Sunday, June 29, 2014

GFH3 Run #1,759; 29 June 2014 - 32nd Anniversary

Mufti may say whatever he likes, but if today doesn't constitute perfect Hash weather, there is even more wrong with this group than we thought.  Blue skies, golden sunshine, low humidity, blissful warmth without a shred of too-hot-ness, and a light breeze to blow the insects elsewhere:  happy anniversary, everyone!

Everything you need for a party.

Approximately 63 hashers gathered at Packing Pink Heat and Pickled Peter's this afternoon to celebrate the beer, exercise and camaraderie arising from John Gurr's Costa Rica trip of May 1982, 32 years ago.  Chairs were unfolded, picnic contributions piled under the tent, blankets spread.  Prodigal returns were celebrated:  welcome back, John and Carol and Mike and Cock in the Crease.  Hashers marshaled themselves around the satin-jacket club and Hand Job volunteered to push the shutter button for the team photo.  In the midst of some serious to-ing and fro-ing and chatter, the Mufti prayed silence for the brief.

And may well still be praying.  Goodness knows, he didn't get much silence.  However, by great good fortune, the 29 runners did get a trail - not a result of good organization, of course, and the fortune augmented just a skosh by Phoenix Rising's OCD-ish complex that compels him to set a trail anytime anyone asks.  In fact, there are probably instances when he's set trail without being asked...

Hurrah!  We found a backcheck!

Anyway, PP hauled in PhR at about noon, and away they went, with only vague ideas as to where they might go.  The final product was on the short side, and deliciously sweet -- mostly.  While the walkers followed PPH's well-marked two-mile trail, the runners bushwacked their way to Springvale, checked lots of falses, made it to the backcheck 12 (on a trail this short, you've got to have a backcheck 12), and then skittered back to the On In through a brief sojourn in virgin territory, courtesy of the fourth neighbor from whom our heroic hares sought a permission.  Up the final hill in time for a generous potluck and a shot at the newly, and beautifully, tiled pool, hip hip ON ON!  The walkers looked curiously well-rested.

There were some seriously tasty salads on offer, and lots of fried chicken in various configurations.  The spaghetti with pesto went surprisingly well with Spanish wine cadged from neighbors, and the senior hashers managed to figure out how to tap the four mini-kegs.  Then Brent upped the ante with a growler of homemade raspberry wheat beer.  He should do that more often.


It was a great party, and it only got better when the Mufti started shouting.  First he shouted the roll:  11 for Melisande, 33 for Phyllis, and didn't someone have 44?  Mini Schlonga had 199, and there will be a meeting of the Executive Committee.  But first the Mufti had to wax nostalgic, putting on his thinking-fez in order to reminisce about the previous year, handing awards around for especial achievements.

If falling down and whacking one's head is an especial achievement, there is even more wrong... whoops.  Tabled.  But Blow in the Hole and Rrocks Starr did win generously-sized bandages to prepare them for the next time.  (Mufti kindly applied the bandages to their foreheads; BitH had to switch hers to the back of her head, as that's where she aims.  Or something.)  Drill Me, Fill Me got a sheaf of hand-written permission slips in honor of his March trail, which involved about a half-dozen permissions from neighbors.  You can read the text of Mufti's document in the photos here.  Consensus was that he should share them with Valiant.

The Cracked Head, or Conked Noggin, Award goes to...

But Valiant had his own award coming, and was soon waving a sprig of lovely maple leaves in appreciation of the excellence of the educational tree walks he frequently leads for his fellow hashers.  Bad Dog got a necklace signifying his possibly-OCD'ish commitment to hashing, with six big 'beads' for the six big anniversaries he celebrated in a single week last fall, including his 300th GFH3 run.  Climax Investigator earned a brand new glider that will enable him to commute between his California home and the hash at no cost and without the damaging carbon footprint of his current system.  The Mufti himself earned the coveted Velvet Glove award for inflicting the iron fist of discipline upon the hash, albeit with limited success.

He then declared the 2013-2014 season 'The Year of the Chef,' bringing forward seven of our most culinarily-talented colleagues.  Remember Paula's Portuguese feast?  How about Lezley's Irish extravaganza?  Brent's home-brewed, Air Horn's Peruvian chicken, PPH's Thanksgiving brunch, Bite Me's New Year's brunch, and Chip Off the Old Dick and Maria's every groaning (over-)board.  Someone (you may guess who) will get the Chef of the Year award the next time Mufti sees her, possibly in South Reston, maybe in the rain... COtOD and I earned fireworks-y looking things for foolishly frequent hash heroics.

Papa John ought to have been in this group.

Mufti meant to take a moment to remember Bea 'To Bea or Not to Bea' Ross and Jim 'It's Too Long' Westlake, both lost to us in the last year.  You were probably thinking of them anyway, but if your current activity is conducive to a brief memorial now, you may remember them both smiling.  They were both great smilers.

Then we had the administrative awards:  Ménage à Trois and the Oral Advocate were missing, but Radar and PhR and PPH and PP and I got a choice of crackers or chocolates (like that's a choice?!) in appreciation of photo-taking, frequent setting, anniversary hosting and blogging.

Celebrations over, the Mufti made his sad, serious face, and announced the runners-up for the Dread Death March award.  Second runner-up was the July run from R.S.'s house, which he co-set with PhR, BitH and Dances with Bulls.  First runner-up was the September run from Ole Fud's, in which he and Strac and PhR accidentally mislaid a check, causing the pack to run a really long time in the absolutely wrong direction, wondering why there was no flour anywhere.  And the 'winner' of the 2014 Death March award was (da da da da da da da da da):  Phoenix Rising, for his 4 June hash in which inclement weather and an ambitious trail conspired to make a record three search parties necessary to get everyone back to the beer.  Could happen to anyone, really.

The thing is, he did send out search parties.  There's no rule that anyone has to search for anyone.  Plus, he told everyone to turkey.  And the first search was only because of the rain.  It's not like a hare can control the rain.

And yay, hooray, hip hip ON ON to the GFH3.  Here's to another 32 years, etc. etc.  Best to end on a high note, so no mention of that whole Executive Committee meeting thing.  Thanks to Mufti, PPH and PP for organization and set-up, to PhR for emergency trail-setting and trash disposal, and to Cocked and Loaded and Queen Cobra for the wine, and Brent for the beer.  And whoever brought the spaghetti with pesto.  Also the pool looks gorgeous and feels even better.  Plus whoever's operating the weather these days, and the kids and wives who joined us and just make the whole thing that much more festive, and all the dogs who behaved so well and Suck Squeeze Bang for taking a turn with the camera.  And more.

Out in the rest of the world, Thanks for the Mammaries was celebrating GFH3's 32nd atop Denali, and Cums Too Fast got so excited he swam all the way around Key West, 12 miles of chop in about eight hours.

Cutest baby award goes to...

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Details in the invitation here.

The basics:

WHERE:  Packing Pink Heat and Pickled Peter's, 10809 Nicholsridge Road, Great Falls
WHEN:  2:30 arrival for set-up and group photo; 3:00pm run start time
WHO:  Everyone - hashers, parents, kids, dogs, grandchildren, in-laws, third cousins, etc.
WHAT:  One keg beer; food is potluck.  Please bring a dish to share.  Swimming pool is open and with luck will be full of water by Sunday.  Bring blankets or chairs for picnicking on the lawn.
BYO:  water and wine, and $5 hash cash
WEATHER:  BAD WEATHER CANCELS.  Phone the Quadruple Ps (703-404-2063) if in doubt.

The anniversary party is one of GFH3's noblest and most fun traditions.  Don't miss it!

GFH3 Run #1,758; 25 June 2014

By unanimous acclaim, it was a great trail.  Rrocks Starr, Air Horn and Dances with Bulls set it, and part of its greatness was relative briefness.  Concerned by the threat of intermittent downpours, they kept it short; with the resources of Riverbend Road at their disposal, they made it scenic.  Incidentally, Phoenix Rising asserts that setting with R.S. and A.H. is an invaluable life lesson for every young hasher, and encourages the experience.  Apparently, the two of them carefully analyze placement of each hash mark, with consideration as to moisture content of the ground, relative adhesiveness of bark vs. leaves vs. etc., prevailing winds, forecasted weather conditions, solar flares and numerous other criteria.  DwB confirms that it's not a fast process, but it is educational.

Creek crossings help make a trail great.

So our gang of 26 assembled inside the new dog fencing, where Oscar and Mango promptly tuckered each other out with some rough-and-tumble, then rested a bit, then roughed and tumbled some more, repeat all evening.  About 15 people, including identical-twin whippersnapper Zane, essayed the runners' trail, and only three of them short-cutted.  The walkers spent some time mesmerized by the Falls and, a bit lower down, the kayakers who brave them.  This evening, the watercraft included a paddleboard.  Mufti and Ole Fud witnessed the paddleboarder actually get to his feet and balance briefly in the rapids.  Cool!  I saw him later, coming out of the water with his board balanced on his head.  Versatile!  And not a young man either.  In fact, on the shady side of middle-aged, at least.  New hobby, everyone!

Waterfalls are also good.
Creeks crossed, authority unmolested, the pack reassembled at the R.S.'s, where Christina and Mrs. Costco had laid out a feast of pulled pork and chicken, plus veggie patties and heaps of salad.  Ole Fud anted up the wine, and PhR put 1.7 miles on his GPS going up and downstairs between the beer and the food.  Spurt got his sweets, and Suck Squeeze Bang (foot in a boot; boot in a bag) and Blow in the Hole fought over who loves Oscar more, while R.S. and Christina hovered, having overheard dognapping plans.

Put down the puppy, ladies.  Put him down, and step away.

When the raindrops started to splatter, the food moved indoors, with about half the pack.  When the Mufti moved indoors, he inspired a general migration, and called roll to a full house - or at least full living room.  SSB, who really hates that name, hit 297 and began puzzling over the replacement name.  Zane and Chris celebrated #1s, and just for fun the Mufti made everyone shout for John's #3.  The speed and accuracy with which the group calculated, "97 to the CUP!" was heartening.  Photos here; thanks SSB for help!

SUNDAY!  SUNDAY!  SUNDAY!  Anniversary Hash at P.P.P. and P.P.'s!  Group photo before the run!  Don't miss it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

GFH3 Run #1,755; 4 June 2014

The listing said that Cracked Pot would be co-hosting, so of course the hash turned out in its legions to welcome her home from the Great North.  (Mitchell on gardening in Vancouver:  "We don't have mosquitoes.  There's no poison ivy.  We get very few squirrels.")  Her former neighbor, Phoenix Rising, with help from Chip Off the Old Dick, laid out a very pretty runners' trail with several permissions from the neighbors and a turkey/eagle split with all-new territory for the eagles.  Sadly, none of the 28 runners actually completed it... although there were some noble efforts.

Welcome home!
So what happened?  Seriously, two weeks ago, we had a 4.25 mile true trail, and only the three hashers who left twenty minutes early finished, and that in the dark.  Last week, we had about a four mile true trail, and everyone completed it just fine, albeit in well-faded light.  This week, PhR heard the hash thrashing about in the woods on the far side of Difficult Run as he waited on the near side with a water stop, and said, "&$!#, they're going to be another ten or fifteen minutes at least."  Since it was already nearing 8:00pm, he called an audible and dashed up the Pike to the turkey/eagle split, requesting that everyone please play turkey tonight.  Lemme tell ya, it's a weird thing to hear PhR asking people to turkey.  Bad Dog resisted the plea, COtOD elected to sweep after him, a few people hopped into the Rising van, and everyone else turkeyed.

About where the swear words started.
Needing a place to turn the car, PhR was excited to see that Towlston has re-opened -- the bridge repaired.  So he could head straight home along Old Dominion, except there he saw the pack again, not as far along as he would have liked and not as clearly visible, given it was truly dark by then.  Marking the back-check seemed insufficient, and he opted to collect a caravan of cars and auto-hash everyone back.  Sadly, the caravan had not made it to the collection point before the lowering sky did its whole pouring-buckets thing, and by the time the runners made it back, they were each and every one soaked to the bone.

There's 1.5 miles still to go, and all of it woods.
Luckily, there was hot-n-tasty Chinese food waiting for them, and plenty of it, as ten walkers and some miscellaneous extras restrained themselves nicely.  (Plus the Risings went heavy on their order, since a bunch of neighbors came over to see the Pots, too.)  The fridge was stocked with beer (Vienna Lager amongst others, out of Lexington, Virginia) and there were several Black Boxes for the wine contingent.  PhR made a special effort to find, and force into his van, the eagles -- who included the early starters Paddle My Candee Ass, Big Balls on Deck and Norm.  We lost Sean to the woods and the storm, but a search party eventually located him, and brought him back in time for the end bits of the roll call.

Runners return
And get well fed for their efforts

Mufti performed his duties with his usual élan, offering C.P. ten bonus runs if she knew her count; she was off by about 40.  Oh, well.  Cums on  a High Note, who more than ever ought to be known as Long Time Cumming, didn't know hers, either.  The three newbies knew theirs:  Alex, his dad and Chris are all at #1, and we look forward to their second runs, very soon.  As everyone agreed the trail tonight was great, and beautiful, and well worth running, maybe we'll see it again someday -- on a Saturday, for instance, in early autumn.  Easy Strider requested I take a photo of dried blood, and proposed the thigh you'll see in the photos here.  If you can guess whose thigh it is, there's something wrong with you.