading counter-clockwise, and hence had to drive by the intersection of the two where a gigantic, three-way check was clearly visible on the sidewalk.  And yet, the pack chose to begin its run by heading away from that gigantic check.  Most amusing.  They got straightened out, but after that it's unclear how many people actually stuck to the marked trail versus making their own routes.  Valiant and Air Horn traipsed the the golf course, gazing at trees, and the rest of the walkers did something else.

Back at the pavilion, as dusk was falling, there was a feast more than sufficient for about 42 hashers.  Those looked like homemade lasagnas to me, and the olive oil for dipping two kinds of bread was seasoned with many yummy spices, and there was salad and fresh fruit, as well as a bounty of beverages including many, many colors of Mike's Hard whatever-ade.  Plus cookies, and HOMEMADE PUNKIN ROLL that was especially excellent.  Bravo, Brenda.

These people are happy because they know there's still a few slices of pumpkin roll left.

The excitement at roll-call time was palpable, especially for anyone trying to cleave a path through the throng of first-timers.  We also saw more than a few b-listers, including Dr. Pecker, PhD, and Meatless Pussy celebrating her 222nd run (who had 44?  and who had 55?  ooooooooooooh...), and then...

B-lister Roger finally, after twelve or thirteen years, hit run number 100.  The Mufti donned his fez, and Roger approved the dodged-bullet "Plunger Plunger" whilst shuddering at a dozen or so less-clever plays on "Cums Slowly" and worse.  As the tension built, the Mufti shook loose a new t-shirt, paused for effect, then spun it around to reveal the final name choice:  Plunges Honey's Well.  This may be a bit much for anyone who hasn't been around for half-a-dozen years or more, but Goes Down in Spokes used to be called The Plunger, and Roger works for Honeywell.  Get it?

Anyway, it's a fine effort by the Executive Committee, who congratulated themselves while Roger drank from the ceremonial cup/bowl (INDY:  "He can't have the cup.  He'll never come back with it.").  Pictures?  Of course: they're right here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

GFH3 Run #1,710; 7 August 2013: Third Annual Jeff Schwartz Memorial Hash

For those of you who haven't heard the story of Jeff Schwartz:  In late spring or early summer of 2011, the Mufti began casting about with e-mails and phone calls asking whether anyone in the hash knew Jeff, who had signed up to host one summer day.  No one did!  No one had ever heard of Jeff Schwartz, the putative host for a run from the Reston Community Center by Lake Anne for the third of August.  Jeff had provided an e-mail address when he registered to host, but did not respond to messages sent.  Quickly skipping over the question of who had played this prank in questionable taste, the Mufti issued his decree:  the hash will go on!  I'm Not Dead Yet and Mini Schlonga volunteered to set, and any handy local restaurant could host the on-in.  And so it happened, and last year it happened again, and tonight was The Third Annual GFH3 Jeff Schwartz Memorial Hash.

Everyone looks around to try to find Jeff.
Same hares:  INDY and MS, though this time they pre-set rather than live haring as at past JSMHs.  Same On-In, Kalypso's, where no one has yet figured out how to deliver food and drink efficiently to an uncertain number of people arriving at irregular intervals and all wanting something different plus separate checks, please.  Same weather, or close enough:  summer in NoVA means humidity and who cares beyond that.  (Actually, it wasn't blisteringly hot, just quite warm, and cloudy enough to make the threat of thunderstorms believable.)  Same popularity:  more than 30 showed for this event, ready for fun.

The runners rushed clockwise around Lake Anne, albeit a large and zig-zaggy clock.  The walkers strolled a closer, widdershins trail.  It is difficult to piece together just what happened on that runners' trail, but it seems likely that a lot of hashers took short-cuts and long-cuts and side streets to nowhere.  People returned at very staggered intervals and took up a gigantic table and a couple of satellites (Kylie and Abby were welcome only at the very edge of the outdoor dining area).

Yay for umbrellas; bonus yay for not needing them.
And then it's BRING ON THE FLAMING CHEESE!, which is reliably delicious, especially paired with Bell's IPA.  There was plenty of seafood and souvlaki and burgers making the rounds as well, though a few of the less-hardy snuck off to find faster service elsewhere.  Mufti bellowed his roll without regard to other diners, and claimed run number 1,490 for himself.  One senses an epic poem coming on...  And Beef Strokemoff hit the triple ones, while Roger made it, nine years after his run #1, to the double 9s.  There was a meeting of the executive committee, and a very successful one, too.  Next week the hash will be just a few blocks from Lake Anne, and Roger will be sporting a handsome light-blue t-shirt with his slightly-less-handsome new name emblazoned on it.  Can't wait.

A few photos here, including this really lame one of flaming cheese: