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Monday, June 27, 2011

pop-we Dinner Club Reviews Rock Bottom in Old Market

Rock Bottom in Old Market
This month the pop-we Dinner Cub hit Rock Bottom ( in the Old Market located in downtown Omaha, NE. Each month a member picks a restaurant to dine at this month's was Sue's pick. Rock Bottom is part of a family of 34 brewpubs all across the United States. The restaurants are a microbrewery with a great menu that includes: appetizers, brewery classics (jambalaya, pork chops, fried chicken, mac and cheese, steaks along with others), pizza and desserts

Rock Bottom is located on the corner of 11th and Harney. When you walk inside the restaurant it looks like a typical pub. There is a nice size bar in the middle of the restaurant with televisions hanging all around. The restaurant is made up of many tables and booths, along the window there are three large “U” shaped booths with beer taps in the middle of the tables.

Our party of 10 sat in a beer tap table, it was a little crowded, so we added a couple bar stools to the end of the table. We had a lot of fun with the beer tap, the table has a LCD screen to track the number of ounces for the two taps on the table which you are charged $0.28 per ounce ($4.50/16oz). We had fun with our waitress who played along with our shenanigans.
Reserve a beer tap table

I had the jambalaya for $14.95, it was a good portion for the size. The jambalaya had good flavor but it had no spice at all. I had to added a bunch of Cholula hot sauce to spice it up. Another member had the braised short rib, which everyone took notice of. It came out with the short rib sitting atop of a mound of mashed potatoes. The meat was fall off the bone tender and Karen said: "It tasted fantastic!" For dessert, Kris ordered the carrot cake, which was amazing!!! For $5.95 the cake was huge and delicious -- everyone was able to enjoy a bite.

After compiling the surveys from the other foodies the pop-we Dinner Club gives Rock Bottom: 4 star average on a scale of 1-5.

Atmosphere/Decor –  4.3

Cleanliness – 4

Wait Staff – 4

Menu – 4

Food Presentation –  4.3

Food Portions – 3.67

Food Taste – 3.67

Cost (was the cost worth meal?) – 4

Noise Level –  3.67

Overall Experience – 4.3

Fellow population-we™ readers, if you've been to Rock Bottom leave us a comment and tell us what you thought?

Want to do this yourself? To review how to start your own dinner club, visit our January post about doing just that. Remember it is a template; tweak it to fit you and your friends’ tastes. pop-we Dinner Club: good food…good friends…good times.
Rock Bottom Brewery - Gold Medal Tap on Urbanspoon
-population-we™ blog post by Brian Brown
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Monday, June 20, 2011

pop-we Highlights Inaugural 2011 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

Omaha welcomes the final eight baseball teams to a new venue as the 2011 College World Series (CWS) begins Saturday, June 18. Gone are the years at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium as the championship tournament moves across town to the new NCAA mandated TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. One of the most talented fields ever promises to start this new era with several exciting games.

The first game Saturday has 52-10 Vanderbilt against 50-14 North Carolina. Vanderbilt advanced to Omaha by crushing Oregon St 11-1 and 9-3 in their super regional. North Carolina also swept the opponent Stanford in more closely contested 5-2 and 7-5 games.

The Vanderbilt Commodores are led by Head Coach Tim Corbin. Their top seven hitters are Jason Esposito (.357), Aaron Westlake (.353), Conrad Gregor (.350), Riley Reynolds (.346), Anthony Gomez (.343), Joel McKeithan (.333), and Tony Kemp (.325) with Westlake leading the team with 17 home runs followed by Esposito with nine. Their top four starting pitchers are Sonny Gray (12-3, 1.97 ERA), Grayson Garvin (13-1, 2.36) Taylor Hill (5-1, 2.84) and T.J. Pecoraro (7-0, 1.59) with Navery Moore being their closer with 11 saves. In the 2011 MLB draft they had an NCAA record 12 players selected: Gray (Oakland, 1st round), Garvin (Tampa Bay, 1st round supplemental), Esposito ( Baltimore, 2nd), Jack Armstrong (Houston, 3rd), Westlake (Detroit, 3rd), Correy Williams (Minnesota, 3rd), Hill (Washington, 6th), Mark Lamm (Atlanta, 6th), Curt Casali ( Detroit, 10th), Moore (Atlanta, 14th), Will Clinard (Minnesota, 30th), and Joe Loftus (Arizona, 46th).

The North Carolina Tar Heels are led by Head Coach Mike Fox. Their top seven hitters are Colin Moran (.335), Tommy Coyle (.318), Levi Michael (.300), Jesse Wierzbicki (.298), Jacob Stallings (.287), Ben Bunting (.278), and Chaz Frank (.278) with Moran leading the team in home runs with nine followed by Wierzbicki with seven. Their top four starting pitchers are Patrick Johnson (13-1, 2.27 ERA), Kent Emanuel (8-1, 2.55), Chris Munnelly (6-5, 4.11) and Cody Stiles (4-0, 2.43) with Michael Morin being their closer with 10 saves. In the MLB draft they had five players selected: Michael (Minnesota, 1st round), Greg Holt (Washington, 8th), Wierzbicki (Houston, 24th), Brett Moneyham (Washington, 38th), and Danny Sandbrink (San Francisco, 42nd).

The second game Saturday pits 49-17 Texas against 50-17 Florida. Texas fought their way to Omaha by besting Arizona State after losing 3-1 they won the last two 5-1 and 4-2. Florida battled past fellow SEC member Mississippi State by winning the first game 11-1, losing the second 4-3, and winning the final 8-6.

The Texas Longhorns are led by Head Coach Augie Garrido. Their top seven hitters are Erich Weiss (.358), Brandon Loy (.344), Tant Shepherd (.305), Paul Montalbano (.279), Mark Payton (.269), Jonathan Walsh (.253), and Jordan Etier (.238) with Shepherd leading the team with five home runs followed by Weiss with four. Their top four starting pitchers are Taylor Jungmann (13-2, 1.38 ERA), Sam Stafford (6-2, 1.72), Cole Green (8-3, 3.03), and Hoby Milner (7-4, 2.53) with Corey Knebel being their closer with 19 saves. In the MLB draft they had eight players selected: Jungmann (Milwaukee, 1st round), Stafford (NY Yankees, 2nd), Loy (Detroit, 5th), Green (Cincinnati, 9th), Andrew McKirahan (Chicago Cubs, 21st), Shepherd (NY Mets, 24th), Austin Dicharry (Philadelphia, 41st) and Kevin Lusson (Tampa Bay, 45th).

The Florida Gators are led by Head Coach Kevin O'Sullivan. Their top seven hitters are Mike Zunino (.376), Daniel Pigott (.339), Josh Adams (.329), Bryson Smith (.323), Preston Tucker (.314), Brian Johnson (.312), and Nolan Fontana (.301) with Zunino leading the team 18 home runs followed by Tucker with 14. Their top four starting pitchers are Hudson Randall (10-3, 2.29 ERA), Karsten Whitson (8-0, 2.45), Brian Johnson (8-3, 3.66) and Alex Panteliodis (6-2, 3.95) with Austin Maddox being their lead closer at five saves although others have shared that duty. In the MLB draft they had 11 players selected: Nick Maronde (LA Angels, 4th round), Anthony DeSclafani (Toronto, 6th), Panteliodis (NY Mets, 9th), Tommy Toledo (Milwaukee, 11th), Adams (Florida, 13th), Tucker (Colorado, 16th), Ben McMahan (Milwaukee, 23rd), Matt Campbell (Philadelphia, 24th), Greg Larson (LA Angels, 29th), Smith (Cincinnati, 34th) and Tyler Thompson (Washington, 46th).

The first game Sunday, June 19, has 37-21 California against 54-10 Virginia. California won their super regional by sweeping Dallas Baptist 7-0 and 6-2. Virginia took their series down to the wire against UC Irvine by winning the first game 6-0, losing the second 6-4, and winning the final in an exciting 3-2 game.

The California Golden Bears are led by Head Coach David Esquer. Their top seven hitters are Tony Renda (.335), Austin Booker (.319), Chadd Krist (.304), Vince Bruno (.301), Devon Rodriguez (.288), Louie Lechich (.286), and Marcus Semien (.277) with Chad Bunting leading the team with seven home runs follwed by Semien and Rodriguez both with five. Their top four starting pitchers are Erik Johnson (7-4, 2.91 ERA), Justin Jones (9-6, 2.93), Dixon Anderson (4-3, 3.90) and Kevin Miller (6-4, 2.59) with Matt Flemer being the lead closer with five saves although others have shared the duty. In the MLB draft they had seven players selected: Johnson (Chicago White Sox, 2nd round), Semien (Chicago White Sox, 6th), Anderson (Washington, 9th), Krist (Chicago White Sox, 13th), Miller (Houston, 18th), Flemer (Kansas City, 19th) and Booker (Oakland, 33rd).

The Virginia Cavaliers are led by Head Coach Brian O'Connor. Their top seven hitters are David Coleman (.366), John Hicks (.340), Steven Proscia (.335), Jared King (.333), Kenny Swab (.314), Chris Taylor (.310), and John Barr (.283) with Proscia leading the team with eight home runs followed by Hicks with seven. Their top four starting pitchers are Danny Hultzen (12-3, 1.49 ERA), Will Roberts (11-1, 1.58), Tyler Wilson (8-0, 2.29) and Cody Winiarski (6-3, 3.04) with Branden Kline being their closer with 17 saves. In the MLB draft they had eight players selected: Hultzen (Seattle, 1st round), Hicks (Seattle, 4th), Roberts (Cleveland, 5th), Proscia (Seattle, 7th), Wilson (Baltimore, 10th), Swab (Kansas City, 21st), Winiarski (Chicago White Sox, 36th) and Barr (Cleveland, 39th).

The second game Sunday showcases 47-20 Texas A&M against defending champion 50-14 South Carolina. Texas A&M won an exhausting two of three against Florida State by winning 6-2 in the first game, getting thumped 23-9 in the second and then winning a decisive 11-2 in the final. South Carolina swept Connecticut 5-1 and 8-2 to advance to Omaha.

The Texas A&M Aggies are led by Head Coach Rob Childress. Their top seven hitters are Tyler Naquin (.390), Krey Bratsen (.335), Matt Juengel (.309), Jacob House (.303), Kenny Jackson (.279), Charlie Curl (.278) and Andrew Collazo (.277) with Juengel leading the team with seven home runs followed by Kevin Gonzalez and Adam Smith both with five. Their top four starting pitchers are Ross Stripling (14-2, 2.29 ERA), Michael Wacha (8-3, 2.10), John Stilson (5-2, 1.68), and Dylan Mendoza (3-2, 4.01) with Joaquin Hinojosa being their closer with eight saves. In the MLB draft they had eight players selected: Stilson (Toronto, 3rd round), Stripling (Colorado, 9th), Nick Fleece (Cincinnati, 13th), Smith (NY Yankees, 25th), Brandon Parrent (Chicago White Sox, 30th), Jackson (Florida, 31st), Gonzalez (Houston, 36th) and Steve Martin (Houston, 37th).

The South Carolina Gamecocks are led by Head Coach Ray Tanner. Their top seven hitters are Christian Walker (.359), Scott Wingo (.338), Brady Thomas (.311), Evan Marzilli (.299), Robert Beary (.292), Adrian Morales (.286), and Jake Williams (.279) with Walker leading the team with 10 home runs followed by Jackie Bradley Jr. with six. Their top four starting pitchers are Michael Roth (13-3, 1.02 ERA), Forrest Koumas (6-1, 3.07), Colby Holmes (7-3, 3.78) and Steven Neff (3-1, 2.45) with Matt Price being their closer with 18 saves. In the MLB draft they had 11 players selected: Bradley (Boston, 1st round supplemental), Price (Arizona, 6th), Wingo (LA Dodgers, 11th), Peter Mooney (Toronto, 21st), John Taylor (Seattle, 22nd), Adam Matthews (Baltimore, 23rd), Bryan Harper (Washington, 30th), Michael Roth (Cleveland, 31st), Neff (San Francisco, 41st), Tyler Webb (Cincinnati, 48th) and Morales (Kansas City, 49th).

There are many intriguing stories CWS fans can watch unfold such as the more challenging bracket on Saturday. The Sunday bracket includes the top ranked team in Virginia as well as the defending champion South Carolina. Two coaches also have local ties to Omaha with Brian O'Connor being born in Omaha and played at Creighton University while Rob Childress had been an assistant down the road at University of Nebraska-Lincoln when they made three trips to the CWS. Then again there is the story of it being the first year at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Those back stories only enhance the games that will be played between these extremely talented teams.

Play ball!!
- population-we blog post by John Bohan
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Enter a Free Chance to Win Dad a Backyard Escape This Father’s Day at hayneedle's Facebook Contest

Do you feel like buying that Father’s Day gift is like trying to find that needle in a haystack. If so, consider letting dad pick out his own gift at this year.

Whether dad is a grill master, gardener, weekend lounger or outdoor gamer hayneedle has it all. hayneedle is an Omaha-based online retail company that has more than 200 specialty stores. Here’s some of this blogger’s picks for your dad from
A snapshot of what Barb & I created for our dad


Rain Barrel


Ladder Golf

Still don’t know? hayneedle recently unveiled a new virtual backyard feature in time for Father’s Day. population-we™ staffers created our own Backyard Escape for our dads (see snapshot above). We didn’t want to keep this a secret but wanted to share this great opportunity with our population-we™ readers.

To help make dad’s backyard the most enjoyable hayneedle has launched Backyard Escape application on Facebook Now you can create dad his very own dream backyard using some hayneedle products.

The best part is that just by creating a backyard you are entered to win a $10,000 hayneedle shopping spree to makeover dad’s (or your own) backyard. Each week hayneedle randomly draws two winners to receive $100 gift certificates. The $10,000 contest winner will officially be announced on July 25.

Let dad build his own virtual dream patio or create one for him at hayneedle's Backyard Escape on Facebook. Buy him a piece of his dream backyard or the whole kit and caboodle. So, put down that tie and tubes socks and try for a chance to win or buy dad what he really wants for the backyard this Father’s Day.
- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Belonging to pop-we

You may be wondering if you are population-we™ material. If you are that reflective to think about it, you may be just the person to join. Or if you didn’t have to give it a second thought that may be a good sign too. I happen to be pretty close to Becky Bohan Brown and know that she is a pretty inclusive type of person and very much a team player. She is the founder of population-we™ LLC and has the vision for what type of community she wants this to be. She is also very open to input from me and anybody who wants to express ideas regarding population-we™. She will review my words and edit anything out that is not population-we™ worthy. We are approaching our half year mark and as such I do think it is good to reflect on the people who make up population-we™.

Being a member a particular political party is not a prerequisite for population-we™. Becky and her husband, Brian, belong to different political parties and have different views on some political issues. I have shifted political views in some ways but am in many ways conflicted about politics. As people around the globe can view population-we™, we would encourage people to be good citizens in their own country. Becky has worked tirelessly to register voters and believes that everyone should exercise that vote. I have been friends with a married couple who follow this blog for many years where the husband is adamant that his wife vote although he knows her vote will in most cases cancel his out because he risked his life for that right serving in the military in the Middle East. I am not proud of my voting record as I have missed many elections but feel it important to express the passion of Becky Bohan Brown and also affirm that I do think it is an important right to exercise. I know it is humbling to think of other Nations where people may risk their lives to vote and have a higher voting rate than USA.

population-we™ welcomes people of all religious faiths. Becky, Brian and I are all Christian but we belong to different denominations. All major religions have tenets of their faith that if followed can lift the lives of the members and make them better neighbors and citizens. We invite people to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience.

We are about character and that is not something that is something that no religion or political party has a corner on that I have seen. Being a good neighbor, employee, sister, brother, son, daughter, mother, and father are roles that hopefully define us at population-we™. Kindness is a far more important attribute for our members than being considered “cool” by society standards. I read a blog at Psychology Today that personality has a lot to do with genetics while character is a choice.

I am not sure if we can boil the nature versus nurture question down to such a level. Yet, I agree with the gist of the article that we may perceive a certain personality such as someone who is outgoing as being a good person when it really takes time to see a person’s character. I do believe that we make choices every day that can help us build character and that we have control over our identity in character building. I recognize that some are more naturally cheerful or may struggle with some areas. However, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. While overall, optimism is encouraged, we have room for those who may have pessimistic inclinations. I had a high school teacher that said pessimists are good in a crisis as they were expecting something to go wrong.

We do not surrender our individuality here at population-we™. While we are many, we value the one. While we encourage being active in giving back, we know some feel an affinity for special needs children while others may have a real gift with the elderly. People can give back in so many ways whether it be teaching computer skills or cleaning a city park. What makes you who you are is valued here. I enjoy finding out ways that people are both like me and different from me.

Self-absorption is an inclination that we try to overcome at population-we™. There is an adage that as you lose yourself in service that you will find yourself. I am not sure all of implications of that statement. I do believe that one can find a great deal of happiness as they strive to serve others without thought for reward or to be noticed.

Finding our purpose in life is not an easy one for many. I know that Becky has felt in her heart of hearts that writing is one of her gifts. When she was contemplating whether or not Journalism was the right degree for her in college, she felt a peace. She is also very talented in working with people on committees. It is pretty amazing really to me that my little sister of sand box days and dressing up our Barbie dolls has such responsibilities. When she works with groups, she is quick to recognize where people make a contribution just as she has when she plays sports.

I sometimes wonder if someone might play a game of counting every time we use the word “I” at population-we™. Being community minded, doesn’t mean that we don’t have our individual experiences that shape us or our stories to share to bring to the community. I think one of the neatest things about getting to know people is to find out how we are a like and different in life. I love having a diverse group of friends and hope for such a community here.

We are not about judging others when we say that we want to bring back the values. I think that there is much goodness in the world. We should try not to take ourselves too seriously. As we try to put ourselves in other people’s shoes, we will hopefully become less self-absorbed.

Of course, none of us are perfect and that is all the more reason why we need each other for reinforcement and support. Some refer to positive peer pressure to the type of pressure to do the right thing. While it is best to do things from the heart, sometimes we all need that encouragement. If I didn’t know so many wonderful people that I would like to emulate, I do not know if I would make some of the strides that I do in doing good. Having the lens of population-we™ has been a wonderful reminder to me since its inception about six months ago. Becky has a vision for population-we™ and the amazing good that can come from this work. If you want to support one another in and try to bring out the good in each other, this is the place for you. We need you and we are glad to have you!
 – population-we™ blog post by Barb Bohan
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