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3 for 3

By M Davies   /     Apr 04, 2015  /     30 Day @Neilbytes Blogging Challenge, NEPA  /     3 Comments

And no, I’m not talking about my 3 day streak of blog posts….

 

It was a violent week to live in Wilkes-Barre.  There’s been three shootings in as many days.  According to the Citizens’ Voice, it’s been over 6 months since the last fatal shooting in the Diamond City.  In the last 36 hours:  an alleged accidental shooting occurred on South Street, a drive-by happened on South Main Street and a suspicious fatal shooting was discovered on Carey Ave.  The comment sections on most of the local media websites are typically a hot bed of troll activity for events such as this, but you’ve got to wonder if sometimes they make a good point…

 

truth

 

I don’t think I could have said this better myself.

 

Zeroing in on the drive-by shooting at (“the club”) Club Envy.  When I first learned of the news of this shooting, I assumed that it happened in downtown Wilkes-Barre or around Public Square since that is where most of the clubs and drinking establishments are.  Nope.  It actually happened at the old “Outsiders” biker bar next to Main Hardware (home of “Christmasland”) on South Main Street.  If you follow the papers, “Outsiders” was a known trouble spot for years, constantly in trouble with the LCB for one thing or another.  It was shutdown after DJ Mo tragically lost his life in a similar incident in 2013, a year which netted 13 homicides in Wilkes-Barre.  You’d like to think that with a name and management change that the culture would also change, but yeahhhhh… not so much.

 

I’ve gone to the old “Outsiders” 3 times when I lived in the city.  Once with a friend, once with my husband, and once alone.  The (last) time I went alone was a liquid lunch after I lost my job at Frontier on October 31, 2007.  I did not run into trouble on any of these occasions.  Am I missing something?  Are people being specifically targeted?  What exactly is going on here?  The likely answer is that the incidents were drug or gang related.  Regardless, the violence and loss of life is stupid and senseless.

 

I hope the police get to the bottom of it before another incident occurs.

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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.

 

Editor:

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.

Thanks!

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

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

 

survey-says

 

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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We Want to Win!

By M Davies   /     Mar 27, 2013  /     Blogging, Events, NEPA  /     0 Comment

NEPA Blogs Mirrored Post

 

The Weekender is holding their annual “Weekender Readers’ Choice” nomination/awards.  The NEPA Blogs team (Harold, Gort and I) would really love it if you’d take a moment to nominate NEPA Blogs for the honor of Best Local Blog.  The ballot is located here:  http://www.theweekender.com/readerschoice/weekender-readers-choice-2013.

 

You must vote for at least 25 categories and only once to be counted.  You have until Tuesday, April 12th to cast your ballot.

 

AR-130319976

 

We completely missed the nomination process last year while focusing on other things (mainly Spring BlogFest).  We want to win the whole kit caboodle this year, baybee!

 

Please share with anyone who is casting a ballot.  A vote for us can help them make their quota of 25 entries!

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Do I want to go to Bloggy Conference 2013? Um, yes.

By M Davies   /     Mar 17, 2013  /     Blogging, Events, NEPA  /     6 Comments

This post is an entry into the Building Blog Bridges giveaway I have entered for a chance to win one Bloggy Conference 2013 ticket.

 

I don’t usually use my personal blog for a specific purpose other than to get stuff off of my chest.  Not this time.  This time, I am blogging in hopes of winning a Bloggy Conference ticket.  Bloggy Conference’s vision focuses on offering new and continuously developing approach to growth, networking and education in social media.  To give my readers a little background, I learned about this conference and opportunity on a website I happened upon about a year ago called BloggyMoms.  While I am a Mom who blogs, I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a “Mommy Blogger”.  The reason I had actually joined this particular network of bloggers was to attract attention to two other blogging projects that I am involved with.  In short, I feel that attending the Bloggy Conference would benefit these two projects that I am involved with.  Allow me to digress!  (*Ahem* that’s code for Let me talk your ear off.)

 

 

I started my personal blogging adventure in 2001 on Diaryland, if you could even call that “blogging”.  It was more of a personal journal in my opinion.  In 2003, I decided to up the ante and moved from that platform to my own hosted domain name and a CMS called “Greymatter”.  I didn’t have any expectations about blogging other than to talk about things going on in my life (at the time – getting married and my pregnancy with my daughter) in a humorous way .  It also gave me a chance to play around with HTML, CSS and PHP coding – something that I didn’t really touch in my job function at the time.  I didn’t really believe anyone would actually read it.  As you’ll find out below…I was wrong!  One day, I was checking out my blog’s statistics and noticed that I received an incoming link from a blog called “NEPA Blogs“.  “What is that?” I pondered.  When I followed the link, I was greeted with a bunch of links for blogs from my own backyard.  Like a mad man, I contacted the group’s administrators and started suggesting my own links from the area.  And that’s how the story begins….

 

 

In July of 2008, I was invited to join the ranks of this popular group of bloggers in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  The group was started in January of 2006 and formed by Harold Jenkins.  He himself started blogging that year and wanted to see if there were any other local bloggers out there.  The group came to be known as “NEPA Blogs” (NEPA, btw,  stands for Northeastern Pennsylvania).  Harold’s mission was very simple.  He wanted NEPA Blogs to become a clearinghouse providing links to blogs and other sites about Northeastern Pennsylvania or by people from Northeastern Pennsylvania, in other words, he wanted to create a regional blogging community.  Harold had also recruited another local political blogger, Ben Hoon, to help seek out bloggers from the region.  Together, the three of us have been blogging for the community for five years.  We’ve had our share of squabbles and successes, but we remain tightly knit through it all.

 

 

In April of 2011, I decided to leave my job in the Supply Chain management field to change career paths.  I was unemployed for a little over a month before I found work back in my field of choice – IT.  During that month, I took a lot of time for myself, but I also dedicated a bunch of my free time to help improve NEPA Blogs.  I registered a top level domain for the Blogger site and worked to transform the social media footprint of the group.  I created a Google+ account, a Facebook page and group, a Twitter account and a Pinterest account to accomplish this feat.  Each week I work to keep these accounts up-to-date with the latest blogging news from the area.  I was/am instrumental in gaining media attention for NEPA Blogs.  With my assistance, NEPA Blogs secured a weekly “Blog of the Week” segment on WBRE-TV’s (Wilkes-Barre’s NBC affiliate) local variety show called PA Live! that my blogging partner Harold produces/hosts.  We’ve also been been featured in several local periodicals, interviewed for a local radio station WFTE-FM, and have been asked as guests on local cable access TV show ComputerWise.  You can read these articles, listen to the interviews and watch the segments on my press page.  I’m happy to report that with all of this newly found attention, our page views sky rocketed and we connected with more local bloggers than ever before!  In January, Harold created a presentation for Pecha Kucha Night Scranton that summarized all of NEPA Blogs successes throughout the years.  I’d like to share that with you below!

 

One of the fun parts of being a part of a community of bloggers is by far the meet-ups.  You get to meet all of the people you know from online, offline!  The first meet-up was held in December of 2006.  Sadly, I was not able to attend the first event because I was still learning to cope with being a mother of two children!  I gave birth to my son in August of 2006 and he still wasn’t sleeping all that well through the night.  My daughter was barely 2.  I had my hands full and not much time to myself.  The turnout was small, but I’m told that the atmosphere was friendly and warm.  I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t miss the next one.

 

I was given the opportunity soon enough, Ben and another local blogger David Yonki started planning bi-annual “Blog Fests”.  These events are usually geared more toward the political bloggers and the evening has a casual networking atmosphere.  The rules for these meet-ups are (according to Ben): no speeches are allowed and agree to disagree but don’t be disagreeable.  Independents, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Pastafarians all converge on a Pub in Pittston, PA and for that night put their differences aside to have a little fun.

 

From our NEPA Blog Fest gatherings, I learned that social media, networking, and blogging was a hot button issue in the community.  Those who didn’t know about it wanted to learn about it.  It started the discussion “What if we could transform these gatherings into a learning experience?”  Soon after, plans started to come together for an educational blogging conference.  I got to meet and collaborate with 3 amazingly talented local blogger women to organize this conference.  We called ourselves the Fearsome Foursome and we named the event “NEPA BlogCon” — NEPA’s first ever blogging and social media conference.  The four of us agreed that blogging gatherings should not just be limited to drinks and politics.  We really wanted to give something back to the community while teaching the area about the latest technologies for personal branding, marketing and blog monetization at their disposal.  Our first event, last year was a success!  We had 80 attendees and were able to donate over $2000 split between two local non-profits/charities.  Our speakers included the talented Kris Jones, Lauren O’Nizzle, Kuhcoon.com, and Gala Darling!

 

Now that you know a little bit about my background, I am sure that you can see I am extremely passionate about blogging and blogging communities.  Attending this conference would be of great value to me, not just for the exceptional sessions and panels, but also the planning aspect.  Up until planning our conference last year, I have never attended a blogging or social media conference before.  I’d love to see how others do it – I’m sure there’s a great deal of room for improvement on our parts, but it was only our first year.  We were just inventing the wheel.  BloggyCon 2013 could help me put more “tools” in my preverbal “toolbox” for this year’s conference planning.  I’d also love to meet some bloggers from outside the area.

 

In closing, I have always strived to be a lifelong learner and feel that whatever I may learn from the sessions and panels at Bloggy Con can not only can be used on this rinky-dink personal blog of mine, but across the Northeast Pennsylvania blogosphere.  I thank you for your consideration and for listening to my rambling!

 

Bloggy Conference 2013!

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