Professional Nerdy Girl

My Cup Runneth Over

By M Davies   /     Dec 03, 2014  /     Into the Void  /     1 Comment

It’s been a while.  I’d rather not give any excuses as to where I’ve been, but I’ll just say this….BUSY.  I’ve been extremely busy.  Ridiculously busy.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My apologies for abandoning this blog for a year and then months at a time.  I’m trying to get better about it.


So…where to start with this story….It’s probably going to sound like a rant or a ramble and won’t make much sense to the outsiders of my life, but here we go.  Bare with me.


A few months ago, my husband and I got into a discussion about the previous owners of our current house, mainly because 3 of our neighbors are all moving away for different situations.  The person who lived across the street from us was the brother-in-law of the woman who lived in our house.  He has since moved and the house has been sold and is occupied now.  Before he left we met with him and we thanked each other for being neighbors and looking out for each other.  He seemed genuinely upset that his time in Sweet Valley was coming to a close, but he’s moving closer to his son and he was happy about that.  I can empathize as I’ve been through 4 major moves in my life, although only locally.  Anyway, there’s the back story.


R. had brought up in passing that the daughter of the people who lived in our house had died in a horrible crash on 29.  I know that sounds morbid, but it actually was a discussion about why or why not I should spend money to get snow tires.  A few days later, he sent me a link to the news story about the girl, here it is (Courtesy TL Archives).  I get terrified driving in the snow and the ice, not only am I a girl driver (insert women driving jokes here), but people around here are nuts.  They are either riding your tail or speeding or driving too slow during the conditions.  I don’t think anyone can be an expert on winter driving, but there are some things you can do to keep yourself safer, however that’s another blog post for another time.  Also:  I’m from the Poconos.  I’ve seen my Mother drive after blizzards, ice storms and light snow.  It’s terrifying regardless of what you drive, who you drive with, or what kind of gear your vehicle has (unless you have a tank).  Winter is a necessary evil around here, I just want to be as safe and smart about it as I can.  If that makes me a basket case, so be it, I guess.


What’s interesting about Christy (the girl in the news story) is that we almost have parallel lives.  We live in the same house. We have the same love of the media (although different forms of it).  We both have families that love us dearly.  Communities that respect us.  It just goes to show that a senseless accident can happen to anyone and take a life away in the blink of the eye.  I guess what I’m learning here, is that life is too short to be unhappy.  I am tired of being a complainy pants all of the time.  I’m trying to do things that make me happy, one of which will be writing more.  Starting now.  My friend and NEPA BlogCon cohort Karla has given me a gratitude journal.  I started to write in it, but had to put it down over the holiday as things became too busy.  I will pick it up again and finish it and perhaps even turn it into a Tumblr.  I haven’t decided what I’m doing yet.  I’ll get there eventually.


Speaking of Tumblr….


I have this little project called “Sweet Valley Sunrises“.  It seems that people actually find it on Google and view it often which is interesting to me.  It was kind of just a spinoff blog that I was playing around with.  I kind of suck at photography, and just wanted to document some of the amazing sunrises that I see out here.  Why sunrises?  Because I’m up (to quote the Beastie Boys) at the breaka breaka dawn with my job.  If you haven’t visited that blog lately, I encourage and invite you to do so!  If that seems too overwhelming, watch my stupid crappy video.  Yep, in addition to being a bad photographer, I’m also a bad editor.  I’m multi-talented with badness.  I think?


Good Morning Baby from Michelle Davies on Vimeo.


Cheryl Elston, the sister of Christy happened to find my blog.  She recognized the garage and the shed and the deck of her childhood home and while there were painful memories in her past, she was so happy to get to see her home again.  I sent her a message on Facebook and expressed my sympathy for the loss her family experienced.  No parent should ever have to go through the loss of a child.  It seems too heartbreaking to imagine.  I received the following Facebook message back yesterday from Cheryl, and now I’m feeling all the feels.


Hi Michelle!! Funny enough, about 3 months ago I was trying to connect with other bloggers in NEPA just to see how others do it and i came across the blog page and your Sweet Valley Sunrise page. I thought… how cool i can see sunrises from my hometown! When i started to scroll down… i thought… boy, that looks familiar…. kept scrolling and my jaw fell open as i was looking at our shed and the neighbors house! What an amazing blessing to be able to see sunrises from my old back porch. Thank you!!! I have been meaning to reach out to say thanks and let you know I found it. Thanks for the candle for Christy. She would like that. She was also a total goober… so have a few glasses of wine and a laugh too. I am so happy to know that another family is enjoying my childhood abode and there are kids climbing the poles in the basement. Well, maybe they get in trouble for that like we did. Thanks again for the sunrises! We should chat sometime about blogging. Much love and a happy holiday to all of you! Cheryl


Of course, I would be amiss if I didn’t give a plug to Cheryl’s blog.  Please visit my sister from another mister, but we shared the same house:


And now my entire crazy life has gone full circle weird.  Again.  You’d think I’d be used to this kind of thing by now.


Anyway, thanks for listening.  If you’d like to learn more about the unabridged history of Sweet Valley, please visit Ron Hontz’s website HERE.

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Evidently Chickentown

By M Davies   /     Jul 25, 2014  /     Hilarity, NEPA  /     1 Comment

In the news this week, Northeast PA was rated as the most unhappy place to be in the United States.  I can’t help but to think it’s due to the restrictive rules of raising chickens in these here parts.  In writing this blog post, I found myself asking which came first the chicken or the outrage.



Have you ever eaten farm fresh chicken eggs? They’re delicious! Eggs in general are a great source of protein and vitamin D and when consumed in moderation do not pose a threat to your cholesterol, but rather help to keep your good cholesterol at a healthy level. Eggs are all-natural and provide one of the highest quality proteins of any food available.

Wouldn’t it be great to just pop on out to the coop and collect a few of these healthy little buggers from your very own chickens? Unfortunately, due to an ordinance that is in need of revision, Luzerne County residents don’t have that privilege. Urban and suburban areas in hundreds of cities allow backyard chickens as part of promoting healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Many see it as being along the same lines as backyard gardening. I say, let them have chickens!

Amber Williams

Wilkes-Barre Township

With the influx in the chicken population you can be darned certain that there will be fowl play.  Just ask the “Chicken Wing Bandit”.


Officers said they tried to speak with Cebula, but he appeared highly intoxicated and told them he was “the Chicken Wing Bandit,”

Officials speculate that allowing chickens to roam the streets will cause violent rioting among residents in the region….oh wait….IT’S ALREADY HAPPENING.  RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!


Scranton police arrested a man and woman Wednesday for fighting on a street corner, though the man implicated a chicken for causing his injuries.

Keep the bloody racket down, this is bloody chickentown.


That’s all I have to crow about for the moment.  Enough with the groans, there’s no need to be cocky.

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Fly to Jaboobia – A #NEPA Social Experiment

By M Davies   /     Jul 24, 2014  /     NEPA  /     0 Comment

A few weeks ago, I received an email message from a complete stranger asking for help finding the source of a “NEPA” saying.  I figured that I would be able to easily find the saying in the CoalSpeak Dictionary, but that wasn’t the case.  Really wanting to help out the guy, I turned to social media to (hopefully) find my answer.   Here’s the original email message:


Greetings from North Dakota!

My wife grew up in Wilkes-Barre (1956-1974).    When her mother felt flustered, she might say that she felt like she was going to “fly to Jaboobia” (spelling conjectural).

Over the years we’ve wondered where on earth that expression came from.  It didn’t seem likely that my wife’s mom would have invented it.  Was it perhaps from a movie?  Was it an expression used by other people in Wilkes-Barre?  (Mom lived all her life in Wilkes-Barre and rarely got farther away than neighboring communities.)

I wondered if you, or contacts whom you may have, know the origin of “I felt like I was going to fly to Jaboobia!” as an expression to use when it was all getting to be too much.


(Mr.) Dale Nelson Associate Professor of English Mayville (ND) State University

So what exactly does “fly to Jaboobia” mean?  To the Interwebs, Batman!




I posted the email message to the “You know you’re from NEPA (Wyoming Valley, Wilkes-Barre)when..” group on Facebook to see if anyone had the answer to Mr. Nelson’s question.  Much to my surprise, I received 10 likes and 31 comments to my posting! Here are some of the more popular ones…


Fly to Jaboobia (2)



Other variations that were offered up include:  zaboodie, lower japricka, zababoonie, Jaboobiland, and Jaboogy Beach.  It seems as though every family had a different variation of the word, but essentially they all translate to the same thing….a place far far away.   Although no one was quite sure of the exact origin, the most likely explanation was based on old radio showscomic strips, a location in Africa or a placeholder name.  This doesn’t exactly answer Mr. Nelson’s question, but it should get him started on the right path.


Did your Mom ever want to send you to a real or imaginary place far far away and if so, what did she call it?  Leave me a message in the comments!

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Shit that happened when I wasn’t here

By M Davies   /     Sep 19, 2013  /     Blogging, Community Service, Events, Into the Void  /     2 Comments

I’m channeling my inspiration for today’s blog post from The Bloggess, who has recently followed me on Twitter (YAY, I can die happy!)





News from the Station

I’ve taken over the reigns of the @WNEP twitter account with help from Jim Hamill, Apal and a few others.  There have been bumps in the road, I’m not going to lie, but we are working through them and developing a “Best Practices” guide to Social Media at the station.  I’ve had several spoof accounts shut down in recent weeks and we are well on our way to Twitter verification.  It will be a glorious day when that special blue check mark appears on our account.


WNEP’s Facebook Page reached 100,000 likes 3 weeks ago.  At last check, the competition has approximately 20k likes.  We have more followers by roughly 80k.  It may not seem like a huge deal, but it is to me.  It warms the cockles of my icy cold heart and makes me smile.  LISTEN, I’m already fully aware I’m a huge geek, I don’t need you pointing this out for me.




BlogCon Media Blitz

The NEPA BlogCon frenzy is building week by week.  We are 15 days away from the conference and tickets are selling like hotcakes! This week has been a good week for us traditional media-wise.  We’ve had several appearances through the airwaves and TV sets in Northeast PA.  See for yourself:


On August 8th, I taped an episode of “Save the Kales”.  It was not scheduled to air until the new season began which Jaime said was sometime after September.  “Sometime after September” happened to be over the last week in RCN local programming land – and unfortunately, unless you are in the viewing area, you probably didn’t see the episode.  RCN local programming only airs in the Lehigh Valley/Delaware Valley areas.  FEAR NOT.  Jaime provided me with a Youtube link where you can watch a clip of the episode:


Jaime is up for an Emmy for “Save the Kales” and will be presenting at BlogCon….another reason why you should attend!


Yesterday – 9/18, Mandy joined my favorite morning DJ – Rock 107’s Prospector yesterday morning to promote BlogCon live on the air.  Did you miss it?  SHAME ON YOU.  We’ll forgive you for now, but you can go and listen over on Sound Cloud for a special promo!


Also, yesterday – 9/18, Karla and I made a trek to Lehighton, PA to tape an episode of ComputerWise TV with host George Roberts to discuss BlogCon.  The show went by in the blink of the eye and we had a great time chatting it up with George.  You wouldn’t be able to view this show unless you have Blue Ridge or Service Electric Cable, so the production staff at TV-13 was kind enough to provide us with a DVD of the show.  You can watch it in full below:


Ryan Leckey & I have a crazy Twitter stalker

Taunting online trolls is my favorite pastimes, but I had to put an end to it after this crazy threatened to “Call the Twitter Police” on me.  I reported all 3 (however, there may be more) of her accounts to Twitter Abuse, and they are in the process of shutting them down one by one.  The problem is, its super easy to setup a new Twitter account.  It’s extremely difficult to get one shut down.  She makes a new account every 3 days.  I wish Twitter had some better way of managing this type of abuse.  For now, I am steering clear of Ryan Leckey’s “wife”.  She be cray cray.






I’m sick? Or something.

I swear, I will try to keep this short.  This started festering about 3 weeks ago when I had found a painful lump under my jaw on the left hand side.  I went to the urgent care clinic where they told me that said lump was more than likely a blocked salivary gland or an infected salivary gland.  I started to take antibiotics which gave me diarrhea to the high heavens (sorry, TMI).  I decided to take the antibiotic sparingly.  Well, that backfired.  The following Saturday, I had pain radiating from my jaw all the way up to my eyeball.  I went back to urgent care…who yelled at me for not taking my meds as directed (rightly so) and then prescribed me something new/better.  I’ve been taking that since with no bowel issues, thankfully, but I’m still having a bunch of pain.  Then after working 15 hours last Tuesday, I also developed a cold/sinus infection/flu/whatever.  My throat was raw, my jaw was throbbing and I was in a hell of a lot of pain.  I went to the ENT last Thursday and they prescribed me Prednisone and hardcore pain meds.  I am also scheduled for a CT scan in another week.


Fun fact 1:  CT scans require a dye injection/IV.

Fun fact 2:  I hate needles.

Fun fact 3:  I have medical procedure related vasovagal syncope.

Fun fact 4:  Save a bed for me in the ER next Thursday, since I’ll be hitting the floor.  See also.

I additionally have a dentist appointment this morning.  Since no one knows what specifically is causing my pain, I’m trying to explore every avenue to get this resolved.  I also think I may have found a lump in my stomach that makes me think that the hernia I was concerned about all of those years ago has finally “erupted”, doctor appointment to check that scheduled for tomorrow am.


Apal mentioned me in his blog

Apal used one of the Instagrams I took for the station account on his blog.  He also mentioned me by name.  This is a first and I’m honored.  Read the post here:


Them’s all I got.

‘Til next time.

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Cruel Summer

By M Davies   /     Aug 17, 2013  /     Family, Into the Void  /     2 Comments

To quote Bananarama, it’s been a “Cruel Cruel Summer”.  I’ve been on an an emotional roller coaster since May.  It all started back in May, which may have only been 3 months ago, but feels like it was 3 years ago.  I was invited to my Aunt’s 85th birthday party.  It was also the weekend of Mother’s Day, when my car’s tire decided to blow up miles from home in Blakeslee.  I went to my Aunt’s birthday party Saturday and then worked on my Mother’s computer and took it back up her house on Sunday.  With the tire blowing up, I ended up having issues getting to work on Monday because I had to get it patched.  It was not a fun time at all.  A few weeks later, the tire got a huge bubble:





This was also the weekend I found out that my car doesn’t have a spare, the emergency road kit provided by Fiat does jackshit for a tire bubble, and the road side assistance package only covers tows to the dealership…which by the way doesn’t deal with tires.  Like at all.  I ended up taking the car to Firestone in Wilkes-Barre and having 4 new tires put on, along with them getting mounted, balanced and whatever other services they managed to con me into at the time.  How did I get a bubble in my tire you ask?  Well, it’s pretty much because Old Rte 115 and Hillside Road were in such disrepair that there’s no way to avoid potholes.  I attempted to call Lehman Township to complain about this, but they told me that these are county roads.  Great.  Basically, good luck talking to anyone at the Courthouse.  I don’t have that type time of to waste.  So I took to a letter writing campaign with my state representative Karen Boback and received this response back:




And within the last two weeks, all of the problem areas were patched/paved in Lehman Twp.  Bitches get stuff done.


In June, exactly 1 month to the day after my aunt’s birthday party, she was in hospice and died.  It was very upsetting for me because she was the last living member of that side of the family.  She called me every Christmas to catch up.  I’ve been missing those call in recent years because of work, plus she’d call my home phone which I never monitor.  She was there trying to comfort us when my Grandmother passed away.  The thing that kills me, is that she was found in almost the same way that my Grandmother was.  A relative came over to the house and she was found unresponsive.  It’s no secret that heart/stroke issues happen on that side of the family, but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow either.  My aunt, who would give you the shirt off of her back, donated her body to science.  Hopefully, new medical students and the science community can use her to help find a cure for heart disease or something like that.  We didn’t have a memorial service for her at first because my cousin was in Afghanistan.  When he returned in July, we had the memorial service.


Here are some photos from the birthday party that I will cherish forever:



Also, on the same day that my aunt died in June, my neighbors had one of their horses put down.





The other horse was taken to a nearby farm.  So…no more horses next door.  It definitely smells better, but it’s upsetting not seeing them every morning.  The neighbors are working on taking down their electric fence and cleaning up the yard.


Last week, I visited Allentown to tape an episode of “Save the Kales” a vegan cooking show that airs in the Lehigh Valley on RCN cable.  The host, Jaime Karpovich, was one of the presenters at last year’s NEPA BlogCon, and she will be presenting again this year with Christina Hitchcock of “It’s a Keeper“.  Speaking of NEPA BlogCon, TICKET SALES OPEN IN 3 DAYS.  OMG.  I am going to be infinitely busy for the next 8 weeks doing the conference planning thing.  Please forgive me in advance if you find me in a corner rocking back and forth whispering the names of blogging platforms to myself.


Here’s a picture behind the scenes at Save the Kales:




Also last week, I went to the Raising the Roof Rooftop Party in downtown Wilkes-Barre with Karla and Stewie.  We made the Electric City.



Also, we had to put my dog down.  He was 13 years old and was having trouble with arthritis and controlling his bladder.  It was upsetting.  I still have a hard time thinking about it without tearing up.  Many people have asked me if there will be a new dog.  I just can’t even think of that right now.  It doesn’t seem right.




Last week, I was given a new responsibility at work of tweeting from the @WNEP twitter account.  It’s been an interesting experience so far.  We had an Amber Alert go out for a girl taken from Schuylkill county.  As information was coming out about the kidnapper, I was tweeting about it and also live tweeting the update when she was found.  I even got to use “BREAKING” in a tweet and have it be about a real thing.  My tweets were retweeted by many and I have no doubt that getting the information to go viral assisted in getting the girl returned safely home.  It’s amazing to see the power of social media in action.


Wednesday evening, after working two 10 hour days, I was contacted by a long lost relative.  “The missing link” if you will. My grandfather’s family has always been hard to trace because of the last name being spelled six different ways – so I turned to Facebook – and I found someone that’s spells it Hryvniak and sent them a message for the hell of it. Guess. What. His great-grandfather and my great-grandfather were brothers. Alex and Dmytro have been reunited at long last from beyond the grave! I cannot believe it.  I called John on Thursday night, and we decided that we are cousins based on what his Dad has told him so far.  He’s digging through his house to find more information about the family tree.  I am planning on writing an extended blog post about all of this very soon.  Stay tuned!


I’m ready for the summer to be over and for the roller coaster ride to end.  It’s just all been too much to cope with.  Here’s to more peaceful times.


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By M Davies   /     May 09, 2013  /     Technology Hates Me, TV Rants  /     0 Comment

On April 17th, I appeared on a local cable access technology show, ComputerWise.  The topic of discussion for the show was “Mining on the Internet” with a specific emphasis in bitcoin.  Bitcoin is an open source deregulated digital currency, a protocol, and a software that enables…



• Instant peer to peer transactions

• Worldwide payments

• Low or zero processing fees

• And much more! (Source:



Rich has been reading up on bitcoin for sometime and cramming my brain with information about how it works, who’s using it, what it can be used for and the like.  I thought it was an interesting topic, so I contacted George Roberts, the host of ComputerWise, and he agreed that it would be a good topic to discuss!


It’s been a while since I crammed for something, but I worked most of the day on that Wednesday to put together some discussion points to talk about live later that evening.  Powerpoint is how I like to roll, pulling my inspiration for the presentation from the 20×20 format that Pecha Kucha uses.  Here are the fruits of my labor:


Here’s the full episode of ComputerWise that I was on (my part starts about 26:00 in):



I’ve been watching this show for MANY years.  In my experience, the viewers of ComputerWise aren’t necessarily “tech savvy”, so the information that I discussed was a bit of a dumbed down version so that the viewers of the show could more easily understand what was going on.  Here’s a link to show you the demographics of the viewers of the ComputerWise website (most of them are pointed there from the TV show):


The format of ComputerWise is kind of casual.  George is a gracious host and makes you feel comfortable, but he doesn’t really reveal what questions he may ask during the segment.  You have to think about what may be asked and try to be prepared to answer questions.  I’m not going to lie.  I could feel myself not being prepared for a few questions and tried to think quick on my feet by making use of the computer on set or kind of BSing my way through a question or two.  All in all, I think I nailed a good majority of the talking points.  I am always super critical of myself and think I do awful on TV.  It pains me to watch.  I asked a few other of the reporters and meteorologists that I work with how they deal with it, and they feel the same way.  I guess it’s a natural thing.  Every time I get nervous, I think back to Leadership Wilkes-Barre advice on public speaking my class received:  Only you know how you feel on the inside.  No one else can tell you are nervous, anxious or ready to crawl out of your skin unless you make it obvious or mention something about it.  Fake it ’til you make it.  Or whatever.


It’s really great being able to educate people about a topic they may not otherwise know about.  This is my fourth time on the show doing such things.  I have already suggested some more ideas to George for upcoming shows.  I would love to some day see a show like this come to NEPA (ComputerWise mainly airs in the Lehigh Valley area, and to those who have Service Electric and Blue Ridge Cable).  Even if it existed in an online format.  Hmmmmm *wheels turning*…..

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