J. Martin

September 19, 2021

Clock’s Ticking

Coming Sunday, if you live in Germany and are eligible to vote in the federal elections and Berlin state elections, you have to make the most important political decision in your lifetime. And you have to do that particularly for the future of younger generations. In four years, it will be too late. It’s almost already too late. You’ve...
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September 12, 2021

It’s All So Confusing but Here’s Help!

For the upcoming federal elections in Germany and the Berlin state election, there’s the Wahl-O-Mat to pair voters with political parties. But there are so many questions and it’s all so confusing! Thus, as a free service to my readers, I devised a simple three-strike-questionnaire to help you find the party or candidate that’s right f...
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September 5, 2021

German Federal Election, Heating Up

On Twitter, I’m usually way more engaged in political matters in the U.S., Israel, and East Asia. But with the upcoming federal election in Germany, that has shifted a bit. First of all, there’s one thing that is both true for the U.S. and for Germany: trying to barge into Congress or Bundestag with a small party that advocates radical...
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August 29, 2021

Summertime Sadness Part II

Yesterday, the two pigeon babies we’ve watched grow up for weeks, right in front of our window on the fifth floor, had their first flying exercises, and today the tree nest was empty. They both pulled through, which is great, but they will be missed. Also, the weather is sad, with all that rain chipping away at the final days of my sum...
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August 22, 2021

Mostly Sunny

Still in vacation land even though last week didn’t feel like vacation at all. I attended the end-of-term presentations—term projects, level design, and music/sound/video—which were great, and had a number of appointments like going to the dentist or getting a haircut, which were necessary. The strongest counter-vacation vibes came fro...
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August 15, 2021

Temperature 80 °F, Incidence Rate 64, Partly Sunny

Still in vacation mode, so I’ll again keep it brief. I’m back now in this festering hellhole called NRW, where the state legislature has just casually scrapped the incidence rate of 50 as a key measure to trigger more restrictive public health policies; decreed that schools will reopen this week just as planned despite rising infection...
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August 8, 2021

Berlin Is Mostly Lakes

Since Friday, my protection against COVID-19 is as effective as it can be at this point in time. Also, I’m in Berlin. It’s my first trip in two years. I’m visiting my father, who’s back in Germany after about a lifetime, and we do a lot of “normal” things together. Like, eating at restaurants, visiting museums, swimming and sunbathing ...
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August 1, 2021

Hello vacation, where have you been for so long?

Not that I’m actually traveling anywhere; visiting friends in Tokyo had to be shelved for yet another year. But muting my Discord servers, funneling work-related emails into a quarantine folder, and having breakfast and stuff on the balcony does a pretty good job already of giving me the post-stress migraines I’ve been waiting for afte...
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July 25, 2021

“I feel safer already”

Finally, I got my second shot last Thursday. Do I feel safer already? Not yet. First, for maximum protection to kick in, I have to wait another fourteen days. Then, the number of people has noticeably increased who no longer wear their masks properly where they should, and the number of people who care about it, particularly those whos...
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July 18, 2021

Scratch That, We Don’t Even Need That Asteroid

Thankfully, I’m living in an area that’s neither susceptible to wildfires nor to floods, and the water in the basement merely rose to one inch, maybe two. For my part, it merely damaged my late uncle’s tax filings box. If you’re fully or partly self-employed and file your tax returns in Germany, ten years is the legal retention period ...
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