Itty Bitty Rants

Infrequent posts about stuff.

  • Float Notes

    I’ve had a couple of soda floats the last couple of days with pretty good results. First, Olipop Banana Cream (Review coming soon) is excellent with both vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Well, if you like chocolate ice cream, which I don’t. However the person in the household who did his that way reported general excellence. Second, Pepsi Nitro Vanilla with vanilla ice cream was also quite good. The head was even more creamy than expected, though there was much less of it than I had been thinking there might be.

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  • Pepsi Nitro Quick Notes

    You can be certain I’ll be posting a review over on the soda blog soon enough, but I have a few notes for people about the new Pepsi Nitro sodas already. Pay attention to the pouring instructions, especially step 1: Chill the can thoroughly BEFORE opening! I think they had to strike a balance between enough nitrogen to properly gas the soda but unfortunately it needs relatively chilled liquid to work right.

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  • Weather Station!

    I’ve been playing with getting some outdoor sensors for years now, mostly for Air Quality. I finally made some decisions and this week installed a whole suite of Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 and AirLink sensors! The indoor AirLink got installed first since it was just plugging something in and configuring it, but the weather station went up only a day later. I’m going to need to make some long term adjustments to some of the mounting hardware but it stood up to some pretty good wind guests yesterday so it’s clearly not a completely bad job.

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  • United Sodas of America Retrospective

    I had been looking forward to reviewing these for quite awhile. I don’t quite remember how I had run across the brand but by the time I got around to really checking them out their variety pack never seemed to be available. After checking back occasionally for about a year they were finally restocked in mid-February. It was time! I do really appreciate their commitment to their incredibly minimalist branding. The individual cans are iconic enough to come across as both high end and ironically generic.

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  • Upcoming Novelty Soda Reviews

    I was walking around Maplewood Mall earlier today. As with many suburban malls it can feel like everything changes if you haven’t visited it for several years and Maplewood was no exception. Where that mall used to feel extremely racially white it now felt much less so to me and it was really interesting seeing the difference. Part of that difference was definitely a growth in shops that catered to what I would have called “nerd culture” 20 years ago and included an outpost for the national chain FYE.

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  • Something Bowl Sunday

    I keep hearing there is some sort of big sports event today while I’ve been watching Olympics coverage**. Clearly the excitement must be for the Puppy Bowl? ;-) In any case beer is a big deal for big sports events and I noticed that along with the several non-alcoholic beers that I have previously reviewed over on my soda blog that I had five more in my current queue, so today I have decided to do a NA Beer Review Spectacular!

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  • Soda.Guide Update

    It is finally complete! This afternoon I finished mining my old Twitter feed for all of the soda reviews (and review adjacent posts) and have completed converting it all to the new site. I have been fairly regularly posting new reviews since the spring but converting all 600+ of the old reviews was a heck of a chore, that thankfully is FINALLY complete. Current review count: 707! That’s a pretty big number.

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  • Mocking Indirect Variables

    I have been working with an API that returns some extra info in the response headers and so was looking forward to getting a lot of mileage out of the new -ResponseHeadersVariable parameter for Invoke-RestMethod, but as I was writing tests for my new functions I ran into an issue: How do you mock setting that kind of variable? Turns out the answer was pretty simple, just use the old trusty Set-Variable function with the -Scope parameter.

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  • Finally A New Soda Review!

    If people know me at all it’s for one of three things: LEGO, DevOps, or Soda. After posting several hundred short reviews of soft drinks to Twitter over the past decade the hardest thing after quitting that platform last fall was setting up a new system for posting my soda reviews. I had been planning on setting up a website for many years to collect all of my reviews but had never actually gotten around to doing it.

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  • New-MockObject and a Misleading Error

    The joy of writing unit tests sometimes is making sure that you can properly mock the interaction with other systems, especially systems that might be really expensive if you had to hit them every time you wanted to run a unit test. Obviously mocking function calls with simple $true and $false values will get you most of the way there, but sometimes you need to return an object from those mocked calls and for that New-MockObject can be a lifesaver.

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