Wednesday, January 30, 2013

About the header image: January 30, 2013

This week's header is from Lara Greenberg ( It's a view of the Market Street Bridge from the Kingston side, looking towards Wilkes-Barre on January 23, 2013. As Lara says in the accompanying note: may not be the snowiest NEPA photo but you can almost feel how cold it was when this picture was taken. Ice was floating in the Susquehanna River and I couldn't entirely feel my fingers. Thank you, Winter, for reminding us what 7 degrees feels like.
Spring is coming! But Winter will still be with us for a while. If you have any photos that capture Winter or Spring in NEPA, or any other aspect of NEPA you'd like to put on display, send it in to us at and we'll use it as the blog header some week!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

PA Live! Blog of the Week: Scranton & Wilkes-Barre in Entertainment

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

Watch this episode on the PA Live! site:

Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is Scranton & Wilkes-Barre in Entertainment (

Scranton and Wilkes-Barre have a long relationship with entertainment, stretching from the days of Vaudeville and traveling shows where Northeastern Pennsylvania was considered a necessary stop, to modern movies and TV shows where the region is used as a backdrop. The folks at the Reference Department at the Albright Memorial Library in Scranton have set out to catalog all of these references, and have been at it. You probably know that Scranton is the setting for the Woody Harrelson movie "Kingpin" and the American version of the TV series "The Office," but there are dozens - maybe hundreds - of other movies and TV shows that mention Scranton or Wilkes-Barre at least in passing. 

This site contains all sorts of references and connections between  movie, television, and the Scranton/Wilkes-barre area. More than that, this site also lists folks from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area who have made it big in the entertainment industry. It's been going strong since July of 2005, and still hasn't run out of ideas! If you'd like to learn more, be sure to check out Scranton & Wilkes-Barre in Entertainment!

If you have a blog you would like us to link on NEPA Blogs, or know of a blog you think we should link, please let us know! You can always drop us a line at!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Whiskey Bacon

I first met Dan Kimbrough at last September's NEPA BlogCon, where he was recording the event on video and serving delicious food courtesy of Whiskey Bacon, which was one of the BlogCon's sponsors. I didn't realize at the time - or in the numerous times that I've met and hung out with him since, up until last night - that Whiskey Bacon is actually Dan's blog!

Whiskey Bacon

Correction/update, 1/31/13: Dan has pointed out to me that Whiskey Bacon isn't "his" blog, but is instead a team effort:
I did want to mention one thing, I'm not Whiskey Bacon, we're a team. It's Leni Konstas, Theresa Lazzari and myself. We all work on the blog, photos, recipes and outings we go on. There's no way I could handle it all on my own!
I've also met Leni at the NEPA BlogCon and at a few events afterwards!

Whiskey Bacon is a food blog, and what a food blog it is! It features delicious recipes for delicious food, and delicious photos of delicious food!

From their "About Us":

Whiskey Bacon is…
…your drunken one night stand, sober up meal at six a.m., all while meeting friends at your favorite diner.
…ripping the recipe out of the magazine, changing the ingredients, turning a pasta into a pizza,  or a vegan dish into a bacon feast.
…the loudest table shoved into the corner of the restaurant, who doesn’t leave until after last call is served.
… the twenty things you shouldn’t have eaten last month, but really, who’s counting carbs that taste this great?
… the bakery you stumble into on accident, and return to every week for fresh muffins and bread.
… taking that box of CSA ingredients to make a pesto to last all winter.

If you like food, like reading about food, or just like pictures of food, be sure to check out Whiskey Bacon! Keep some wipes handy, because you may drool on your keyboard and lick your monitor!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

About the header image: January 23, 2013

Well, so far this year we've posted headers from Mike Burnside, Frank Dutton, and Michelle Hryvnak Davies - so I figured I may as well throw in one by me! This is actually a panorama, a composite of several overlapping images I took of the partially-frozen Susquehanna back on February 5, 2009. The full story of this photo safari can be found here. (To sum up: Damn, it was cold on that bridge.)

2013 seems to be having a Winter, something we really didn't experience in 2012. Do you have any photos that capture Winter in NEPA - even if it isn't this Winter? Send them in to us at, and we'll use them as the NEPA Blogs header! But hurry - Spring is coming!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

PA Live! Blog of the Week: Jenny Hill

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

Watch this episode on the PA Live! site:

Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is Jenny Hill (

Jenny Hill may be familiar to regular viewers of PA Live! As a member of Whirligig Hoopers, she appeared on the show in November 2011 to teach Dave and Monica how to hoop. But hooping was just one of Jenny Hill's many talents. She is also an accomplished poet, and she uses her eponymous blog Jenny Hill to share her poetry with the world. Jenny no longer lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania; she moved away to the Lancaster area a few months ago. So her blog now also serves to help her stay in contact with friends and fans in NEPA while she's off somewhere else.

Northeastern Pennsylvania is full of talented and creative people: hoopers, poets, artists, writers...all of whom could benefit from having a blog as a means of sharing their creative works with the rest of the world. A blog is a quick, simple, and free way of establishing your presence online and showing everyone what  you've got!

If you have a blog you would like us to link on NEPA Blogs, or know of a blog you think we should link, please let us know! You can always drop us a line at!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pecha Kucha returns to The Vintage in Scranton

The speed-slideshow presentation known as Pecha Kucha returns to The Vintage in Scranton this coming Saturday, January 26! Twenty slides, twenty seconds apiece, no going back! Several NEPA bloggers will be involved in this event, including co-administrator Michelle Hryvnak Davies. I will also be presenting "A Brief History of NEPA Blogs," covering the first seven years of the site in six minutes and forty seconds!

Pecha Kucha night will take place at the new location of the Vintage, 326 Spruce Street in Scranton. The last time Pecha Kucha was at the Vintage it was standing room only.  Presentations start at 7:30, so be there early to get a good seat!

From the Pecha Kucha Scranton Facebook page:

Join us for an evening of supercharged show and tell for the 21st century as we present Scranton's 3rd Pecha Kucha Night at The Vintage Theater on Saturday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m. 

Grab your tickets!

Each presenter gets 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to get to the point on whatever subject they choose. Past presentation topics include library crimes, life lessons learned from a first job, Scranton movie title parodies, lies about Belgium, and increasing your real life social network. 

You'll enjoy the talking talents of local movers, shakers, storytellers, and creators like: 
-Ted Michalowski
-Jeff Fowler
-Michelle Davies
-Karla Porter
-Brian Fulton
-Jenna Urban
-Harold Jenkins
-Jeff Stolarcyk
...and maybe a few more surprises!

Pecha Kucha Night was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. Today, this concise but fun presentation style is practiced in more than 500 cities around the world. Learn more at:

Tickets: $8 in advance online (, $10 at the door. 

What: Pecha Kucha Night Scranton
When: Saturday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Vintage - 326 Spruce St. in Downtown Scranton
How much: $8 online, $10 at the door
To purchase tickets:

Questions: Send us an email at, add us on Twitter @pechakuchascran, or visit our Facebook page:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

About the header image: January 16, 2013

Our header photo this week comes from co-administrator Michelle Hryvnak Davies. Countless times I've looked up at the towers on the hill known as Penobscot Knob and wondered at their sheer size. A few times I've taken the drive up Giant's Despair and passed between the towers like a football through goalposts.  This week, Michelle shares with us the view of the Wyoming Valley as seen from the base of these towers!

Do you have any unique views of Northeastern Pennsylvania you'd like to share? Send them to us at and we'll feature them as NEPA Blogs headers!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

PA Live! Blog of the Week: Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers' Collective

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

Watch this episode on the PA Live! site:

Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers' Collective (

Northeastern Pennsylvania is full of talented artists, writers, poets, and playwrights, creative people who practice their skills individually or in groups. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers' Collective is a writing group based in Scranton's Vintage Theater. It's one of many writing groups in the area, and with a history stretching back forty years possibly one of the oldest. It's also one of the only writing groups to have a blog, or a dedicated website of any sort. (Full disclosure: I created and maintain the blog, and have been a member of the group for the past year.) On the Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers' Collective blog you'll find news and announcements about the group and its upcoming events, writing prompts, writing tips, basic information for people thinking of joining, and lots of links to writing blogs and other blogs of interest to writers.

Many groups could benefit from having a website of some sort for keeping in touch with members, advertising events, and attracting new members. But too often people are discouraged from creating a website because they feel they will need to take on the expense of buying a domain and hiring someone to design, build, and maintain the site. With a blog you can go from idea to execution in just a few minutes with no technical knowledge, and you can continue to update and revise your site without having to hire anyone else to do it for you. The site and space are free if you use a service like Blogger or Wordpress. At no expense anyone can set up a blog for their group and let the world know what they're all about. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Writers' Collective blog is an example of this sort of do-it-yourself group website. How many other groups are just waiting to make their presence known on the internet? Free publicity is just a blog away!

If you have a blog you would like us to link on NEPA Blogs, or know of a blog you think we should link, please let us know! You can always drop us a line at!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Linking back to NEPA Blogs

NEPA Blogs is a network of blogs by people from or living in Northeastern Pennsylvania or who blog about Northeastern Pennsylvania. Our goal is to link to all of the blogs that fall into those categories, and to increase the "linkiness" of all the linked blogs, making it more likely that people will find your blog through a link or a search engine search.

Originally NEPA Blogs was going to be a one-to-one network (or, really, all-to-all), where every member would link to every other member. This would increase everybody's linkiness tremendously, but would also require lots of effort to add new members, or remove dead links. So the decision was made to make it a hub-and-spokes network, where there would be a central site - NEPA Blogs - that points to everyone else's site, and everyone in the network would point back to the central site. In this way the central site would have a high degree of linkiness - lots of links coming in, lots of links going out, and everyone else would have the benefit of being linked by a strong central site, and being just two clicks away from everyone else. (And, of course, everyone could still link to everyone else if they wanted to!)

The thing is, this plan only really works if everyone who is being linked by the central site also links back to the central site. Otherwise the central site has a lot of links pointing out, but only a few pointing in, and the benefit of being linked by the central site is diminished.

Is your site linked from NEPA Blogs? If so, does your site link back to NEPA Blogs? If not, there are some simple ways to fix that.

One way is to just add a link to your main page. The link could go to, or even (which would be especially useful when and if we ever migrate to another platform.) Test the link, make sure it goes where it's supposed to go - the main page, that is - and you're done!

Another way is to add one of our lovely lovely buttons to your site - or even make one of your own! As of this writing we have nine styles on our sidebar to choose from, four by me, four by professional designer Leslie Stewart of Darling Stewie! Just be sure to add the code that will link the button back to either, or If you need instructions, Michelle has also written those out in tremendous detail.

So that's it! By linking back to the NEPA Blogs site, you help to strengthen the linkiness of the entire NEPA Blogs network. And that benefits all of us!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

About the header image: January 9, 2013

It's been so long since Northeastern Pennsylvania has dealt with a snow-covered landscape for more than a few days at a time that I'd actually forgotten how the snow and ice highlights and transforms once-familiar landscapes. Frank Dutton has taken many, many photos of Nay Aug Falls in Scranton, but when I saw this photo this past weekend I felt like I was seeing the Falls for the first time. I am grateful that Frank was willing to share this image with us, and I regret that I had to crop it a bit to fit our header guidelines. You can see the full-sized original here, and you can see all of Frank Dutton's remarkable photography over at his blog, Frank's Place (

Has the snow opened your eyes to new ways of seeing familiar landscapes? Take a photo and send it in to us at, and we'll post it as a header!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

PA Live! Blog of the Week: Chris Dolan's Blog

NEPA Blogs will be presenting a "Blog of the Week" on the WBRE's PA Live! every Tuesday. PA Live! airs weekday afternoons on WBRE from 4:00 to 5:00.

Watch this episode on the PA Live! site:

Our PA Live! Blog of the Week this week is Chris Dolan's Blog (

Chris Dolan was an intern at WBRE and PA Live! a while back. He used to escort guests onto and off of the set, along with other behind-the-scenes duties. It wasn't until after his internship ended that I discovered he was also a blogger! Chris blogs about a lot of things: his experiences at the University of Scranton (where he is a writer for the school newspaper, the Aquinas), politics, autograph collecting, Bruce Springsteen, and other things that interest him. Having met Chris many times on the set of PA Live!, I found it fascinating to get this completely different window on his life.

Personal blogs let us see people as they choose to present themselves to the world, celebrities and everyday folks alike. By reading a personal blog like Chris Dolan's, you can get new insights into a person and learn things you might not otherwise have known. And by creating your own personal blog, you can tell your own story and decide what you want to share about yourself with the rest of the world.

If you have a blog you would like us to link on NEPA Blogs, or know of a blog you think we should link, please let us know! You can always drop us a line at!

From the mailbag: Abingtonian Adventures

Today's blog addition comes to us from Jennifer Deinlein, a NEPA transplant originally from SouthCentral PA. Jennifer is using her blog "Abingtonian Adventures" to document her adventures as a new NEPA resident and equally new mommy-to-be, as well as the not-so-new adventures in freelance writing and other activities.

I have recently started a blog called "Abingtonian Adventures." My husband and I are fairly new to NEPA, now living in South Abington Twp., and I like alliteration. :-)
I blog about getting to know NEPA, organizing our house, being a new mommy-to-be, freelance writing, and anything else I deem "adventure." I'd really appreciate being listed on your blog!
Thank you!

Jennfer's "adventures" could be as simple as going on a drive or organizing her house.  They could also be complex like adapting to a new area or preparing for a new baby.  We are glad to add "Abington Adventures" to our blog roll and hope that you'll take a moment to follow along with these adventures on her blog! 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Herbvaceous Lady

The Herbavaceous Lady (aka Sara Crolick) is a little lady on the quest for all things green, nutritious, and joy-inducing as indicated by her blog's tagline.

Sara is a relatively new member to our NEPA Bloggers Facebook group.  She's a former resident of PA who attended Wilkes and is now living in Colorado.  I hate putting labels on bloggers, but Sara is a true "life" blogger with sprinklings of her vegan roots.

From the about page:

Why I became a vegan:  I was twelve the first time I told my parents I would be a vegetarian. I would love to attribute some deep, secret, humanitarian voice guiding my decision, but I feel restlessness and identity-searching were the driving force. My mother didn’t give the cause much thought, certain I was going to lose interest in the idea; my attention span was inconsistent, at best. She just insisted that if I was to become a vegetarian, I would cook for myself. In response, I bought a cookbook. Purchasing a physical object that represented my decision seemed a solid first step.   Ours was a household of comfort foods. The menu often promised animal centered dishes like tunafish casserole, beef stroganoff (a disastrous night for me), and scrambled eggs for dinner. I didn’t know it then because I was too busy having a happy childhood, but these meals were a quiet representation of our meager financial standing.  My parents cooked within their means and I was always physically satiated when I went to bed; however, I still sought a spiritual satiation. My relationship with vegetarianism was short lived and (much like my attention span) inconsistent. Time passed and like most kids, I grew up, though, I did keep the cookbook. 

Be sure to check out her edibles section as there are a lot of yummy and healthy ideas to get a kick start on that New Year's resolution that we all have -- to eat better!

Sara has a loyal Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest following if you'd like to connect with her.  Don't forget to connect with us on those networks too!

Saturday, January 05, 2013


When the list of bloggers who took part in the NEPA BlogCon was compiled back in September, Dawn Miklich's NEPA Pets was referred to as a "blog in progress." In the months since then it's become fully activated, with regular posts - including daily posts through December right up to Christmas!


From the "About" page:

I think loving pets is a genetic thing in my family. Everyone does, although probably not as much as me. I think the gene is amplified in me. While I never became the veterinarian I wanted to be when I was younger, I’ve been lucky to spend most of my life working and learning about pets.

Much of that time working with pets has been here in Northeastern Pennsylvania so I know people living here are passionate about their pets. NEPA Pets was started to give pet owners a place to learn new things to help give their pet the best life possible, to help make a difference for homeless pets in NEPA and to share the love we all have for our pets.

The NEPA Pets blog is part of a complete online presence, with components on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, too! If you're a pet lover, be sure to check out Dawn Mikulich's excellent blog!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

About the header image: January 2, 2013

A new year is a lot like Shakespeare's "undiscovered country," from Hamlet - and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. In Hamlet the undiscovered country from which no traveler has returned is "death," but Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country recast it as "the future." (Ironically, the guy who made that reference in the movie wound up dead just a few scenes later.)

Mike Burnside's picture of Route 118 near Ricketts Glen State Park is a lot like a new year: the view in the distance is shrouded in fog, with looming shapes and oncoming dangers.  It's gloomy and spooky. But there's a bright red sign for a hotel. Maybe we should just check in there until the fog burns off and it's safe to drive again!

So now we've entered into a new year. What does 2013 have in store for NEPA Blogs? If you submit your photos to you can help to set the look for the NEPA Blogs header a week a a time!