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FinalWriteUpTsujiClaire

My Project Proposal


To sum up what I did this semester, I thought with my stomach when I came up with this project. I found that there were many different restaurants opening, reopening, or just not getting enough publicity in Bemidji for me to know anything about. I was curious about all the different restaurants in Bemidji and the classic technique of Googling information when in-lack-of failed. What I had understood from that Weblogs and Wikis Course was that blog pages and wiki pages were put in place to spread knowledge and to allow viewers to have some input, more so on the wikis then the blogs; so  I aimed to fill where there was a lot of information.

 

My plan was to break down each week into a select category of food: Coffee’s, Hot Wings, Pastas, Burgers, and Desserts. I also aimed to eat at three different restaurants over the week and give a critique of the service I received,  the presentation of the food, how delicious (or not delicious) the food was, and then the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. This gave me lots of different variations throughout the week and throughout the term of the five weeks. My aim was to network my blog to their websites to help build awareness of the restaurants and also linked to articles from the Bemidji Pioneer that informed about recent events at the restaurant/recent openings/management change/etc.

 

Why a blog?


Coming into the class I already knew that I was not going to appreciate all that a wiki has to offer to the world wide web. It was just a different format that I would need to take some more courses on to truly appreciate it’s value. While it is a simple information sharing tool there are a lot of other little formatting techniques that I would want to explore. That is why I chose a blog. I liked the format better, it was easier for me to upload pictures and I uploaded a decent amount of pictures for each of my blog posts. In my project proposal I also justified my choice in blog vs. wiki by stating that my project was not necessarily aiming to bring in a community critique of the restaurants but more of my own person experience that stirred conversation. I figured if I had left it as an open wiki there would be no place for people to edit what I said, simply because they were not there, or that the “wiki trolls” would come in and change my whole experience. Or in the goodness of people, they would just come to my page and comment on it; but I left the odds in my favor and stuck solely to the idea of the blog.

 

My Experience


 

I would definitely say that this was an experience. I learned more about the blogging community and I have to be thankful for using WordPress because I found out late in the semester that one of my other classes were also using the WordPress site and I had a head-start on how to operate the site.

 

In my project proposal I had sketched out a schedule for how I’d be posting, but that fell through almost instantly. I had aimed to be very ambitious and dedicated by eating at a restaurant Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and then filling in the empty days with my posts. It did not work that way. Life definitely got in the way and the preparation for posting my blog took longer then the few hours I spared for this class. What ended up happening was I’d go to each of the restaurants during the week day, find all my links after I attended each restaurant and then worked on writing the rest of the time. Many of my posts were clustered together within hours on Sunday and Monday along with my weekly reflection post. I was relieved to hear at our one class meeting that I was not the only one falling off track on their schedule, but I can say that I ended up establishing a different schedule and sticking pretty close to that.

 

I learned a lot as I went especially in how I tagged my posts. I wrote about this in one of my Weekly Reflections, because my process started to fall on writing the text on my phone (because earlier this year my lovely daughter decided to push my laptop down and break the screen) and then getting on my broken laptop inserting my links and pictures (because I was smart and attached it to my desk top monitor), and then adding my tags. The struggle with this is that my phone couldn’t find a nice little WordPress app to make my life bearable, so instead I had to use the desktop version of the site and there were definitely complications. It would only allow me to continually work through my post and if I wanted to jump to part of my text three lines up that held a spelling error I needed to save my post, open it again then change just that word, save it, open it again, and then continue to write. It was definitely a process, but I found out how to write in different atmospheres. Point being, I would end up publishing some of my posts without everything included and they would (because I’m a procrastinator) would sit there for a day and accumulate no attention, but the moment I inserted my links and tags there were many different bloggers that came to view my posts, liked my post and on rare occasion commented on them.

 

Another thing that I learned to deal with throughout this project was how to deal with money. I don’t know what I was thinking when I proposed this, but apparently I was feeling rich that day. I didn’t even comprehend the idea of money, so some of my weeks had only three posts and the weekly reflection while some had the proposed four posts and the weekly reflection. I tried not to beat myself up to much, but I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to make every single restaurant that I had anticipated on making it too. Which made me realize that I actually found a slight passion to sharing my experience at these restaurants. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up because I had dreaded updating my wiki and all the little pages that I tried to make, but after finding something that was enjoyable and I felt I knew a little about it came easier.

 

One of the things that I found were troublesome for me, was that many of the different restaurants that I went to didn’t have their own website. So, I found myself linking to a lot of Facebook or Twitter pages. There was even a website for one of the restaurants that wasn’t even complete or accurate. During the tours week, it was suggested that I link to their menus so that there was more information about what there was to eat in case you wanted something different than what I tried. I thought that this was a great idea, the only problem was the fact that there were only Facebook and Twitter pages which didn’t allow me too. When the restaurant did have an actual website I did like somewhere in my post to their menu page.

 

Blogging in the Future?


The future of my blogging looks semi-lit. I would definitely like to continue my project, but I know that if I did continue it… it would not be nearly as tedious as the semester. I would probably only have one post a week, because honestly this is the most I’ve eaten out ever. I would also like to say that I would want to learn more about wikis, but that is a lie. I still don’t find them interesting and I don’t like to use them and I’m just not all that into the formatting. The idea that we read about, that people feel that by having an open wiki and allowing people to come and change things, that they feel they’re only going to mess up what they did- that I would like to know more about. I would like to come to that understanding and not be so controlling, because I can say that I fall under that category. I should try to contribute to a wiki page that I know about and see how it goes.

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Weblogs for Class

 

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Dessert Comparison

I think that it’s safe to say that I can not hate on either of the desert places that I’ve been to. I apologize again for the inconvenience that I may cause to all those looking forward to me going to MN Nice Cafe. It has been right in the household the past two weeks with Easter, birthdays, rent… And then to afford to go out. I’m just trying to be smart budget wise but I am disappointed my sister showed me pictures of their bathroom. Seriously, super nice looking with a vintage chair to sit in and a perfume tray. It had to be pretty darn amazing.

 

I cannot say that I am disappointed with the places I did go though. They were nearly on polar opposites of the spectrum. Cherry Berry was bright and mainstream while Big River was old-fashioned and mellow. I enjoyed both. Cherry Berry was fun for both me and the kids, there were a few televisions that had comedy shows airing along with soft toned radio channel playing from the back. It was also exciting to be able to walk down the line of soft serve frozen yogurts and all there toppings. I enjoyed getting to test out and put whatever I wanted on my ice cream. It also made it enjoyable for my two kids to get up and feel like they had a decision in everything that went into their dessert. It made it even more fun to eat.

 

Big River Scoop nice and mellow. We were separated behind a glass window, but that was the fun of the old fashioned style. We were also encouraged to try every flavor that we wanted and were given a biography on each flavor which was not available at Cherry Berry, it was just to be assumed. It was also nice that there was a set price for how many scoops and you didn’t have to guess at how much your food was going to cost. I would also have to say that it was nice to be able to have something else to eat besides sweet things. For example a huge piece of hand made pizza!

 

The service was minimal in both the yogurt bar and the ice cream parlor but the little interaction that I had with both servers was pleasant. They were both helpful and they were both kind. They did not ruin the experience of going to both these new places but rather they helped guide me through my experience. I have plans to go back to both because they were equally enjoyable and their desserts eeee equally delicious. There is a difference though between frozen yogurt and old fashioned ice cream and that all depends on your preference. I am a lover of both!

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Yum Yum Reviews

 

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Review for 4/22 to 4/28

This week I skimped out on my last restaurant again. I had aimed to go eat there yesterday but like many things in Bemidji, it closed very early on Sunday and I missed it by about 2.5 hours. Not only that, but I had planned to go the next night after work but then ended up getting my cashiers check for rent…. Flat broke. I’m lucky that I went to both Cherry Berry and Big River Scoop two weeks ago or I would have had nothing for my blog this week.

 

I got got those posts done early too thanks to the fact that I had already gone. I can’t be more greatful because my senior thesis was due this week along with a presentation and let’s just say this momma is glad to be wrapping up the semester. I’ve definitely found out a lot about how tagging works and how efficient it can be to spread information. It still amazes me how many people found my blog, read it and actually liked it all due to my tags.

 

I would have have to say that for me to appreciate wikis more is have to take another class on wikis but for now I’ll be pleased with just accomplishing a semi-predictable blog for the last five weeks. I would also say that I’ve definitely came to the understanding that you need to be passionate or even remotely interested in what you’re talking about to keep it current and interesting. I also have found that I think I’ve become better at understanding the nature of linking. I would say that I’ve gotten a lot better at it between this class and web content!

 

Check out what I’ve been up to this week.


Big River Scoop

Cherry Berry

Dessert Comparison

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Yum Yum Reviews

 

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Cherry Berry

photo 2 (6)Cherry Berry was also on my list of desert places to go that just recently opened in the past year and it was definitely a fun place to be with my sister and both our sets of kids. The kids along with both myself and my sister enjoyed the refreshing and bright colored atmosphere. In fact, after coming here together my sister’s been back twice in the last few weeks. For those who have not heard of Cherry Berry it is a self serving frozen yogurt shop. They allow you to fill your own bowl in anyway you please with whatever toppings you please. The only way you’re charged is by the ounce. They even have you set it on a little scale at the end of your stroll through frozen yogurts, crazy chocolate toppings and fresh fruits.

 

The over all atmosphere of Cherry Berry is very fun, with their brightly photo 1 (6)colored couches and cherry shaped chairs, it’s enjoyable to just walk in. It’s also a little humorous when you walk in because they share An entry way with a gym. So photo 5 (6)you can either feel really guilty when you go next door or you can be making all those treadmill runners envious.Our service was ourselves, of course.  The cashier however was very friendly when we walked in. She welcomed us and asked if we had ever been there before. With our lack of experience she explained that we could do pretty much whatever we wanted to our frozen yogurt and that there was only the a et price on weight. And so began our journey!

 

With all the toppings and the craziness of my children’s sweet tooth I photo 1 (5)steered clear from their orangephoto 2 (5) flavored yogurts and Nerd covered bowls. Instead I filled my bowl with three different types of yogurt. I got the strawberry cheese cake yogurt, the wake me cake, and candy bar smash. The flavors of each of them were pretty much obvious and they did have prominent flavor. You were not mistaken when you bit into each of the frozen yogurts. Though I would suggest not to mix such different flavors in one bowl.

 

My favorite out of all the flavors would have to be the candy bar smash. It photo 3 (5)had a chocolate and peanut butter flavoring with just a hint of caramel. I enjoyed it over the strawberry cheese cake only due to the fact that I chose fresh strawberries to put on my bowl and that brought out the tartness in the yogurt. The wake me cake flavored yogurt got lost in my mess of toppings which included chocolate covered marshmallows and peanuts, fresh strawberries and chunks of cheesecake… This was exactly what our cashier joked about. It could get expensive with all the toppings.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Yum Yum Reviews

 

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Big River Scoop Ice Cream

photo 1 (4) Living on the south side of Bemidji and also being a full time student I drive downtown a lot for many reasons. So earlier this year when I was driving by good old Paul and Babe, I was intrigued to see that there was going to be a little ice cream parlor opening up. I kept driving by everyday waiting for it to be open and when I did (which was a few weeks ago) it was shortly after their grand opening. I cannot express my love for this cute little shop.

 

The Big River Scoop has an old fashioned vibe from the little sign they have displayed outside the door to the type of gentlemen working inside the shop. The only problem with this shop is the location of it. It on that funk curve and there’s really no parking besides the parking over in the DMV area. While that sounds fun, it’s not. You have to either walk through the bushes or when I went and even probably today, through a huge puddle from snow melting. Also, after you get through all that and out of the parking lot you’re standing in an alley… with a dumpster. A big huge disgusting, overly packed dumpster. It was over flowing and disgusting. I would suggest that you just power walk through this section.

 

When you get inside Big River Scoop it’s adorable and still in the process photoof being fixed up. There are old time photos of the water front lines along the hallway that leads you into the restaurant. When you reach the end of the short hall you are now in the dining area. There’s not much space with only 4 tables, but it’s welcoming. With decor for sale displayed on the photo 4 (4)windows and a little section dedicated for children to play and for you to look at some local crafts. There is also a room in the back called the Philosophy room for those who were coming in to read. Then there was the big long coolers filled with ice cream and to my surprise a pizza warmer filled with the most delicious looking pizza.

 

My service was amazing. Though it was just behind the counter the man was very friendly and more than willing to let me and my two kids try allphoto 4 the flavors. He gave us a brief bio on each tub of ice cream and then also a little wooden spoon to try it out. He even fed my four year old over the counter when he didn’t reach up for the spoon but just opened his mouth. We ended up with Blue Moon ice cream, Zanzibar chocolate, and fat Elvis. I also photo 2could not resist the delicious looking pizza. Between me and the kids a slice of pizza at Big River Scoop was almost 3/4th of the entire pie. It was definitely worth your money. Speaking of money all my food including three drinks came up to just over $22.

 

photo 3 (3)Blue Moon was what my brilliant four-year-old picked and he devoured it. I think due to its beckoning color my son, Parker just couldn’t resist choosing it. It was creamy and thick, definitely made the old fashion way and it tasted like “the milk at the bottom of your cereal bowl.” It was not too sweet and it was not to plain it fell into that happy medium with just a hint of fruit loops!

 

photo 2 (3)My two-year-old was given the Zanzibar chocolate. The man at the counter said that it had won a contest for best chocolate ice cream at the Sanford Center a few years ago and I could understand why. It had a rich chocolate taste it was one step away from not even being ice cream anymore it was so chocolate-y.

 

I chose for myself the Fat Elvis. My grandmotherphoto 1 (3) used to be a huge Elvis
fan so I knew what was in store when I ordered my ice cream. It was a banana based ice cream that was filled with thin pieces of chocolate chunks and a mixture of peanut butter. It was yummy! If you don’t like banana ice cream it might have been a little too much banana for you, but overall it was a nice concoction of sweet and salty.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Yum Yum Reviews

 

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Tours

So this week we were asked to check out each other’s blogs or wikis that they’ve been working on this semester. I just randomly selected my tours and got Melinda’s, Tricia’s, and Katie’s projects and they were all very enjoyable and all very different from each other.

 

Melinda’s project was titled needleworkreview. It’s in the wiki format and it is filled with a lot of different projects you can do with your knitting/crocheting. I like the introduction page that helps you navigate your way through the page so you understand the format and you understand the way that a wiki works for those first timers. I’d also have to say that the side bar that allows you to see all the different articles and link you to them is definitely convenient and a little different from the way that most wiki’s work. I like it! I found that her site was very informative and I learned a lot about the difference between knitting and crocheting. I also liked the usage of pictures to help us understand what she was talking about and many of the external links she used were to give more information about things she was referring to in the text. Even the videos that she used were to help give more guidance and visualization of what she was talking about.

 

Tricia’s project was titled That Pinterests Me. Initially, I thought that this was going to be on Pinterest but, I was surprised to see my little face floating in the corner that let me know it was a WordPress page, which was okay with me. She has a fun layout which I think fits for her DIY themed posts. I thought that Tricia has a very humorous tone in her posts, I found myself chuckling a little when I was reading them especially her latest post about burning her hair. I liked the fact that she took pictures of all her projects that she was writing about and the way that she wrote them made it feel like she was writing things up as she was doing them. Her linking often lead to the Pinterest boards that struck up her interest, but some often led to other DIY projects and in one post there were no links at all, not that it was a problem because Tricia gave enough information and enough visualization to be able to do it ourselves.

 

Katie’s project was titled What’s my Super Power? Hers was also a WordPress based project and hers was much more serious toned and informative. She informed us about “Super Power Disabilities,” and this subtitle I thought was a great way to talk about disabilities, because unlike most who focus on disabilities strictly being a hardship she looks at the Super Powers one must have to understand and over come such. I thought that she had enough content to inform us about each disability, but not an overwhelming amount of information or scientific terms that I got turned off. I also like that she broke up her writing and information with videos and pictures. In the one post she even personalized her own Super Power by describing the things that she had to overcome. The linking in the most recent post threw me off because there wasn’t any besides what was listed under “Resources” and even those did not link, but as I scrolled through each of the posts I saw that each of them had that resource list and then within the text they had links that allowed you to follow up on some of the topics. After I understood that, I appreciated the pattern.

 

 

 

Check out what I worked on this week


Chophouse

Cattails

Burger Comparison

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Weekly Reflections

 

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Burger Comparison

So, I’m poor again this week. With two children, Easter and all it’s glory (baskets and ridiculous amount of food), and rent coming up, I should have anticipated this way better then I did. So, I flaked out on Bar 209. I’m pretty sure that this is the first restaurant that I didn’t make it too and I’m pretty disappointed in myself, but sacrifices are sacrifices. I justified it in my head though, that I was eating at the Chophouse, which is ran by the same owners (even my waitress said this) so the burgers were pretty much the same. With the exception that Bar 209 has a lot more choices apparently.

 

I have been to Bar 209 and my whole reason for being there was to sit down, for my scheduled interview with the owners and talk about their bar. That didn’t happen, but I will it to them that their bar was nice. It was clean and it seemed orderly from the ladies who ran it and when I went in on a Monday afternoon they were fairly busy. They for the brief time I was there seemed welcoming.

 

This week though, I was seemingly unimpressed with the food that I received. I’ve had better burgers other places and almost wish they were on my places to eat list! The service that I received at both the Chophouse and at Cattails though was excellent and their atmosphere was awesome. I would go there just to sit and get drinks more then go for the food, although I have to be honest, I’m a sucker for pasta and might just go back to both to get a little taste of what they got!

 

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Yum Yum Reviews

 

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