Book: Richard K. Morgan -Altered Carbon

This book was very interesting for me. The more that I was reading it in a hospital 😀 It is sci-fi and the story is set in the future where human personalities can be stored digitally for example after death, as an punishment etc. The personality can be then downloaded either to the same body or even to different one.

So when people die, their memories are stored and they can be downloaded to a new body (unless their cortical stack in the spine is directly damaged). The problem is that they have to go through the whole ageing process every time because updating the body to the actual age is too expensive and only very wealthy ones can afford, they keep clones of their bodies. The wealthy ones can even afford having their memories in a remote storage and they can be updated regularly. Which means that even if their stack is directly damaged or destroyed, their memories can be still downloaded from the remote storage.

One of these wealthy people is Laurens Bancroft who commits suicide an a way that his stack was destroyed. Despite his memories are downloaded back to one of his clones, he doesn’t remember the last 48 hours as that is the last time his memories were updated. He is convinced that it was not his suicide but that he was murdered.

Therefore he hires Takeshi Kovacs to investigate what exactly happened. Kovacs is former military member (Envoy) who has special training and abilities and is downloaded to a body of a policeman Elias Ryker who is currently arrested. This fact causes him several complications especially while working with a cop Kristin Ortega who was going out with Ryker before he was arrested.

The story is very complicated but sometimes easily predictable. It is also full of technical and medical explanations which sometimes were too much to follow for me. Anyway, despite these little flies in the ointment the book is very catchy, full of very interesting ideas and I liked it a lot. I give it 8/10.

 

 

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Movie: When a man loves a woman

When a man loves a woman on IMDB

Today I watched the movie again after many years. And I cried. A lot. Basically the story is about a woman Alice Green who seems to have everything – loving husband Michael, two beautiful little daughters Jess and Casey, good job, name it…but in fact she is an alcoholic and the movie is about her fight with this addiction and her return to normal life.

The story is very strong and the movie is full of very emotional moments especially when the kids are involved. And the emotions are being supported not only by excellent performance of Meg Ryan, Andy Garcia and Tina Majorino but also by awesome music like the soundtrack from Percy Sledge or the Everybody hurts song from REM.

For me the movie was even stronger as it made me compare her life to mine in some way because alcoholism is also illness and there were several thoughts that the main character had which I had as well in the past and I realized that she was dealing with so many similar situations as I was or still am sometimes.

Even though this movie is more than 20 years old, it is just awesome and for me it has rating 11/10.

2016 – Training diary Week 22

Monday, June 6th. Ema had her gymnastics training again today so I had almost two hours time for my running. I didn’t know how it’s gonna be and if my legs had enough recovery after the Saturday race but I decided to try.

Very soon I found out that the legs were not recovered enough and it was very, very painful run. I guess I should have waited one more day, but Ema has her training on Monday so I didn’t have much choice.

Anyway, I managed to do 5.47 km even with some up hills running and despite I had terrible time, I was pretty happy about the run. Now I need to give my legs longer recovery…those almost three days until training with Lukas on Thursday should be enough.IMG_0486

 

Thursday, June 9th. Today I was supposed to go to training with Lukas. Unfortunately because of my ex-husband who forgot to bring me my bag with running clothes as we agreed, I had to change plans. So I went home and decided to go for a run in order to prevent killing him. As I was full of anger, the run was very good and pretty fast 😀 I even tried some nearby scoops and stairs and also did some fartleks and just tried to do some stuff I normally don’t do. It felt very, very awesome and it helped me to get rid of my anger and actually made me happy in the end even though it was only 4.27 km.

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Saturday, June 11th. Today I wanted to do the last longer run before next week 12 km race, the goal was around 8 km. It was perfect weather around 15 degrees and very slightly raining when I started. I ran my usual route through a nearby large park but on the way I decided to run up a heap that is in the middle and I never had the courage to try it. So I did this time and I loved it! It is very steep and full of bushes and small trees so it is actually fun looking for the right path. When I crawled to the top I thought I was gonna die but the view totally amazed me. I decided to go there every time I run through the park and always manage to run more and more and the goal will be to once run it to the top. Something like Rocky had his stairs, I will have my heap 😀

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Unfortunately running up the heap took me more strength then I expected and my legs started to hurt soon after so I decided to shorten the run and in the end it was only 6.63 km but I had very good feeling from it.

When I came home I did some abs exercise including plank, 15 push ups and some short exercise with 4 kg weights. Today I really destroyed me, awesome!

2016 – Training diary Week 18, 19, 20 & 21

Yeah, one post for 4 weeks. I know I used to write one post for one or max two weeks but this time there was not much to write and also I was pretty busy. During the week 18 (9th May – 15th May) I didn’t exercise at all. No running, not weigh lifting, nothing.

The following week I decided to try to go to training with Lukas on Thursday, May 19th and see what happens. It was great and I felt great so I decided to try some run again soon. At the training we were doing the running alphabet again, then some interval running and in the end some exercises to improve the running technique and also some exercises with our own weight. This time I tried to track how much we approximately run during the training and the result was 5 km, nice! I looked like this:

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My muscles were strained the following three days, so I wasn’t able to go running, but it was great feeling and totally worth it.

I went for a run the following Monday, May 23rd. I started to use the time when my daughter is on her gymnastic class and I have almost two hours time for myself. The run felt very good despite I felt that my condition was not as good as before. But I felt joy from the running and was totally enjoying it the whole way. IMG_1534

I wasn’t able to go for another run until Saturday, May 28th and so I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately the weather was terrible, it felt like running in sauna and I managed only 4,35 km and even during this short run I had to walk a lot. Few hours later strong storms with thunders and lightnings came.IMG_1535

And finally the last week. I had a 10 km race planned on Saturday so I had to take at least one run during the week. I found some time on Wednesday, June 1st and so I went. I knew it was the last run before the race and so I wanted to try how much I could run. The weather was pretty good but I was a bit tired from work. Anyway, in the end I managed more than 6 km run and was convinced that I will manage to finish the Saturday run. With no time ambitions.IMG_1536

And the the D day came. Saturday, June 4th. Me and my father were signed for a Half Marathon in Ceske Budejovice but we were supposed to run so called 2Run (relay) which means that the half marathon distance was split between us – I was running the first 10 km and my dad than continued the following 11 km.

From the beginning I didn’t have any time ambitions as I was not training enough and after all those health issues I was just happy that I can actually run. The weather was so so, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, sometimes even raining.

From the beginning I was for no specific reason feeling very good and full of energy. The crowd forced me to run faster than I wanted and I was afraid that I would regret it later but I didn’t! Ia have to admit that I had to walk few times to catch my breath again but overall I had a great feeling from the run and I was really enjoying it. Even more with the people cheering around the streets. It felt just awesome.

At the end of my run, there was waiting my dad to get the relay stick from me and we ran the last 50 meters together and than he continued with his part. How surprised I was when I found out that I finished the 10 km run in my personal best! It was 1:02:05 with average pace 6:15 mins/km.

And moreover, I finally managed to finish 5 km under 30 mins! So I did my personal best on two distances at once. That was just the best feeling in a long time and I was really enjoying it. So the next goal is to finish 10 km under 1 hour 🙂

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Me, my dad, my uncle and my cousin

 

Looking for a man. The man.

When I was a teenager I was always dreaming about everlasting love that actually happens on the first sight. When you meet handsome guy, he gives you bunch of roses, kisses you and you know it’s gonna last forever. Yes, I have always been that super romantic type influenced by magazines for teenagers where these situations happen regularly.

I met my husband via internet (ICQ to be precise) and I didn’t like him much until we started to talk via long and intimate emails. I also didn’t like much how he looked like when I saw him for the first time (tall, skinny guy with very short hair and rock clothes – I was Barbie wanna be person at that time).

And yet things turned out the way that we stayed together for 15 years (and most of the time I was convinced we would stay together forever). We went through heaven and hell together and end up divorced but friends. Maybe weird for someone but true. Anyway, this post was not meant to be about my relationship with my ex-husband, yet it has lots to do with the real subject.

When I was in the hospital (again), I had lots of time to think, which can be helpful but also dangerous. Among other thoughts, I was thinking about Lukas (the trainer) and our first meeting. We actually met because of his dating agency, he just wanted to get to know me. Simple. I remember that one of his questions was why I wanted all men that would potentially meet me to know that I had transplanted kidney. It kind of surprised me and I didn’t know how to react.

For me this question was sign of that he had no idea what it meant to have a transplanted kidney but I didn’t know how to explain without actually scaring him. I don’t remember exactly what I answered to him but I still remember that question and from time to time it pops up in my head.

Like it did in the hospital. I realized that probably healthy people are not fully able to understand the ill or in some way disabled ones. I know that in my case being ill is not the correct expression because unless I have some complications like inflammation or pneumonia, I live pretty normal life – I go to work, take care of my daughter, exercise, run, cook, clean…name it. But the difference comes WHEN there is a complication and the real issue is actually in the “what if” and “when it comes to”.

At the moment I am  living pretty normal life. But what if my kidney fails and what my life will be when it comes to going on dialysis again?

Back to my ex-husband. When we met, I was more or less healthy person. During the time my condition was slowly getting worse. Then it became really bad and the first transplantation came. And then the fail. And the dialysis with all the terrible cramps, headaches, depressions. And then the second transplantation. And happiness. But all this was continuous process that we went through together. Sure, we got divorced in the end, but it had nothing to do with my health condition.

And now I am trying to find someone new, who would not only fell in love with me but also accepted my past, current and also future health condition. The problem is where to start? When I meet someone, when and how actually tell him about this situation? When I was with my ex-husband we went through everything continuously. It was just happening on the way but now I am trying it the opposite way. To bring someone to the situation that is actually already happening.

And as I was thinking about it at the hospital, I was thinking about that maybe the best way how to find someone like that might be looking for people who have either similar problems like me or have experienced something similar with their family members or friends or just with someone close. On one side it might be good that they would count with what might happen, on the other side they might be scared to experience something like this again. Who knows. Anyway, the problem is still the same – Where to start?

I tried to look up some community or group of people with similar problem but didn’t find anything so far. So I started to think about creating one which would allow meeting people with variety of disabilities or illnesses who want to live normal life but need help when some type of complication comes. And maybe they also want to find understanding partner who is willing to bear their fate with them and just accept they are not perfect. It is simple to accept that someone is not perfect if you are not perfect as well.

I have no idea if I will be able to create such community and if I am, if it helps me with my problem but I am sure that trying this is way better than not doing anything at all.

Book: David Gaider – Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne

One thing is really good on spending time in a hospital where they don’t have free internet: lots of time for reading books. One of the latest I read there was Dragon Age. When I was reading it, it felt very similar to reading books from Tolkien. There were even dwarfs and elves (not hobbits though).

The story is pretty easy – It is about country of Ferelden occupied by the neighbouring Orlesian Empire in the lead with Meghren and his fellow mage Severan. Moira, the queen of the rebels, is killed and her son Maric escapes and is saved by two men and brought to a camp of Fereldan outlaws where they don’t know who he is. When they find out, it is already late and the camp is attacked by the Orlesian soldiers looking for him. Led by Loghain, one of the rebels, he manages to escape. They become friends and Loghain helps Maric to travel to his allies and later even to lead army of rebels against the invading soldiers.

There is also love involved where Maric is engaged to beautiful Rowan but Loghain also fells in love with her and also beautiful Elf Katriel who was supposed to kill Maric but fell in love with him instead. The story ends with priestess Ailis telling Maric and Rowan’s son stories about the war and fall of Meghren.

I liked the book a lot and can’t wait to read the second one. The whole story is very well written – all areas, characters, situations and emotions described in a way that the reader feels like actually being there. From my point of view, one of the books really worth reading. I give it 9/10.