Off the Dial

First (worst) Pitch

I can throw a ball. Really. I play a mean game of catch with my family and I was on a softball team for several years as a kid. But after yesterday, none of that matters.


This summer WBT's been giving away tickets to sit in our suite and see the Charlotte Knights (you can enter for the August date here).  So yesterday, Al Gardner and I went to the game to hang out with the latest winners.  On the way there I got a call from our promotions department. "How'd you like to throw out  the first pitch today?" Nah, I said, let Al do it. I know how these things can go. And I was wearing 3" platform wedges (those are shoes, guys). Come on, they said, it'll be fun!

When we got there, we were introduced to 7-year old Ava who was also there to throw out a pitch. I thought we were off the hook.  But, no, we all got a chance. WBT's John Humphries got it on video. He had to stay a bit far away; in my opinion it wasn't far enough:


Ava did great!! Al did well, too. (He wants me to let you know he was totally stymied by the realization mid-pitch that Homer has no real hands. How was he even holding that glove?) As for me? Well, if you watched it, you're probably wondering why I even posted it here. Me too.

So really, I promise, I can throw. We didn't get to warm up, my shoes were all wrong, it was really hot. If I think of any more excuses, I'll add them later. Check back – or please help me come up with some more!

 (more pictures from the game here on WBT's Facebook page) 

Health Crisis in Carolina

I've spent the last two weekends with a bunch of complete strangers, poking my nose into their refrigerators and running around outside with their kids. Sounds weird, I know, but I'm having a blast. It's for a great new project you'll be hearing more about.

I'm hosting Health Crisis in Carolina, a reality-style show that focuses on three families who want to make  healthy changes in their lives.  We're working with registered dieticians and activity experts to learn how small, simple changes can really add up to big health benefits.  The producers selected terrific families from Wilmington, Charlotte and Fayetteville.  They've kept video diaries, done hours of interviews and let the crew spend days in their homes.  

The head of our Wilmington family is a church pastor.  The family was kind enough to let us follow them to Sunday dinner with their congregation. Here's a sneak peek:


I'll be able to tell you more about this project as the summer goes on, and you'll be able to watch it this fall.  Meantime, please go ahead and "like" the show on Facebook.  You'll find great info and some behind the scenes pictures like this:


The crew is terrific. It was 127 degrees in Wilmington, but they never let me break a sweat.  :)

Golf Ball Blast

The USO of North Carolina's annual golf outing is always inspiring. You're surrounded by active and retired military who spend their time trying to thank us for supporting them.  Of course, it's the other way around.  

The USO partners with and supports many other organizations that help our troops. Purple Heart Homes is one of the best. Started by Iraq war veterans John Gallina and Dale Beatty, they provide housing help for disabled veterans and their families. That could be building a new home or refitting an existing one.

I was able to speak with John Gallina during the tournament.  He was hanging out on the 10th tee with this great fundraiser: for a $10 donation to Purple Heart Homes, he'd help you fire an AR-15 rifle specially outfitted to shoot golf balls.  Then you got to use that as your tee shot!


In case you're wondering, #10 at Providence is 500 yards from the whites. We had a 97 yard chip and made eagle using that shot!

John's partner, Dale Beatty,  played in the tournament. Here's a picture of Dale from a past feature in Golfweek. Look closely. 


We can't say thank you enough to these amazing men and women.

If you're moved, please consider looking into helping Purple Heart Homes, and finding out more about the USO of North Carolina (I'm on the Board of the Charlotte Chapter). 

You Can Do This!

YouCanDoThis1 When people ask me how Benny is doing, I usually keep my response positive.  You can't really know what it's like to live with type 1 diabetes until you have to. I try to educate without alarming; I certainly don't want anyone to think Benny can't do something or is limited is any way.

But diabetes is hard. It does get us down. It makes me furious and sad and frustrated.  That's why I'm excited about the new "You Can Do This Project." It's a chance to share the good, the bad and the ugly about living with diabetes. 

 I asked Benny if he wanted to take part. At six years old, you can understand that we don't really dwell on the downside of diabetes.  I told him the basic message was letting other people know that if he can do it, they can too. Our video may not exactly fit the message of this project, but I think we get the spirit of it (and you can tell Benny's excited about his new Ping meter/pump combo).



You can see many, many more people sharing their stories over at Texting My Pancreas. Kim came up with this terrific idea – and she's keeping a list of the videos.

Whether you're newly diagnosed or have been living with diabetes for years, I hope this helps.  You're not in it alone. You can do this. As Benny says: true.