Good times at the Cape Fear Tweetup

Last Thursday Friday (Thanks to @dawnbugni for sending me a tweet to remind me it was Friday not Thursday) was one of my favorite days…it was Tweetup day!! I know it may sound strange to those who haven’t yet succumbed to the twitter addiction, but the day I get to see my twitter friends IRL (in real life) is a happy happy day!

These people are apart of my everyday life. We share joys and sorrows. This group of people saw me through several misdiagnoses and eventual surgery the end of last year, some even visited me in the hospital. We offer advice and are even available for private counseling –also known as direct messaging (and occasionally even a phone call).

There was a lot of laughter last week about meeting the people who live in our phones (or desktop); however, I do not think anyone in this group loses sight of the fact that we are all real people.

In years past the tweetup has been a huge event. As you know, tweeters come and tweeters go but it was fun to see this core group of true social media users in Wilmington, North Carolina.


  • @dalm8ton  – me
  • @3athlete – Jenn Beddoe
  • @peaceOcakestand – Jen StPeter
  • @DawnBugni – Dawn Bugni
  • @amyMcHodges – Amy Hodges
  • @JimWare – Jim Ware
  • @lelly28461 – Elenor Erickson
  • @alimoongoddess – Ali McCollum

We’re going to try to have a Cape Fear Tweetup every other month. So be the lookout for the #CFTweetup hashtag to be floating around in March 2012.

Event Photos

Jim Ware, Jenn Beddoe and Dawn Bugni

Jen StPeter brought everyone cookies!

Ali McCollum and Eleanor Erickson

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The one time being lazy paid off for me

Sunday before last  was a quiet Sunday at my house. We’d worked hard on Saturday and it was a beautiful morning. We talked about taking our bikes for a ride. Instead we stayed home. It’s funny how life happens.

About 9:30 we heard the sounds associated with an accident. The rescue personnel rushing to assist. Later I saw a post on facebook saying two cyclists were hit on River Road. I thanked God I was lazy and choose to sit and drink coffee rather than ride. You see, had I ridden I would have been on River Road, on my bike.

We have all heard the saying that goes something like this, ‘but for the grace of God, there go I’.

The cyclists who were killed, David and Trey Doolittle, were a father and son out for a training ride. They were triathletes. It was such an unnecessary loss. My heart aches for their family and friends.  I unfortunately know how hard it is to lose someone to an accident. It is a pain that never quite abates.

On Sunday, I was working at Azalea Fest but Jenn was able to participate in the memorial ride. She graciously stopped along the way to take some photos to send to me. After my day was done, I rode by just to see the ghost bikes and to pay my respects.

Yesterday I saw this video posted, and wanted to share it with those who, like me, were unable to participate in the ride.

This accident was caused by the actions of a careless individual. I have no tolerance for those who drink and then operate any machinery! However, this could just as easily been caused by someone texting while driving, or playing with the radio.

My call to action is to live in the moment you are in! If you are driving, then drive. Distracted driving is just as bad as drunk driving! and lastly

Watch Out For Cyclists!

We’re Everywhere!!

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In Case of Rain in Epic Proportions (cartoon)

I have no doubt this would not be as funny if we were not currently having rain of epic proportions.

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Learn to Ride a Bike

A fun email I received yesterday.

Bike Cycles GlideBikes
“Learn to Ride a Bike Day” at Bike Cyles

Saturday, july 10th from 10am-12noon


Quick Links

Dear Friends & Family,
Bike Cycles & Glide Bikes wants to teach anyone from 3yrs old to adult how to ride a bike. Glide Bikes will be bringing their bikes and their helpful knowledge on how to teach anyone how to balance on a bike and be a successful rider! Check out their website to learn more at or contact Glide bikes will be available for rental and purchase the day of the event. Bike Cycles is proud to be an official dealer for glidebikes and will be offering a one day 10% discount on all glidebikes and in stock bike purchases for anyone attending the event! So come on out, bring the kids and learn how to ride a bike!
When: July 10th Saturday from 10-12pm

Where: Bike Cycles in Mayfaire 6801 Parker Farm Rd. (Mayfaire Community Center next to Harris Teeter) Wilmington, NC

Contact or


10% off Any in-stock New Bike purchase the Day of the Event. Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Offer Good for 1 day July 10th 2010

Safe Unsubscribe

This email was sent to by

Bike Cycles | 6801 Parker Farm Rd Suite 145 | Wilmington | NC | 28405

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Taste the Olive

I had the opportunity to take a sneak peek at Taste the Olive, (website still in progress)  a new store opening in Wilmington, NC (Located in The Forum and will be open Mon-Sat, 11-6.) and… OH MY! it is a delightful space! The store is opening soon (hopefully later this week).

The store is gorgeous! Kymberlei, the owner is fun to talk with and a wealth of information. However, make NO mistake, the tastes are what will bring you to this store, and keep you coming back! I only tasted one oil (a lime infused oil) but I can not wait to visit again once the store is open. Here’s a little video to whet your appetite.

This store is destined to become a destination.

“Good oil, like good wine, is a gift from the gods. The grape and the olive are among the priceless benefactions of the soil, and were destined, each in its way, to promote the welfare of man.” -George Ellwanger

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A hand job

My debut as a hand model…..

Wilmington’s pay-by-phone parking system largely a success

By Michelle Cerulli

Photo By Jeff Janowski Gayle Tabor of Glynne's Soaps helps simulate an action she does often when parking downtown - oaying parking fees with a few clicks of her phone instead of steadily adding change to the old parking meters.

Published: Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.

Last year, the city of Wilmington rolled out a new pay-by-phone parking service that gives anyone using a downtown on-street meter the option of paying with credit.

Short on quarters? No longer a problem. In a meeting and worried about getting back to your meter in time? No need to rush out. A quick call to extend your park time squashes your chances of getting a ticket.

Park Wilmington, the city’s parking program, implemented the pay-by-phone parking service in late April 2009 to offer people another option when parking downtown. Pay-by-phone parking is available at any of the 760 on-street spaces downtown.

On a recent trip downtown, I decided to try it out. Actually, I was forced to try it out because aside from a few pennies, I had no change. I called the pay-by-phone number on the side of the meter and keyed in “one” at the prompt since I was a new user. The system asked me to enter my cell phone number, which I did, and then a strange thing happened.

“For your security, please enter a 4-digit secret pin of your choice,” the automated female voice told me.

So I keyed in the last four digits of my Social Security number.

“Sorry, that pin is invalid.”

The system instructed me to enter my 10-digit cell phone number again and then the elusive “secret pin.” So I keyed in my birthday. Again, no luck. I entered my cell phone number again and then tried keying in four random digits. Again the system wouldn’t accept me.

Finally, I keyed in four “ones,” which worked. I proceeded to the credit card and time entry steps, and it was smooth sailing from there. Though I’m not sure I would have stuck around for a fifth attempt if the fourth hadn’t worked.

John Hinnant, a life-long Wilmington resident, said he has been using the pay-by-phone parking service since July of last year. He estimates that he’s paid by phone about 50 times now.

Hinnant is the executive director of Wilmington Downtown Inc., a 34-year-old public-private partnership with the city and New Hanover County that aims to encourage activities that enhance the lives of those who “live, work and play” in the historic riverfront area, he said.

“I serve on the city’s Downtown Parking Advisory Committee, and pay-by-phone parking was something we felt we needed to add as a service for convenience,” Hinnant said. “When dealing with city parking, you need to make the experience as customer-friendly as possible.”

Wilmington resident and local online business owner Gayle Tabor agrees. Tabor, co-owner of Glynne’s Soaps, first noticed the pay-by-phone parking service when she was caught in a bind parking downtown.

“We didn’t have change,” Tabor said. “I looked at the meter and said, ‘Oh, wow. We can pay by phone.’ That was the first time we tried it, out of necessity.”

But now when Tabor uses the service, it’s out of convenience, she said.

“After I set up (my account) for the first time, the service remembers who I am from my phone,” said Tabor, who moved to Wilmington 16 years ago. “What sold us on it was the first time we got a text message saying our time was about to expire and asking us if we wanted to buy more time. We were eating downtown, and no one had to run out and find change. We thought, ‘Yeah, we’ll add time.’|”

From May 2009-April 2010, the pay-by-phone parking service has generated roughly $20,000 dollars in revenue, according to the city. During that time, an average of 1,500 pay-by-phone transactions per month were made by roughly 500 users per month.

The blocks surrounding Cape Fear Community College remain the most popular pay-by-phone parking service areas when school is in full session.

Hinnant said he believes that high use in these areas is an indication of how younger people, especially students, aren’t afraid of new technologies and are more apt to use them.

“The last thing we want to be viewed as is a city that hasn’t embraced technology,” Hinnant said.

Betty Gurganus, city parking manager, said that aside from information on the meters themselves, pay-by-phone parking information can be found on the city’s website, city brochures and on signs by the new parking pay stations downtown.

As for potential downsides to the service, Hinnant said it may decrease parking space turnover, leading to meters being locked up all day. Fortunately I didn’t run into any trouble finding a meter spot on my weekday sojourn into the city. Maybe it was beginner’s luck.

Michelle Cerulli: 343-2028

On @StarNewsOnline

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