This special commemorative coffee mug can be filled with 350ml of hot coffee, even steaming hot: it is fully temperature resistant. All types are supported: latte, cappuccino, koffie verkeerd or macchiato; its smooth surface even protects against the oxidative effects of Devil’s Brew.
How does it work? The mug comes with two holes: one hole (at the top) is used to both add and extract the coffee. The hole on the side is used to insert two fingers so that the mug can be lifted. (Confusing the two may lead to damage and/or injury.)
Can the mug be used for tea? Yes.
How about the artwork? Find the cover of Two Journeys on the front, and a mysterious QR code on the back! Where does it lead, you will wonder? Which miraculous domain of the internet?
John Harpsicord*), a follower of this blog, asked: “What about the name of this blog dude! Survive the Apocalypse – I can’t find any apocalyptic content and no survival tips. WTF is that all about? Confused, John.”
Well John, you do have a point. Let me try to explain why this blog may be ALL about surviving the apocalypse.
Once the apocalypse strikes – which may happen earlier than you think, through a deadly combination of global warming, over-population and some completely inept political leaders (so sad !) – there is very little that we can do.
In my novels Two Journeys and Fields of Fire, this shocking situation is caused by a global epidemic. Luckily, humanity has gone a long time without a major pandemic. But outbreaks of viruses such as SARS, corona or influenza (e.g. H2N2 or the Asian Flu H3N2; or bird flu) have occurred repeatedly in the last twenty years or so.
In my books, I try to show a different path than what some so-called “preppers” or the “prepper movement” appear to advocate. If catastrophe strikes, keeping the higher ground morally shows that we are human. Stocking up on emergency food, baseball bats, pepper spray and guns may sound like a sound strategy, but in reality you won’t know what has hit you, once the post-apocalypse arrives.
For me, the best survival strategy is… enjoy life while you can! Take life with a grain of salt and a lot of humor, because none of us know how long we or good ol’ Earth will be around.
The apocalypse does make for some great reading though – just think about the zombie hype a few years back. This is also reflected in my adventure novels (curious ? Look here at www.clemenssuter.com/books). You will find a lot of information about these books on this blog, which is another explanation for the name of this site.
And finally: aren’t we all, in one way or another, surviving our own personal apocalypse each and every day? Life can be tough as shit; and most confusingly, it is also absolutely beautiful. That’s what I try to bring across in my work and in the title of this blog: the negative of the Apocalypse and the beauty of Survival – they are like Yin and Yang. Life is complex and unpredictable: there are no easy explanations.
*) name (slightly) changed
Survive the apocalypse with appropriate headwear. Life is a contradiction and can be confusing as hell, so better enjoy it while you can (Photo by Charles Deluvio)
“Stop whistling, Clemens. Only laborers whistle,” my great friend and teacher C used to say. C was Austrian, and like many citizens from that cutlet-shaped country, leaned towards eccentricity. Highly sympathetic, but thank you for the advice. Meanwhile I am glad I listened to most of C‘s suggestions, but ignored this particular one.
Many years later I had an eye opening experience with music. As a birthday present, my wife gave me a weekend-long harmonica training. A crash course with a professional harmonica teacher, Dale King. At the end of which I walked from the experience with the rewarding conclusion that I would never be able to play ANY musical instrument. Except for a CD player or smartphone, my limbs, fingers and lungs are unable to extract any melodious or rhythmic sound from any instrument. Problem solved.
There is some truth in the statement that everybody can and should sing, but being modest for once, I admit that my singing capabilities are limited.
But I can whistle. The tunes that Yehudi Menuhin squeezed from his Stradivari after long years of tortuous practice, effortlessly leave my two lips with no practice at all.
Whistling – it truly seems to be a secret art. I couldn’t find any article or reference about the effect of whistling on well-being, physical health, war and peace, the economy or whatsoever. There are no lists of famous Hollywood actors, historical figures or politicians that indulged in this activity. Did George Washington, Caligula, Margaret Tatcher or Jennifer Anniston ever whistle? The history books remain stumm.
But I LOVE it. In fact, I will now render Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Beats my vocal version by a length.
Is Solitaire a game for multiple players? My answer: definitely yes. Playing as a team not only adds a lot of fun. Building on a coach’s expertise greatly intensifies the playing experience, as the below conversation illustrates.
Wife: “What are you playing?”
“A game of solitaire.”
“How does that work?”
“Just watch, it explains itself.”
A minute of silence.
Wife: “Put the red seven on the black eight.”
“Yes, I saw.”
“The black four. On the red five.”
“Thank you, yes.”
“Why do you put that ace at the top?”
“That’s part of the game. At the end you should collect all cards of the same kind in four stacks at the top.”
“Put the black jack on the queen of hearts.”
“I saw that one.”
“You’re not very fast at this. The three. Put the black three on the four of hearts. The three.”
“I saw that one.”
“The seven. You can put the seven on that eight. You’re really taking your time.”
“My hand cannot move as fast as your eyes. There’s a natural delay between the two actions that can’t be overcome.”
“The six! The six of diamonds on the seven of spades. On the seven!”
“Yes, I saw.”
“You’re really taking your time.”
“It isn’t about finishing within a certain time. It’s about finishing at all. It’s more strategic and meditative than competitive.”
“The red nine onto the ten.”
“They are the same color. That is not allowed.”
Some silence. Wife gets up and leaves: “Stupid game.”
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“This is a great book, if what you want is action, suspense, humor, and character development.”
Comments by the author – Strong, quick acting Alan is a scientist, traveling for business… but things do not turn out as predicted. One of my goals as the author was to raise awareness of just how vulnerable we are to a pandemic in the developed world. I also wanted to show how a single person can cope with being a lone survivor. You will need to be able to rely on your own moral fiber, on your physical strength and on your willpower. We’ve gone long without a major pandemic that kills millions. On the other hand, outbreaks of viruses such as SARS, corona or influenza (e.g. H2N2 or the Asian Flu H3N2; or bird flu) have occurred again and again. Let’s face it, if we knew, we’d be even more frightened; with the huge global population, the possibility that a pandemic strikes and spreads quickly isn’t that remote. In my books, I want you caring about the character as well as the world. Action occurs, and contact is made with beings on alien “ships”, however the book – on purpose – does not answer all questions. After all, in case of a pandemic, with a breakdown of communication and internet and so on, there will be more questions than answers. Imagine the world falling apart while this plague decimates the entire population. You will enjoy this ride with the hero Alan, as he races across Asia towards what was Western Europe.”
After a work, free time is best spent drinking coffee on a terrace and watching people walk by. A thoroughly rewarding activity. Briefly on hold due to the pandemic, this is now possible again – And it allows for sufficient social distancing.
I’ve become a bit of a pro at this. I know most of the coffee houses in a 20 mile radius and I must spend hundreds of hours a year sipping the black poisonous liquid, accompanied by a piece of cake Or a croissant with marmalade. I may take an occasion look inside of a local newspaper, but the smartphone stays OFF.
Life is just.
As my cousin John used to say: It is not that aunt Denise is mad. It’s just that her tongue is connected differently to her brain than with ordinary people. Alas, cousin John is no longer with us – whereas aunt Denise continues to thrive.
Here some of her gems.
My aunt Denise: “Listen. Listen! Something absolutely weird happened to me!
… Oh wait. That wasn’t me… it happened to somebody else.”
How much did you pay for that mixer?
About a hundred bucks.
A hundred bucks?! You can buy a vacuum cleaner for a hundred bucks!
Yeah, but we didn’t need a vacuum cleaner. Besides the mixer came with a lot of extra stuff, funnels and beakers and so on.
What do you need those for if you vacuum the house?
The dog kept on having sex with my knee.
My husband, your uncle, was so mad at me, he locked himself in the upstairs bathroom for an entire week.
Really? How did he survive?
He ate the toothpaste.
At least he had enough to drink.
I turned off the mains, and that forced him come out.