Date: Wed Jun 9, 2004 3:14 pm
Subject: Tidbits on H3 Numbering and Full Moons

To start off with, thanks for a GREAT 1100th Weekend
(or whatever number it was). It was great to see old
friends and to put faces to the email names of those
carrying on with the PGH H3 these days.

Now if a little background on how we got where we are
number/tradition wise is helpful in making up your
minds, here’s a little history. It took the PGH H3 4
years to complete the first 100 Hashes (Run 66 – my
first run -was well into the 4th year and they were
pretty much every week after that). I don’t know if
the Hare Raiser planned runs to have the 100th fall
around the Hash anniversary, but it did. We didn’t
have Thanksgiving or Memorial Day Hashes during many
of the earlier years so it was easy to keep accurate
count and still have even 50’s fall on the early June
weekend (we also didn’t have Contra Hashes then, nor
Full Moon Hashes – Hell, we were lucky to have a hare
for each week). The 150th was a one run, one party,
no visitor weekend so there were no problems with the
numbering system even then.

Then something happened – and that something was the
Americas Interhash in Atlanta in September 1985.
Somehow we heard about it (communications not being
what they are today) and eight of us went down there.
The Pittsburgh Hash was more than 5 years old then and
we had never even seen or heard of, let alone done a
down-down!! (The Pittsburgh Hash was 7 years old
before we had our first Grand Master). Boy, were we
surprised. And we learned quickly from the experience.
While not a turning point, it was definitely a point
of acceleration for the PGH H3. By the 200th run (6
years into the PGH Hash) we had visitors from Reading
and Philly and pulled off a 3 run weekend. If we had
a problem with numbers, they were ignored or we may
have skipped a week or two of Hashes so the numbers
would work (Folker has the records). But it was one
beer stop on the 250th that put Pittsburgh on the map
as “A place to be” for Hash roadtrips. Bwana and
Beat It took us across a US Steel railroad bridge
which brought out cops from several boroughs (North
Braddock and Whitaker on the south side of the river
there) and they hauled in up to a dozen people. For
those who made it through the dragnet, we stopped at
Phyllis’s Downbeat for a beer. Our hares had arranged
a band and some friendly, yes, very friendly dancers
for our entertainment. The rest as they say is
history. By great coincidence we had Mr. Spock of San
Diego with us that day. At the time, he edited the
national Interhashional News letter and we got his
nationwide stamp of approval.

The point of all this is that up through 7 years, a
tradition was established, not by particular design
but because it was still fairly easy to be both
accurate and traditional. By now enthusiasm in the
PGH H3 had hit full stride and we started to have
Hashes for lot of events like Winter Solstice, Summer
Solstice, Wednesday and other special events AND we no
longer skipped any of the Holidays. On top of this we
were doing 4 runs on an anniversary weekend. Now we
had a problem. To deal with it we have cheated (and
come to think of it, it must have been some pretty
good cheating) on accuracy and relied on the tradition
which inadvertently developed as described above.

At the time, I was a Traditionalist while others, most
notably Otter, was an Accuracyist. I don’t know what
I am now. I like all of Thunder Chicken’s points, but
at the same time knowing that EVERY Hash has a story
(because of this, I have not been able to part with a
single Hash T I’ve ever received), it’s somehow too
bad that some don’t get equal billing. And while it
is only a few runs a year, over the last 20 years, I
guess they start to add up. I’m glad I don’t have to
make a decision.

Many kennels separate their Full Moon runs into a
separate Hash Designation. As to the formal existence
of a PGH Full Moon H3, the following entry appeared in
“On On” the official Hash history and directory
published by Tim “Magic” Hughes of Harrier
International fame in Bangkok, Thailand in 1992:

“The inaugural run of PGH FM HHH was staged in
perilous, scenic, and devilishly rugged Southside on
Thursday, September 14, 1989. To quote from the
announcement bulletin: This historic evening has been
literally minutes in the planning and will be a unique
event you will look back on with decidedly mixed
emotions for days to come. The swell T-shirts are not
only of staggeringly gorgeous design, but also are
destined to become precious collectors items of
virtually incalculable value.”

BTW, I was wearing that shirt at this past weekend’s
doings. And does anyone remember that the month
BEFORE the first Full Moon run we ran under the light
of a lunar eclipse – an event that only happens during
full moons so even that counting was off by one,
right from the start!!

Running on the Full Moon is something of special note
and adds up. Pittsburgh should be closing in on 180
Full Moon Hashes. As such, I don’t think these should
be rolled into the general counting of the PGH H3.

Now I think I’ll go into the other room and
contemplate those issues raised by Bitchie – Solid or
gas? Deliberate or accidental? Minimum cycle time? So
many variables!!

On On

PS. If we really want to get anal about this – and
when do we miss an opportunity to make an ass of our
selves – we could borrow a page from corporate
financial statements. We could accrue the
miscellaneous unnumbered hashes and when the number
gets large enough, amortize 50 of them on an
anniversary weekend and then start accruing all over
again. This way all anniversary weekends are
divisible by 50 and all eventually get counted. Then
again – Naw! Happy Counting.