Half-Mind Weblog

portrait_3 copy A Hash House Harrier weblog by Flying Booger, a hasher living in Tucson, Arizona
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Pedalfiles Bash Trash: 3/15/15

Guest bash trash from Pedalfiles member Hash Jive:

From a message in a brown bottle:

Dear Flying Booger:

We hope this message finds you in calm waters. Yesterday we missed you and others at the Pedalfiles Bash. It was one of those gusty days. Whirling winds, skin-peeling dust, slamming doors, hovering groceries bags, wigs blown away. Due to the weather conditions, we gave the hares a merciful 2 extra minutes for laying out the trail. Not bad considering that besides some still-standing mesquites, there were only a few safe spots to hang around. Nevertheless, we had lots of fun while waiting.

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The hares: Deep Dish & Is It In Yet?

Enter Oliver, the miniature pony that stole our hearts and made us forget that this was not going to be any miniature challenge at all. Loose Nut, Arthur Gash & F-Me, Hash Jive & Pearl of the Andes, and hares Deep Dish & 3IY gave our best, ready for windbreaking and pedaling 10 miles against a twice-to-thrice G-force putting us all out of our respective comfort zones, to say the least. But we made it! So future announcements of Bashes shall be changed to “rain OR shine OR wind”.

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Oliver, honorary Pedalfiler

Now back to business: the trail was IMHO, grrreat. Starting from Brandi Fenton Park, coincident with an antiquities fair that made us a bit confused at the arrival in search for parking, the trail headed West to Rillito River, with a smart change of riverside while crossing the bridges, entering into the tree-filled roads around the country club area, and turning to the neighborhoods of Winterhaven and Blacklidge, with three sets of false trails weaving with several ins-and-outs into Tucson Blvd., which for moments made us think that we were going in circles. Also it was evident, block after block, that the hares were running out of flour, and were switching to chalk, and ultimately to gravel for marking the arrows and directions for the left behind on the road. This was fully admitted during the beer stop, which for the pedalfilers’ relief was in a location out of winds.

We stormed into R-Place, which was quickly renamed as ARRR-Place, becoming a sort of oasis for the thirsty, sweaty, extenuated against-the-wind bashers, where we made a recount of many other fun moments in the trail.

The second leg lead us almost “chalkless” to a wavy dirt road next to Rillito road, turning around again into the bridges (with some double arrows), returning triumphantly into Brandi Fenton, not before passing through the undiscovered “Wild Honey Trail”, just behind the nursery in front of Shooters. Alas, we wish we could cross and stop again for an extra beer.

Packing up our worn out bikes but our minds and souls still intact, we were curious about the On-Afters venue. Where? I think I thought I heard “our place”, I was quick to thank Deep Dish for the hospitality. But no, wait a sec, it was R-Place revisited, it might be all this dust in my ears. Anyway, not bad for re-runs, the place will be always remembered for the chilled pints, the heavily seasoned R-Place Club, and the monumental Double-Pounder Burger Royale. Oui, mesdames et messieurs, if I spelled it right, with an over-easy fried egg at the top, which was heroically taken by Deep Dish and 3IY without leaving a trace of it. A note for the hares!

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On-Afters: Hash Jive, Pearl of the Andes, Deep Dish, 3IY, F-Me, Arthur Gash, Loose Nut

On-On
Hash Jive

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A Happy Announcement

LgoSept14Pick’n'Flick and I will be at InterAmericas Hash 2015 in Portland after all. A friend had a friend with a rego to sell so I jumped on it, hoping to find a second rego later. By an incredible stroke of luck, it turned out our friend’s friend had two regos to sell and we were able to buy both.

Our friend lives part of the year in Honolulu and the other part of the year in Bangkok. His friend is an expat Kiwi living in Manila. Who knew transferring regos would be such a complex international transaction? Still, all parties set to it with good will and by golly it worked: InterAm 2015 organizers contacted us today to inform us we’re on the official Who’s Coming list. It’s a done deal and I can finally talk about it without jinxing it.

A month or so back I worried we may not be able to find anyone with a rego to sell and wouldn’t be able to attend. At the InterAm 2015 site there’s a forum for hashers seeking regos. The newest rego seekers go to the top of the list; those who have been looking and waiting the longest migrate to the bottom, where no one will ever see their requests. This forces folks at the bottom of the list to keep sending new requests in order to stay near the top of the list. Frankly, it’s starting to look like a food fight, and it’s only going to get worse as people get more desperate.

I didn’t think much of that system then and I don’t think much of it now. Is it possible to flip the list so that the oldest requests are on top, the newest ones at the bottom? I don’t know, but I feel it would be a fairer way of doing things.

Pick’n'Flick and I were lucky: we fortunately knew someone who knew someone and were able to make a swap outside official channels. I fear a lot of hashers who want to go to InterAm won’t be as lucky. But who knows? A number of regos will come up for sale as Labor Day approaches; it always happens before a big hash event. If you’re on that list of people seeking regos, start checking it every day, and if you feel it’s necessary, refresh your request to stay near the top. When I checked the list today, for the first time ever I saw some regos for sale, so the logjam is starting to break. May everyone who wants to come to InterAm be able to find a rego!

We can’t wait to see old friends again. On On to Portland!

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PISS Hash Trash: 3/8/15

It turned out to be a pretty good day for a hash. Your humble scribe was the wily hare today, laying trail through the neighborhood around Casa Booger, taking advantage of shiggy shortcuts but staying out of the deep sand of local dry washes, looping the pack through all points of the compass and back to on-ins at la casa.

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Flying Booger

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Booger’s bag


The pack was numerous and large: Pick’n'Flick, Burning Bush, Zorro, Zorro’s Other Mark, H.M.Ho, Dead Fucking Blind, Bare-Assed-Her, Master Meat Finder, Yoda, Appendage, Wankers Aweigh, Hot Legs, Communicable Disease, Tucson Slew, Citizen 69, Satisfaction Guaranteed, and three “justs”: Just Doug, Just Linda, and Just Rikki. Not to mention a six-pack of dogs. A very good turnout indeed … this is the hash I worried was going belly up a month ago!

I led the traditional PISS Hash short circle, in which I explained the ways of the Pima Independent Sunday Social Hash House Harriers to our three virgin “justs.” After the beverages were downed an songs were sang, formalities were adjourned and we got down to the “social” part of our name. Brats were grilled, food and beverages were shared, stories were told.

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On-afters on the patio

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On-afters in la casa

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On-Afters in the bloody breezeway

Toward the end of on-afters, just as hashers were beginning to round up their dogs and pack their coolers, a few drops of rain fell on those of us partying on the patio, making it a perfect morning all around. The hash went in peace, but not before Yoda signed up to hare in April and DFB in May.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a morning, can you? On On!

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Spring Cleaning & Announcements

Have I ever told you a hasher runs the server the Half-Mind Weblog lives on? Beaver Bam Bam Balls has been hosting this and other hashing websites for years, and he is a patient man. I don’t know how many times I’ve crashed this blog by fucking up the database or trying to cram too many bytes onto my part of the server; BBBB always comes through with a fix.

This morning I noticed I’m approaching disk space limits again. For the past four years I’ve loaded hashing photos on Flickr, where I have unlimited storage: the photos you see here are actually linked from Flickr. But before that … and some of the stuff on this blog goes back to 1995 … I loaded photos directly to the server, where they take up a lot of room.

This morning I moved all those older photos to Flickr in order to free up space on BBBB’s server. For now that means there’ll be some blank spots in older posts where photos used to be. As I get time I’ll fill in the blanks with Flickr-hosted photos. The only way you’ll notice it is if you’re rooting around in the archives, so it’s probably not that big a deal to most readers.

I hate to put up a post that’s nothing but administrative qweep, so I’ll add some actual hashing news:

  • I scouted turkey and eagle trail for an upcoming PISS Hash this morning. The hash is on Sunday, March 8, starting and ending at Casa Booger. If you’re going to be in town, look us up on Facebook and come join us!
  • After I bitched about people not volunteering to hare, two bashers stepped forward to put on a Pedalfiles Bike Hash trail on Sunday, March 15. I’m bummed that I’ll be out of town for that one. If you’re visiting Tucson then, find a bike and come bashing with the Pedalfiles!
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Links Updated

Just wanted to let you know I cleaned up the links page yesterday, getting rid of dead ones and updating the ones that weren’t working. To my horror, I found that nearly all my old links to regional & national hash contact websites were broken. Well, they’re fixed now, and I promise to check them more often and keep them up to date.

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What’s In a Name?

Guess who isn’t a Hash House Harrier any more? Witness the Meetup page of the Birmingham Magic City Harriers:

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I’ll pick a few nits, if I may. Or should that be “knits”?

The Dog has complained about unfriendly hashers and hashing groups before, so I can see where he’s going with the name change. While a Google search for “World Harrier Organization” comes up dry, there are a large number of Harrier athletic clubs and Hare & Hounds clubs around the world. Harrier and Hare & Hounds clubs are definitely in hashing’s family tree, but if you visit their web sites you’ll see they’re a hell of a lot more serious about running than we are. I don’t know, but this business about “a wider and friendlier hounds and hares community as expressed in the World Harrier Organization” looks like wishful thinking to me.

Now, as to the “true original sport of live hare”: this may well be true of the original hare & hounds clubs. The earliest accounts of hare & hounds running I’ve seen date from the 1800s. Tom Brown’s School Days, published in 1857, describes a run with the Big Side Hare & Hounds that occurred in the 1830s. A New York Times article from 1883 describes a hare & hounds run put on by the American Athletic Club. Both events featured live hares. The Hash House Harriers, however — the original club, founded by A.S. Gispert and friends in Kuala Lumpur in 1938 — started out with pre-laid trails, and many hash clubs today, including the original club, still follow pre-laid trail.

In this respect — live hare trails — it does look like Stray Dog is being true to the hare & hounds concept, even if he’s making up the World Harrier Organization stuff. I hope he does manage to get a friendlier, hash-like hare & hounds club started in Birmingham. I suspect, though, that what he means by “friendlier” is something rather different from what the rest of us mean. I suspect his definition of “friendlier” is everyone agreeing with everything he says. Good luck with that!

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No Hare, No Hash

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Wow, I hated sending those messages.

I’m GM-by-default for two monthly hashes here in Tucson, Arizona. For each one, I maintain the Facebook page, keep the membership list up to date, raise hares, officiate at the circle, and write the hash trash. The hard part is raising hares, and it’s only getting harder.

At the end of December I sent messages to the members of both hashes, asking for volunteers to hare in February. I posted the same request to both Facebook pages. I also sent direct, personal messages to two hashing couples, asking if they’d hare in February. The reason I pinged these two couples? One couple promised to hare a few months ago but backed out at the last minute, so they kind of owed us one; the other couple has, in past years, hared in February. Also, both couples are close friends.

I didn’t hear back from anyone on the general membership mailing list, which has become pretty much standard. Surprisingly, though, I didn’t hear back from the friends I sent personal messages to. So, in early January I repeated the process, emailing another request to the general membership and sending follow-on personal messages to the two couples.

Here it is, the middle of February, both hashes cancelled for lack of hares. No one responded. No one so much as sent a “sorry, I can’t.” Most disappointingly, the friends I sent personal messages to never replied. For all I know, they closed their email accounts and moved away. Or maybe they just don’t care any more.

I fucking hate trying to raise hares. I always feel like I’m begging. When I post hare requests to Facebook or send out messages, I feel like I’m shouting into the wind. I often feel like I’m expected to step in and hare when no one else is willing … and, increasingly, I’m not.

Another couple did finally respond, but only after I’d cancelled the February bike hash. They said they’d be happy to hare for the bash in April or May, which is something at least, and very much appreciated.

No one likes a whiner. I know I’m whining. It’s not like every hare raiser doesn’t have the same problems. But I’ve been doing this for years (11 years for one hash, 8 years for the other), and it’s getting worse.

I’m not one to make ultimatums or get all dramatic, but damn it, I’m done. You want to hash, you need to hare once in a while, but I’m through needling you about it every month. If you want to pick a month and sign up to hare, you know how to get hold of me.

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You’ve Got Mail!

It’s fun to get mail from Half-Mind Weblog readers, but I have mixed feelings about this letter:

Stumbled across your Hash Rants last night, and, suddenly, I’d spent a good hour or so reading.

I very briefly participated in hashing in my town, over about 6 months, late 2012-mid-2013-ish. I quit due to some of the reasons noted in your rants: the constant worry of how to get home without driving while intoxicated; the cliqueishness of our mismanagement; and, well, basically, overall immaturity of some of the hashers. It was really only two or three key people I had a problem with, but their constant presence was enough to ruin hashing for me. It’s the only hashing group in my large-ish city, so…oh well.

Hashing has been on my mind lately because several of my friends have started to participate, and it’s come up at gatherings. I don’t usually tell anyone in great detail exactly what happened – just that I decided I had better things to do with my time, so I quit. I didn’t announce it to anyone, I just stopped showing up, removed myself from the FB group, stopped reading the Yahoo! group, and promptly unfriended most of those I had made connections with on FB. Hardly anyone noticed, and only one person even asked why, which just confirmed my decision.

Anyway thanks for writing all the Rants. I haven’t finished reading them all, but I probably will. There simply isn’t much other content on the Web about hashing, outside of kennel web pages. Certainly, almost no one writes candidly and openly about the parts that aren’t so fun or nice, as you do. Thanks for that.

It’s gratifying to get feedback on my hash rants, but this reader seems to think I hate hashing!

Sure, sometimes I rant about hash misbehavior, but I try to balance that by writing about what I love about hashing, and to pass on good ideas about haring and running the circle picked up on hash road trips.

If I don’t like something I see at the hash, I write about it, but I also try to suggest other ways of doing things. Sometimes people listen to me, most times they don’t. And that’s okay. The important thing is I’m still hashing, and expect to be for a long time yet.

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