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Monday, June 25, 2012

pop-we Dinner Club Reviews Buzzard Billy's in Lincoln

Buzzard Billy's menu is filled with Cajun flair.
As they say in Louisiana “Let the good times roll,” which is what the population-we™ (pop-we) dinner club did this month. Foodie Brian (the author of this review) sent the dinner club to Lincoln, NE., to try some Cajun at Buzzard Billy’s in the Haymarket District, 247 N. 8th St. Originally it was the H.P. Lau commercial grocery building built in 1906. For college sports fans, this is a great location as it is just blocks away from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.

When you walk in the door you see the dining area straight ahead along with the bar on the right wall. What really caught my eye was the eclectic décor with alligator heads, armadillos on the ceiling fans, license plates on the walls along with other memorabilia. This location also has beautiful wood floors, woodwork and open ceiling so you can see the original wood beams throughout.

I decided on ordering the Chicken Czarina. This meal is a fried chicken breast atop of rice and vegetables with a Creole style Parmesan cream sauce that has shrimp, mushrooms and green onions sautéed together. The chicken was delicious; the breading was light, seasoned nicely and the chicken was juicy and tender. The cream sauce had a nice flavor although for a Creole sauce it was not spicy -- but it was not meant to be. Spicy menu items have a pepper symbol next to them. Many entrees include hush puppies, which are awesome and baskets of French bread. Since it is a Cajun spot they include on the menu the staples of Louisiana cuisine: seafood gumbo, jambalaya, red beans & rice with Andouille Sausage, po’boys and others.

After compiling the surveys from the other foodies the pop-we Dinner Club gives Buzzard Billy’s: 3.95 star average on a scale of 1-5.

Red Beans & Rice with Andouille Sausage.


Cleanliness – 3.85

Wait Staff – 3.57


Food Presentation – 3.85

Food Portions – 4.28

Food Taste – 4.28

Cost (was the cost worth meal?) – 3.71

Noise Level – 3.57

Overall Experience 

You can check out Buzzard Billy’s menu at  They have four locations throughout the Midwest: Waco, TX.; Des Moinies, Iowa; La Crosse, WI. and Lincoln, NE.

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.
Buzzard Billy's on Urbanspoon
- population-we™ blog post by Brian Brown
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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Monday, June 18, 2012

pop-we Highlights 2012 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

The 2012 College World Series (CWS) will be played in Omaha, NE at TD Ameritrade Park from June 15 thru June 25 or 26 if necessary. There are several story lines to follow. Can top seed Florida live up to its seeding? Can Stony Brook or Kent State continue their Cinderella runs? Will South Carolina be able to three-peat?

The hottest tickets in Omaha!
The first game Friday has 52-13 Stony Brook against second seed 47-14 UCLA. Stony Brook advanced to Omaha by upsetting seventh seed LSU. After losing game one 5-4 they won the next two 3-1 and 7-2 to claim the super regional. UCLA swept TCU 4-1 and 6-2 to earn their trip to the CWS.

The Stony Brook Seawolves are led by Head Coach Matt Senk. Their top seven hitters are Travis Jankowski (.422), William Carmona (.399), Maxx Tissenbaum (.389), Steven Goldstein (.344), Kevin Krause (.335), Cole Peragine (.314) and Tanner Nivins (.304) with Carmona leading the team with 12 home runs followed by Jankowski with five. Their top four starting pitchers are Tyler Johnson (12-1, 1.94), Brandon McNitt (8-3, 2.50), Evan Stecko-Haley (7-3, 3.47) and James Campbell (5-0, 3.09) with Frankie Vanderka bing their main closer with five saves. In the 2012 MLB draft they had seven players selected: Jankowski (Padres, 1st round supp.), Cantwell (Rangers, 3rd), Tissenbaum (Padres, 11th), Carmona (Phillies, 11th), Campbell (Dodgers, 12th), Jasvir Rakkar (Cubs, 26th) and Johnson (A's, 33rd).

The UCLA Bruins are led by Head Coach John Savage. Their top seven hitters are Jeff Gelalich (.365), Tyler Heineman (.343), Cody Keefer (.339), Trevor Brown (.328), Beau Amaral (.313), Kevin Williams (.305) and Kevin Kramer (.274) with Galalich leading the team in home runs with 11 followed by Amaral with four. Their top four starting pitchers are Adam Plutko (11-3, 2.56), Nick Vander Tuig (10-3, 4.35), Zack Weiss (3-2, 4.04) and Grant Watson (9-2, 4.41) with Scott Griggs being their closer with 15 saves. In the 2012 MLB draft they had seven players selected: Gelalich (Reds, 1st round supp.), Amaral (Reds, 7th), Heineman (Astros, 8th), Griggs (Dodgers, 8th), Brown (Giants, 10th) Eric Jaffe (White Sox, 11th) and Keefer (Marlins, 15th).

The second game Friday has 43-17 Arizona facing third seed 48-15 Florida State. Arizona swept St John's 7-6 and 7-4 to earn their ticket to Omaha. Florida State also swept as they dominated Stanford 17-1 and 18-7.

The Arizona Wildcats are led by Head Coach Andy Lopez. Their top seven hitters are Johnny Field (.383), Seth Mejias-Brean (.366), Alex Mejia (.361), Bobby Brown (.356), Robert Refsnyder (.354), Joseph Maggi (.333) and Joey Rickard (.326) with Refsnyder leading the team in home runs with six followed by Brown with four. Their four top starting pitchers are Kurt Heyer (12-2, 2.28), James Farris (7-3, 4.18), Wade Konner (9-3, 4.49) and Tyler Hale (2-0, 4.05) with Matthew Troupe being their main closer with six saves. In the 2012 MLB draft they had five players selected: Mejia (Cardinals, 4th), Refsnyder (Yankees, 5th), Heyer (Cardinals, 6th), Mejias-Brean (Reds, 8th) and Rickard (Rays, 9th).

The Florida State Seminoles are lead by Head Coach Mike Martin. Their top seven hitters are Jayce Boyd (.389), James Ramsey (.382), Devon Travis (.310), Josh Delph (.282), Sherman Johnson (.274), John Nogowski (.246) and Stephen McGee (.243) with Ramsey leading the team in home runs with 13 followed by Justin Gonzalez with eight. Their top four starting pitchers are Brandon Leibrandt (8-2, 2.58), Mike Compton (11-2, 2.86), Scott Sitz (3-3, 3.99) and Peter Miller (5-2, 3.98) with Robert Benincasa being their closer with 15 saves. In the 2012 MLB draft they had seven players selected: Ramsey (Cardinals, 1st round), Boyd (Mets, 6th), Benincasa (Nationals, 7th), Travis (Tigers, 13th), Johnson (Angels, 14th), Hunter Scantling (Tigers, 14th) and Gonzalez (Dodgers, 27th).

The first game Saturday has 46-18 Kent State against 44-20 in the battle of the seed busters. Kent State knocked off fifth seed Oregon by winning 7-6, losing 3-2 and then won 3-2 to clinch the trip to Omaha. Arkansas did one better after losing 8-1 to fourth seed Baylor they won the next two 5-4 and 1-0 to advance.

CWS Stony Brook vs. UCLA game on Friday in Omaha.
The Kent State Golden Flashes are led by Head Coach Scott Stricklin. Their top seven hitters are George Roberts (.368), Jimmy Rider (.364), Nick Hamilton (.347), Evan Campbell (.327), T J Sutton (.305), David Lyon (.279) and Sawyer Polen (.271) with Lyon leading the team with 10 home runs followed by Roberts with eight. Their top four starting pitchers are David Starn (11-3, 2.21), Tyler Skulina (11-2, 3.63), Ryan Bores (9-3, 3.35) and Ryan Mace (2-3, 3.27) with Casey Wilson being the main closer with seven saves. In the 2012 MLB draft they had six players selected: Starn (Braves, 7th round), Michael Clark (Astros, 20th), Rider (Pirates, 26th), Bores (Rangers, 27th), Lyon (Rangers, 34th) and Hamilton (Indians, 34th).

The Arkansas Razorbacks are led by Head Coach Dave Van Horn. Their top seven hitters are Matt Reynolds (.338), Tim Carver (.304), Domonic Ficociell (.301), Brian Anderson (.287), Jacob Mahan (.266), Jimmy Bosco (.264) and Bo Bigham (.261) with Reynolds leading the team with seven home runs followed by Ficociell, Derrick Bleeker and Sam Bates with six each. Their top four starting pitchers are Ryne Stanek (7-4, 2.91), D J Baxendale (7-5, 3.18), Randall Fant (2-2, 3.00) and Nolan Sanburn (4-1, 2.52) with Barrett Austin being their closer with 10 saves. In the 2012 MLB draft they had eight players selected: Reynolds (Mets, 2nd round), Sanburn (A's, 2nd), Baxendale (Twins, 10th), Culver (Phillies, 19th), Bates (Royals, 28th), Fant (Indians, 29th), Bleeker (Orioles, 37th) and Jacob Morris (Indians, 37th).

The second game Saturday is a rematch of last year's national championship as defending champ and eight seed 45-17 South Carolina plays number one seed 47-18 Florida. South Carolina swept their super regional beting Oklahoma 5-0 and 5-1. Florida also swept beating North Carolina State 7-1 and 9-8 to earn a return trip to Omaha.

The South Carolina Gamecocks are led by Head Coach Ray Tanner. Their top seven hitters are Christian Walker (.315), Tanner English (.306), Evan Marzilli (.288), Joey Pankake (.286), L B Dantzler (.264), Chase Vergason (.262) and Adam Matthews (.240) with Walker leading the team with 11 home runs followed by Dantzler with nine. Their top four starting pitchers are Michael Roth (7-1, 2.50), Colby Holmes (7-1, 2.80), Jordan Montgomery (5-1, 4.05) and Matt Price (4-4, 3.47) with Price also being their main closer with 11 saves. In the 2012 MLB draft they had five players selected: Walker (Orioles, 4th round), Price (Orioles, 7th), Marzilli (Diamondbacks, 9th), Roth (Angels, 9th) and Matthews (Reds, 29th).

The Florida Gators are led by Head Coach Kevin O'Sullivan. Their top seven hitters are Daniel Pigott (.323), Mike Zunino (.322), Preston Tucker (.319), Brian Johnson (.314), Casey Turgeon (.288), Nolan Fontana (.287) and Justin Shafer (.275) with Zunino leading the team with 19 home runs followed by Tucker with 16. Thier top four starting pitchers are Hudson Randall (9-2, 2.61), Jonathon Crawford (6-2, 3.13), Brian Johnson (8-4, 3.56) and Karsten Whitson (4-0, 3.51) with Austin Maddox being their closer with 12 saves. In the 2012 MLB draft they had nine players selected: Zunino (Mariners, 1st round), Johnson (Red Sox, 1st), Fontana (Astros, 2nd), Steven Rodriguez (Dodgers, 2nd), Maddox (Red Sox, 3rd), Tucker (Astros, 7th), Randall (Tigers, 7th), Pigott (Reds, 9th) and Greg Larson (Red Sox, 20th).

Kent State and Stony Brook are in the College World Series for the first time and face several programs familiar with the trip. Florida State is in its 21st appearance but has yet to win the championship. Arizona has been in Omaha 16 times before and has three championships. South Carolina has 11 tournaments and the last two titles to their credit. Florida on its 8th, Arkansas on its 7th and UCLA on its 4th and all have yet to claim the crown. There seem to be several fairly even match ups and the nation should see several good games.

Play ball!!

(Editor's note: Again this year population-we™ and Baseball Me Love team up to bring CWS fans a glimpse into the elite eight making the trip to Omaha. Good luck to all the teams!)
- population-we blog post by John Bohan
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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Monday, June 11, 2012

NET’s 'Nebraska Philanthropy' Focuses on Charitable Programs for Animals and People in Crisis

Set your DVR's and get ready for the second season of “Nebraska Philanthropy: Investing In Our Future” which premieres Friday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. CT on NET1/HD with two stories of families that turned heartbreaking loss into a commitment to help others. Highlights of the season follow.

After losing their beloved Labrador Retrievers, the Nelson family of Tilden embarked on a journey that has resulted in a better quality of life for dogs and cats in shelters across the country. Encouraged by her seven-year-old son Stevie and nine-year-old daughter Ashleigh, Dawn Nelson used her social networking savvy to turn philanthropy into a family project that assists both animals and people in need.

Retired ConAgra CEO, Charles “Mike” Harper and his family lost their precious wife and mother, Josie Harper, to lung cancer in 1999. Since then, the Harper’s have touched thousands of lives. Students at Nebraska Methodist College’s Josie Harper Campus learn, live and gain clinical experience, all within the span of a few blocks. People undergoing treatment receive comprehensive health and social services in one location through Harper’s Hope. The difficulties of end-stage cancer patients and their families are eased because of the Hospice House Josie Harper Residence.

“Nebraska Philanthropy” also visits the 350-resident town of Pleasanton, just north of Kearney, where the community brings truth to the expression “dynamite comes in small packages.” Whether it’s raising money for a new ambulance, or renovating the historic train depot that is a centerpiece of the city park, this is a community that looks within itself for accomplishment.

In a conversation with “Nebraska Philanthropy” host Jeff Beckman, Jeff Yost, executive director of the Nebraska Community Foundation, says “What we’re doing is we’re building local leadership. People give to people because they know and trust one another.”

The program concludes with the People’s City Mission Free Health Clinic in Lincoln, which provides a medical “home” to the uninsured and underinsured, with full range services including dental, medical, chiropractic and eye care, often at no charge. Those services are provided through a volunteer network of practicing and retired doctors and other medical professionals.

This “Nebraska Philanthropy: Investing in Our Future” episode will repeat Sunday, June 17, at 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 19, at 11:30 p.m., and Friday, June 29, at 7:30 p.m. on NET1/HD. The program will repeat on NET2 World Saturday, June 16, at 9:30 p.m., Sunday, June 17, at 8:30 a.m., Friday, June 22, at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 30, at 9:30 p.m. All times listed are in CT.

Current and previous episodes can be viewed online at
“Nebraska Philanthropy” is a production of NET Television. NET1, NET-HD and NET2 World are part of NET Television, a service of NET. For a complete television program schedule, visit NET’s website (

- population-we
 blog post by Becky Bohan Brown 
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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Monday, June 4, 2012

pop-we eco-living tips: Aluminum Can Recycling

Editor’s note: In the past, population-we™ has dedicated an entire month of posts to celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day. Just like our planet needing more people to adopt sustainable living practices, population-we™ will commit to this cause and start offering regular articles to encourage our readers to embrace a greener lifestyle at work and home. So, our popular Facebook and Twitter "pop-we eco-living tips" will now become a regular feature. This is our first feature -- courtesy of contributor Brian Brown -- on aluminum can recycling.

Can Pac Millard Location.
Depending on the source you read, there are 1,500 aluminum cans thrown away per second. Then others report: 9,000 aluminum cans per minute or 250 cans per person per year. Any way you look at it, it is clear that we need to recycle and aluminum cans are very easy to do. In our city the public trash service picks up recyclables such as aluminum cans, paper products and plastic bottles. They no longer collect glasses; however, there are recycling sites throughout the city that will take glass as well as cardboard.

About a year ago, our household decided to save aluminum cans and just see how many we could collect. Since throughout the year we hold a variety of get togethers at are our house for family and friends. During that time, we had saved about two 40-gallon trash bags and another 13-gallon trash bag full of cans.

Last week we decided to take our can collection to Can Pac a local recycling company. According to their website the going rate is $0.35 per pound for aluminum cans. Also on their website is a coupon for an additional $0.10 per pound for a total of $0.45 per pound. Attendants are on hand to help you recycle at each location. Make sure to print off your coupon because I learned first-hand that flashing the attendant the coupon on your smart phone isn't acceptable by management (how ironic). After our bags of cans were put through the machine we received $4.09. Another tip, call first to check on hours. Visit here for all Omaha Metro locations and phone numbers.

Now $4.09 might not sounds like a lot of money for the time to save the cans, the room it takes to store all the cans but consider the bigger picture…you are helping the environment. Also, consider these factors: we are a household of two, according to the Can Pac website they will take flattened cans. If you would like to collect cans for money -- I say try it. If you do not like collecting cans, you can still put them on the curb for the city to recycle but at least you are still recycling, which is something we can and should all do.

In celebration of the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day population-we™ staffers will celebrate our love for planet earth with regular green posts the entire year! Thanks for reading our first pop-we eco-living tips' feature
- population-we blog post by Brian Brown 
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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