Friday, May 30, 2014

Dogs Welcome Except on Runners' Trail - June 4th Hash

Phoenix Rising will be happy to welcome dogs at his hash for the walkers' trail and the On In, "if they play nice and have adult supervision," but they can't go on the runners' trail.  That's a condition for permission to set across a neighbor's property.  Please spread the word.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

GFH3 Run #1,754; 28 May 2014

Radar's plea for assistance did not go unheeded, and he spent the afternoon with his buddy Valiant, throwing enough flour on the streets, trees and mailboxes of Great Falls to survive the threatened thunderstorms that didn't actually manifest.  So the 42 hashers who made their way to the garage this evening were doubly delighted:  the trail was enthusiastically well marked, and the weather was warm and reasonably sunny, if a touch humid.
The 26 runners got an under-five mile true trail, and mostly managed to complete it by dark.  The 5-K contingent made appropriate shortcuts.  Walkers, just 11 of them, got a pleasant, and well-marked, loop along Thimbleberry.  The well-bandaged Beef Strokemoff and Kimball did a little checking up on the local real-estate market, while Tastycakes rested up back at the On In.  She was fresh from nine miles in the Blue Ridge, helping Dad and Brother prepare for their attempt on Denali in a week and a half.

Miles, kilometers - there are no rules.

Arriving back at the garage, the hash found chips and guacamole as well as wine, beer and water.  Of course, just behind that there's...  THE POOL!  Radar's solar array had brought the water to a pleasant 84 degrees, which was enough to tempt a handful of swimmers, a few feet-sticker-inners, and one cannonball that only splashed a few electronic devices and a couple handfuls of chips.  Somewhere in the middle of all this, Radar started bringing out his barbequed chicken, crispy on the outside and juicy in the middle like it's supposed to be.

This is eerily similar to a picture from about one year ago...

The Mufti being absent without leave, the Associate Mufti shouted the roll, barely heard over the roar of the three mini waterfalls in the pool.  There were four newcomers; welcome Sean, Donna, Will and Will's father-in-law who is not named Justin.  Walks on Water made a special appearance, as did Heats it UP and Jeffy Lube, whom we don't usually see on Wednesdays.  Mini Schlonga was back after too long an absence (work, work, work, plus dehydration severe enough to warrant a couple visits to the E.R.).  They're all in the pictures.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

GFH3 Run #1,753; 21 May 2014

Zipperhead runs again!  Valiant does not, though the knee went well and looks fantastic (see photo here).  Phoenix Rising also eschewed running in favor of resting his newly-refurbished eyes.  Robin, the hip saga continuing, nonetheless joined Valiant and five other walkers for a tree tour of South Reston.  A complete accounting of the various body parts and their aches and surgeries would take us all week, so there it rests (as does Suck, Squeeze, Bang's foot in its orthopedic boot).

What with work and traffic and light conditions, Wednesdays can make a tough host.  With no one signed up as of Tuesday afternoon, I thought the Buffalo Wing Factory in Reston, where Nipples and Bite Me hosted last July, would make a good On In this week.  Too bad I know so little of the plentiful local trails!  With a few tips from Chip Off the Old Dick and the help of Google's map pedometer, I spent Tuesday evening plotting a tidy little course of about four miles, as you can see here.  So on Wednesday, 'hosting' was just a matter of warning the good people at the Factory and Pub to expect us, and strolling through the woods with a bag of flour and a few sticks of chalk.  Setting, at a dawdle, took 3.5 hours.  And then the heavens sundered, and the storm thundered down.

Thankfully, Blow in the Hole had already volunteered to leave early and freshen up any marks that got washed away by the deluge, and when Paddle My Candee Ass and Big Balls on Deck elected to join her, we had sufficient reading glasses and map-reading skills to feel confident of success.  Another eleven runners and six walkers having gathered by 7:05, we had a tidy little hash ready to take on the overcast evening.

Sadly, only our valiant band of three completed the true trail.  Apparently the not-early contingent took so many false trails that most of them turned back at the 7-11, leaving Pickled Peter, Air Horn and Radar to carry on.  By the water stop, those three had over four miles on the GPSes and at least two more to go, and it was 8:00 and darkening fast.  No one remembers what happened next.


But soon everyone (except BitH, PMCA and BBoD) was tucked up cozily at the Wing Pub, and snacking on pizza and wings and salads and IPAs with gusto.  Do we all agree that the waitstaff there handles our group admirably?  They seem completely unfazed by 17 separate checks for 22 people (reservation for 18 to 30) arriving at irregular intervals over the course of 45 minutes.  Bravo, Wing Factory! and brava, Nipples, for introducing us to this fine emporium.

Mufti started his roll, sotto voce, and sometime after calling PMCA but before BBoD and BitH, those wanderers arrived, with 6.5 miles on the GPS and some dark-ish patches on the t-shirts.  PP made it to 333 (the triple 3s!); the Mufti advised he play the lottery.  The Jazz Swinger admitted that she wouldn't even have been here if rehearsal hadn't been cancelled.  Radar called for volunteers to assist him as he hosts next week, and expressed hope that the pool would be up to 80 degrees, from its current, and disappointing, 78.  Nipples offered to take Gale's jacket home to her, or at least drop it off in the mailbox.  Everyone (I really hope) paid their separate checks, and went their separate ways.


Thanks to BitH for the co-haring and for photos of two bucks on trail, which you can see via the photo link in paragraph one.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

GFH3 Run #1,752; 14 May 2014

Gracious, he's a clever young man, isn't he, our Chip Off the Old Dick?  All that shiggy he was able to find in the oft-traveled neighborhoods of North Reston.  And the weather helped out a bit, as recent rain rendered the dirt paths extra slick and entertaining.  Phoenix Rising claimed credit for ensuring that all 20 runners weren't still on trail at 9:00pm (his son sometimes sets long).  COtOD, assessing Dad's assertion, remarked, "A strong sense of self-esteem can be healthy."

Extra points for style!

Our two hosts should be feeling healthy tonight, as this, their yumpty-gazillionth foray into setting trail, earned all kinds of plaudits from a grateful crowd of 34, including one runner's comment that, "My butt-ochs are getting a workout tonight."  COtOD's decision, accounting for clock, calendar and cloud cover, to get the crowd away pretty promptly at 7:05 or so helped ensure that not very many people were still on trail in the dark, and since those lingering few had him sweeping them up, it worked out just fine.

While the Mufti led the walkers around the lake, and the runners allowed two 18-year olds and a 19-year old to lead them across four humid miles of mud to the On In, PhR was shuttling off to pick up the victuals.  Living up to a well-earned reputation, COtOD fed his troops well.  There may have been 15 pizzas, which would have been plenty, but then two trays of sandwiches, just in case, plus four pans of various high-carb casseroles like enchiladas and mac 'n' cheese, plus pulled pork somewhere in the mix.  And side dishes, and dessert.  Whew.  PhR chose Yuengling and various IPAs, plus whatever was cheap in the wine aisle.  Several toasts were drunk to the memory of It's Too Long, who died at 68 on Monday, in Florida.

Exec Comm members stand by to help with roll as needed.

The Mufti called roll, which offered a respite from all the excitement of last week by offering nothing out of the ordinary.  For some fairly ordinary photographs, check here.

In memoriam: Jim Westlake, a/k/a It's Too Long

Sad news tonight from Betty Glass Westlake, a/k/a Tequila Sunrise:

Jim died on Monday in Sebring, FL. ...  Our 11 years of a happy marriage was born through a Hash connection at Bob Halladay and Gloria Laguna's home in Arlington.  Jim's first Hash name was suggested by the Oral Advocate and it was ‘Mother Trucker;’ for his 200th run he got the name ‘It's Too Long.’

I think I reached 490 runs but moved to Florida.  My last Hash name was ‘Tequila Sunrise.’  However, I like my 300 run name ‘Hot and Spicy.’

Tell the Hash friends I say Hello and that I remember all of them very dearly.

She also attached Jim's obituary, which will appear in tomorrow's Washington Post:

James Hewlett Westlake, born in Washington, D.C., on February 27, 1946, passed away on Monday, May 12, in Sebring, Florida at the age of 68.  Jim  is survived by his wife Elizabeth (Betty) Glass-Westlake, his mother Virginia Westlake of Orange, VA, his sister Sharon Goodman of Haymarket, VA, his son Sean Westlake of Anthem, AZ, his son Scott Westlake of Leesburg, VA, and grandson Hayden Westlake of Leesburg, VA.

Jim leaves a large group of family, friends and colleagues who will always miss him for his dedication, drive, and his relentless positive outlook. 

A current resident of Sebring, Florida, he was a 56-year resident of Northern Virginia, living in both Arlington and Vienna.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C. and A.A.S. from Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, VA.

Jim was employed by Northern Virginia Community College as an Instructor and Laboratory Supervisor.
In 1978, he joined the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) as a Field Consultant.  He started the NADA’s Training Services Department as the Manager of that group.  Jim held several positions with NADA’s Dealership Operations Group, before becoming Associate Director of the American Truck Dealers (ATD), a Division of NADA in 1982.  In 1986, he was promoted to Director of ATD, and in 2003 promoted once again as Executive Director of ATD.

He retired from NADA/ATD in August of 2009 and moved with his wife Elizabeth (Betty) to Sebring, FL in 2010.  No services will be held.  Memorial contributions may be made in James' memory to The National Kidney Foundation, 1040 Woodcock Road, Ste 119, Orlando, FL 32803-3510 or American Heart Association, P.O. Box 84092, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or Good Shepherd Hospice, 1110 Hammock Road, Sebring, FL 33870.

No services will be held. Memorial contributions may be made in James' memory to The National Kidney Foundation , 1040 Woodcock Road, Ste 119, Orlando, FL 32803-3510 or American Heart Association , P.O. Box 84092, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or Good Shepherd Hospice, 1110 Hammock Road, Sebring, FL 33870 - See more at:
No services will be held. Memorial contributions may be made in James' memory to The National Kidney Foundation , 1040 Woodcock Road, Ste 119, Orlando, FL 32803-3510 or American Heart Association , P.O. Box 84092, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or Good Shepherd Hospice, 1110 Hammock Road, Sebring, FL 33870 - See more at:
No services will be held. Memorial contributions may be made in James' memory to The National Kidney Foundation , 1040 Woodcock Road, Ste 119, Orlando, FL 32803-3510 or American Heart Association , P.O. Box 84092, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 or Good Shepherd Hospice, 1110 Hammock Road, Sebring, FL 33870 - See more at:

Betty's address is in the hash directory; if you can't find it, you're welcome to contact me for info.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

GFH3 Run #1,751; 7 May 2014

The Mufti often threatens “another boring Mufti trail” when he’s getting ready to host, but tonight’s trail was anything but.  Perhaps that’s because BC3 designed it; perhaps because Phoenix Rising added an eagle stub; perhaps because 22 runners of widely varying ages, experience levels and starting times essayed the trail.  Maybe it’s Mufti magic; maybe it’s a bit of each.

Wait a second – 22 runners?  That’s right:  22 runners.  A total of 48 people (plus six dogs) showed up for the first Wednesday run of the 2014 summer season.  This is unprecedented.  Usually the first Wednesday gets a very light turn-out.  It’s as if this was a special occasion or something...

Per PhR and Easy Strider, observing this scene from a '65 Volvo, this is the essence of hashing.

The weather was certainly special; after a rainy mid-day, the evening sky was clear and blue above Reston, the sun was shining brightly as the troops assembled, and everyone wondered if it was too warm for long sleeves, or too cool for short.  Everyone cheered when Rrocks Starr, Christina and Oscar arrived.  The Mufti prayed silence for the brief, credited his sig other with the best parts of the 4-mile true turkey trail, blamed PhR for a difficult and dangerous eagle option, and pointed across the bridge to the first check.  The runners ran.  The walkers got advice for a pleasant loop; Christina and BC3 took the not-that-badly-injured Rrocks Starr between them and carefully guided him on a shorter stroll.

That miniscule little scar will actually look rather dashing in time.  Even the bandage looks a little bit dashing.

After a long-ish stepping-stoned water crossing, most of the runners made it to Route 7, turned sharply left to cut across country briefly, then headed down Reston Avenue to arrive at the turkey/eagle split.  PhR waited there, to mock, bully and plead a decent number of colleagues into taking the eagle trail. I think it was seven or eight eagles, and about the same for turkeys, which leaves us with another seven or eight who were lost or confused or refusing to obey orders and making their own trails.  Fine.  Be that way.  Incidentally, Cocked and Loaded made like an eagle and swears he got less than five miles on his GPS, but it turns out he and his colleagues blew through a couple X’s and didn’t do the backcheck ten.

Eventually everyone made it back, coming into the On In from about four different directions, with Climax Investigator leading the eagles, and young Sam sprinting to the pavilion with a vigor that made some observers (well, this one, anyway) want a little nap, and a shout loud enough to prevent any attempt at napping.  Careful conservation efforts by the Mufti ensured everyone got a sandwich and there was plenty of beer, a few Black Boxes, and lots of cookies.  Gale and Moaner Lisa showed up looking like they might have office-type jobs that keep them working past 5:00 on weekdays.

Perhaps not the essence of hashing, but a respectable effort.

And were glad they did, as this was a roll call you didn’t want to miss.  Why?  Well, Kimball got to lucky 13, Phlashback made 450, Sam turned two and Moaner hit 966 (34 to the satin jacket!).  Finishing up, Our Fearless L. double-checked to be sure he hadn’t missed anyone.  Yeah.  That’s right.  He had.  Staying light on the fanfare at her request, he announced BC3’s 500th run.  Mufti reminisced about some of her great cooking (remember the pesto soup a few years ago?) and the time she fell and required ten stitches, which he contrasted with Rrocks Starr’s recent and paltry two.  Then we had a quiz:  what do all three BC’s in BC3 stand for?[1]  Turns out, she’s keeping her name and gaining a dangle, plus a bouquet of lovely white roses that Mango only nibbled a little bit.

She gets her very own dangle.  Is this favoritism?

Associate Mufti The Oral Advocate took the stage at that point, and noted that Our F.L. began his Hash career in the same year that the Iron Man started with the Orioles.  However, Cal Ripken, Jr. sat out for good after just 20 years with his team, while our Iron Man keeps going, all the way to 1,500 runs and beyond.  The O.A. got all sentimental, saying how glad he is to have had to chance to choose Mufti as a treasured friend.  And then he gave the poor man a t-shirt with most of our truly lovely persons depicted on it, and a bunch of insults scrawled all over the hem.

Air Horn was perhaps a midge less sentimental, lamenting the lack of a truly independent audit of the Mufti’s run count, with details of A.H.'s own frequent attempts to instigate one (many rude comments from the assemblage), and claiming the package he held contained a solid-gold plaque, imported from Italy especially for this momentous occasion.  It was actually a handsomely-framed[2] photo of the two honorees and their fuzzy puppy.  O.A. requested a song, sung nicely, Ole Fud counted down to “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” and the rendition made the Associate Mufti truly proud.  He also organized the clean-up.

We don't need the Jazz Swinger to sound good.  Or okay, at least.

Thanks to Blow in the Hole for help with pictures, which you can see here.  Radar promises to send the professional-quality photos, but we all know what his promises mean.

[1] Book Club, Boot Camp and Boat Captain. 
[2] Thanks, Kimball and Beef Strokemoff!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

GFH3 Run #1,750; 3 May 2014

Maybe you thought the big news from today’s hash would be that the less-than-four-mile true trail took almost two hours for the pack to complete, and the words “death march” floated lightly about the On In.  But no.  The big news from today’s hash was the calamity of Rrocks Starr, so recently returned to us, confusing a sizeable puddle lurking under an overpass midway through the run with a Slip ‘n’ Slide, and somehow ending up with his skull on the jagged pavement intended for his feet.  Most unfortunately, he landed with some force and cut his head, and head wounds will bleed.  Plus there was a bit of mental confusion, which is just not the norm for one of our brightest lights.  So while Dances with Bulls, Paint in the Ass, Oral Advocate and Air Horn rendered first aid and gave the shirts off their backs to staunch the blood, Bionic Babe flagged down a passing car and put in an order for an ambulance.


As of Sunday morning, R.S. was well-bandaged, mostly coherent, and being urged by the physicians to rest, eat a lot, and abstain from physical activity, TV, books and alcohol.  He anticipates only the smallest of zippers will afflict his head, as the gash was a surprisingly small one for all that blood.  It’s the concussion you have to worry about, but given he rebounded well from the two previous (both skiing-induced), we may as well remain optimistic. 

Back on trail...  Spurt’s course, as set by himself with assistance from Blow in the Hole and Chip Off the Old Dick, inspired terms like, “all back-checks,” “beautifully convoluted” and “#^&%!!.”  The pack spent about five minutes figuring out how to start the thing, as a for instance.  One back-check seven in the second half proved especially convoluted, as the turning was actually supposed to take place at the sixth mark, oops, and the hounds needed several do-overs to determine that sad fact.  Apparently there were a few other points of confusion as well, so as noted – four miles (Phoenix Rising got 6.4 on his GPS) in about 1.75 hours for the six runners who actually went the full distance.  The other half either went to the hospital or cut the run short due to trauma, and joined the 11 walkers back on Spurt’s deck to check watches and say things like, “Well, they ought to have been back by now.”  Somehow A.H., last seen bandaging R.S. with a t-shirt, managed to finish as FRB.

Carefully navigating a puddle.

Once they actually got back, the full contingent sprang into action, whipping open pizza boxes (the Black Box, Red Hook and co. were open already) and chowing down.  There was also salad and cookies and a luxury offering of Dr. Peppers.  Susan even found several takers for her darling little bananas.  The sun poured down from the bluest sky, neither A.H. nor O.A. mourned the shirts they’d turned into bandages as it was too warm for two shirts anyway, and every now and again a very few drops of rain puttered down from an indigo cloud.  BitH speculated as to why she always finds Spurt and Susan's hashes especially peaceful.

Carelessly enjoying a sunny afternoon.
After a hospital report from B.B., who’d handed the patient off to his wife, and BitH, who’d handed the patient’s wallet off to his wife, Mufti offered up a roll that included double sixes for Gale and 1,499 and 14/34 for himself and 499 and 17/21 for his wife.  Wednesday at the Pavilion will see those run counts finally round themselves up to whole numbers.  Sam, introduced to hashing by Paul, achieved #1 (huzzah!  To the CUP!) and expressed appropriately youthful enthusiasm for the sport.  (You see, he is what Vinny Gambini would call a yewt.)  Debate as to whether R.S. had earned a run resolved in his favor.  Our Fearless Leader reminded us that John Gurr, friend and founder, died one year ago (29 April 2013) and informed us that Dr. Pecker, PhD, has had some worrying reports of a possibly-dodgy ticker, so remember him in your prayers or incantations.