Wow, I haven't used my blog since last year! Steampunk Hands Around the World returns for it’s fourth year, continuing the celebration of the best that the global steampunk community has to offer.The 2017 theme of the annual month long blogathon is “Making Life Better”. Steampunk is pretty much the only thing that currently keeps me sane. My lifelong battle with various diseases and other health issues reached a fever pitch early last year, and because of that it's been pretty difficult for me to find work. Difficult in that I haven't worked for nearly a year and a half. For various infuriating reasons I don't seem to qualify for any government assistance whatsoever. I've worked my entire life, with only one short stint with unemployment in 2002. I'm very fortunate that my wife's salary barely keeps us afloat, especially with the cost of keeping me alive. I've attempted to make money making and selling steampunk props on Etsy, and that has made us extra money for when we want to go to a convention. It also gives me a creative outlet so I don't feel so worthless. I really do love making things, and when my pain allows me, I can make pretty awesome stuff. I also use my time managing the Richmond Steampunk Society via it's Facebook group and Facebook page. I've also integrated the RSS with this website, originally created for The Clan of Teks in Cincinnati. I've tried really hard to grow the ACTIVE steampunk crowd in Richmond through these pursuits, and I know there are a lot of Steampunks in Richmond, VA, the size of the group on Facebook shows that, but trying to get them to come out and do steampunk things? That's been hard. But I keep trying. I think though that without Steampunk as a hobby and lifestyle, I'd be in a pretty bad state. It has literally saved me from going out of my mind.