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: