I started in IT in my early 30's and I work as a consultant at a small consulting company that I don't own. I am now almost 50. Throughout my career, I have stayed up to date on technology and gotten certified at a high level in everything relevant. I am technical and my income is 6 figures. Right now I specialize in storage and virtualization technologies, and I hold storage industry certs that are only available to EMC employees and partners. These limited-access certs have a lot of value. As technology trends shift, so will I. I will never move into management, as my value is in my technical skill, not my people management skills.
The site http://pure-gas.org/ has a pretty comprehensive list of gas stations and suppliers of Ethanol-free gas. In my experience, the Ethanol causes the most problems with small, 2-stoke engines like chainsaws and string trimmers. 2-stroke is very sensitive to air/fuel ratio, and the Ethanol makes them run leaner, which causes over-revving if not compensated for. Problem is that a lot of machines have limited adjustments, due to air quality laws. It is such an issue that companies like Stihl that make small engines are selling premixed 2-stroke fuel in cans for ridiculous prices. Also, you don't always know what the exact percentage of Ethanol is, so you can potentially have to adjust the carburetor for every batch of fuel.
My concern here is not cybersecurity, but data integrity. Not sure what's on those ancient floppy disks, but if it is mission critical, then that's a problem. The failure rates on those would be unacceptably high.
Disclaimer: I am an IT consultant and I work with multiple vendors' products, including Symantec. The biggest problem that we have with Symantec is support. It's horrible. It's so bad that Symantec has a program for it's partner resellers called TAPP. It requires certifications and training to get into, and only gives you access to more competent tech support than the general public gets. The fact that they even need such a program is telling.
I've been going to Radio Shack since...well, since it was a radio shack. Back in the days of breadboards, resistors, capacitors, transistors and these new things called integrated circuits that were going to change the world. When they had the light beam spanning the doorway that rang a buzzer when someone walked in.
Sadly, I don't think they can return to those roots. Their stores have moved from the low-rent strip malls to the high-priced shopping mall locations, and I think the overhead is too high to sustain business selling $.99 parts and Raspberry PI's. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see them being able to pull out of this.
From my view of this "new" drug, it looks to me like it's just hydrocodone in a time-release form, without any acetaminophen in it. The intention of this drug company is take a medication that is now generic and produce a novel, patented form that can be sold at a premium. The fear that some doctors have is that each pill contains a large amount of hydrocodone, so if your intent was to abuse, you could crush it and get the full dose all at once, without the liver-poisoning acetaminophen. I don't really see how it's any different from plain oxycodone in that regard.
I don't dispute your claim that coal puts a lot of radioactive material into the air, and I'm not anti-nuclear. However, with a coal power plant, it is a gradual and controlled release of radiation and if the coal-fired plant malfunctions or gets damaged, the release of that radioactivity stops. Contrast this with nuclear power, where a failure releases huge amounts of radioactivity at one time, in a concentrated area and continues to release radiation as additional systems fail (e.g. hydrogen explosions due to lack of cooling). The problem becomes compounded when you can't fix it, because the site is too radioactive to sustain human life.
I am a self-taught geek, similar to you. I was a construction worker, and I wanted to change careers. I don't have a college degree. I built my skills by taking a few night classes at a local community college and by spending a couple of hours a night (or more), every night, working in my home lab, doing networking/IT kinds of things, and writing code. Next, I got a job doing some IT work for a construction company, on a project where a lot of construction knowledge was needed.
After I got to the point where I felt comfortable with my skills, I put together a resume and got an interview with a small IT consulting company. I offered the company the following deal: Pay me whatever you want for 90 days. If at the end of that time I have demonstrated sufficient ability I want a raise to market rates. If not, I will move on, no hard feelings. Within 45 days, I got the raise. Within 3-4 years, I was making 100k a year.