Life is good! Work is a bit of a grind, my boss and I both laden with sort of repetitive tasks that absolutely need to get done but aren't quite suitable for a computer program (in fact mine is fixing up all the stuff that one of my programs didn't do quite right). So that's less fun, but eventually it'll be over and I'll get to do something else.

I'm interested in my review...this is one of several areas where my past companies have been dishonest and/or stupid. I think I surprised my manager with the depth of my suspicion of and irritation with employers:

    <chris> I've been here since six AM and I'd like to go home.
    <manager> Six AM, heh. Twelve-hour days were pretty normal here at one point, back when...I guess when people cared. They've lost something.
    <chris> Oh, I used to work like that, but that was when I was younger and I didn't have a life.
    <manager> Then you discovered that not-working is more fun than working?
    <chris> No, then I discovered that the company will just take what you give and will lay you off when they feel like it, and there's not actually a reward for working harder.
    <manager> That's a damn shame. 
And he said my work last week would be noted. I do like and trust him, but talk is cheap and I'm not in any kind of a hurry to let my guard down. There's also no benefit to letting my guard down: even if this company doesn't screw me over, I regularly watch them lay off other people, and I watch my friends get screwed over and our industry as a whole slowly get moved over to Southeast Asia and (soon) various former Soviet republics. We're not exactly in a trend of company loyalty to employees. Or consideration, really, or conservation of human dignity. I'll keep my well-earned skepticism a while longer, thanks.

I finally ordered stuff for making jewelry: silver wire and some special cutters and pliers. Still need a torch, a kiln brick, a cookie sheet, a dowel or two, and one more pair of pliers, and I'll be good to go. Looking forward to being able to work with my hands. I'm yet another little bit closer to learning blacksmithing: got some resources from the teacher at The Crucible. Maybe eventually I'll get even more esoteric and try to learn silversmithing (making larger objects out of silver, like creamers and plates and things). Yay for making things.