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New Scott Pilgrim trailer! It looks even more fucking sweet than before!

Except I still wish Michael Cera wasn’t so goddamn Michael Cera. Every time I see muhfuckin SCOTT PILGRIM make that little high-pitched whine, I die a little inside.

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Today’s intrepid challenger in the 2010 Orange Soda Bestness Battle 2010 is: Route 66 Sodas Orange Soda, which so far is the most reasonably-named one of the bunch.

Not much going on with the bottle. It’s the standard generic glass bottle everyone uses, with a paper label. I’m basically indifferent to the label design. Nothing much to say about the ingredients list; like all of these sodas so far, Route 66 Orange uses cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup.

So how about that Sinistar, huh? Yeah he’s coming along pretty good. At the moment he looks like he’s bleeding profusely from the chin and lower jaw area, but that’s actually the insides of his mouth — the chin isn’t installed yet.

All right, let’s taste this.

Well, it’s flavorful, but that flavor is mostly sugar. What this basically tastes like is orange lollipop. It’s not bad, but I would prefer more citrus bite and less sweet. I think I put it in second place so far, behind Squamscot orange, although Rt. 66 wins in fizziness.

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More Sinistar! More orange soda!

Today we have Squamscot Old Fashioned Beverages Established 1863 Orange. It doesn’t look like much. Generic glass bottle, paper label (with way too many different fonts, btw. Eight fucking fonts I count on this bottle. The rule of thumb is no more than three, Squamscot. Also, your un-antialiased bitmap logo looks terrible.) Ingredients list contains no surprises.

Taste: this stuff tastes pretty good, actually. Could stand to be a little less sweet and a little more fizzy, but it actually has a fairly complex citrus/orange flavor, with a tangy aftertaste.

Man, for all their lack of graphic design know-how, Squamscot sure kicked those other two sodas’ asses. Your fancy painted and molded glass bottle didn’t save you from a beating, Boylan! Looks like that extra 28 years made a difference. I’m not even going to talk about the other one, the one that tasted like saliva. I can’t remember what it was called anyway, and I would have to open another tab to find out. So screw that.

So, halfway through Bracket 1 of the Great Orange Soda Deathmatch Tastening, the current leader is: Squamscot Orange!

wooooooooooo

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Two! Two! Two updates in one!

Here you can see current status of Sinistar. He’s coming along! He looks much better since I went to the craft store and bought a bunch of new skeins of thread and agonized for hours over which ones to use replace those two bunk colors. Lemme tell you, yanking out a ton of thread so you can basically start over is a pain. in. the. ass.

Here you can also see the next bottle of orange soda, which has stepped up to brave the Best Orange Soda Tournament of Orange Soda Champions Bloodbath!*

*Bathtub sold separately. Blood not included.

Today’s challenger, weighing in at 12 fluid ounces (355 ml): Empire Bristol, RI Since 1930 Bottling Works 401-253-7117 Made With 100% Cane Sugar Orange Soda!

woooooooo

Let’s check out the ingredients: “Natural artesian spring water, made with 100% cane sugar, natural and/or artificial flavor extracts, citric acid, sodium benzoate”

There are so many things wrong with this. Firstly, evidently “Natural spring water” wasn’t posh enough any more. All those so-called natural springs where the water appears at the surface due to the regular forces of gravity and drainage rather than via the pressure of confined aquifers? Yeah, fuck those springs.

Secondly, “Made with 100% cane sugar” is clearly inaccurate, as we’ve already been told there’s at least some quantity of natural artesian spring water in there. Plus, it’s a bit late in the list to be tossing in that “made with”. Is it not “made with” natural artesian spring water? …is it the spring water that’s made with 100% cane sugar? Someone doesn’t know how lists work.

Thirdly, “Natural and/or artificial flavors” — man, way to hedge your bets there, Empire. “Ingredients: Things, or possibly other things, or possibly no things. We are unsure.”

The bottle is pretty standard. A little shorter than the bog-standard 12-oz glass bottle. Paper label, overcluttered with text but otherwise of reasonably ungarish design. The crown logo on the bottlecap looks hand-drawn. Like, with a Sharpie. Closer inspection shows it to be a for-real bottlecap, though. Weird. I kind of like it.

Smells: hang on, I can’t get it open. It says it’s a twist-off, though…Ah, after some struggle, there it goes. The cap says “OOP! JUICE” on the underneath, which is frankly baffling.

Smells: tangy, a little citrusy. Orangesodaish.

Tastes: Huh. This basically went down like this: “*swig* Hmm. What does this taste like? It doesn’t really taste like anything, but that’s not possible. Even water tastes like water. Heck, I’ve swallowed it already. Try again. *swig* Okay, this tastes… fizzy? Fizzy is a texture, not a flavor. That doesn’t count. *swig* Okay okay, I think I can kind of taste the sugar. It’s a little sweet. *swig* It tastes like lightly-sweetened nothing.”

And then I realized that the only thing you can have in your mouth that truly doesn’t have a flavor is your own saliva. So what this tastes like is lightly-sweetened spit. But, that sounds a lot grosser than it should — it’s your own spit, after all, right? You have some of it in your mouth right now.

Verdict: The very definition of ‘meh’.

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Jenni and I went to Pop the Soda Shop the other day, and I picked up a few odd-looking things to review here, like I did ages ago. Except this time, I also got a half a dozen different orange sodas.

See, every time we go to the grocery store and get a couple cartons of Diet Dr Pepper or whatever, I like to also get a six of some nice “gourmet”-style root beer. Except, I would prefer to get nice “gourmet”-style orange soda, because I really like orange soda. However, the only orange soda you can get in glass bottles in a grocery store is orange cream, and fuck that nauseating bullshit.

So I figure I’ll work my way through the orange sodas that Pop Soda has to offer and see what’s best. I got a half-dozen different ones this time, and I figure I can get a different half-dozen next time, and we’ll pit them against each other, tournament style.

Now that’s some fuckin’ excitement right there. Twelve or more orange sodas enter, one orange soda leaves!

Anyway, first up is Boylan Brand Orange Trade Mark Bottleworks. (Yes, I intend to reuse the same stupid joke as before. Suck it up!) (Actually that’d be a good slogan for a soda. “Boylan Brand Orange Trade Mark Bottleworks: Suck it up!”)

Anyway, it’s a nice bottle. Pleasantly understated, and a painted label (which is nice) but *also* the bas-relief, which is even classier. On the back, it says “Registered 1891” — historical! and “Best by 20 MAR 10”… well, goddammit! I missed by three days!

Oh well, it can’t have gone that far off in just three days.

Can we open it now? I’m thirsty.

Smells… peppery? Okay, well, my sense of smell has never been much to brag about, but…

Tastes… well, it’s not very orangey, though on the other hand it’s not overly sweet, which is nice.

Also, it has a distinct flavor of fresh ground black pepper. What the hell? I mean, I like black pepper. I like it a lot more than most people. But there’s a time and a place for everything, right? I don’t pour orange juice into my macaroni & cheese, and I don’t expect to taste pepper in my orange soda.

I don’t see “pepper” in the ingredients list. What does ester gum taste like? Does it turn into pepper three days after manufacturing?

Verdict. Between ‘blah’ and ‘ehn’.

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I was reminded by the forum transcript of last night’s radio show that someone called a “pics or it didn’t happen” on my Sinistar cross-stitch, so here’s a work-in-progress shot.

I’m not 100% happy with my color choices — the light green is a little too green, and the light blue should be slightly darker. It’s pretty hard to accurately match colors from a monitor, even with a comprehensive swatch book. What I really need to to have a hank of every color of thread on-hand, so I can more easily make adjustments on the fly (unlike my current situation, where I try to figure out what I need in advance and just buy that). That would cost more than a hundred bucks, though, and I dunno if I’m going to be into this hobby for long enough to make that worth it.

But anyway, regardless of all that, I think this’ll still come out pretty cool. I’ll try to remember to post some more occasional pics as it develops.