Brian Brown Nebraska Realty Ad

Support the population-we™ Movement here...

Monday, August 29, 2011

pop-we Dinner Club Reviews the Fire Barn Sports Bar & Grill

Fire Barn's Waterloo location
Fire!!! Fire!!! Nope it is not a fire just the Fire Barn Sports Bar & Grill in Waterloo, NE. Scott picked this spot because of Waterloo Days and he'd ate there a lot since it was down the street from where he had worked. Also, coming up on the 10th anniversary of September 11 the population-we™ Dinner Club ventured out to this local restaurant that pays tribute to firefighters. The Fire Barn is located in a small Waterloo strip mall at 2601 River Road Drive.

This establishment when you enter is like most sports bars or is it? It is very open with several booths along the walls and tables scattered elsewhere. Obviously the décor is like a firehouse with various pictures, helmets, gear and fire hose on the walls. There is even an authentic firehouse pole between a couple booths. The far wall has a long bar with a lot of glass behind it; a mirror, several glass cooler doors and televisions hanging above. Not to mention there are many more flat screens around the rest of the establishment.

Authentic firehouse gear & pole
The menu is mainly bar food except a few entrees such as the fried chicken, which takes about 25-30 minutes to prepare, but it is good and well worth the wait. They also serve pizza and ribs. We also like their jalapeno poppers and wings, which have five signature Fire Barn sauces.

The night we went we had eight people, most of which ordered the fried chicken. I ordered the Fire Barn Philly, which I thought was very good. It had the usual philly ingredients -- but then they add their hot sauce -- which they use on the their hot wings. It was spicy but not too over powering. As a side, you can get chips (which they make on site); however, fire chips, wedges or fries are extra.

You can check out their complete menu at Here you can check out lunch and dinner specials as well picture of both their locations: Papillion and Waterloo. All in all, their Waterloo location hands down accomplishes their motto “Fire Barn: Here to Serve You!”

After compiling the surveys from the other foodies the pop-we Dinner Club gives Fire Barn: 3.7 star average on a scale of 1-5.

Atmosphere/Decor – 3.67

Cleanliness – 3.67

Wait Staff – 4

Menu – 4

Food Presentation – 3.33

Food Portions – 4

Food Taste – 4

Cost (was the cost worth meal?) – 4

Noise Level – 2.67

Overall Experience – 3.67

Fellow population-we™ readers, if you've been to the Fire Barn 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.
Fire Barn Sports Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon
-population-we™ blog post by Brian Brown
If you enjoyed this post, then make sure to leave a comment or 'Like' it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

pop-we Baseball Highlights Texas Rangers Proposed Memorial Statue for Fan Lt. Shannon Stone

Lt. Shannon Stone
The Texas Rangers announced that a statue is in the works that will memorialize Lt. Shannon Stone who died after an accident at their stadium earlier this season. The statue will depict Lt. Stone and his son Cooper and will likely be placed outside the home plate entrance to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington by the start of the 2012 season. The Rangers will pay for the bronze artwork which Lt. Stone's wife Jenny and other family members will help design and create.

In a statement by Jenny Stone she said, "Shannon and Cooper had a special relationship, and we are touched and grateful that it will be memorialized at one of their favorite places, Our hope is that this statue will not be a symbol of our family tragedy but rather a reminder of the importance of a family's love -- love of each other, love of spending time together, and love of the game."

Rangers President and CEO Nolan Ryan said that the statue will be a tribute to all baseball fans. "We feel that this statue will be a most fitting tribute," Ryan said. "It will not only serve to honor Mr. Stone's memory, but also to recognize Rangers fans and baseball fans everywhere."

Stadium flags at half staff day of funeral
Lt. Shannon Stone attended the Rangers game on July 7 with his son Cooper. He died after reaching over a railing and falling more than 20 feet as he attempted to catch a ball tossed by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. After the accident the Rangers increased safety measures at the ball park, which included raising the height of the rails, placing new warning signs, a pre-game announcement and active security guards offering friendly reminders not to lean on the railings.

Lt. Stone was a true hero who served as a firefighter in Brownwood, Texas, since 1993. He had twice been voted firefighter of the year and had risen to the rank of Lieutenant. He had been involved in the disaster relief efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Ike in addition to fighting wildfires.

The statue will serve as memorial, tribute and symbol. The relationship Lt. Stone shared with his son Cooper as baseball fans will be immortalized in bronze. That bond has been passed along by countless fans who have spent time at ballparks with their children. Generation after generation have shared baseball one season to the next.

Baseball season spans the best seasons of the year. It's part of the baseball lexicon. Spring training. Boys of summer. Fall classic. Three seasons for a father and child to share the sunshine and hot dogs while rooting for their favorite player to get a hit.

The most important message offered by the completed statue will be to cherish your time with your children.
- population-we blog post by John Bohan
If you enjoyed this post, then make sure to leave a comment or 'Like' it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Remembering War Reporter Ernie Pyle and the Downed Chinook Helicopter Victims

Ernie Pyle on July 17, 1944 TIME 
population-we™ supports our troops and also honors journalists who have risked their lives to inform the public about wars past and present. I'm going to take a second to reflect on a time when war wasn't played out on the television, Internet or social media platforms. Given the recent reporting of the downed U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan and the fact that this month is the anniversary of one of the greatest war reporters of all times. If alive this Aug. 3 -- Ernie Pyle -- would've celebrated his 111th birthday.

Ernie Pyle is known to many as the best war reporter ever. Especially to the GI’s Pyle wrote about. Some believe him growing up in a small Indiana town is what gave him his interest in the common person. GI’s thought Pyle gave the most vivid or accurate description of what the war was like to people at home. Starting with World War II reporting, Pyle wrote in simple detailed sentences. The words he used to describe scenery made a definite image in reader’s head. Some cannot explain which he did better: describing the majesty or horror of the war.

He provided an example of a style of romance writing in his account with the infantry in Africa. He said of some sort, “I wish you could see the pictures in my head…” then he went on to describe himself sitting on some blue grass looking at the rolling hills of North Africa as the U.S. infantry marched down the hills. The rest of the article deals clearly with realism. Pyle did not try to comment on the strategies used by the infantry because he didn’t know them. Pyle always wrote about what he actually experienced. This is what furthered him from other war correspondents. Pyle had a real grasp on the GI’s emotions.

He described the infantry who were exhausted like this, “I could not bare to look at them because it brought ache to my heart.” Then to really touch the reader, he said, ‘these may be the same men who we have seen walk down Broadway or Main Street.” That was Pyle’s trait to make it human interest and kind of homey. He also talked about what the GI’s went through when they were not in battle. He told magazine and newspaper readers that they even sunbathed. All in all, this particular Ernie Pyle story dealt with the realism these GI’s faced between life and death in Africa.

AP Chinook Memorial Collage
Just like Pyle, today’s reporters and bloggers have been trying to tell the stories of those lives lost in the recent downed Chinook helicopter tragedy. While en route to a combat mission, 30 Americans and eight Afghans were killed Aug. 6 when a rocket-propelled grenade fired by a Taliban insurgent downed their helicopter. To those who may have forgot about Afghanistan the recent deaths have brought the pain of war back into our living rooms. Like Pyle, the faces of those dead military personal are being brought to life once again; however, this time in the arena of the Internet. Here’s an Associated Press article that went viral on the Internet which gave an impressive glimpse into some of the Navy Seals that were killed.

No account has tugged at more heart strings than a 10-year-old boy's plea that the media remember his dad who died in the helicopter crash. Brandon Nichols wrote a note on CNN's iReport on behalf of his dad Army Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Nichols. With his mom's assistance they both typed: "My father was one of the 30 US Soldiers killed in Afghanistan yesterday with the Seals rescue mission. My father was the pilot of the Chinook. I have seen other pictures of victims from this deadly mission and wish you would include a picture of my father. He is the farthest to the left."

In conclusion, We need journalists who can look at the horror of war and write in a way that we can see the humanity of those who suffer just as Pyle did and an innocent 10-year-old boy did in 52 words.
- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
If you enjoyed this post, then make sure to leave a comment or 'Like' it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Williamsburg Walk the Talk Lends a Helping Hand for Those Starting Over

Current WWTT Mentors (left to right): Rachel Koob Miller, Patty Kipps, John Greenman, Kim Sanchez, Jim Ramage  (back row), Oryan Jones, David Benedict. Not pictured: Rev. Warren, Elinor Warren, Jan Puffenberger, JoAnn Mertins.
Rev. Harry Warren is chair over a mentoring program that helps ex-offenders transitioning back into society when they are released from the Peninsula Regional Jail in Williamsburg, Va. As there is no public bus service on that section of Route 143, a person without friends or family to provide a ride would have to make a long trek of three miles to the nearest bus stop. For about five years, volunteers have been providing transportation to nonviolent ex-offenders. Those without a support network may need a lot more than transportation, and the volunteers of Williamsburg Walk the Talk (WWTT) based in Virginia are there to assist. WWTT volunteers drive the parole to local social services department where they can receive food stamps and to the United Way “Helpline” office, which is a referral to agencies that can help find housing, medical care, clothing, and transportation.

Rev. Warren said that the mentors meet with the soon to be released offenders two or three times in prison. Upon release, they have a hands on approach to help meet the personal needs of the ex-offenders. He personally will not take on too large of case load at one time because he wants to assure that he gives the needed attention to people who may need help signing up for social security, qualifying for disability, or placement in a rehabilitation center for addicts. While it is required to meet two or three times prior to release, Rev. Warren allows the ex-offenders to be accountable for their continued success and “will not chase them down” if they do not continue to seek mentoring.

The program has a “hands up” philosophy that has had some positive results. David Benedict who is an instrumental leader in the program reports that a female ex-offender who had a substance abuse problem was placed in a half-way house to help her not to relapse into her drinking problems. He also shares the story of a male ex-offender who was mentored for a two-year period and who received contact by mail during the final time frame of incarceration at the Harrisonburg Diversion Center in northern Virginia. This gentleman is now self-sufficient and back to his previous job in Williamsburg.

Rev. Warren credits his background in political science with helping him to work with the system. He has a diplomatic way of working with Corrections Officers. He counsels ex-offenders not to miss a meeting with a Parole Officer if at all possible. If they must miss, he stresses the importance of calling rather than being a no show. Rev. Warren will introduce himself to the Parole Officer of one of his mentees as he feels rapport is vital to success.

While Rev. Warren likes the Williamsburg, Va. area, he has strong ties to New York City where he lived for many years. His work in corrections spans five decades. Seeking justice and fair treatment for inmates, he has made his mark on the system. After interviewing a man who had been imprisoned for six months, he learned that the young man had not been before a judge and had not seen a lawyer at any point of his incarceration. There were no formal charges filed and the man was released that same afternoon because of his prompt intervention.

Rev. Warren believes that as a minister you need to be willing to take a stance. Through the years, he has worked with people of diverse political background on moral issues. He takes the scripture found in Matthew 10:6, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as dove,” quite literally. He is at ease with people of diverse backgrounds, which is needed as he is a Caucasian minister serving a congregation that is predominantly a minority. When the occasion calls for it, he can be downright bold. He insisted on going in a padded cell with a violent offender stating that he would be safe with the guard outside the door. The meeting with the man in the cell went well, and he allowed him to pray with him.

On another occasion, Rev. Warren demanded hand cuffs and leg irons be removed from the inmates he was meeting with as the security was outside the door. What they did when he was gone was their business but he would not stand for a person not being treated with dignity in his presence.

An increased level of awareness of the extra difficulties facing women being released from prison is needed according to Rev. Warren. If they have children or are a minority, it becomes that much harder. He is concerned for the plight of women in different walks of life. Just talking to him briefly on the phone, I could tell that he admired his wife who he said could read people and knew him better than he knew himself. He and his wife Eleanor recently celebrated 51 years of marriage.

Treating people with dignity is something that was instilled in Rev. Warren by his mother at a young age. There was a woman who lived near the George Washington Bridge who was Jewish and disadvantaged. His mother helped this woman out as she was going to visit relatives. She told him to always treat people decently and with love even if they were disadvantaged.

This Year's WWTT Mentor's Figures:
  • Jail visits 182;
  • Rides on release 111;
  • Miles driven 6517; and
  • Total hours 619.
After speaking with a minister of a congregation where an ex-offender would be attending, Rev Warren was relieved that the person would be accepted into the congregation. There is an attitude by some ministers that “we are glad they are saved” but we do not want them worshiping with us according to Rev. Warren. He believes that Churches need to welcome the wounded and broken.

More mentors for ex-offenders are needed. There is a great demand at this time for women mentors and also a need for male mentors. Those interested in learning more may contact Rev. Warren at 757-221-0012 or David Benedict at 757-258-5893. Those wanting to donate to a fund for the ex-offenders may contact Williamsburg Baptist Church at 227 Richmond Rd. Williamsburg, Va 23185 or call 757-229-1217. Please make the checks payable to Wiliamsburg Baptist Church and write "Williamsburg Walk the Talk" in the info line at the bottom left on the check. Local people can also assist by having drives for clothing requests, hygiene kits, and phone and bus cards.

Being an example and providing assistance may help a person change for the better. I have exchanged emails with David Benedict, and Jim Ramage, and spoken on the phone with Rev. Warren. In our exchanges, I have felt their warmth and their hope. I think the philosophy that drives Rev. Warren’s perseverance can be summed up in the following encounter. When a woman scornfully asked how Rev. Warren could possibly meet with a convicted murderer to pray with him prior to his execution, he spoke of the people Jesus associated with in the Bible who were in many cases the derelicts of society. If Jesus had the love for everybody, he questioned how he could dare withhold his fellowship to anyone.
– population-we™ blog post by Barb Bohan
If you enjoyed this post, then make sure to leave a comment or 'Like' it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Destresser Gurus Offer Stress Management Tips to pop-we Readers

A dynamic married couple has gone to great lengths during their tenure at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) to try and tackle that nagging six-letter word – s-t-r-e-s-s. The duo, Josie Metal-Corbin and David Corbin, are professors in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation who teach stress management classes at UNO.

Josie Metal-Corbin & David Corbin
This blogger even participated in a stress management class during her undergraduate days at UNO. Being my last semester on campus, I opted out and took the class credit/no credit, which made Professor Metal-Corbin’s class absolutely stress free. 

“The class introduces the student to a variety of interventions that may help with stressors that are social, intellectual, psychological, physical, environmental or emotional,” said Professor Metal-Corbin. “Students have the opportunity to learn and practice techniques in breathing, meditation, tai chi, yoga, autogenics, progressive muscular relaxation and self-hypnosis.”

Looking back, I wish I’d taken the class before I’d planned my wedding, instead of the very last semester of my undergraduate career. But some have pointed out that, perhaps, this newlywed trying to graduate seemed less stressful thanks to Professor Metal-Corbin’s class.

Things I took from the class:
  • Meditation is key;
  • Journaling works;
  • Calming music helps in a pinch; and
  • Words of encouragement from any source always rules supreme.

Today, unlike when I was taking my undergraduate classes, there are other resources many can turn to, such as counseling centers, blogs, podcasts and websites.

Together, Professor Metal-Corbin and Dr. Corbin have put together podcasts to help others deal with that funk known as stress. Try one of these de-stressing workouts courtesy of the duo online at or

"We made the podcasts for anyone who needs to manage their stress. We promote these to our stress management students and to all students during final exam week," said Dr. Corbin.

Whether the stress management class impacted me for the better -- only my husband of 17 years can ultimately answer that question. But I know, at the time, it truly did.

"A large part of stress management is learning to live in the present, to be mindful. For most of us, it takes practice to be able to do this. That's what stress management classes allow you to do," Dr. Corbin said.

Stress Management Tips Courtesy of the Duo:
  • If you think you are under stress, you are. 
  • Do not sit in a traffic jam and curse the traffic as if you are not part of it. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. 
  • If you think that you are not making any progress in managing your stress, remember to "Fake it ‘til you make it."  
  • Most stress management skills are acquired tastes. Like brushing your teeth, you progress from not wanting to do it to not being able to do without. 
- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
If you enjoyed this post, then make sure to leave a comment or 'Like' it.