Scottie James Grainger

Skiing with the family next year, can’t wait!

Me and my wife used to love going skiing, but haven’t been for a few years due to having a young family. The kids are now old enough to be able to ski and we’ve been taking them to lessons at the Castleford Snozone. Their getting quite good so we’ve decided to book a skiing holiday in February next year.

We’ve been looking at the Courchevel ski resort in France as it provides some of the best ski slopes in Europe and caters for beginners and families. One thing that we are looking into is the excess baggage charges for our ski equipment, me and my wife already have some decent ski equipment and we want to get the kids some too. Looking around the airlines websites it could cost up to £50 per set of equipment to take them with us, which is ridiculous really.

I asked one of my friends what he does, he’s a keen skier and goes away a few times a year. He said he used a company called Send My Bag, who pick up their stuff from their house and deliver it to the hotel and it’s cheap too. This would be a great idea for us as having to cart around four sets of ski’s and luggage is just stupid especially if you have kids.

It’s definitely worth looking into, but we’ll book our flights and accommodation first.

Before that though, we have our summer holiday in Benidorm to look forward too :-)

posted by Scottie in Holidays,travel and have No Comments

Scottie’s Premier league predictions 5th – 7th April

Manchester United had a pretty good week by this seasons standards, beating Villa (after going behind) and holding the current European Champions Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw in the Champions League.

United’s top four aspirations have all but gone, but a good run in the six remaining games could see 5th place a reality.

I do feel that Liverpool will remain at the top this week as I think they will overpower West Ham, but Man City’s two games in hand must be a daunting prospect for the Merseysider’s as they meet each other of the 13th; a tough home game against Southampton may enable them to breathe easier.

Other games to look out for are Chelsea v Stoke and Everton v Arsenal. Chelsea look to bounce back after their shock defeat against Crystal Palace last weekend and their defeat against Paris St-Germain on Wednesday night And Everton will be looking for another win as they close in on 4th place against an Arsenal side that has been wavering of late.

Here are my predictions for the weekend:

Sat 5th April 2014

Man City v Southampton (12:45) – Man City win 3-1

Aston Villa v Fulham (15:00) – Aston Villa win 2-0

Cardiff v Crystal Palace (15:00) – Draw 0-0

Hull v Swansea (15:00) – Hull win 1-0

Newcastle v Man Utd (15:00) – Man Utd win 3-1

Norwich v West Brom (15:00) – Draw 2-2

Chelsea v Stoke (17:30) – Chelsea win 3-0

Sun 6th April 2014

Everton v Arsenal (13:30) – Arsenal win 2-0

West Ham v Liverpool (16:00) – Liverpool win 3-1

Mon 7th April 2014

Tottenham v Sunderland (20:00) – Draw 1-1

posted by Scottie in General,Sport and have No Comments

‘Here’s Johnny’ scene in The Shining voted most iconic door moment in a film

I read an interesting article today about the most iconic door moment in a film, and it was a pretty safe bet that The Shining’s ‘Here’s Johnny!’ scene would win it.

Jack Nicholson’s ad-libbed line, an imitation of announcer Ed McMahon’s famous introduction of Johnny Carson on NBC’s The Tonight Show has become of the most iconic film scenes of all time.

Here is the full rundown of film scenes that made the list:

  1. ‘Here’s Johnny!’ door – The Shining
  2. William Thacker’s house with the blue door – Notting Hill
  3. ‘Keep the change you filthy animal’ pizza delivery door scene – Home Alone
  4. Mark declaring his love for Juliette with signs at door - Love Actually
  5. Dorothy entering the land of Oz – Wizard of Oz
  6. Bag End’s green front door – Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  7. Going through wardrobe - The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
  8. Matilda being put into the chokey – Matilda
  9. Snake door – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  10. Maximus opening door to Elysium – Gladiator

I’ve been watching a lot of Monsters Inc. with the kids recently and was surprised that didn’t make the list and what about Monica’s iconic purple door with a gold picture frame from Friends?

The Shining

posted by Scottie in General and have No Comments

The Walking Dead inspired beer has real brains!

Now, I’m a fan of beer and even brew my own on a regular basis, but one beer I won’t be trying any time soon is Dock Street Walker by the Dock Street Brewing Co. Why you ask? Because it has real brains in it!

That’s right, The Walking Dead inspired beer is brewed with wheat, oats, flaked barley, cranberry and SMOKED GOATS BRAINS. The brainchild of head brewer Justin Low and brewery representative Sasha Certo-Ware, who are big fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead is ready for its debut for the season 4 finale on the 30th March.

Dock Street Walker is an American Pale Stout brewed to 7.2% ABV, here’s what the website says about it: “brewed with substantial amounts of malted wheat, oats, and flaked barley for a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Fuggle hops provide delicate, earthy notes, while the cranberries create a sinister, bloody hue, and a slight tartness. The pre-sparge-brain-addition provides this beer with an intriguing, subtle smoke notes.”

To be honest it all sounds quite nice up until the brain part. What do you think? Would you try this beer? Leave your comments below.

Dock Street Walker

posted by Scottie in General and have No Comments

My wife’s been at it again! Buying more furniture

I got home from work today and my wife had a big smile on her face, never a good sign when it comes to my wallet and with good reason. She told me that she’d been looking for a new dresser for a while and when she saw the Moroccan furniture from Baytree Interiors she just had to have it.

To be honest she has needed a new dresser for years, but it was one of those things that took a back seat as we had more pressing things to buy, so I can’t be too mad seen as it was only £99. It actually looks quite nice with an intricately embossed metal veneer and a traditional African design.

Hopefully it’ll get delivered tomorrow and the great thing is that it come pre-assembled so I don’t even have to get my tools out :-)

I don’t necessarily think that it’ll go with the mannequin I bought for my wife for Christmas, but to be honest I never really spend any time in the bedroom anyway.

No doubt my wife will want to add to her new collection at some point, but she’s worth it.

Marrakech Console Table

posted by Scottie in General,Home and have No Comments

A weekend of Titanfall – my impressions

After a whole weekend of playing Titanfall, apart from watching Manchester United get humiliated by Liverpool on Sunday, I’ve decided to write a short review about my experience so far.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I’m big into my first person shooters and have been an avid Battlefield fan for many years, but after playing the beta for Titanfall last month I’m been anticipating this release with baited breathe.

Controls

If you have played any FPS games over the past few years then chances are that the controls on Titanfall are pretty recognisable. The trigger buttons zoom in and fire respectively, the bumper buttons use your tactical ability and throw grenades and Y switches between your primary and secondary weapons.

In fact the controls are so similar that you can easily jump between Titanfall, Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts without breaking to much of a sweat.

What is really impressive though is how Titanfall feels like a whole new experience even when it’s following a standard FPS layout. The addition of high buildings and the jetpack/parkour movements really add excitements to the battlefield and the frantic gameplay means that you barely get to rest in between encounters.

Graphics

Titanfall’s graphics are pretty good, not Battlefield 4 good but miles better than Call of Duty and the Xbox One does a good job at keeping the frame rate high, especially when everyone calls in their Titans.

The pilot animations are smooth and the free-flowing movement is a joy to watch if you get it right. The scenery and world look great with a large depth of view and the first few times you call your titan down you’ll struggle not to be impressed when looking up.

Gameplay

There has been a lot of talk about the 6v6 format and why it is so low, but for anyone who hasn’t played the game it does seem really balanced. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 64 player Battlefield 4 maps, but Titanfall is so frantic that I even think having 12v12 might be a bit much.

The campaign story mode feels like a bit of an afterthought and doesn’t really add much to the game on the whole, but it is a nice introduction to some of the different game modes and does unlock some new gear that you don’t get from playing the classic mode.

Gameplay on the whole is very balanced, even when the titans start falling you have a myriad of ways to defeat them when on foot. The most fun way is to jump onto the top of the Titan and literally shoot its brain until it dies; this is highly rewarding, but does leave you vulnerable to attack from other titans or players in the vicinity. The best way I have found is to use your own titan the to back away from the fight when your powers low to recharge your shield.

Playing as the pilot though is the most fun and using a combination of strategic jumping, jetpacks and parkour you can literally get anywhere on the map. One thing to note is that it is almost impossible to snipe someone in this game because they move too fast, so in my opinion the sniper weapons are useless and much prefer the machine guns and pistols.

Conclusion

Titanfall is very addictive, if not frustrating at times and it’s great to see a game like this so early in the life of a new console. If you’re not a fan of first person shooters or multiplayer games in general then this game isn’t for you, but if you like your Battlefield and COD then Titanfall delivers a new and exciting way to play the genre.

Titanfall

posted by Scottie in General,Hobbies,Technology and have No Comments

TV series you should watch on Netflix

I love Netflix, the ability to stream hundreds of films and TV series at the touch of a button or screen is great for us because everyone in our house likes to watch different things. I have separate logins for the children where they can only watch appropriate stuff, whereas me and the wife have normal accounts.

I’ve also signed up to Unblock-US, which allows you to use the US version of Netflix; you would not believe how much more stuff they have access to in America, but hopefully the UK will catch up soon.

Here is what I am watching at the moment and my top picks for TV series on Netflix:

Chuck (5 seasons)

)

Breaking Bad (5 seasons)

)

The Finder (1 season but worth it)

)
posted by Scottie in General,Hobbies and have No Comments

Xbox One news this week

Things are definitely ramping up for Xbox One owners over the next couple of weeks. A new system update is out today and fixes some much needed glitches including better party chat functionality and friend’s list features.

The patch will also add Dolby Digital support via optical and HDMI connections and allows support for the new Twitch app to be released on the 11th March which allows users to stream their games in real time to their friends and followers.

In other news Call of Duty: Ghosts has been reduced on the Xbox Live store to £36.79 as part of its weekly deals promotion, that’s nearly £10 less than Amazon. If you’re not sure about the purchase, Microsoft has also announced that Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer demo will hit the store this weekend so you can try it out before you buy.

Project Spark beta has also been released on Xbox One this week. To sign up to the beta head to joinprojectspark.com and fill in your details. Project Spark allows player to build, play and share any game they can imagine from a platform game to a FPS.

With the new updates, deals and exclusive games like Titanfall (I’ve pre-ordered mine) and Project Spark it looks like it’ll be a good couple of months for Xbox One owners.

Project Spark

posted by Scottie in Hobbies,Technology and have No Comments

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, Bedrooms nearly done!

It’s been a long hard slog, but I can now see the end of the tunnel as our bedroom starts to take shape. I mentioned back in November that we were updating the bedroom and we’ve been sleeping in a room without a carpet since the beginning of the year, but it’s all coming together now.

Our new custom sliding wardrobe was fitted on Monday and the carpet went in yesterday, so me and the wife have been moving all our furniture back in. The walls have been painted a nice cream colour with the main wall painted a mocca colour; this really suits the dark wood furniture that we have while adding a luxurious look to the room.

We’ve also fitted some venetian blinds instead of curtains and it really makes the space look minimalist and modern. To tell you the truth I was a bit worried that the blinds would let too much light into the room in the morning waking us up, but they are surprisingly good. There are a couple of bits to do such as put up some shelving and artwork, but other than that it’s near enough finished.

Same as our sliding wardrobe apart from ours has mirrors instead of the black.

Same as our sliding wardrobe apart from ours has mirrors instead of the black.

posted by Scottie in Home and have No Comments

Manchester United face tough Champions League tie in Greece tonight

It’s been a topsy turvy season so far for a Manchester United side that won the League last season, but there are signs that they can put on a decent run for the backend of the season. After holding Arsenal to a 0-0 draw at the Emirates and a hard fought 2-0 victory over a Crystal Palace side full of confidence there are signs that the team is slowly getting back to winning ways and they’ll have to.

Tonight, Manchester United play Greek champions Olympiakos at the Karaiskakis Stadium in the Champions League. I won’t lie, when the teams were drawn I was quite happy, but it turns out that Olympiakos are having a great season. They are 20 points clear and unbeaten in their domestic league and came through a tough Champions League group that had Paris St-Germain, Benfica and Aderlecht.

It is far from a foregone conclusion and United must produce some of the best football they have played this season to progress. I’ll, of course be watching it on TV and hopefully the boys can perform.

My prediction: Man Utd win 1-0

Champions League

posted by Scottie in Sport and have No Comments