NERDS AROUND TOWN

Nerd Around Town: John Wick 3, $16 pretzels and mental breaks

Nerd Around Town: John Wick 3, $16 pretzels and mental breaks
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!

It's Thursday and we're almost to the weekend, so cheer up warriors, you've almost made it.

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

Zoey's Angels is an amazing organization with a great mission. They help families who suffer the loss of a newborn after an extended medical fight. Some people might point out that that's a rather exclusive group but honestly, they're a group who need your help perhaps more than anyone. The unexpected and high costs of medical care and the nature of the trauma make it a particularly painful thing for people to go through and then on top of that they get hit with bills that need paying. It's insanity. Zoey's Angels on Sunday are having their 8th annual fundraising walk, join in and help out. #NerdsUnite

NBA FINALS

I've been saying this whole playoffs that the difficulty of winning four out of five championships and just being in five finals in a row takes a toll on any team, especially a team under constant scrutiny and speculation like The Warriors have been, but when The Raptors made it from the East, it's just hard to believe in them. The injuries are starting to sink the ship for The Warriors and now giving back home court advantage tilts a lot of "gamesmanship" back in the favor of The Raptors. This is going to be an interesting series and I'm curious to see how it all plays out, but now my prediction of a Gentleman's sweep Warriors over Raptors is out.

JOHN WICK 3

Just watched John Wick 3 and honestly, it's awesome. These movies have found a way to up the intensity and action in each one, although there were a few scenes of violence that I honestly could have done without, there's a particularly brutal slow stab to an eyeball that just hurt to watch. These movies are a road map for fast paced action and violence and I love nearly EVERY second of them, they do a great job creating a fast paced story and I love the idea of them being some sort of serial concept where every few years the next chapter of John Wick comes out. It's weird to think in terms of the first and second movies that in the span of a few weeks John Wick had destroyed the Russian mob in New York and then killed a member of the "High Table", he's a busy guy. These movies though are awesome and people need to be watching them and telling their friends and telling their friends' friends.

HOW MUCH?

Part of the experience of seeing John Wick 3 though was going to the movies. AMC just tried to charge me $15.99 for a pretzel. A Pretzel?! They said it's a pound and a half and my reaction was still almost knocking the cash register off the counter. Like how did we get to this point? $16 American dollars for a pretzel, I don't think there's anything they could do to that pretzel that would make me feel like $16 is a good price for it. I mean maybe there's something I'm not seeing, maybe there's a brilliant sauce or something they put on it and I'm just not there yet, but seriously $16. I mean a GIANT tub of popcorn was $9 and I was unhappy about that in spite of it coming with a free refill, so unless that Pretzel is actually two pretzels that are somehow both two times better than a tub of popcorn, it isn't even worth the money. This is just crazy math, who is in charge of prices at the movie concession counters these days?

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

Man, I love rainy, lazy days. I shouldn't have taken one, I have a ton of work to do that all requires me to kick my ass and work really hard, but man was yesterday a nice day for lying around and relaxing. Every once in a while we have to figure a way to carve some time for us to just kick back and not think for a bit, if you can't then you need to find a way to. Just little pockets of time here and there, find out how to carve them up and try and relax. It's a crucial part of mental health, which science and biology are telling us more and more every day are relevant.

I'm going to jump out and wish you guys a great Thursday and remind everyone to be kind to each other and try a little harder to have a great day! I'm coming back Friday 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 some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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Astros on the hunt. Composite Getty Image.

With the Astros' surge from 10 games out of first place to within two games of Seattle, catching and going past the Mariners has naturally become the top objective. It's no given to happen but it's right there. In the final series ahead of the All-Star break, while the Mariners are in the midst of four games with the lowly Angels, the last two World Series champions renew (un)pleasantries at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros enter the weekend five games ahead of the Rangers. They lead the season series with the reigning champs four wins to three. While the Astros can't quite finish off the Arlingtonians by sweeping them in this three game set, shoving them eight games back (even further back of Seattle and the current Wild Card teams) and clinching the tiebreaker would seem close to a death blow. Taking two out of three would be fine for the Astros. If the Rangers win the series, they are clearly still in the American League West and Wild Card races coming out of the All-Star break.

Last year the Rangers had the best offense in the AL. So far in 2024 they rank a mediocre eighth in runs per game. Nathaniel Lowe is the lone Ranger (get it?!?) regular playing as well as he did last season. Corey Seager has been fine but not at the MVP runner-up level of last year. Marcus Semien is notably down, as is 2023 ALCS Astros-obliterater Adolis Garcia. Stud 2023 rookie Josh Jung has been out with a broken wrist since ex-Astro Phil Maton hit him with a pitch in the fourth game of this season, though fill-in third baseman Josh Smith has been the Rangers' best player. 21-year-old late season phenom Evan Carter largely stunk the first two months this season and has been out since late May with a back injury. Repeating is hard, never harder than it is now. Hence no Major League Baseball has done it since the Yankees won three straight World Series 1998-2000.

Chasing down the Division at a crazy clip

From the abyss of their 7-19 start, the Astros sweep over the Marlins clinched a winning record at the break with them at 49-44. Heading into the Texas matchup the Astros have won at a .627 clip since they were 7-19. A full season of .627 ball wins 101 games. If the Astros win at a .627 rate the rest of the way they'll finish with 92 wins, almost certainly enough to secure a postseason slot and likely enough to win the West. Expecting .627 the rest of the way is ambitious.

With it fairly clear that Lance McCullers is highly unlikely to contribute anything after his latest recovery setback, and Luis Garcia a major question mark, what Justin Verlander has left in 2024 grows more important. With the way the Astros often dissemble or poorly forecast when discussing injuries, for all we know Verlander could be cooked. Inside three weeks to the trade deadline, General Manager Dana Brown can't be thinking a back end of the rotation comprised of Spencer Arrighetti and Jake Bloss should be good enough. The Astros have 66 games to play after the All-Star break, including separate stretches with games on 18 and 16 consecutive days.

All-Star MIAs

Viewership for Tuesday's All-Star game at Globe Life Field in Arlington will be pretty, pretty, pretty low in Houston. One, All-Star Game ratings are pitiful every year compared to where they used to be. Two, the Astros could be down to zero representatives at Tuesday's showcase. Kyle Tucker was rightfully named a reserve but had no shot at playing as he continues the loooong recovery from a bone bruise (or worse) suffered June 3. Being named an All-Star for a ninth time was enough for Jose Altuve. He opts out of spending unnecessary time in Texas Rangers territory citing a sore wrist. This despite Altuve playing four games in a row since sitting out the day after he was plunked and highly likely to play in all three games versus the Rangers this weekend. Yordan Alvarez exiting Wednesday's rout of the Marlins with hip discomfort and then missing Thursday's game seem clear reasons for him to skip, though he has indicated thus far he intends to take part. Yordan is the most essential lineup component to the Astros' hopes of making an eighth straight playoff appearance.

Ronel Blanco should have made the American League squad on performance, but pretty obviously his 10 game illegal substance use suspension was held against him. As it works out, Blanco will pitch Sunday in the last game before the break which would render him unavailable for the All-Star Game anyway. Blanco is eligible to pitch, but given the career high-shattering innings workload Blanco is headed for, no way the Astros want him on the mound Tuesday. Just last year the Astros kept Framber Valdez from pitching in the game.

While waiting, and waiting, and waiting on Tucker's return, the Astros have also been waiting on Chas McCormick to get back to something even faintly resembling the hitter he was last year. McCormick routinely looks lost at the plate. He has four hits (all singles) in his last 32 at bats with his season OPS pitiful at .572. During the break the Astros should seriously weigh sending McCormick to AAA Sugar Land and giving Pedro Leon a try in a job share with Joey Loperfido.

*Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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