Monthly Archives: May 2011

Joke: The trial of the three huts.

I was just saying to my parents that I haven’t heard a good joke in a while. Here is one of my best ones. Gimme yours.

An explorer gets lost in Africa and is captured by hostile natives. He’s taken before the chief, who says, “You were caught trespassing on sacred burial grounds. We can kill you immediately, or you can attempt the trial of the three huts.”

“What’s the trial of the three huts?” the explorer asks.

“In the first hut is a giant boa constrictor. You must tie the snake into a knot so it can’t kill you. In the second hut is a huge lion with a toothache. You must pull the tooth and leave him purring like a kitten. And in the third hut is the mighty Gullenda, a warrior woman who has never been sexually satisfied. If you can sate her incredible sexual appetite after completing the tasks in the first two huts, we will deliver you back to your people, a free man.”

The explorer doesn’t hesitate. “I’ll take the trial of the three huts.”

“You’re a brave man,” says the chief. The tribe trots the explorer through the jungle to a clearing, where three huts stand, and they shove him into the first hut, which is festooned with giant empty snakeskins.

The natives wait outside and listen to groaning and shrieks from the man, and the occasional angry hissing. Finally everything is quiet. They go to the hut, expecting the explorer to be dead, but as they reach the door he staggers out, coated with sweat and grime. They look inside the hut and find the giant snake tied into a knot like a pretzel, completely helpless.

“You have survived the first trial!” They take a moment to cheer him, then push him into the second hut. The noise is much worse. The man’s agonized screams are interspersed with roaring and snarling from the lion, and the sides of the hut bulge as things crash against it from inside. Finally everything is still. They tiptoe toward the entrance, expecting to peek inside and find the lion eating the explorer, but as they reach the door he staggers out, his clothes in strips, claw marks all over him. They look inside the hut. The enormous lion is relaxing inside, purring like a kitten.

The tribe cheers like maniacs. “No one has survived the second trial!”

The explorer, looking a little disoriented, raises his shaking arms over his head in triumph. “All right! Now where’s that warrior woman with a toothache?”

First review from the trade pubs: Kirkus on Chi of B

Review Date: May 15, 2011

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Pages: 288

Price ( Hardcover ): $23.99

Publication Date: July 5, 2011

ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-312-56915-0

Category: Fiction

Classification: Mystery

A magazine staff investigates a ghost dog’s appearance in a quirky Colorado town.

Beleaguered Scotsman Angus MacGregor is sent to resuscitate Tripping magazine (about ghosts, not drugs) with a fanciful story of a ghost dog. Charlotte Baskerville, the owner and operator of the niche shop Petey’s Closet, “Where the Well-Dressed Pooch Shops,” has seen the clothing catalog’s namesake wandering her home’s grounds at night, a year after Petey’s death. Charlotte’s sourpuss husband Thomas insists that her story is further grounds for having the poor old dear declared incompetent, though a skeptic might suspect he’s more concerned for her money than her mind. With bold photographer Suki Oota and cynical writer Michael Abernathy in tow, Angus visits the Baskerville home determined to write the story, whether or not the ghost is real. The Tripping team quickly becomes integrated into the quirky Baskerville household, from fame-hungry Russian dog trainer Ivan Blotski to Charlotte’s own granddaughter and recovering alcoholic Cheri to bizarrely optimistic neighbor Bob Hume, who’s obsessed with acai berries. Charlotte’s living Chihuahuas, Lila and Chum, play non-speaking, emotionally supportive roles for the old girl while Angus and his mates investigate in order to assuage her concerns over Petey’s message from the beyond. The mystery takes a backseat to tensions among the characters, all culminating at the town’s annual coffin race festival.

Allbritten (Bound to Love Her, 2008, etc., as Esri Rose) tells a light and engaging tale with charming characters that will appeal to those outside of both mystery and canine genres.

Chihuahua News Round-Up

Video: Chihuahuas Strut Their Stuff on Delores Park Runway, SF, CA

Video: Two Chihuahuas show up on Albuquerque, NM’s “most dangerous dog” list. (Tip to owner: Instead of chuckling when your Chi growls inappropriately, scold it.)

New Santa Cruz, CA dog designer helps support SPCA.

American Reporter and Husband Return Missing Chi to Owner after Six Years

South Carolina man looking for Chis who were mistakenly rescued.

Upcoming events:

Chattanooga, Tennessee bluegrass festival and Running of the Chihuahuas.

SPCA’s The Whole Enchihuahua, San Francisco, California

Chihuahua Palooza starts at East Bay, CA area shelters. Video interview of topic.

Chihuahua race as part of Cinco de Mayo celebration, Phoenix, AZ

Cinco de Mayo Chihuahua race in Craig, CO (check sidebar for details)

How to send documents to a Kindle

It’s not hard to send and receive documents and have them show up on a Kindle. What is hard is finding the instructions, so I’m putting them in this blog post.

Each Kindle device has its own email address. With the device on, press the Menu button and select Settings. Your Kindle’s “name” e-mail address is listed under Device E-mail. Use the same name to also send documents to your Kindle at “name” . Just stick “free.” in front of the “kindle” part of your email and you won’t get charged anything. Give that email address to the person who is sending the document.

Now, not any person can send to that address, or you’d be getting a whole lot of spam. The person with the Kindle needs to let the device know to accept a document from a certain email address.

To do this, go to and click on My account toward the upper right corner. Scroll down to Digital Management and click Manage YourKindle.

Amazon will have you sign in.

Under Your Kindle Approved email List, type in the email of the person who is sending the document and click Add Address.

Now all the person has to do is send the document from the approved email address to the email of the Kindle device. Kindles will accept unprotected Microsoft Word, PDF, HTML, TXT, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC and MOBI files. As I recall, whatever is in the subject line of the email shows up where a book title would normally be. It might take a little time. Give it at least an hour before you start freaking out. And of course, the Kindle will need to be in a wifi zone or have 3G turned on or whatever in order to receive the document.

Those are the basic instructions for an all-text document that’s roughly book size. PDF files can be converted to Kindle format by typing “convert” in the subject heading of the email. If you’re doing more exotic things, go to this link for more instructions.

If these instructions don’t work for you, please let me know that in the comments.