Nintendos and Nintendon’ts

My first video game console was a used Nintendo that my auntie bought me at a yard sale for $15. The only hitch was that it didn’t come with cables to connect it to the TV, so I just set it up in front of the TV and used my imagination to play games. When I finally got the cables, the games were kind of a letdown compared to the games I was playing in my head, so I unplugged it and went back to my imaginary games. I got really good at Bonk! (Imaginary) and Warriors of the Seventh Realm VII (Imaginary).

Prose and Conse: Veganism

I’ve been debating going vegan. On the pro side, I would not be contributing to the death of animals. On the other hand, the supermarket is basically full of animal corpses, and if no one eats them, then they’ve died in vain. So, at the end of the day, I feel like my eating meat at least gives those poor animals some purpose to their lives. Guess I’m having hot dogs tonight! Again.

Banana Blooper

Major apols to all the Splettnetistas I offended with my post about the Cavendish banana. When I thoughtlessly wrote that it’s the banana ‘we’ eat, I should have said ‘North Americans,’ as the plantain is a major food staple in West and Central Africa, Central America, the Caribbean Islands and northern coastal parts of South America.

Neo-Kantian Moral Systems: My View

If you’ve spent as much time in politics as I have, you’ll become pretty convinced that the prevailing ethical paradigm of our day both in terms of individual action and actions taken by society as a whole is fundamentally teleological in that it is primarily ends-directed. And I have to say, I completely understand the appeal of utilitarianism. Was it Mr. Spock who said “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?” Yes, it was.

Now, I’m very reluctant to cross logical swords with Mr. Spock but I have to say that I beg to differ.

(And before you point out that in the film after that one Kirk says that the “needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many” to explain why the crew risked so much to save Spock and that in the film after that one, Spock jeopardizes the entire crew (many) to save Chekhov (one), let me just say this:  you’re right.)

So, the point is, Spock’s position may have changed on its own without my having to try and prove him wrong (which would be hard.)

Anyway, back to my view.  I am a committed neo-Kantian in pretty much every respect: epistemology, philosophy of science, the mind-body problem, even Aristotelian idealism. But first and foremost is my profound belief in deontological means-directed ethics as elucidated in the Grundlegung and so brilliantly expanded upon by Schopenhauer in his affectionate Critique. 

What’s your opinion? I’d like to know!

Death Comes to the Warrior (Fish)

It is with a heavy heart that I must report that Sherman, one of my Siamese fighting fish, has passed on. As you may remember both Sherman and my other fish, Mr. Peabody, become enraged by certain types of colorful lights and will beat themselves against the side of their tanks attempting to reach the light and destroy it. As I explained in a previous post, the TV seems to have been the problem in the past which is why I moved it into my bedroom, even though the bedroom is pretty small and I don’t really like watching TV in bed (though many Splettsterinos clearly do and more power to them! Diff’rent Strokes! (By the way, why did they replace the “e” with an apostrophe in the title of the TV show? If you know or “have a theory,” e-mail me at

That paragraph was getting pretty long so I’m going to start a new one. Usually when I leave the house, I close the curtains in the living room so that Sherman and Mr. Peabody won’t see anything out the window that might infuriate them and cause them to smash themselves into the side of the tank.

(Do you like analogies? I can take them or leave them but I sometimes wonder if the glass walls of the fish tank are to a fish like God is to us. Both are invisible; both prevent us from going where we want to go and doing what we want to do.)

Anyway, this morning I forgot to close the curtains and when I came home, Sherman was floating belly up and beginning to decay. There’s no point in trying to revive a fish when they’re in that condition. I can’t say for certain that the open curtains were to blame but I did see a colorful yellow rental truck from Hertz driving past as I was leaving and I thought to myself, “That’s just the kind of moving colored object that would drive Sherman and Mr. Peabody crazy.”

To anticipate your next question, I don’t blame Hertz for killing Sherman and I don’t plan to sue them. I wouldn’t mind an upgrade to a full-size vehicle the next time I rent a car, though 

To anticipate the question after that, I gave Sherman a “porcelain burial.”  Mr. Peabody seems to still be in the first of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief: denial. Will I get another fish? I think it’s a little soon to be hypothetically asking that!

No Comment

Why is it that this post has no comments?  Some people might think it’s because readers aren’t interested in it.  But I prefer to take it as a compliment, a vote of confidence, if you will.

Splett on Rye: Rye Sandwich Recipes for a Rainy Day

Fun fact: if you pronounce “rainy” like my friend Carlos does — he’s from Australia — then it sounds like “rye-knee,” which is why I wrote that title. I was thinking about him saying it, and how that would sound. Actually, now that I think about it, Carlos is from Bolivia. It’s another friend who’s from Australia.

Step One: Rye Bread

It’s important to select a rye that has a firm crust, but tender interior bread. I like the rye that they sell at Glen’s in Dupont Circle, but if you’re reading this blog from >50 miles away, I would suggest finding bread closer to you, because of the carbon footprint and all.

Step Two: Choose Your Meat

For meat, you have two options: pastrami, peanut butter or cheese. Peanut butter is my go-to, because there’s nothing like a good peanut butter base for a sandwich. Pastrami is, of course, classic. And cheese, there are so many choices, from a hard yellow cheddar to a spreadable white cream cheese. You can also combine your meats, but some combinations are better than others. I like to use this mnemonic: Pastrami with cheese is stomach-pleasing. But cheese and peanut butter? Try another! (combination)

Step Three: Garnishes

Lettuce, pickles, basil, arugula, radicchio, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, sprouts, onions or leafy greens are all great choices. Also, any sandwich can benefit from the addition of cheese (except peanut butter, see mnemonic above). If your main meat is cheese, choose a different kind of cheese as your secondary cheese. If your main meat is peanut butter, try some jelly or a banana for some added zest.

Step Four: Snap a picture and enjoy!

For best food photography, I suggest a DSLR for professional-quality sandwich close-ups — Nikon makes a great one — or a mirrorless ILC, with an extra macro lens to really capture the rye texture. There are also cameras that can connect directly to your favorite social networking platforms (, for example)*, for quick and easy uploading while you eat!

*please do not send me your food pictures, as my site has recently overloaded its data capacity. Still trying to get ahold of Jason.

From the Electronic Mailbag: Questions, Questions, and More Questions!

Zach and Dave want to know:

 Hi Richard,

I have a couple of questions I thought you could answer:

1) What is the legal precedent on ballots with hanging chads?

2) What is the meanest thing Jonah has ever said to/about you?

1)    Hanging chads are considered the “third rail” of recount law. There’s no way I’m touching that one. I can’t recall Jonah ever saying anything mean to/about me. He’s the most decent person I know!

Roger writes:


Hi, Roger!

David asks:

Will you go to prom with me??

I think you’re so dreamy! And knowledgable! 

I’m blushing, David. I’m also glad to know that you find knowledgeable people attractive. Stay in school!

David wonders: 

Who are your top 5 Favorite characters in the Meet The Parents Universe?

You can’t say Jinxy Cat, because he is obviously number 1

Sorry, David, but for me Robert de Niro’s Jack Byrnes is always going to be #1 with a bullet! There’s nothing de Niro can’t do. The rest probably goes like this: 

2)    Gaylord “Greg” Focker (Ben Stiller)

3)    Kevin Rawley (Owen Wilson)

4)    ???

5)    Dr. Larry Banks (James Rebhorn)

Redesign on Hold

My auntie used to say: “Be happy with what you’ve got, not what you hope you’re going to get.” So, right now, I’m pretty darn happy with the way it is. #grateful

Million Dollar Idea Free to a Good Home

Had a dream that POTUS went to work carrying a White House-shaped lunch box, like a construction worker. They should sell those. Kids would love them. And government junkies (as in enthusiasts, not people physically dependent on opiates, which is a sad epidemic that Jonah Ryan has pledged to end. Or at least look into ending.)

Behold the Pacer

Hey, Detroit, if you can bring back the Dodge Charger, what about the AMC Pacer? Yes, I know, there is no longer an American Motors Corporation, but maybe GMC could release it and just make their G look a little more A-like? I’d buy one. Probably used. If it was the right price and decent condition. Low miles. No rust. And I got a little help. And some reasonable financing. Still, parking might be a problem — but not your problem, Detroit!

Redesign Update

Finally talked to Jason. He’s hit a pretty rough patch in his personal life. Gambling addiction is pretty serious stuff. Unfortunately, the Boba Fett funds were wagered on what, in Jason’s defense, looked like a pretty sure bet of a college volleyball game. So back to square one, but with less money. Is there a square before one? If so, we may be there.

One From the Memory Box

Auntie had a cat named Ralston that used to run away all the time, but then I discovered that she’d found the cat in a neighbor’s front yard, thought it looked sad, and took it home. So maybe the cat wasn’t running away at all — it was running home. Ralston. World-class hisser, that cat.


Have to say, Splettettes and Splettsters, I’ve been delighted by the positive response to my Bombadil/Ungoliant/unnamed order theory. Wonder what makes the Internet such a happy and supportive environment?Maybe the relative anonymity of the Internet allows for people’s ‘better angles’ to come out, as my Auntie used to say. (It’s not a typo. Auntie meant angles. She wasn’t into angels. Not from any sort of philosophical or theological reason; I just think the concept of feathered wings sprouting out of people’s backs freaked her out.)