Kidnapping. damned if you do… and sometimes if you don't

By far the most common kind of child abduction is parental child abduction (200,000 in 2010 alone)

I’ve mentioned in past posts that, at age 7, I was kidnapped by my dad and brought to the US. I’ve wanted to do a post on this topic for a long time as it’s a complicated issue.
There are a couple angles I’d like to speak to:

  • The damage this inflicted
  • The effects it’s had on my life
  • How this history of mine has affected my personal choices as an adult as well as how my perspective on the topic has changed now that I’m a parent myself.

A lot of the stuff I need/want to cover isn’t directly related to kidnapping, but I feel that context is important.

Some particulars of my case

When I was 6, perhaps early 7, my parents separated. We were living in the same town here in Germany where I live now. My mom continued to live in that same apartment for another 30 years. My dad moved to a place not far away with the woman who became my mom in the US. She is my step-mom, but to the folks around me in Los …

If Amazon's Alexa got a boob-job…

…would you have sex with her?
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Note: I encourage comments. If you’re reading this from a phone, I haven’t found a way to enable commenting from the the mobile format. If you switch to desktop mode in your browser, you should get a form at the bottom of the post.
One of my objectives to living here in Germany is to improve my German. I’m a citizen. I should be able to speak the language. As part of that, I’ve been reading articles in the newspaper as well as magazine articles. There are some things about the tone and coverage of what I’ve read that strike me as different from what you’d read in American publications. I’ve thought about doing some posts on this blog of the theme, “The things I’ve read in Germany”. I guess this is the first of these.

The future of sex

The other day, I was at the drinkshop and an issue of Focus magazine caught my eye. The headline article is about how robots/cyborgs, possibly with artificial intelligence (AI), may affect our future sex lives:

In this post, I’ll need to go on a tangent or two …

What's your electricity usage?

In my post about apartments in Germany, I wrote a bit about energy efficiency. This post expands on that with our actual electricity usage and some thoughts around that.
When you move into an apartment in Germany, there’s a standard procedure you go through. Part of that is writing down all of the meter numbers. There are a bunch of them. Many apartment buildings, including this one have shared boilers for heating and hot water, so a bit of extra measurement/math is needed.

Here’s a list of the meters that concern me:

  • water
  • cold water (not really sure the difference)
  • hotwater upstairs (we’re in a 2 story flat)
  • hotwater downstairs
  • heating
  • natural gas
  • electricity

A couple weeks ago, I got an email from my landlord requesting updated readings. I knew to expect this because I’d already learned about the concept of cold and warm rent.

What’s warm rent?

In the US, your rent and utilities are separate. Here, they’re separate too, but the accounting is different. When you pay rent, you pay an additional amount to the landlord to cover heating, water, garbage. The amount you pay is initially a guess, based on the previous occupant . At …

Miles's thoughts