The First Driving Lessons of a Young Adult

78f6a4a32ec7a7c776561305b128d62fIt is an inevitable part of modern life that we will all learn how to drive, as much for freedom as out of necessity. And without a doubt anyone whose reached and/or passed that milestone has more than a few stories to share. I’ve only just started my adventure, but it’s already become very interesting.

I guess I should start with a bit of background. I’m twenty-three and just purchased a car, got a learner’s permit, and am taking driving lessons from my father. You may be asking ‘How does someone reach that age without learning how to drive?’ The answer–in short–is life. When I was thirteen my father–who was in the Air Force–was stationed in England and I spent the first three years of High School over there. My parents didn’t want me learning how to drive in a foreign country because how they drive is different–and I’m not just talking about the wrong side of the road. Unfortunately, after my dad’s time was up he was discharged. We returned to the States and fell on hard times. After several attempts–and many kicks in the teeth–I finally got a car, a green Nissan Altima that’s almost as old as I.

The next challenge was finding somewhere that I could practice safely without fear of hitting something–or someone. My dad thought he’d found a perfect spot in the parking lot of a local church. Turns out it imageswasn’t so perfect. No, we didn’t go driving there on a sunday. That would be silly and irresponsible. Apparently, driving in circles in an empty parking lot draws attention. I don’t know if we looked suspicious, or parents giving kids driving lessons is a dying sight in the 21st century, but a police car pulled into an adjacent parking lot to watch us. They never came over to ask what we were doing and we eventually left. The next time we returned there was a sign that hadn’t been there before. It said ‘Church Traffic Only’. We got the message and left.

There wasn’t really anywhere else to go so my dad decided that we’d practice on the backroads of our neighborhood. He quickly came to regret that. Dogs run loose in our neighborhood and they kept running in front of the car and I kept braking–hard. I did that a lot, but especially when dogs were in front of us. My dad quickly decided to call it a day.

My dad was a bit braver today, going so far as to take me out onto the main road to do some driving. It was nerve rattling. I’m Autistic and driving requires several things that I find difficult; multitasking, awareness of your surroundings, and not flinching when cars go by. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was so focused on making sure I didn’t have a wreck I probably would’ve freaked out. I must’ve done something right because my dad was less prone to bracing himself against the door than he had on my previous attempt. I also think his shoulder blade is less sore. I avoided excessive breaking–mostly. I did have to hit it to avoid rolling into the path of an oncoming car when my dad told me to pull straight through. Well, that was a general instruction not a literal one.

Probably shouldn’t tell my mom that.

(DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE IMAGES IN THIS BLOG. THEY ARE NOT MY HANDIWORK.)

Thief

GarrettPlacing oneself at personal risk for others can be a difficult thing to do, especially when you’re one that doesn’t stick your neck out for anyone, but sometimes it is necessary to take such a risk, even if you don’t want to. This is true even when you are a loner, because sooner or later even you won’t have anywhere to hide.

Being a loner describes Garrett very well. A master Thief Garrett takes no risk and doesn’t help anyone but himself. Stealing is all he has lied and breathed for and he cares for very little beyond that. But when a job goes wrong and Garrett loses a year of his life that he can’t remember he is slowly forced to make decisions that go against everything he perceives in his life.

When Garrett returns to his city he finds things drastically worse than when he left it. The Baron is trying to defend his tyrannical rule as people rebel and disease runs rampant. But Garrett goes back to work, not just to steal but to get answers. What happened on that terrible job and why did he lose a year of his life?

Dangers don’t stop with thieving or political unrest. Ever since the accident strange things lurk in thePrimal Stone shadows of the city and they don’t fear Garrett. The answers may be in the object he was sent to steal: the Primal Stone. What is the stone and what does it have to do with the death of his fellow thief Erin and his loss of memory?

As Garrett goes from one dangerous situation to another and questions many things he believes, one comes clear; lone wolf or not the city needs him and to get the answers he needs, he may have to take risks that he’d never have taken before.

Dishonered

Corvo Attano When it comes to revenge killing an enemy is the best way to do it. Or is it? Is there another option and, if so, which would you choose?

Corvo Attano has never had to considered renege, but when his life is shattered, those decisions become the focal point of his life. A foreigner to Dunwell he is the Empress’s personal bodyguard and the person she trusts the most. Upon returning to Dunwell after seeking help for a plaugue, things become worse. With himself overpowered, the Empress is murdered and her killers force Corvo to take the fall for the crime through death.

Before he can be executed Corvo escapes prison with the aide of new allies with a clear goal; rescue Emily Kaldwin, the Empress’s daughter and execute revenge against those who wronged him. But how that revenge is executed will not only be up to him but will determine the fate of Dunwell. But which form of revenge will be chosen? Will you kill those responsible for destroying his life or will he give them a taste of their own medicine.

But things only got more dangerous as Corvo exacts his revenge. A being know as The Outsider has taken an interest in Corvo, a being whose worship is banned. Giving Corvo access to his powers The Outsider seems to be an ally, but is he? Does he want to aid Corvo in making things right, unleash Outsiderchaos, or does he lack a motive? The Outsider is not the only one that Corvo should be wary of. But as the danger grows he must use his powers to fight to save Dunwell or condemn it.

Revenge may solve everything but how you go about it may mean everything. Sometimes killing them isn’t the best option. Sometimes sparring them is the harsher punishment.

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag

EdwardThe desire for a better quality of life is fully understandable but can be dangerous, for that is a designer that can border and even cross into greed. And it is greed that is harmful, not just to yourself but to those around you. And this is something that Edward Kenway learns the hard way.

Born into poverty Edward not only feels that he is destined for more but is determined to get it. Leaving home he sets out as a privateer determined to make his fortune. It’s not long however before Queen Anne of England signs a treaty with the countries that she’s ben warring with making privateer’s unnecessary. So, like many others, Edward goes from privateer to pirate and this is where his story really begins.

In a confrontation with a renegade Assassin, Edward kills him. Reading a letter on the man offering him a re wry for the documents he’s carrying, Edward assumes his identity and goes to Havana to collect the reward, handing over those documents which-in time-caused serious harm to the Assassins. It’s not long after that in which Edward’s deception is discovered and the Templars, the men Edward gave the documents to, arrest him and send him off to be interrogated.

He escapes however and with the help of a new friend, Adewale, captures a ship that he names the assassin symbolJackdaw. And thus begins Edward’s destructive path to earn wealth. As the years go by Edward and his crew take over forts, plunder ships, and explore the depths of the ocean to uncover the wealth they seek. But Edward becomes obsessed with something he overheard the Templars discussing all those years ago, The Observatory.

The Observatory is a construct created by the First Civilization that allows you to spy on anyone anywhere in the world if you have a sample of their blood. Seeing an opportunity Edward searches for the Observatory with the intention of selling it to the highest bidder. But as the years go by and Edward goes from one confrontation to another with the Templars, he begins to put what he has and those he values at great risk. As the battle between the Templars and Assassins over the Observatory becomes more dangerous and the golden age of piracy comes to a close, Edward must make a choice. Either he can continue down the destructive path that he started or he can take a stand against those who’d control mankind.

As Edward’s choice becomes imminent he starts to come to the realization that the boundary between desire and greed is blurred and only one of them will leave you with absolutely nothing to the end.

 

Sly Cooper: Band of Thieves

Copper-gang Most people would agree that when an enemy goes down you generally don’t have to worry about them getting back up. Unfortunately, not every ‘enemy’ follows that idea, intentionally or otherwise. And this is something that Sly Cooper knows all to well.

After having left Clockwerk, the giant mechanical owl who had led the gang that murdered his parents and has terrorized his clan for centuries, in melting pieces on top of a volcano, Sly thought that it was over. He’d freed himself and future Coopers from the evil of Clockwerk. But months later, when he learns that all the collective Clockwerk parts were rescued and stored together in a museum he goes after them knowing that there is a very dangerous probability of Clockwerk being revived.

However, the Cooper gang isn’t the only one with an interest in the Clockwerk parts. When they arrive at the museum they Carmelita and Neylafind the mechanical bird gone and Interpol in its place in the form of Inspector Carmelita and Constable Neyla. After a quick escape and a ‘slipped’ clue from Neyla, Sly and his friends now know who took the Clockwerk parts: the Klaww gang.

As they seek out there targets one by one it becomes clear that the Klaww gang may not know exactly what they have but the
potential for Clockwerk’s revival is to great to let the gang split up and use the parts for their own end. But as they steal one successive part after the other and narrowly escape the relentless pursuit of Interpool, questions pile up. What is the purpose behind the pursuits of the Klaww gang, can Clockwerk ever be destroyed, and in a dangerous game of cops and robbers can Sly trust the police? As the Cooper gang heads towards its final confrontation Sly know one thing for certain; Clockwerk was going down, this time for good.

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility to assume that once an enemy is down that they won’t come back to haunt you. But as Sly’s next adventure shows, its better to be safe than sorry.

Sly Cooper and the Thievious Raccoonus

    Sly CooperBeing sneaky and pickpocketing for a profit are the ideal methods in the life of a thief. But there are differences among criminals, even thieves, and these are shown in the how and the why of their actions. When Sly Cooper’s life is torn apart, his actions prove this difference.

    Sly Cooper comes from a long line of professional thieves and was being trained to continue the line by his father when his life is destroyed. On the night that he is supposed to inherit the Thievious Raccoonus, a book of the family’s collective thieving skills, there home is attacked. The Fiendish Five, a group of criminals and thieves, kills his parents and leaves Sly behind, taking the Thievious Raccoonus with them.

    Ending up at an orphanage, he meets two people who would end up being his life long friends, Bently and Murry. Together, they begin there thieving adventures, going from stealing cookies to stealing valuables as the years go by. Sly never forgot what happened to his family and was determined to avenge them and recover the Thievious Raccoonus. Years later he makes good on his determination.

    But what starts out as a simple recovery mission becomes much more. As Sly Recovers each portion of the Thievious ClockworkRaccoonus he starts to see more and more veiled references to a mysterious bird like person that has haunted his ancestors throughout time, a figure that bears an eerie resemblance to Clockwerk, the leader of the Fiendish Five. Is this a strange coincidence or a dark hint of the truth, of why his family was attacked.

    As his skills improve Sly must show the world that there were thieves and then there were thieves and the choices that you make are what determines that.

Thankfulness: What You Should Be Truly Thankful For.

UnknownWhile Thanksgiving has already come and gone for this year I can’t help but think on that holiday’s tradition of sitting down at dinner and telling those around you what you’re thankful for. Many people say family, food to eat, and a roof over their head, but how many people simply say that without truly realizing how grateful they should be for these things and how easily they can be threatened?

Since my family fell on hard times these are things that I’ve truly been thankful for that which was mentioned above especially when my family has struggled to pay bills and necessity–as well as a lack of money–has driven us routinely to food banks. Struggling to maintain the very things that many people take unquestioningly for granted has taught me to appreciate the true value of them better than any lesson or book ever could. When I can no longer do many of the things that I’ve done in the past I’ve only grown more thankful for the things I do have; a family that looks out for me, a home that I can always go back to, and enough food that I don’t go hungry and every day I thank God that these things have not changed.

Even if people take for granted the things that they are thankful for it’s probably only because they’ve not had to live with the necessity of endlessly guarding them. But if it’s something that is truly of value to you then, no matter what the circumstance, it is what you should be truly thankful for.