NERDS AROUND TOWN

D&D, crowdfunding and weekend plans

D&D, crowdfunding and weekend plans
ART BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Hey Nerds!

We made it to what some people term the most important day of the week, Friday. I think those people got their days mixed up, but it's ok, I do enjoy a good weekend.

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

It isn't often that the great and easy opportunity to support a great local charity can happen by just showing up and having a great time but that's exactly what happens by going to the Bayou City Art Festival this weekend. Support local non profits and local artists by spending money this weekend at the Bayou City Arts Festival. Of course it's also a reminder to make sure to spend some time visiting The Arc of Greater Houston's children center there this weekend, those guys do a great job working with people with disabilities and the families of people with disabilities.

WHO ME?

This weekend I actually have nothing going on by design, you see next weekend I'm recording live on location from Cox ATA's big tournament we're going to do all kinds of interviews and just overall have a blast out there. Then the very next day is Wrestlemania, so we're going to be recording while watching that for Nerd Thug Wrestling. All of that means we're going to be slammed and I have other work in front of me that will need to be done by then so I'm not going too crazy next weekend, although I may still try and sneak out for the Damn Dame's Burlesque show Friday night.

WHILE YOU'RE STILL ENJOYING THE FEELING OF PAYDAY

This week I haven't gotten to feature very many kickstarters so I'm going to make that up you right now, this is a really cool one. Critical Role is a twitch streaming broadcast of professional voice actors playing their dungeons and dragons game, it's been going on for a while now and it's incredibly successful. One of the things that has been mentioned to them over and over is that they should do their own cartoon of their D&D game. That's a great idea, but an incredibly expensive one and not something they can just pool their money together and make. Instead what they did was they put some great thought into their pledge levels, they put some great production into their launch video and made a kickstarter for what was initially supposed to be a pilot, but instead of getting the $750k they asked for, on day one they reach $1.5 million dollars and keeps growing so they've responded and now the stretch goal is $8.8 million dollars and they'll make a 10 episode season instead of a pilot. They don't necessarily need your help but it's an interesting case study for why these things are a good idea when executed properly and honestly, check it out, it looks really cool.

WHILE YOU'RE OUT

Don't forget to stop by your local comic shop this weekend as you're out on your own adventures, comic books can be a great way to get kids into reading, they can be a fun escape for teenagers and honestly they're still awesome when you're an adult. This week Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #6 comes out, you may recognize the title from it's recent explosion onto Netflix, there are two series before this one, make sure to check them out. Also this week, Ironheart #4 is out. The heir apparent to the Iron Man kingdom is Riri Williams, the young protégé who at one point was trying to literally fill Iron Man's shoes is on her own in her own book with her own suit of armor. This is one of the reasons to be reading comics, books like Age of X-Man: The Extremists #2 written by my twitter friend Leah Williams. It has great character moments plus it's an X-Men book dealing with alternate realities and a world where sex is forbidden, how do heroes fight if they can't love?

WHILE YOU'RE STILL HERE

One more Indiegogo project for you, it's already funded but you may be interested in buying these none the less because it's a really cool product. Check out these playing cards specifically made for travel! I think this is a great idea, I travel a little bit for all the stuff we do and sometimes you got a little while to kill and this just makes better sense. One of the fun things about going through these projects is it's kind of like watching Shark Tank when someone comes on with a crazy brilliant idea and all you can do is sit there and think about how no one ever came up with this first? Anyway, check it out, playing cards designed for travel.

EVEN THOUGH NOBODY ASKED ME

So right after I say that the overall Hall of Fame class this year for WWE isn't that strong of a class they turn around and induct the Hart Foundation. This is cool, I think their timing isn't great considering Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart passed away recently but perhaps that's what spurred the decision on. The Hart Foundation were one of those awesome tag teams that you can't say enough great things about and then to think that both individually and together the careers that both The Anvil and Bret "The Hitman" Hart had, it's great to see them put in.

I'm going to jump out and wish you guys a great weekend and remind everyone to be kind to each other and try a little harder to have a great day! I'm coming back Monday and we'll be bringing more good times your way. Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where every shirt is now under $20 or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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The Astros have their work cut out for them. Composite Getty Image.

Through 20 games, the Houston Astros have managed just six wins and are in last place in the AL West.

Their pitching staff trails only Colorado with a 5.24 ERA and big-money new closer Josh Hader has given up the same number of earned runs in 10 games as he did in 61 last year.

Despite this, these veteran Astros, who have reached the AL Championship Series seven consecutive times, have no doubt they’ll turn things around.

“If there’s a team that can do it, it’s this team,” shortstop Jeremy Peña said.

First-year manager Joe Espada, who was hired in January to replace the retired Dusty Baker, discussed his team’s early struggles.

“It’s not ideal,” he said. “It’s not what we expected, to come out of the shoot playing this type of baseball. But you know what, this is where we’re at and we’ve got to pick it up and play better. That’s just the bottom line.”

Many of Houston’s problems have stemmed from a poor performance by a rotation that has been decimated by injuries. Ace Justin Verlander and fellow starter José Urquidy haven’t pitched this season because of injuries and lefty Framber Valdez made just two starts before landing on the injured list with a sore elbow.

Ronel Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut April 1, has pitched well and is 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts this season. Cristian Javier is also off to a good start, going 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in four starts, but the team has won just two games not started by those two pitchers.

However, Espada wouldn’t blame the rotation for Houston’s current position.

“It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster how we've played overall,” he said. “One day we get good starting pitching, some days we don’t. The middle relief has been better and sometimes it hasn’t been. So, we’ve just got to put it all together and then play more as a team. And once we start doing that, we’ll be in good shape.”

The good news for the Astros is that Verlander will make his season debut Friday night when they open a series at Washington and Valdez should return soon after him.

“Framber and Justin have been a great part of our success in the last few years,” second baseman Jose Altuve said. “So, it’s always good to have those two guys back helping the team. We trust them and I think it’s going to be good.”

Hader signed a five-year, $95 million contract this offseason to give the Astros a shutdown 7-8-9 combination at the back end of their bullpen with Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly. But the five-time All-Star is off to a bumpy start.

He allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a 6-1 loss to the Braves on Monday night and has yielded eight earned runs this season after giving up the same number in 56 1/3 innings for San Diego last year.

He was much better Wednesday when he struck out the side in the ninth before the Astros fell to Atlanta in 10 innings for their third straight loss.

Houston’s offense, led by Altuve, Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker, ranks third in the majors with a .268 batting average and is tied for third with 24 homers this season. But the Astros have struggled with runners in scoring position and often failed to get a big hit in close games.

While many of Houston’s hitters have thrived this season, one notable exception is first baseman José Abreu. The 37-year-old, who is in the second year of a three-year, $58.5 million contract, is hitting 0.78 with just one extra-base hit in 16 games, raising questions about why he remains in the lineup every day.

To make matters worse, his error on a routine ground ball in the eighth inning Wednesday helped the Braves tie the game before they won in extra innings.

Espada brushed off criticism of Abreu and said he knows the 2020 AL MVP can break out of his early slump.

“Because (of) history,” Espada said. “The back of his baseball card. He can do it.”

Though things haven’t gone well for the Astros so far, everyone insists there’s no panic in this team which won its second World Series in 2022.

Altuve added that he doesn’t have to say anything to his teammates during this tough time.

“I think they’ve played enough baseball to know how to control themselves and how to come back to the plan we have, which is winning games,” he said.

The clubhouse was quiet and somber Wednesday after the Astros suffered their third series sweep of the season and second at home. While not panicking about the slow start, this team, which has won at least 90 games in each of the last three seasons, is certainly not happy with its record.

“We need to do everything better,” third baseman Alex Bregman said. “I feel like we’re in a lot of games, but we just haven’t found a way to win them. And good teams find a way to win games. So we need to find a way to win games.”

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