Month: February 2016

Dreamliner Toilet Nightmare

I’m in Japan. It’s 8:10 PM here (3:10 AM at home).

I took ANA’s direct flight from Seattle to Narita, which was my first ride on the 787. Initial reaction: It’s small. At least, the economy section seems really small — it’s three sections of three, but it’s not very long.

Second reaction: ANA is still a better airline than United. Their food is better, their service is better, they have per-person screens on every flight I’ve been on, USB charging port at every seat, you can go to the back of the plane and get yourself a drink, etc.

Third reaction: The ANA 787 is equipped with a diabolical commode. It has an automatic flusher, which is annoying, but get this: It also automatically closes the lid. Imagine my horror when I went into the bathroom, lifted the lid, pulled out my equipment, and a moment before I produced a stream, the toilet decided to autonomously close the lid and flush! I managed to catch it and keep it open and make no mess, but then it tried to close and flush again while I was midstream!

Later in the flight, I sat on the toilet for a little while, during which it tried to close the lid ON ME several times.

I think I’ve been traumatized.

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This morning, out of nowhere (maybe looking out the car window and seeing stars), Chilkat pipes up with, “I think I know how stars are made, Daddy.”

Of course, I’m expecting some adorable nonsense such as, “Every time an angel farts, a star is born.”

“Oh? How are stars made, Chilkat?”

“When a really big old star blows up and the gas stuff goes everywhere, and then the stuff comes back together into a big ball and it makes a new baby star.”

You can imagine my surprise. “Wow, that’s really good, Chilkat! Where’d you learn that?”

The Magic School Bus!”

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I was outside with Chilkoot after dark last night.

“Chilkoot, do you want me to show you the stars?”


“Look up — do you see the little bright spots up in the sky?”


“Those are stars!”

“I don’t see any stars.”

“Do you see the little bright spots up there?”


“Those are stars, Chilkoot!”

“No, I don’t see any stars.”

“Then what do you think those little bright spots are?”


“Moons? Doesn’t the moon look bigger than those?”

“Those are little moons.”

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Theoretical Biology

“I think I know how ants are made.”

“How, Chilkat?”

“A fly loses its wings.”

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