Over the Top? Just a Little.

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What is up with everybody thinking they need a limo to go to the prom?  Puh-leeze.  But if you must, can you at least come up with something better than a stretch Hummer?  That’s not high class – that’s absolutely no class at all.  Whatever happened to real limousines (not these vulgar caricatures)?  You know, something more like this:

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What was my ride to the prom?  Why, funny you should ask:

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Like a Needle in a Haystack

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As I was noting in one or another of recent posts (here, here, and here) I haven’t spent as much time writing as I had earlier this year.  One of the reasons is that I’ve been chasing money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the community I serve.  It has proven much more difficult than I would have thought – and certainly more difficult than those critics who think we’ve missed the boat in “filling out an application for federal stimulus money” would have you believe.

So far we have actually filed one application (all done electronically) for funds under the Department of Justice’s COPS Hiring Recovery Program.  We are working on a joint application for Recovery Act JAG (Justice Assistance Grant) funds, will be indirectly benefited by funds received by the state and county through other various federal agencies and programs, and are looking at a few other possibilities.  While a lot of effort has been put into transparency and accountability (both of which are good things), information about individual programs has often been hard to come by, agency sites are not always very clearly laid out in identifying Recovery Act funds, information about many programs has not yet been released, and application timeframes are often quite short (all of which are not so good).

Another snag we’ve run into is the notion that projects have to be “shovel ready.”  Ordinarily we do project planning and engineering only to a point of making the “go-no go” decision, but don’t actually do the final project engineering until after bonding authority and/or financing has already been secured.  This means we don’t have a lot of projects just sitting around in a can ready to go, just waiting for someone to throw money at us.  Without bond approval or other financing it just wouldn’t make sense to spend tens or hundreds of thousands or, in some cases, millions of dollars on construction drawings for something we might never build.  So, “shovel ready” makes for a nice sound bite, but doesn’t translate very well into actually putting money to work in a short period of time – not when it comes to infrastructure and facilities, anyway.

In any case, we’ll keep at it.

Facebook Ate My Blog

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January 29, 2009.  The day I joined Facebook.  Ten posts in January, eight in February, seven in March, and, so far, um, none in April (until now).  Of course there have been other things to occupy my time – budget woes resulting from the economic downturn, tax forms, financial aid forms, other work-related trials and tribulations.  But clearly the amount of time I have been spending on Facebook commenting on other people’s status, playing Word Challenge and Pet Society, and making lists of various things five at a time has contributed to the dust collecting on my blog.  Not that the diversions on FB are all that diverting, nor that my blogging is all that exciting, but I’m left to wonder – well, not really.  I was going to say that I wondered why I was spending time on Facebook instead of blogging, but I know why.

A quick status update, or a comment, or picking five favorite cheeses, all take very little time.  Writing a blog post involves much more time, what with trolling around for an idea (unless one either presents itself in the morning news or pops into my head), finding appropriate art work and links, and thinking through whatever the issue is to develop some kind of perspective.  Facebook is the quick hit and doesn’t lend itself to more thoughtful writing and discussion (like you should expect to find those here!).  Anyway, it’s not that I don’t like Facebook, but I don’t like that I’ve allowed it to absorb any of the time I might otherwise have spent finding things to write about on my blog.

I’ll try to be a little more diligent in meeting the expectations of my .37 readers per day.

Happy Tuesday.