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Monday, February 25, 2013

pop-we Dinner Club Reviews Jazz

Jazz 14th and Farnam St.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler or let the good time roll with all that Jazz - A Louisiana Kitchen! Jazz is located at 1421 Farnam St. in Omaha, NE. This was a place I had heard about and always wanted to try, as I am a fan of Cajun food or food with a kick. Jazz prides themselves on being an authentic French Quarter café for over 25 years. There are six locations in Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Nevada.

Jazz is a colorful corner building with multi colored awnings with seating outside. When you walk in there is a hostess stand and couple benches along the windows as the waiting area is more like hallway that extends to the back. The bar is toward the back, just follow the wall around. The walls are covered with various adult beverage signs (Southern Comfort, Fat Tire along with others) as well pictures of Louisiana, a giant cape from Mardi Gras along with other pieces to make up the eclectic décor. Above the dining area there is a balcony that appears to have tables and in the corner is an area for a band, there was a band the night we were there. Unfortunately, most in our part found the band too loud -- as it was hard to converse with our party of 12.

Blackened Chicken Hot Fanny
Usually when I go to a Cajun restaurant I get Etouffee or Jambalaya but tonight I thought I would try something different. Tonight I ordered the Blackened Chicken with Hot Fanny. Hot Fanny is mushrooms and jalapenos in a garlic butter sauce. The meal was also served with a veggie medley and potatoes. The dish was full of flavor and I enjoyed it very much but I was disappointed that it was not very spicy. I had to use some hot sauce to add a lil kick. The house hot sauce is comparable to a Louisiana Hot Sauce or Red Devil. A couple people, including me, ordered a cup of Gumbo. Their Gumbo is a thick hearty soup served with rice in the bottom of the cup; instead of, being mixed in, as it should be.

After compiling the surveys from the other foodies the pop-we Dinner Club gives Jazz: 3.925 star average on a scale of 1-5.

Atmosphere/Decor – 3.9

Cleanliness – 3.33

Wait Staff – 4.08

Menu – 4.25

Food Presentation – 4.16

Food Portions – 4.08

Food Taste – 4.25

Cost (was the cost worth meal?) – 3.91

Noise Level – 3

Overall Experience – 4.25

To check out Jazz’s menu or to find more information, check out

Fellow population-we™ readers, if you’ve been to Jazz 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.
Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen on Urbanspoon

-population-we™ blog post by Brian Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Dollar General Earns pop-we Kudos for Being a Beacon for Literacy in the U.S.

If you stumbled across this blog, means more than likely that you can read. Consider yourself very lucky because more than 774 million adults worldwide cannot read. In the U.S., 32 million adults can’t read (view stats here)! There is a store in the U.S. whose foundation has set out to help reduce illiteracy. A selfless everyday act that may not make the headlines is what this blog [movement] is all about. So, join us in recognizing the Dollar General as our February population-we™ Kudos recipient! The company's foundation has earned the distinction for their literacy efforts.

In fact, one of the founders of Dollar General was a functionally illiterate when he helped start the company. Today, the Dollar General Foundation offers literacy grant programs, helps search for literacy volunteers and website provides a link to the National Literacy Directory. In 2012, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation gifted $2 million worth of grants to 564 U.S. schools and nonprofit organizations.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation lists its literacy mission statement online by saying: “Dollar General believes learning to read, receiving your GED or learning the English language is an investment that opens doorways for personal, professional and economic growth. That is why our commitment to literacy remains strong. It is the one gift that no one can take away—the one gift that lasts a lifetime.”

So, next time population-we™ readers are shopping at the Dollar General know you are helping others learn to read.

Bravo to our most recent population-we kudos recipients -- the Dollar General Literacy Foundation! The population-we™ blog salutes you for your “pop-we” attitude: it's not about me but about us and we.

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Thanks for Loving Us!

Love and family is what makes us who we are. Many of our loyal readers know this blog is a family affair. If you’re new to population-we™, welcome! With Valentine’s Day this week I wanted to share what readers around the world can agree on – you love population-we™ too! We have the Google Analytics to prove it. We’re all in the same boat, population-we™ readers, and our goal is to provide a constant stream of Think We Before Me articles, which our dedicated contributors have done for three Valentines. So, for our population-we™ readers this Valentine’s Day, we will share the top 10 most popular read posts ever.
         We  population-we™!

No. 1:  Teacher Appreciation Week pop-we Post in Honor of Sister Anthony
Worldwide this week May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week. In honor of teachers past and present population-we™ dedicates this week's post to Marian High School teacher Sister Anthony. Read more.

No. 2:  Williamsburg Walk the Talk Lends a Helping Hand for Those Starting Over
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. Read more.

No. 3:  Applying the Scriptures Can Help When There is Bullying at School, Home, Work or in Cyberspace
How we respond to or treat a bully may determine whether bullying behavior ceases or escalates. I learned this insight and have had my understanding of bullying enlarged as I have been taking an online course by Israel “Izzy” Kalman called, Bullying: The Golden Rule Solution. What I liked about the course is that it seemed to care about both the victim and the perpetrator of bullying. Kalman is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and Director of Bullies to Buddies, Inc. Read more.

No. 4:  [Earth Day Edition] Arbor Day Brings Back Doggy Memories
This Friday, April 27, the U.S. will celebrate Arbor Day, a day set a side to remind Americans how important it is to plant trees. Growing up hearing of stories of the 1930s Dust Storms, trees have a different connotation for our family. However, when it comes to Arbor Day it might come as a surprise that it also brings back memories of a dog companion that my husband and I knew once. Read more.

No. 5:  2011 Flood Brings About Stories of American Glory This July 4
What could be more American than helping your neighbor? population-we™ readers have seen Omaha, NE on the center stage due to the recent flooding highlighted during coverage of the 2011 College World Series and other national media outlets. Most of the population-we™ staffers live in Omaha and the surrounding areas. We personally have not been affected but have friends and coworkers who are dealing with this devastation. Read more.

No. 6:  Join Project Pink'd Aug. 25 for its 2nd Annual ‘Exposed: Real Women for A Real Cause - Take Two’
Pink has a different connotation these days. Today it tells a survivor's story. Those who are adorned in its vibrant color wear it as a badge of honor in the fight against breast cancer. An Omaha-based nonprofit has embraced this new found sisterhood attitude. Introducing -- Project Pink'd -- started by founder and breast cancer survivor Cynthia Sturgeon. Read more.

No. 7:  1887-2012: Benson Nebraska Celebrates 125 Years
My family does not wait for “Small Business Saturday” to roll around to patronize small local businesses. The Benson Business District is located just blocks from our house, but unlike strip malls or developments in suburban areas, the business district and the Benson Community have 125 years of history. With the celebrations in 2012, there will be even more community activities and entertainment close to home.  Read more.

No. 8:  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? Read more.

No. 9:  CHANCE: Changing How Adults Nurture Children’s Egos in Domestic Violence
Do you believe that people can change for the better? Christina Dalpiaz does. Working in a high burnout field, it is her belief that people can change that continues to motivate her. She said, “People change when they are given new tools that work. I watch transformation every single day. That's what makes this job so great. People often say that my line of work has to be hard but I say it is great as I see them make their lives better for the sake of their children. One father told me that he was abusing his family after a one-day class, said he didn't want to do that anymore and entered into therapy with me. When all you have is a hammer the world looks like a nail. Give them more tools. They'll use them.” Read more.

No. 10:  pop-we Contributor Reviews Dr. Deborah Serani's Book on Living with Depression 
Dr. Deborah Serani studies her opponent with as much tenacity as an FBI profiler, a prosecuting attorney, or a defensive coordinator in football. Her opponent is depression. Depression is a liar and robber. She knows that you can’t just snap your fingers and it will go away. But one need not worry because she knows its triggers and how to survive its attacks. In her book Living with Depression Why Biology and Biography Matter Along the Path to Hope and Healing, her passion for learning all she can about depression in order to learn how to overcome -- it is infectious. Read more.

Thank you so much for being our valued readers and always remember the virtual population-we™ welcome mat is out for you. This Valentine’s Day -- thanks for loving population-we™ and being our Valentine!

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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Monday, February 4, 2013

pop-we Reviews Devin D. Thorpe's Your Mark On The World

If you are like me, you have a long list of all the good that you intend to if you ever become rich. Devin D. Thorpe is serious about encouraging the 99 percent who are not millionaires to be more generous with their time and money. As I interpret his message, he seems equally adamant that one should not be ignorant and give more than one is able at a certain stage in his or her life as that could put a person in dire financial need in the future. In his book, Your Mark On The World, he demonstrates how ordinary individuals have the capacity to make a difference in this world without giving up what is most important in life.

People often chart a course of where they hope to be in 10, 20, or 30 years from now in their careers. How often do people consider what their volunteer contributions will be over that same time period? Thorpe relates how concentrating on a few organizations rather than giving small amounts to many organizations can overtime allow a person to really make an impact on their selected organizations. He also points out how giving even small amounts of your time each week or month to your organizations of choice can add up to a few hundred hours over decades. As you concentrate on your organizations, he believes that you do not need to feel guilty about not spreading yourself too thin and funding other causes. An added benefit according to Thorpe is that your record keeping will be easier.

Thorpe helps the readers to ponder what causes they would like to support and how they can best support those causes. He states that some may want to be behind the scenes while others want to have direct contact with those that they help. He gives the reader free reign to decide whether they want to help local organizations or global organizations. For some, a desire for travel can also combine with serving people in those areas. As people are social creatures, he said the right fit for you may be a cause where you can participate with your friends.

I like how he encourages people to consider supporting existing programs with a proven track record such as the Red Cross or the Salvation Army, which do so much good as first responders and helping those in need. He encourages any worthy cause including those relating to mentoring, giving a person a hand up, or programs encouraging the arts. He said that there are literally thousands of charities and not-for-profit organizations to choose from. A site that he trusts to find legitimate organizations is

Thorpe feels that one’s family needs to come ahead of the cause of an organization. If a family can find a cause that they can mutually support, it can increase the family bonds and create beautiful and lasting memories according to Thorpe. At times, you may need to make compromises regarding how you volunteer to help keep the harmony of the family.

Chapters are devoted to saving money and earning money so that you can have more funds to donate and also increase the financial security of your own family. He has chapters that emphasize budgeting and also saving. I found his style to be engaging for me to read although I am not a “numbers person.” Ideas are given to help you save for your retirement, the college education of your children, and for your cause. Some may also be able to save so that they can do full-time service while taking a sabbatical from work. Over all, he emphasizes how you can keep your day job and also have your day job be your partner in doing good. He provides charts to help a person with the process and also recommends software to help one with the budgeting. As couples often disagree on budgeting issues, he cautions not to blame the spouse if they make choices that don’t align with your budget at times. There is a chapter dedicated to getting debt under control and also references to this chapter elsewhere as it is so key to financial security.

Thorpe is using his background in finance and business now to be a champion for social good. He has relevant information regarding home ownership that draws on his background as an owner of a mortgage company. He believes in investing in a way that avoids undue risk. However, he reminds us that there are no guarantees in life and the importance of insurance. At the present time, Thorpe is a weekly contributor at Forbes where he shares information on social entrepreneurship and impact investing to help people make a positive impact on the world.

In between the chapters about financial planning, Thorpe highlights inspiring individuals and organizations. As he wrote the book while he was working as a professor of business in China, it provides some interesting insights into the culture where volunteering is more of an activity done once as a rite of passage rather than on a continued basis. In the book, he writes about Chinese students that have made an ongoing commitment to interact with deaf children. There is a chapter of a woman who witnessed the “Killing Fields of Cambodia” and later as an adult would foster orphans whose families could not afford to care for them. Each of the stories in the book are very compelling and heartwarming. One chapter features the positive influence of Rabbi Benny Zippel who captured my heart because his heart is so full of love that he can reach troubled youth in drug rehab centers in Utah.

Defining moments in Thorpe’s life starting in his preteen years and including two years of volunteering in Argentina and his time living in China have kept him going and helped him to internalize the reasons for selflessly serving others. He relates how a friend read his book that was going through hard times and shifted his focus from himself to others and that his mood has improved. When I asked him to elaborate on his thoughts about service increasing one’s sense of community and passion, he said, “As you spend more time working with people on behalf of others, you will draw closer both to those you serve and to those you serve with, building your sense of community and passion.”

Through my associations at pop-we and social media and Your Mark On the World, I feel more connected to people anxiously engaged in good causes. Thorpe invites the readers of his book to like him on, to read his blog, to follow him on twitter @devindthorpe or to invite him to be a friend at He has such a sense of optimism about what he considers to be a rapidly growing community of people like-minded people. There are people with a sense of purpose who take to heart Helen Keller’s message, "Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it."

-population-we™ blog post by Barb Bohan
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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