You say that as if a twin engine plane is safer. Twin engine airplanes should be treated the same as a single engine aircraft. Most small twin engine airplanes typically cannot fly efficiently with a single engine if you have passengers and/or cargo. If you have two engines, you double the chance of failure.
Recently, I've had that happen frequently—probably 50% of the time. Makes it difficult to time orders when I'm trying to receive something covertly on a day when I'm working from home (and my wife is not). I've ended up paying for overnight shipping just to ensure that I have the timing right.
The industry needs more people like you, passionate and eager to learn.
Start networking. You never know who you might meet. You have a better chance at landing your first job through an acquaintance as opposed to answering a help wanted ad.
Start attending meetups, now. My top recommendation would be OpenHack http://openhack.github.io/new_york/ While you don't have a portfolio of projects on a website, you most likely still have them on your computer. OpenHack may be good place to showcase what you're working on if someone shows interest. Those projects also come in handy for when you start landing interviews. I always took a computer to job interviews to showcase what I was working on and even did some live coding. There's also another advantage to doing it this way: You are in control of the interview and I feel it's a much better approach than sitting through a Q & A with a hiring team. It says, "I came prepared."
For your first job, don't undercut yourself on salary. At least make enough to live. Even if you find a company is horrible, you can still leave yourself open to other options. You might even land your next job, doubling your salary, through someone you worked with and recently left said horrible company. It may take your 2-3 employers to get to your desired salary.
I landed my first job through a random conversation with a neighbor (before that I was college dropout and an office temp for two months trying to land said job). It paid $28k and half of my month's pay went to cover rent for a studio apartment. I ate PB&J and an apple every day for lunch. The job was copying text from Word documents and PDFs, marking them up with HTML. At the time, the company was building a hosting subsidiary. 2-3 nights a week, I spent 3-4 hours volunteering my time with that effort, through which I picked up Linux. I landed my second job through a previous co-worker. Every job offer I've ever taken started with an acquaintance.
As a side note, some of the most brilliant people I've worked with didn't have CS degrees (Music, History, English, etc). Their key strength was that they were passionate about what they were doing and were constantly learning.
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
I really do have to focus, i'm making simple apps in phonegap to chrome extension to web layout in PS to apis in nodejs.
Bored is the word you're looking for. We have all been there. Sometimes it gets better, sometimes it doesn't. Some people are barely capable of doing the same thing day in and day out, year after year. For them, ignorance is bliss. Others strive to constantly learn, push themselves, and seek opportunities in the challenges that new stacks and projects bring.
If you don't see the situation getting better, you need to find a new employer. Find one where you aren't the smartest person on the team, one that will challenge you, one where you can adopt a mentor, and one where you can hone your skills. I realize this in itself can be challenging. If you're in a metro area of > 1 million people, it's much easier than if you're living in a smaller city ~250,000. Network, go to meetups, attend open hacks, meet people. More often than not, there are a great deal of job opportunities that never get advertised to the usual channels. Making new connections will help you discover new opportunities.
If you're not learning enough, that's not your employer's fault, it's yours; unless you're working late every night and on the weekends for your employer (if you are, find new job). If it's important, you will find the time. Game of Thrones and Call of Duty can always wait.
Practice your craft, constantly. I realize it may not be possible to do this daily, but try every other day. Set aside time, i.e. 8 PM to 10 PM, or 5 AM to 7 AM (whatever works best). On the weekend, try to carve out a 5 hour block on either Saturday or Sunday. Communicate with your partner why this is important to you. It may not have immediate benefits, but in the long run it will. Commitment and discipline are the most important character traits to have as you endeavor upon this journey.
Thanks for the repleis! I'm currently close to web development (as people nowadays) so that's why I'm thinking about learning clojure/script rather than Lisp - because I can use clojure in daily work but not Lisp.
I have a T420s that was bought new and I love it as a computer -- but when I go to grab a laptop to work on 'on-the-road' I nearly always grab my old X201s + big battery that I bought on ebay for 80 bucks total.
If I was to buy a T420 now-a-days i'd check out eBay. Great deals on older hardware, especially if you don't mind repairing small problems yourself.