Barrie Uncovered

Studying for Family Fun!

Looking for a fun filled family sport for when the world re-opens?

Alliance Billiards has just the game-or games for you.

There’s a lot to learn at a billiards hall – for the whole family.  There is math for keeping score, geometry and physics during each play, team work at times and lots of patience!

Even better – playing pool encourages sportsmanship at a young age, and the game itself is a match between the player and the balls, not player against player.  A unique lesson to learn!

Many families have found great fun and good food while playing pool or billiards.

Actually Alliance has youth leagues as well.  Being part of a team at any stage of life is a great experience and loads of fun!

Fun Facts:

Pool is the most popular in the USA.

Snooker is the game of choice and most popular in the United Kingdom.

Lastly, Pocket Billiards is most played in Canada, Australia, China, Taiwan and Ireland.

A pool table is 3’5” x 7’ at least with 9-15 balls in play.

A billiard table is 5’ x 10’ at least with 3 balls in play.

The word “billiard” originated from the French word “billiard” which means “mace”.  The mace was an object that was used to play the game before the advent of the modern day pool cue.

Billiards is played on a table with no pockets and 3 balls.  There is a red ball, a white ball with a dot on it and a white ball without a dot.  The cloth on a billiard table is designed to let the ball travel quickly.

A pool table has 6 pockets and 9-15 balls along with a white cue ball.

Snooker is played on a table with 6 pockets as well; however the pockets are larger than that of a pool table.  There are 15 pink numberless balls, 6 numbered balls and 1 cue ball.  The cloth on a snooker table is designed to make the balls travel slower.

Alternative Games of Pool:

One Pocket Pool

Place all the balls randomly in the rack.  The player breaking chooses 1 pocket that they will use for the rest of the game.  Opponents choose their alternative pockets and operate in the same manner.

The players earn 1 point per ball potted correctly with the winner the first person to reach 8 points.

A slight variant to the game is having a player lose a point with a foul; with 3 fouls a player immediately loses the game.

The first time there was a tournament game of One Pocket Pool was in 1961.

Cut Throat Pool

3 players compete during each game.  The aim of the game is to be the last player with a ball on the table.  There are 15 balls divided into 3 sets.  1-5, 6-10, 11-15.

Each player is assigned one set of balls.  Each player takes a turn to pot a ball continuously until he misses.  It may be appropriate to pot one of their own to better their position – this is known as “cutting your own throat”.  If the cue ball is potted, each opponent is allowed to bring one of their balls back up to the table.  A player who has no balls on the table at any given point is forced to miss his turn, although if a cue ball is potted they may return to the game.

Straight Pool

Straight pool was first known to be invented in 1910.  This game makes use of a scoring system with the winner the first one to reach 100 points.

All fouls lead to a 1 point penalty with the exception of a cue ball penalty which is a loss of 2 points.  If a player fouls on 3 successive shots they receive a 15 point penalty.  Crucially, players must nominate their target ball and pocket before playing each shot.  Players score 1 point each time the nominated ball is potted into the specified pocket.  Constant re-racking is required to reach 100 points to win.

Bumper Pool

Bumper pool can be a hilariously fun game to watch.  The fun comes from a series of objects that are placed on the table to make it harder for each player to pot the balls.  The obstacles are known as bumpers.  Only 10 balls are used; 5 red and 5 white.  Each set has a single marked ball.  The object is to have each player pot their 5 balls into a pocket at the far end of the table.  The marked ball must be potted first.  In this game there is no cue ball involved with the players hitting each ball directly.

"Play together-Stay together"

If you are a family that understands “Play together – Stay together”, then Alliance Billiards opens lots of opportunities.  Make it a date when the world re-opens!

Order a great family meal while you enjoy teaching or learning a new game!

In the meantime – Georgia has an incredible array of single and family sized meals available to you.  There’s some great Greek choices as well as all the regular pub fare.  You can order through Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes, or call directly and Alliance will deliver!

Billiards Anyone?

Written By: Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Veronika Kovecses

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Talk Through your Troubles at Sweet Spot Family Counseling

Everyone experiences troubles or difficulties in their lives at one point or another.  Sometimes you’re experiencing a difficulty that can be talked over with a friend or mentor – other times it’s more traumatic and a bit of expert guidance might be well-deserved.

Introducing Samantha Barnes

Samantha Barnes at Sweet Spot Family Counseling suggests that we need to allow ourselves permission to reach out for support.

“Anytime is a good time for therapy; not just during a crisis.  Therapy can provide the emotional support and problem solving skills you need to help you “live your best life.”

There are Often Misconceptions

Samantha realizes that the world has lots of misconceptions around mental health.  Everyone has the perception that therapy is a long-time process.

Often if there’s something in life you’re just stuck on short-term therapy works very well (3-6 sessions).

Person-Centered Approach...

Sam opened Sweet Spot Family Counseling 3 years ago after working many years in the public sector. She offers family counseling and support for women, children and teens.  She has a “Person-centered” approach where “you are the expert of your own life.”  Samantha recently added a new associate, Arthi Bala who is helping couples reconnect and work through their relationship struggles.

With true talk therapy one of the best things that happen is simple conversation.  Samantha makes that even easier when her best therapist gets involved.

Samantha's Best Therapist!

Charlie the Therapy Dog is a loveable Shitzhu who “wags” his way right into your heart.

It seems that on 1st visits its Sam people come to chat with; after that it’s Charlie – all the way!

As the weather warms up again there will be “walk and talks”, workshops and other outdoor programs.

Sweet Spot offers virtual, phone and in person appointments to meet everyone’s needs.

“My hope is that the women and children that come to see me recognize their own strength and self worth and walk away feeling whole and complete.”

-Samantha Barnes, Registered Psychotherapist

Written By: Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

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Shifting Focus – Mainstream Therapy

A Message from Angel Powers at Mainstream Therapy...

“Here we go again!  Another lockdown and another disappointment.  More stress, more worry.  More uncertainly.  I’m not one to add to the problem because I am a solution – focused person.”

“However, that being said, we cannot deny frustration accompanied by the on-going state of affairs that are out of our control.”

“While it I important to express your frustrations to an appropriate person – I get it, call me.  I offer a 30 – minute free consultation.  Call me…we can chat about it.”

“How about we focus on tender love and care for ourselves.  One thing I know for sure is that we are all connected by grief due to the loss of many things over the course of the last year.  Loss of jobs, fiancés, security, loved ones and life in general.  Grief connects us all in some way…right now.”

“One thing I find myself helping people with right now is shifting focus.  Shifting focus on what I can control right now.  I cannot control school closures, business closures, vaccine rollout, or how other people choose to handle the pandemic.  What I do have control over is how I show up in my life for myself and my loved ones.”


Parents, we are not meant to wear the many hats that we have to wear right now.  The expectation that you can be a teacher, a parent, and a worker is too much.  Take a look at what you’re expecting for yourself.  Are your expectations realistic?  An expectation is a resentment waiting to happen.  Where can you make a shift and move towards a realistic expectation for yourself?  Can you ask for help for your children for school?  Can they miss a day?  Can you shift the focus toward connection and away from perfection?

A Childs Brain

Our kids have been through so much this year!  They are spent!  They are done!  From a development perspective, their brains are not developed enough to handle all this uncertainty and stress.  The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem-solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors.  It doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25 (give or take).  The frontal lobe is considered the “control panel” of the brain.  If your kids are having meltdowns or seem moody or irritable; it’s because they might not be able to decipher that the March break was supposed to happen in March not April….and that isn’t “normal” to them and they don’t know what to expect.  Routine gives children a sense of safety, isn’t it safe to say that all our world routines are out of whack right now.  Take it easy on them and yourself!

Nurture Yourself

We are people too.  Don’t forget about nurturing yourself, with the responsibilities that you’re putting on yourself, as well as what others expect from us; how often do you stop and actually take time for yourself?

Here’s a gentle reminder…  It’s okay to say no.  It’s okay to miss a day.  It’s okay to not be okay…and it’s 100% okay to ask for help!

The Trouble With Independence

Independence is a trauma response.  I’m talking to the “Wonder Woman” or “Superman”….the “I can do it on my own because I have always had to” attitude.  We aren’t meant to do it on our own.  The reality is that this superior independence is a trauma response because you don’t feel supported or you’re not supported.  You have learned from a young age that you couldn’t rely on anyone.  Human beings area wired for connection.  This state of independence is a safety behavior because you may not trust the human connection.  I urge you to lean on your friends, family and community.  Call someone and talk it out.  You are not alone!

The Reality Is...

When you have to choose between the math test and teaching your children how to cook or do household chores – choose the chores.  Do not underestimate the benefits of teaching your children how to cook, do laundry or manage a budget with grocery shopping.  Heck! Get them a pen pal and have them write a letter to someone in another province or country!

This is hard!  You are not doing it wrong!  You’ll make mistakes…and that’s okay!  When you make a mistake, try to do something different next time.

Always in Service.



Written By: Angel Powers/Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

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Barrie Live Music Show – Supports the Food Bank

Jake and Jorden Mathias are the brothers behind the popular “Barrie Live Music Show” Facebook group that has raised over $100,000.00 for over 25 local charities.

Barrie Live Music Supports the Food Bank for April!

Photo by Stephen Elliott

As we mentioned at the beginning of the week, they’ve given the month of April to assisting the Canada Food Bank COVID relief fund by partnering with area resident Dawn Mucci of Canada’s Top Mayor Award, and “Bring Your ‘Eh Game” trivia contest.

Exciting New Release...

The Mathias brothers not only have big hearts for the community, but also big talent in the music world!

Pre-pandemic their band “The Straits” often played locally.  You can find them playing virtually on-line – but even better their new band “A One Way Ticket” has just released their first single – “You Are the One” on all platforms!  Make sure to give it a listen!!

Weekend Line Up

Join them on Barrie Live Music Show this weekend – Here’s the lineup!!

Friday April 9:

7 pm Shane Joseph

8 pm Jay Dee Band

9:30 pm JonniX

Saturday April 10:

7 pm Tamara Lovan

8 pm Alyssa Bartholomew

9 pm Geoff Erickson

Don't Forget!!!

And…if you’re still up to it after the great music – you can still watch the any of the 4 legacy episodes of “Bring Your ‘Eh Game” right here:

We Appreciate Your Support!

We appreciate your community superhero spirit and look forward to having you assist everyone in this fantastic effort by Jake and Jorden Mathias with the Barrie Live Music Show.

Support our Local Food Bank while supporting our incredibly talented local music scene!!

Written By: Jane Laker

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Spring – A Time for Rebirth with Mainstream Therapy

Written as a Life Lesson by Angel Powers

As winter comes to an end and the temperature is warm, the ice melts, and buds begin to grow on trees; our earth is telling us it’s time for a new rebirth.

Many people look at spring as the “New year”; winter being the time for hibernation.

As the bear prepares food for winter and sleeps for the winter time it hibernates to rest and restore its body, its mind, and its soul.

When spring arrives it’s time for a rebirth, and new beginnings.

Is There Something that Needs to be Reborn Within You?

Perhaps with the nicer weather you’ve started moving your body more; I know I have after this long dreadful winter. I’ve been walking three days a week; up bright and early at 6 AM.

There are many times I’m just too tired and my scheduled day ahead seems too much, but I know if I get out and even move my body for a half an hour I will feel better.

Perhaps it’s time to clean your closet, or that bathroom sink that just tends to pile with stuff.

We live in a culture of instant gratification, and with this mindset also come an unhelpful thinking style called “all or nothing thinking“.

When we fall into these thinking traps, we cut ourselves off from achieving something before we even start.

We have the mindset of “Oh well, why bother!”  

“If I work out for a month and only lose 1 pound I think, its hopeless why should I even try.”

Learning From Nature!

We could learn this teaching from the earth itself; when the snow melts it doesn’t melt in one day.  You see when earth is changing seasons, if all the snow were to be melted in one day we’d be at risk of a flood. 

 When was the last time earth skipped winter?

The bird teaches us to look at things from the bigger picture. The turtle teaches us to assimilate to our surroundings, in the water it is fast and agile; on land agility is slow and steady.

When I’m too busy running around in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I miss these moments, these teachings that are available to me in abundance if I would just tune in.

Tips to use your environment and Body as a Vessel of Information

  1. Slow down simply by activating your breath. Start with your hand below your navel; while you inhale bring your hand up slowly to the top of your nose. As you exhale press your hand in a downward motion stopping when your arm reaches a full extension. Do this 7-10 times to activate a sense of calm.
  2. In our chaotic world, calm sometimes brings anxiety. Be present. Look around you. Notice your immediate environment. The walls, the floor, the temperature, what you’re wearing, who is there, the time of day, the day of the week, the day of the month and so on…. in this moment, there is nothing to fear, or to be nervous about.
  3. Say out loud or in your head (out loud is better if you can) a.) allow me to set aside everything I think I know to see a different perspective. b.) If my environment was trying to communicate something to me in this very moment what is it trying to teach me? c.) What can I learn from…. name your surroundings i.e. the brides, my kids, the dog, traffics, the song on the radio.

Recognize the Message

The truth is, our environment is constantly communicating with us, nudging us and teaching us what we need to know. The trick is to slow down long enough and to be open to the message we are receiving.

When we receive mail it is our job to open the envelope and read what’s inside. If you receive mail and stick it in a corner or throw it in the garbage and choose not to open it, you are choosing not to read the message that has been delivered to you. So, if you are the kind of person that opens your mail when it is delivered, could you choose to open the deliveries that are in constant supply to you everywhere you are?


Written by: Angel Powers/Jane Laker

Photo Credits: Stephen Elliott

Are you a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint?  Let us know!  We can help get you Uncovered!