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Monday, February 28, 2011

pop-we Dinner Club Reviews Round The Bend Steakhouse

This January was the first outing for the population-we™ (pop-we) Dinner Club. Each month a member picks a restaurant to go too. The first place chosen -- Round the Bend Steakhouses -- was Rick’s pick. Round the Bend is a steakhouse outside South Bend, Nebraska, located at 30801 East Park Highway. If you are heading out of Omaha, take I-80 west to the Mahoney State Park exit. Take a left, head south for a few miles and it stands on the west side of the road on top of a hill. It does not look like much from the outside nor the inside. Inside it is a clean place but nothing fancy by any stretch of the imagination. Parking is fun, due to not really having parking stalls, people just park in an orderly fashion in a gravel parking lot.

We had a party of eight people seated at a round plastic folding type table that you would find in banquet hall. Our waitress was fun and entertaining, in which everyone seemed to enjoy. They have a typical menu that you would find at any steakhouse; except, we did notice one thing missing there were no desserts. We asked the waitress about it and she responded, “Nobody ever makes it to dessert -- so why offer it.” This is definitely a meat and potatoes joint, no veggies. Their portions are huge! Two people ordered the prime rib, one being an end cut. When Rick’s end cut came out it looked more like a roast -- it was gigantic. I ordered the New York strip steak with the hash browns, which you can have plain or with onions and cheese. The steak was big, tender and cooked to a perfect medium pink (just the way I like it). They are also known for their testicles, not something you usually find on a menu. Each year Round the Bend hosts their annual testicle festival which usually draws huge crowds.

After compiling the surveys from the other foodies the pop-we Dinner Club gives Round the Bend Steakhouse: 3.9 star average on a scale of 1-5.

Atmosphere/Decor - 3.5

Cleanliness - 3.5

Wait Staff - 4.25

Menu - 4.25

Food Presentation - 3.25

Food Portions - 4.5

Food Taste - 4.25

Cost (was the cost worth meal?) - 4

Noise Level - 3.5

Overall Experience - 4

Fellow population-we™ readers, if you’ve been to Round the Bend Steakhouse 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.
Round The Bend Steakhouse on Urbanspoon
population-we™ blog post by Brian Brown

Monday, February 21, 2011

Life’s Obstacle Course

After I walk upstairs, I often think how blessed I am to ascend the stairs with little effort. I am all too aware of the perils that stairs hold for those with problems, with knees, a bad back, heart problems, or pulmonary problems. My knees may act up every now and again but I never experience severe pain of others that I know. In some ways, I hate the stairs because of how they affect people close to me and how that affects me. That obstacle is absent in homes without stairs and businesses with elevators. Obstacles come in many shapes but by their very definition they do create a barrier for the person or loved ones affected by them that are not known to those free of that specific obstruction.

Less than a handful of times in my life, I have had serious allergic reactions, which cause severe upper respiratory symptoms. I haven’t tested my sensitivity in recent years to farm fields or ice skating rinks where I had severe symptoms. I just have to get my country fix putting words such as “red barn” into a search engine or by watching an Agricultural show. Avoiding ice skating rinks is quite easy too.

There are serious food allergies that require label reading and precautions on a constant basis. For those whose throat closes after eating peanuts, they may even need peanut free zones at school or in public where other people will not consume items around them with such residue. Wheat or dairy may be the culprit for some. Fortunately, there are dairy and gluten free products.

Although it is rare, people can develop allergies to ubiquitous substances that are necessary to sustain life on this planet. Water in all of its abundance can cause reactions to people who have extreme sensitivity. For those with water allergies: bathing, holding a sweating child, brushing teeth, or going out on a rainy day poses a risk. Blistering can occur for some with water allergies after consuming juices.

Sunlight can be dangerous for people with photosensitivity. This is different than sunburn where a person has been in the sun too long for their melanin to protect them. It is an allergy where a person’s immune system over-reacts to sunlight and may cause an itchy red rash. Even light from a window shining indoors is a danger for them. People with this allergy may do best to switch their nights and days. Even dusk and dawn may make them too vulnerable. There are special schools online for these children and also camps where the children can meet. Parents have to decide whether they want their children to remain inside at dusk or if they want them to get a glimpse of the world at dusk, which may be dangerous in the long-term.

Someone told me a story about a pile of problems. It is said that if you picked different problems from the ones that you have that you would put them back and select yours. I don’t know if I am strong enough to face some of the obstacles I have heard about. Being aware that things could always be worse, makes me count my blessings. The obstacles that I have not overcome do continue to humble me. I don’t know how people handle severe emotional or physical pain. Fortunately, there is often ways to manage both through medication or therapy. Regardless of our limitations, we will be happier if we focus on what we can do in this bountiful world.
– population-weblog post by Barb Bohan

Monday, February 14, 2011

Still Single and It is February 14th Again

There is nothing like Valentine’s Day and certain family gatherings to remind even the happy single person that he or she is not in a serious relationship. Valentine’s Day is a day that I like being a romantic, with a fondness for the color red and roses and heart shaped things. When I am faced with the day and no special someone to give me the previously listed tokens of affection, I am very aware of my being single on Valentine’s Day. Other holidays are more about family and I am rich with family. Being single in a family where every sibling and cousin has married at least once does give me reason to reflect on my status and observe the couples around me.

There are times when you feel like you just stick out being single. The procession of couples having their pictures taken by a family member and no pair for me is a tradition that many a single can relate. One year, my boyfriend was a no show to our family’s Christmas celebration. I wasn’t heart-broken by any means as my feelings for him were not very deep. My disappointment was in not having the anticipated couple status for once in my life at a holiday gathering.

As the young man married shortly after he was a no show, he may have already found the love of his life, which was not me despite how my hand melted when I held his hand. Or he may have thought I was dating someone else as at least one of my friends had that impression during that time frame. If he was at fault in any way, he is forgiven because he gave me a rose on an earlier date before he never called again. Anybody who knows anything about romance and Valentine’s Day knows that even a single rose can hide a multitude of sins. Seriously, he always treated me well when we dated and that is what counts.

As I enjoy time with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, brother and sister-in-law, step-niece and her husband and other extended family couples that are with us from time to time, I sometimes think it would be nice to have a partner to feel more included. My boyfriend or husband could talk sports with the men or bond in other manly ways. While there are women in my family who may enjoy talking sports, I would relegate that to my other half and get satisfaction in doing so.

Now that I have my little nieces and my little great-nephews, I would love to share them with a special someone. I guess I have always liked to show off cuteness to others dating back to having smaller cousins and a little sister. Of course, I can enjoy my family without a partner and delight in the wonder of the younger generation. My family does not make me feel like a second class citizen and shows me in so many ways that I am a valued member of the family.

I like to vicariously enjoy happy couples while I hurt for bad relationships. In my own family, I have seen very sweet models of marriage. In addition, I have seen examples of strong marriages among friends. I know of men and women who despite challenges and in some cases tragedy have such a love. One man often writes on his blog about the inexplicable feelings that he has for his wife after many years of marriage. This man also shows his affection and serves his wife in very tender ways. Friends have shared how their husbands have been there for them with health challenges. I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors but I feel that the people had no motive to make these things up. And knowing that love is out there means a lot. Some people may go through very difficult years and feel more distant at times before growing together as a couple. The companionship and comfort level between couples is something sweet to behold on the outside.

There is a song that says that you are nobody until somebody loves you. When I think about it, I think that has about as much logic as saying that the land where my family came as immigrants in past centuries did not exist until Columbus discovered it. It is easy to be in love with being in love and I am not immune. A person might list reasons why I or another single person is not married. However, the very attribute or issue listed would be found in some married couples. Not every child is born to a good home with loving parents and not everyone finds a good match in this life. That should make people who have someone special treasure each other even more.

When I was a child, Valentine’ day was not a day to be enjoyed only by those who had a boyfriend or girlfriend. School mates bought multi-variety packs of Valentines with sweet sentiments to be shared with both the boys and girls in your class without discrimination. My mom would buy heart shaped cookies sprinkled with red and white sugar to pass out to everyone in my class with a few to spare that I would take to the office. As an adult, Valentine’s Day is often a day that I passively hope that a man would suddenly appear at my doorstop with gift in hand.

The year that my mom recruited my sister and myself to join her group to visit a Senior Care Facility is probably one of the best Valentine’s ever. They even liked my knock knock joke that went: Knock Knock Whose there? Willa Will Ya? Will Ya Who? Will Ya be my Valentine?

This is a single woman who is going to enjoy the 14th February for the sweet and fun side of the day and not wait for someone else to pamper me. I send out my love to the many singles and couples who read this post. Happy Valentine’s Day!
– population-we blog post by Barb Bohan

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cupid is Coming to the KVNO Airwaves This Valentine's Day

This upcoming Valentine's Day, Classical KVNO 90.7 FM wants to spread some holiday cheer over the radio waves. Do you have a heart-warming story of kindness and love to tell? If so, KVNO wants to hear about it.

"I am continually encouraging our staff to find new ways to engage the community," said Dr. Robert Franklin, UNO Television and KVNO Radio general operations director. "Given the fact that we serve a very diverse listening audience with one-of-a-kind classical music, Maverick athletics and in-depth local news broadcasts -- as well as student community with opportunities with training and employment in a professional environment -- it is very challenging to develop outreach initiatives in which all of our constituents could be interested in participating."

KVNO will broadcast the winning heart-warming story on the Hallmark holiday itself -- Monday, Feb. 14. The winner will also receive an invitation to visit the station to record a testimonial and have their picture taken to be featured on Deadline for entries is by 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10.

Send entries of 500 words or fewer to:

E-mail to; send via United States Postal Service or stop by in-person to "Classical 90.7 KVNO, UNO 6001 Dodge St., Room 200 College of Public Affairs and Community Service, Omaha, NE 68182."

The writer of the winning story will receive:

- A $60 gift certificate to McFoster's Natural Kind Café;

- A lovely two-disc set of Romantic era classical music; and

- A pair of passes to the Village Pointe Cinema to see the Metropolitan Opera LIVE in HD.

For contest rules, visit

"A contest for the best short story -- with entries accepted by mail, online or in-person -- opens to door to virtually everyone that KVNO serves, and on a level to which (hopefully) everyone can relate: kindness and love," said Kim Balkovec, KVNO Development Director. "The prize package represents our primary programming focus, which is classical music, but includes a gift certificate to a UNO neighborhood restaurant that is very popular among students."

If my husband and I were to send an entry it would read something like this:

Our submission would highlight the circumstances that brought Brian and I to became more than Benson High School (BHS) classmates but soul mates. My husband and I along with all the other BHS students were going through our rite of passage -- Benson's Junior-Senior Prom. Brian who was in the same class had asked a co-worker from Cub Foods to prom. She of course had told him yes. My cousin and I made a pact that we both would go stag. I had one guy friend who asked me to go; however, remembering our pact I turned him down. Then that dreaded phone call came the night before prom. My cousin called saying she had been asked by another classmate. I could tell in her voice that she was beyond the moon -- so I agreed to be the third wheel.

Another part of our story, I was up for prom queen. Being a jock, a newspaper rat and a bonafide nerd -- were my only qualifications for prom queen. I was up for queen at homecoming and lost to my good friend Tish. So, like most of the prom court we were expecting another cheerleader to take the crown.

The day of prom, Brian too had that dreaded phone conversation. His prom date answered the phone and after many awkward pauses told him that she was not going. Heartbroken, he still proceeded to his cousin's house, where they were meeting up for pictures. He gave his boutonniere to his other cousin's two year-old daughter. Brian was now the third wheel. He still went to dinner at Anthony's Steakhouse with his cousin and his girlfriend (now wife). My cousin, Claude and I ate at King Fong Cafe for dinner.

At the dance, which was held at the Paxton Ballroom, everyone from the prom court all lined up and did the walk. Since, I was up for queen my mom and aunt and uncle were there to support me. All three were former Bunnies (Benson's team mascot). With utter shock, everyone in attendance heard them announce: "Our 1990 Prom Queen is Becky Bohan!" In comes cupid's arrow. Heck, I couldn't go home now, I had to celebrate and show off the crown at the After Prom Party. My good friend Patty, suggested that I go with Brian, who had a car and like myself was dateless. My mom was a little apprehensive; since, she didn't know him. However, his sincere conversation about his mom being strict made her worries melt away. So, the rest of the evening we would dance under the stars and mingle with fellow classmates, while the Belle of Brownville cascaded us down the moonlight waters of the Missouri River. That night a spark was lit that has been carried in both our hearts for more than 21 years. Thanks to Patty -- AKA our cupid. This year will mark our 21st Valentine's Day together.

Do you also have a love story to tell? Add a comment to this week's edition of population-we about your tale or if you want to be added to the radio station's prize drawing send your submission to KVNO directly. And remember, amore will be broadcast over the KVNO air waves this Valentine's Day. To hear the winner's story, tune in on Feb. 14 and listen to Classical KVNO on the 90.7 FM dial or stream it at

Balkovec said the opportunity for the winning story to be broadcast on KVNO throughout Valentine's Day and for the winner to record a testimonial to be broadcast throughout the month following the holiday should hold appeal for just about everyone.

"I haven't met anyone yet who didn't want to be on the radio," she said.

population-we supports this contest sponsored by Omaha's premier public radio station, Classical 90.7 FM KVNO. The station serves and enriches the local, national and world community through unique arts programming that enlightens, entertains and informs. Broadcast from the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus the radio station also provides invaluable educational opportunities for students through training and employment in a professional environment.
- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown