Update for June 2015, summary: I'm still alive, still employed, still have my green skud.
I'm still chugging along, one exhausting day after another. Not really got enough left in me, these days, to play about with programming like I used to; which is pretty crappy. It's kinda difficult to put in the energy to tackle even simple problems, when getting back and just wanting to pass out.
Work is pretty exhausting; there's a heavy top-down press to do 7 day weeks, which really grates on me. (They aren't literally forcing me to work 7 days, but social pressure is really freaking hard to fight back against.)
As it is, I'm doing 5.5 days a week; and they're generally fairly long days (to me, anyway)... officially, 8 hours. Realistically, most often 9; some days 10. (And the worst was a 12 hour work day.).
I really want my weekends back, but I guess I don't really have the backbone to push back. >.<
There are some upsides, however; I'm getting to drive trucks about the industrial estate, and today I even got trusted -- despite making a tit of myself with a truck, right in front of my boss, earlier in the day -- to go pick up some parts in a works van. (I've also got my provisional truck license, and just need to start saving up for lessons and whatnot, then take my test, then get my tacho card, and the CPC.)
I'm also getting to do a little more electrical work, these days; which is quite pleasant, and I hope the trend continues; even if it is "quick, try figure out what's left of the wiring loom, and put some lights on this so we can get rid of it.". Hell, time flew while I was doing that one, and I ended up working 'til 6pm without realising it; which my bank balance will like.
The After. Marginally better; but not fully functional. Use hand-signals to indicate while on the road.
I am currently hunting about for a new job, though. Ideally, I'd like:
- Somewhere within 30 minutes of home
- Relatively clean workshop. (That is, at least a floor that's at least sweepable; rather than being oil-soaked dirt layered over smashed concrete.)
- Maybe slightly better wages than I'm currently on, but no biggie.
- Reasonably flexible, non-horrible hours. (To hell with working 10 hour days, 6 days a week. I don't mind working longer hours if it's something I enjoy and want to get finished; I just don't want to be pressured into working longer.)
- Something automotive-related. Electrical (with a hint of electronics), mechanical, fabrication, and hydraulics/pneumatics.
Really, though, I know I'm not going to get anything like that. The only way I'm ever going to end up with the job I really want, is if I win big on the lottery and don't have to work to be able to live comfortably. At which point, I'll probably open up a dumb little workshop that makes less-than-no money and implodes after a few years.
Something that I can build stupid hot-rods in, and other similar stupid projects. That'd be nice.
Long-shot, but if someone reading this knows somebody who needs a strange person who can sorta do electrics, mechanicals, hydraulics, pneumatics, MIG weld most of the time, and drive a truck badly... call me?
EDIT 2015-06-06: After a little bit of re-negotiation with my boss, I'm now not really under the pressure to do 6~7 days a week. I've gotten my week re-arranged so that my weekend is Wednesday and Thursday, with Saturday and Sunday being part of my week. This has also come with a slight wage increase, to make up for the anti-social hours.
This should result in me feeling less burnt out, and less in need of a new job. Hopefully. Time will tell.
The car had its MOT; failed the first time, for corrosion on the damaged sill at the rear, and for the rear brakes being weak. Damaged sill got welded up, and then I had the garage take a look at the brakes. Turns out, the rear brake cylinders were leaking, and filling the drums with brake fluid; which explains the terrible -- but only sometimes -- braking ability...
Anyway, it had a brake service and some other little welding bits; since I'd run out of time and arsed, what with my plans with the original garage falling through and leaving me a total of 4 days to get it fixed before the MOT ran out.
There's still a bunch of other things that I need to fix before I'm happy with it; but they're not urgent yet. (Though, having said that, my CV boots will probably explode or something tomorrow. That one, I'll be doing that one myself; I got quoted £170 to have inner and outer CV boots replaced. It's a good day's fucking about at the side of the road, but not too complex.)
Still, though, not too bad for a 21 year old car...
Another year or so, and then I'll start with the performance mods; clearly, it needs a supercharger, a nice side-exit exhaust, and a better ECU. Clearly.
...Well, the better ECU, definitely. Plans are being drawn up for multi-point sequential injection with sequential spark using coil-near-plug. Still up in the air over whether I'll use MegaSquirt (If so, it'll be MS2Extra.), or the more philosophically agreeable FreeEMS.
Plans are also being drawn up for the return of audio to the interior; with a 4-channel amplifier -- which I have got, but need to build a heatsink and mount for -- and a bluetooth receiver. The hardest bit of this, so far, is looking to be how to make it look reasonably like something that an OEM would install. I really don't want horrible hobby-parts-bin industrial switches and buttons, but I think I'm out of options for what I want, other than making the switch-caps myself.
We shall see.