Author Archives: Food for Thought

The Journey of Nom Nom Nom

Building your own blog can be very challenging. Prior to taking Pub 101, I thought being a self-publisher on social media is very straight-forward, self-explanatory, and not very challenging. I see Youtubers vlog about their lives, Instagramers take pictures, filter them, and posts them, and bloggers write about anything they want. However, throughout the course I realized there are many obstacles and challenges one will encounter when building a blog from nothing.

One of the biggest challenges of online publication was to design my blog. Thankfully, WordPress had many templates to choose from, however, I found out that a few of my classmates picked the same template. In order to differentiate my blog, I made a few design changes. Design changes were not easy to make as I had no background in CSS. I know some basic in html, however, CSS overpowers html coding which was evident in my first blog post. I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t seem to make the font size larger which I knew was not very user friendly. Some factors that helped with my design are the peer review feedbacks and tutorials. In tutorial, I was taught how to change the basics of the CSS, where to find the proper coding, and how to change specific elements of the design. Peer reviews were also helpful as I was able to get feedback from the audience and see what is working and what could be done better. Følstad, Haugstveit, Kvale and Karahasanovic (2016) discussed about the benefits of design feedback. Design feedback allows users whom are concern about their design to see what is working and get suggestions on how the design could be changed or improved (p. 421). Følstad et al. (2016) further emphasized that design feedback from users serves a valuable component to the online social platform. It provides rich insight both into how the design is received by the intended audience and find possible new directions to explore and further develop one’s design process (p. 421). Overall, as my blog develops, I believe there will be design factors that I can work on to provide an user-friendly website.

When I first started my blog, I had the idea of talking about food. It was something easy to talk about and nothing too personal. However, as I developed my blog I decided to begin to talk about my medication condition. Although it is a personal issue, I wanted to use my blog to record my journey with Acromegaly. Hollenbaugh and Everett (2013) discussed about the online disinhibition effect where anonymity on the Internet has been found to decrease inhibition and increase self-disclosure (p. 283). Suler (2004) stated that individuals act differently than they normally do in cyberspace as compared to the face-to-face world (p. 321). Individuals tend to feel less restrained, loosen up, and express themselves more freely resulting in the term the online disinhibition effect (p. 321). My online blog allows me to be somewhat anonymous and for me to speak freely and feel safe. This is also the reason why my photographs do not show my face; to maintain anonymity. Furthermore, Hollenbaugh and Everett (2013) stated that self-disclosure help build relationships and that close relationships are characterized by increasing breadth and depth (p. 283). By discussing about Acromegaly, I hope to bring awareness to the public as it is not a common disease and reach out to those whom have it. There is a lack of information about Acromegaly other than the basic symptoms and treatments and by speak about it I hope to help those with Acromegaly by providing some sort of support and educate people whom do not know about this disease.

As the semester comes to an end, I know that I will procrastinate with my blog. I plan to continue with my blog and also because I did pay for a whole year for web-hosting. I plan to blog at least once a week about food and expand my documentation of my medical journey by posting once a week/bi weekly. I wish to have enough content that I will be able to see more activity on my website. In conclusion, I’ve learned a lot by taking Pub 101 and saw a different perspective about online self-publication. I’m glad to have taken this course!

References

Følstad, A., Haugstveit, I. M., Kvale, K., & Karahasanovic, A. (2016). Design feedback from users through an online social platform: Benefits and limitations. Interacting With Computers28(4), 421-436. doi:10.1093/iwc/iwv017

Hollenbaugh, E. E., & Everett, M. K. (2013). The effects of anonymity on self‐disclosure in blogs: An application of the online disinhibition effect. Journal Of Computer-Mediated Communication18(3), 283-302. doi:10.1111/jcc4.12008

Suler, J. (2004). The Online Disinhibition Effect. Cyberpsychology & Behavior7(3), 321-326. doi:10.1089/1094931041291295

 

Richmond, British Columbia

During the winter season, I’m always craving for noodle soup. I came upon this restaurant as I was driving to the supermarket.

The menu is very straightforward, you pick a soup base and the type of protein you want. There are also many side dishes to choose from. When you order your food it comes with 10 small dishes and your main protein in the middle. When they deliver the soup, it is extremely hot. You are suppose to put in the meat first to ensure that it will be completely cooked as well as your order ingredients.

You get a bowl a rice noodle that you put it last as it is already cooked and very hot it doesn’t need additional cooking time. *NOTE* you can get unlimited refills on the rice noodles. We also ordered the cold cut chicken with chili sauce which I think you can pass. The sauce was definitely not marinated enough and it seems to be lacking in the flavouring. I would still recommend you to go as the rice noodle soup is good and it’s not too expensive. You can also tell from the soup base that it tastes more natural and it advertises that there’s no MSG.

ORIENTAL RICE NOODLE
ADDRESS: 130-8100 Ackroyd Road, Richmond, BC V6X 3K2
PHONE: +1 604-370-3738
WEBSITE: N/A

La Verne, California

During Remembrance Day long weekend, I visited a small town in California. I was craving pasta and we stumbled upon this Italian restaurant. Their pasta meals comes with garlic bread (picture below, top left) and a soup or a salad. If you know me, you would know that I’m not a salad girl. The soup was surprisingly good. I was expecting soup similar to Olive Garden which tends to be salty but the soup was surprisingly good with little noodle pieces and it was not salty.

We ordered the Fettuccine Alfredo which was better than what we expected. The noodles were thinner than the usual fettuccine we had (thinner as in flatter). The sauce was creamy but not too thick so it wasn’t too filling. We also ordered the lasagna, which we were a bit disappointed with. The sauce was a bit on the sour side and the cheese on the top was just one big layer of cheese which made it hard to cut through. The layers was a bit lacking.

We also ordered the four cheese pizza. Their pizzas are thin crust which I like because when you have less dough you can eat a lot more (at least that’s my way of thinking). It was a cheese pizza so I didn’t expect anything to go wrong and it didn’t. I would definitely go again to try out some other items on their menu.

PASTA CUCINA RUSTICA
ADDRESS: 2086 Foothill Blvd #D, La Verne, CA 91750, USA
PHONE: +1 909-593-8800
WEBSITE: http://pastacucinarustica.net/

 

Process Post

Community guidelines:

  1. Be respectful to others. (No insult, sexist/racist comments, offensive language, etc.)
  2. Keep discussion/comments relevant to the topic.
  3. No advertising.

As my blog mainly focuses on my personal experiences with food, I do not foresee complication on my blogs. However, in case things happen, the comment sections are moderated by myself and I have to approve before it becomes public which will eliminate offensive/inappropriate content being exposed to the public.

Process Post

Looking at Google Analytics, I’m surprised that there are some visitors on my blog. Although I think the visitors are just classmates going on my blog to do peer review, it is nice to see some activities on my site. Looking at the location, I was surprised to see visitor from Russia.

The time spent on my website is not very long but that may be a result of lack of content. I think if I want to improve my online presence, I would need to post more blogs. I may also consider using different social media platform to advertise my blog such as creating a separate Instagram account or posting url on Facebook so my friends and family know about my blog. Another way that may increase visitor on my site is to use tags, I’m not the type of person that likes to hashtag every single word. One can find my Instagram hashtags to be very simple. It would be a little out of my comfort zone to be advertising or creating attention for visitors to come but I guess in the publication world one needs to be self-promoting.

Richmond, British Columbia


It’s winter and ’tis the season for hotpot! Honestly, to me, hotpot is all seasons, yes even in the summer~ (please remember there is air conditioners). The other day my sister and I went to a newly opened hotpot place in Richmond called: DolarShop. I believe is a chain store from China.

*Please note: there is a huge line wait and it is not AYCE (all you can eat) hotpot*

The benefit of this hotpot place is that you order your own soup base so it eliminates the difficulty of everyone sharing one pot (such as food allergies or people not eating certain things). They have many soup bases and I order the tomato one. *Also to note* that there is an additional $2.99 for condiments and fresh fruit which would be the sauce section, little appetizers like kimchi and peanuts, and they were serving watermelon at the time. It is unlimited.

Overall, the food was delicious (I don’t know how hotpot can go wrong unless their food was not fresh). Service was good but be prepared to be spoken in Chinese as long as you look Asian/Chinese. The down side was definitely the wait time. I would suggest going in earlier to put your name down as they take your phone number down. When it is almost your time to be seated they will give you a call. The design of DolarShop is very clean, modern, and bright which makes me feel more comfortable eating there because I can see what I’m eating.

DOLARSHOP
ADDRESS: 720-5300 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC V6X 2C7
PHONE: 604-370-7077
WEBSITE: http://www.dolarshop.com/en/Global.htm

Peer Review

Peer Review of Rachel Fung

Rachel’s blog is very organized and focused on highlighting the Pacific Northwest. It is also clearly stated on her home page: “ALL THINGS PACIFIC NORTHWEST”. Rachel does a great job highlighting and showcasing her support for locals. Rachel not only talks about local foods but she also discusses about things to do in the Pacific Northwest such as hiking adventures.

The good news is that Rachel’s blog targets everyone and anyone who is interested in the Pacific Northwest. Locals and tourists will be able to find this blog very informative such as looking at places to go and things to eat. By reading Rachel’s blog, I discovered some new adventures that I would be interested in going, such as trying Zena’s Gluten Free Bakery.

If Rachel is interested in monetizing her website, I would say, give it a try. However, rather than using ads, she can opt for reviews. She does a great job highlighting hidden gems that she can reach out or be contacted by new startup companies to posts reviews for monetization. Rachel should also continue with her posts to build a larger content base which will lead to higher chance of monetizing her website. Rachel’s blog is designed very nicely that is why having advertisements pop up on her website is no ideal as it ruins the aesthetics of her website. Also, the audience may find advertisements on her website to be distracting and in the end, turn audiences away from her website. One must be very careful on which monetizing platform to use.

That being said, Rachel should continue with her discovery of hidden gems in the Pacific Northwest and capture more audience to her blog. I look forward to reading more blogs by Rachel and my summer adventures thanks to her.

Rachel Fung
ALL THINGS PACIFIC NORTHWEST
http://rachellfung.ca

Vancouver, British Columbia

Summer 2017, back in Vancouver, I had the pleasure of spending my belated birthday dinner with my friends at Botanist. The restaurant took over the location where ORU used to be, at Fairmont Pacific Rim. When you first enter the restaurant it’s very nature-like. The colour scheme used is very soft, gentle, and natural. The cocktail drinks were delicious and most importantly free bread with whipped butter. The bread was delicious and they refilled it!

For appetizers, we ordered the scallops and the octopus. The scallops were delicious, cooked perfectly and the sauce matched nicely. However, the charred octopus was a little disappointing, a little difficult to chew and the sauce did not work for us.

The mains were excellent, we ordered different items and we all loved it. I ordered the roasted rib-eye, medium rare, it was cooked beautifully and so tender. This restaurant is a little on the pricey end but the food is definitely worth it. A good treat… once in a while.

BOTANIST
ADDRESS: 1038 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0B9
PHONE: 604-695-5500
WEBSITE: https://www.botanistrestaurant.com/menu/

Process Post

What would I do with my last hour of internet?

During class I heard people saying that their pictures are online or that their contact informations/personal informations are in their emails. The way people talk is like without internet, the world has come to an end.

True, I have many photos online but I also have copies of them on my computer. I might need to take time to save contact information. Just because the internet stopped, do that mean everything stopped? Could I not still print out photographs if I saved it on to a USB drive? If the internet stopped, do I not have access to my phone? I mean, as long as it’s charged… I can still pull up phone numbers.

Yes, without internet I would miss the convenience it brings me, easily searching on Google to resolve all my problems. Without internet I would become “free” to strangers to talk to me. Without internet… it’s not the end of the world. People survived long before internet we just have to learn how to survive like the “good old days”.

Therefore, my last hour of internet would just be saving content. Saving some blog posts that I like, pictures online, informations etc.

I believe there will still be television just maybe a little behind on the seasons. We still have a landline at home I can call my friends. I know how to send mails and write their address CORRECTLY.

Hey, without internet… one addiction out of the world’s problem.

Acromegaly – Diagnosis

Summer of 2015, around June/July, I was diagnosed with acromegaly.

Mayo Clinic stated that acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that develops when your pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone during adulthood (and NO, this is not the reason why I’m tall “especially for an Asian”, my height is in my genes). The side effects include increase in bone size in your hands, feet, and face. They say acromegaly usually affects middle-aged adults… (funny, I’m clearly not there…)

Acromegaly is suppose to be uncommon and because the physical changes occur gradually, the condition often isn’t recognized immediately: sometimes not for years. If not treated promptly, acromegaly can lead to serious illness and even become life-threatening.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acromegaly/symptoms-causes/syc-20351222

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Previously, I was diagnosed with PCOS (google it), hence I was referred to a gynecologist. My doctor decided to schedule MRI scans, one for the pelvic area and, surprisingly, one for my brain (I think this was done back in 2014?). And viola~ they found a “mass” in my pituitary gland. The doctors love to call it a “mass”, it’s less invasive than calling it a tumour because people are quick to relate tumour to cancer.

My gynecologist then referred me to an endocrinologist who said that I possibly had this “mass” in my head for a while and it is not doing anything. As that was my first MRI, we would continue with annual MRI to compare results.

<FAST FORWARD 1 YEAR (2015)>

Before I set off for my Asia trip, I saw my endocrinologist and explained to him the changes I’ve noticed in my body. I must say, I’m thankful that my endocrinologist had previous experience/knowledge about acromegaly because after hearing my symptoms he said that the “mass” is probably active, in the sense that it is releasing GH (growth hormone) and that I mostly likely have acromegaly. Usually the first step of treatment is surgery. *Crying* the first thing I asked was “You have to cut my head open?” and my endocrinologist laughed and gave me a brief idea of what the surgery will be like (NOT cutting my head open!). However, there is still a test I must do before he can fully diagnose me with acromegaly… the glucose test.

The glucose test is where they take my blood test on an empty stomach. Then I must chug this disgusting, orange, thick, surgery drink, wait an hour for another blood test and then another hour after for another blood test. Sounds simple?… should be done with 3 pokes right? for 3 blood tests… NO! I got over 10 pokes, have them wiggle the needle inside me while I was in tears and yelling “OW OW OW OW OW!!!”, and even the blood transfusion patients felt sorry for me.

Anyways…

Results came back, I have acromegaly, summer 2015.