Archives for posts with tag: omaha

On campus I hear students talk about Celebrity Apprentice, True Blood and other programs that they watch on television.  Their conversations usually entail with asking one another if they saw the new episode last night.  I do not know how people have free time to sit down and watch programs at a specific time on one night of the week, every week.  Don’t they have a life?  Don’t they have things that they need to do and get done?  I know that I am too busy to plan a specific hour of the day every week to watch a television program that will be on the Internet the next day so I can view it whenever I want to.  I know that a lot of people are throwing away their cable plans and opting out for cheaper options.  Sure you might have to wait a day to see the new episode, but you’ll be saving money, lots of money.

Will anyone have a television or cable in 20 years, 15, 10?  It’s defiantly something to think about. I know a lot of my friends and colleagues are slowly getting rid of their television sets and opting out out of their cable plans.  Let’s face it, cable is expensive.  Cable and the television industry will soon be facing a future similar to newspapers.  The State of the Media Report agrees. People are using their computer and becoming members of groups like Netflix and Hulu.

I personally do not own a television or have a cable plan.   Call me crazy, but I just don’t need one.  This is why:

  • I don’t feel like spending money on a television.
  • I have a laptop.  I can watch movies and programs on it.
  • I don’t want to pay for cable because it is expensive.  There are cheaper and free alternatives.
  • I am a member of Netflix and Hulu Plus.  Having these two programs is far less expensive than paying for cable.

I am baffled at how much people spend on cable plans.  In Omaha a basic cable package cost about $30.00 a month.  If you’re looking at getting the highest-end cable package, then you are looking to spend about $150.00 a month, and this is just for cable.  Forget about Internet and a home phone, you’ll be paying even more for that package.  Does anyone really need over 200 channels?  If you do, then you should re-evaluate your life.

So what if you want to watch television and the programs you love but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg?  Well then, you can do what I do.  I have a a Netflix account which is $7.99 a month.  On Netflix you can watch thousands of movies instantly or have the access to have DVDs mailed to your house.  You can also watch some of you favorite television shows.  I also have Hulu Plus, which is also $7.99 a month.  Hulu Plus is very similar to Netflix, but Hulu Plus allows you to watch more television programs than Netflix at anytime.  You don’t have to DVR anything, you can just log on and watch.  I pay roughly $16.00 a month on my television plan and this is half the price of basic cable.  This  makes me believe that the inevitable death of television and cable is near.

What if you don’t want to pay anything for your television consumption?  Well, if you have a laptop and Internet access then you don’t really have to.  You can use the free version of Hulu to watch programs that you enjoy.  You can also find other Internet sites out there that are similar, or you can torrent (I don’t advocate torrenting).  Most networks also have their shows on their websites.  If you don’t want to pay for cable, you don’t have to.

It’s amazing to think that in the last 20 years so much has changed with the advent of the Internet.  What will the world be like in another 20 years?  Will anyone have cable?  Will cable exist?  Will it be more expensive?  How will cable adapt to the changing market place?  What are your predictions?

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Whether you are a band searching for a venue to play at, or just an avid fan looking for shows that are close to you, here is a breakdown of venues that are located in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Waiting Room:

Address: 6212 Maple Street Omaha, NE: Map
Ticket Information:  Information for tickets
Line-up: Waiting Room Line-up and events
History of Venue: The Waiting Room was opened by Marc Leibowitz and Jim Johnson who created One Percent Productions, an Omaha-based booking company.  The venue is four years old and has been recently renovated with new sound and light equipment.
Why you want to play here:  Great sound system and lights, medium-sized intimate venue that is capable of being filled.
Why you don’t want to play here: As great as the venue is, the owners and employees are the complete opposite.
Why you want to see a show here:  Great sound and lighting.  This is a medium-sized venue and you will have a great chance to interact with the bands and performers.  There are great drink specials and some of the staff is friendly.
Why you don’t want to see a show here:  Some of the employees are rude and will kick you out for no reason.
All ages show policy: Information and form
Overall review: ★★★✰✰

The Slowdown:


Address:  729 North 14th Street Omaha, NE 68102 (402.345.7569) Map
Ticket Information: Information for tickets
Line-up: Event and Line-up
History of Venue:  Complete history and complete list of all events (Very impressive website)
Why you want to play here:  It’s the newest venue in town.  It has sound and lighting that is above excellent.  The owners and employees are friendly.  There are two stages that you can play on depending how many tickets you expect to sell.  There is a small stage that local bands usually play on and there is a wall that will slide and open up a large venue that is closed off unless being used.  There is an amazing balcony that opens up as well and the stage is large enough for acts like Of Montreal who have elaborate stage settings.  This is probably the best place to get a gig at in Omaha.  Booking information is referred to Val Nelson.
Why you don’t want to play here:  If you find a reason, let me know.
Why you want to see a show here:  The best bands in town play shows here.  There are more regional and national acts.  The location is a quick taxi cab ride from any downtown location.  The sound and lighting will amaze you.
Why you don’t want to see a show here:  There is no reason, just remember to bring a valid ID.  They are sticklers about IDs, but aren’t all venues in town?
All ages show policy: Information and form
Overall review: ★★★★★

The Hole:

Address:6005 Maple St. Omaha, NE 68104 (Enter through alley)
Ticket Information: Ticket Information
Line-up:  Event and Line-up
History of Venue:  the Hole began as the brain child of Donny Diederich, former pro skater and owner of Convicted Skate Shop. The Hole is an all ages venue that, unlike other all ages venues in Omaha, doesn’t have to abide by the Omaha city ordinance which states that “any person under the age of 18 must have a notarized permission slip from their parents to attend shows”. This is because the Hole DOES NOT serve alcohol and we strictly enforce a NO ALCOHOL/DRUGS rule! If you bring alcohol or drugs into the Hole you will be asked to leave and perhaps banned from coming to future events. The Hole believes that music is a wonderful gift that people should be able to enjoy, no matter your age! The Hole is a DIY collaboration of like-minded individuals that strive to maintain a safe and enjoyable venue for bands and fans of all ages to enjoy!
Why you want to play here:  People always show up and have a good time!
Why you don’t want to play here:  It’s a small venue with rudimentary equipment and lighting.
Why you want to see a show here:  It’s a fun place with a wide audience.
Why you don’t want to see a show here: You will feel old even though you aren’t.  With an all ages policy, there are middle school aged kids here.  Hello high school flashbacks!  Be prepared.
All ages show policy: Everyone is welcome, no permission slip needed.
Overall review: ★★★★✰

The Sokol and Sokol Underground:


Address:  2234 S. 13th St. Omaha, NE 68108  (Driving Instructions)
Ticket Information:Tickets are sold at Homer’s Music
Line-up:  Event and Line-up
History of Venue:  Interesting article on the history of the Sokol Auditorium.
Why you want to play here:  There are two venues the Auditorium and the Underground.  Both venues offer a different “feel”.  The Auditorium is for acts that will gather a large crowd.  There is a balcony and separate room for merchandise tables.  The Underground is smaller and dingy, but a good kind of dingy, the kind of dingy a music venue is supposed to have.
Why you don’t want to play here:  Some people won’t go to a show here because of the neighborhood that it is located in.
Why you want to see a show here:  There are amazing bands that come and the place is always packed.  It’s fun to be in the middle of a crowd and feel other people’s sweat, this is how music is supposed to be enjoyed.  However, if you don’t like being in the crowd you have the option to arrive early and watch the band from the balcony.  There are even benches on the balcony that you can sit on.  However, if you use them I would have to consider you a wallflower.
Why you don’t want to see a show here:  The parking is a little tough, but just arrive early and it shouldn’t be that big of an ordeal.  Don’t leave anything valuable in your car, your windows could get smashed out.  Take a taxi if you can.
Overall review:  ★★★★★

If you have any specific questions about the venues or booking then just send me a comment.  I am more than willing to answer any questions that you may have.


Celiac’s Disease is is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten.  Gluten is  is found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.  I’ve been on a search to find places to eat that have gluten free options in Omaha because a year ago I was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease.

I started college in 2007 and started to become terribly ill.  I had no idea why.  There was no rhyme or reason to the constant pain and itchiness that I was feeling.  One moment I would feel fine and the next moment I would be curled up in a fetal position screaming for the pain to stop.  It was an odd pain.  It would come and go, and it usually became worse after meals.  After eating  I could feel my body react horribly to what I had just consumed and a few hours later I would break out into rashes all over my body, but unfortunately that was the least of my worries.

I knew that something was wrong so I went to the doctor.  The first three doctors I saw just told me that I was stressed out and that a mass amount of new stress can do this to the body.  I was skeptical, as I should have been.  I’ve been stressed out before and this was not being caused by stress.

A few years had passed and nothing had changed.  The pain was now constant.  My parents were slowly seeing a change in my appearance, my hair was falling out of my head and I started to refuse to eat anything.  It hurt too much.  It wasn’t worth it.  This is when my mom decided to take me to see a specialist at UNMC.  This specialist decided that he wanted to take my gallbladder out.  So after much deliberation I had a cholecystectomy.  I missed some school, some work and was pretty uncomfortable for about a month.  Still the pain lingered.  Everyone thought I was crazy.

I decided that I was going to go to one last doctor before I too would start to think that I had become a hypochondriac.  This doctor sat down with me and listened to everything that I said, he actually listened.  It was refreshing.  He smiled at me and went, “Wow.  You’ve never been tested for Sprue/Celiac Disease?”

Immediately this doctor had a nurse come in a draw a few samples of my blood.  The doctor explained to me that he believed that I was allergic to gluten.

I was in awe.  I’ve heard about people who can’t eat gluten, but me?  Was gluten the criminal at hand?  Was this causing the constant suffering and pain that I had been living with for years? Would I have continued to live like this if he were not have had an answer?

A week after I had had my blood drawn the doctor called me and gave me my resluts.  I was indeed allergic to gluten.  My prayers were answered.  Was this actually the cure I had been waiting for?  Yes! Yes it was.  My doctor setup an appointment with myself and a nutritionalist.  I learned the basics of what to eat and what to stay far away from.

Having a food allergy is challenge that you have to face everyday, but it is very easy to avoid having a reaction, or so you would think.  It’s been a year and I am still struggling with the idea of avoiding gluten.  Gluten is found in almost everything.  If it comes in a box at the grocery store, there’s a very strong chance that it contains gluten.

The hardest part about living g-free is all the temptations.  It’s so hard to say no when someone offers you a cookie.  Yes, I want that cookie right now!  But you have to say no and politely explain why you can’t have cookies unless they are made with rice flour.

My best advice for people who have just found out that they are allergic to gluten is to research, research, research!  There are a million books on being g-free, groups and people who having been living g-free that will answer your questions.

Q & A Time:

Q:  So what do you eat and where do you eat if you are allergic to gluten?
A:  I personally like to make all of my meals and snacks.  I don’t trust restaurants and labels.  If a crouton even touched the salad that I am eating I can become instantly sick.  Restaurants do not realize how severe some food allergies are.  Take into account people who are allergic to peanuts:  If they eat a peanut they can die.  People, especially in the food industry, need to realize how important it is to not contaminate and cross-contaminate the meals of people with food allergies.

Q:  Do you eat out at restaurants?
A:  Yes, but I don’t like to on a regular basis.  If I do eat at a restaurant I will be sure to check the menu before I go there to make sure that they have a g-free option.  When I order I like to let the server know that I have a gluten allergy and if there are any questions about the ingredients to make sure that the chef is informed and questioned.  However, you are always taking a huge risk by not knowing the procedures of preparation.

Q:  Where do you grocery shop?
A: I shop for groceries everywhere.  I personally prefer Hy-vee because they have a whole entire isle of gluten free food.  It’s amazing to see a grocery store cater to such specific needs and it is very much appreciated in the gluten free community.

Q: I have a meal plan at Creighton and I just found out that I am allergic to gluten.  Is there anything that I can eat?
A:  Yes, but the options are very limited.  I actually have a flex meal plan and use it on a daily basis.  I am just very careful about what I eat.  Today I had tofu and carrots.  Jack and Eds even offers gluten free TV dinners and Bumble Bars.

Q: What do you do about snacks?
A:  There are many bars that are gluten free.  I like to always have one in my backpack and purse.  You never know when you are going to get hungry and be surrounded my gluten with no g-free options.

Q:  What is your favorite place to eat in Omaha that has gluten free options?
A:  I love Blue Planet!  I cannot stress to you how amazing their food is and how many options they have!  They have the most amazing gluten free pizza! They also have spicy thai bowls, wraps and seared ahi tuna.  This place is amazng!

 

Q:  Zio’s has a gluten free pizza.  Is it good?
A:  Zio’s does offer a gluten free crust, but what they forget to tell you is that their kitchen is not g-free.  Hello cross-contamination!  I do not recommend enjoying the gluten free pizza at Zio’s.  I have given it a shot twice and regretted it both times.

Q:  Are there groups I can join to learn more about this?
A:  Yes!

Overall, it has been a journey to find out what I can and cannot eat.  If you are new to the gluten-free community and would like some of your personal questions answered then send me a message.  I will gladly answer.

Some things I really like to enjoy:

Bumble Bars

Blue Planet

Tofu

Gluten Free Brownie Mix

This book answered a lot of my questions: The G Free Diet

I’m going to examine the Facebook Page for Sullivan’s Steakhouse: Omaha.  I decided to choose Sullivan’s Steakhouse because I work there.  Since I have worked there for almost four years, I am able to see how the page has progressed through the years.  Sullivan’s Steakhouse started using social media sites in 2009 to help bring in business and produce a greater profit.  In 2009 the company had no idea what they were doing with Facebook or Twitter.  I can clearly see that Sullivan’s has hired a social media expert and the pages have been significantly improved.

 

I believe that Sullivan’s is using the Facebook Page very well.  Whenever Sullivan’s switches the menu, it is posted in advance on Facebook.  This lets the guest know what is available for them to enjoy.  Guests can also checkout the prices, which is beneficial while preparing for a nice dinner out.  Sullivan’s also has pictures of all of their food items.  Seeing a menu is great, but having pictures is even better.  Then there is no question about what you are ordering.  Sullivan’s also has pictures of events that are held in and out of the restaurant.  Sullivan’s Steakhouse is known for pairing up with organizations and charities to raise money or help out with community activities.  Sullivan’s has paired up with Susan G. Komen, The Omaha Blood Bank and many other local and national organizations.  Recently Sullivan’s made steak sandwiches and key lime pie for anyone who donated blood to the Red Cross.  The servers at Sullivan’s were also sent to the Red Cross to donate blood if they could.  There are pictures of all of these events posted on the Sullivan’s Page.

 

There are no videos on the page, but I believe that there could be some very nice ones to come in the future.  I believe that Sullivan’s should video tape their live jazz band on Swingin’ at Sully’s night when people are dancing.  Images like this will make people want to come in and listen to live jazz music while enjoying an adult beverage and having a night out with good friends.

There are a lot of discussions on the page, but I believe that there could be more interaction among the clientele and the company.  I believe that Sullivan’s needs to started replying back to their guests’ comments.  This way there will be a flowing dialogue on the page.  This is where I believe the biggest improvement could come from, more dialogue because that is what social media is about.

People would spend time on this page to checkout what the restaurant is “all about”.  They can checkout the menu, atmosphere and dress code on this page.  They can also find reviews, hours and directions.  In general, people would spend time on this site to find out general information about the restaurant.

I believe that people wouldn’t spend time on this page because it does not change too often.  Sullivan’s could update the page a bit more often and keep it “fresh”.  I believe that they should update it at least once a day.  One thing that they could post on a daily basis could be the lunch and dinner features.  This way if guests were interested in the features they could check the Facebook page instead of having to call the restaurant everyday.

I believe the biggest challenge that the organization has with this Page is the management team’s general lack of time.  The managers are extremely busy and do not have any time to update this Page as ofetn as they would like too.  They could possibly have one of the servers update this Page more often.

Sullivan’s also uses Twitter.  The Twitter account and the Facebook Page hold almost the same content.  I believe that if Sullivan’s were looking to increase their guest count that a social media ploy of coupons on Twitter would be an amazing idea!  I really enjoy working in the service industry and follow other restaurants on Twitter and Facebook just to see how they use social media.  Recently Loft610 was bought by a new company.  In order to introduce their new menu they started giving out coupons on Twitter to individuals that RT their tweets.  I think this is a genius idea to get a restaurants to menu known to the location and people around it.

The Sullivan’s Steakhouse: Omaha Page has less than 200 likes.  I find this a very small number of likes for how many people eat at the restaurant on a daily basis.  If Sullivan’s were to put a little slip of paper in the check presenters or have more of a social dialogue on their Page, then I believe that their amount of “likes” would sky rocket.

Overall, Sullivan’s has really improved in the last two years with their social media exploration.  However, I do believe that they have a long way to go and could use social media in ways that they haven’t even thought of yet.  I believe that they could create a position for a social media manager.  This person could run all the Sulllivan’s social media accounts for all 20 of the restaurants.  This investment could create the potential for a huge influx of guests.  (Hire me!)  I believe that Sullivan’s could also start using Facebook ads.  This might be a really great idea for the restaurant!  I know that Sullivan’s currently does not advertise in Omaha.  I know that there has been talk of advertising, but nothing has been done yet.  A very easy way to advertise would be through Facebook.  It is affordable and people really do pay attention to what advertisements are popping up on the side of their Facebook account.  No matter what, Sullivan’s is using social media, they just need to improve the way that they use their social media services to the best of their ability.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse: Omaha Facebook Page
Sullivan’s Steakhouse Official Website