Day 323

Car of the Day:

2008 – 2009 Honda S2000 CR

Character of the Day:


Joe – West Coast Racer

I was lucky to get Joe as today’s Character after I’ve seen him pull in numerous times and park his green Ninja 600 next to the curb in Starbucks. He and his family are moving to California on Tuesday. He is originally from Florida where he lived until he was 16. He then moved to Orange county, California where he lived for the next 38 years. Joe started his racing career on the streets with his 500 hp Beetle that was stripped down to 1,100 pounds. He then started racing professionally at the drag strip when he was 26. A crash at 30 ended his career behind the wheel and started his career in the pits. He went back to school where he received his technology degree and started working on communication equipment for race cars. It was in 2006 when he and his family moved to Huntersville to break into the NASCAR scene. Joe enjoyed the ride while it lasted. The combination of the recession and a crash that destroyed his equipment has convinced Joe it’s time to head back home. After talking to him you get the feeling he’s seen a lot and can pretty much handle anything that’s tossed his way… as long as he can relieve some stress at 135 mph on his bike. He’s a seasoned gear head that has stories from races around the world. He’s worked in the pits in Le Mans and has seen every track state side. What’s even more impressive is that after 35 years of riding his bikes he hasn’t had a single accident. As mentioned before I’m glad I got him as a Character before he left. His favorite thing about Birkdale… “Is snagging the bench seat under the tree with my wife to people watch while drinking our Starbucks lattes”.

Day 322

Car of the Day:


2000 – 2006 BMW M3 Convertible

Character of the Day:


Austin – Capturing Adventures with Movies

Austin was sitting with Seth (Day 128) discussing their upcoming trip. Both he and Seth along with 3 friends are flying down to Peru on Monday to go on an eight day surfing trip. This is Austin’s first time out of the country and he’s planning on documenting the whole experience. Austin is a film student who was born in Syracuse, NY and moved to NC when he was 15. It was at the age of nine that his passion for film ignited. His father purchased a video camera and Austin immediately took over the camera filming everything from his friends skateboarding to four wheeling with Jeeps. At first he strayed from his passion when he started taking business classes at Appalachian State with the intent of getting his business degree. It only took one semester for him to realize that business wasn’t his calling. He switched to Film Studies where he received his degree and currently is attending the Savannah College of Art & Design where he is in the graduate Film program. It’s apparent he loves the creativity behind filming. You can see his work at Austin which displays his collections of music videos and commercials. His favorite video he made to date is the music video For The Best which has a Beatles feel. I can’t wait to see his documentary of his trip to Peru. What a great way to start his travels. His favorite thing about Birkdale… “You always can stop by and see someone you know”.

Day 321

Car of the Day:


2006 – Present Lexus LS 460 L

 Character of Day:


Scott – Laid Back PK

Scott and I first met at T1 Tapas where he volunteered a question for Trivia night. Ever since then I’ve seen him randomly around Birkdale. Scott was born and raised in Mississippi and moved to Hendersonville, NC around the age of 15. He attended a liberal arts junior college where he received his two year degree. He then moved to Charlotte to get his 4 year degree at UNCC in Marketing. Since he is the son of a preacher I’m only assuming he had quite a good time in college. His first gig out of college was working at Food Lion where he then transitioned to Harris Teeter. He then decided it was time for a change and decided to ride the real estate wave that was happening. His personality is a perfect match for sales… outgoing and friendly. Currently he sells flooring which is his favorite job to date. Not only is he the consumate salesman but also an athelete. Scott has competed in a couple of sprint triathalons, played in a coed kickball league, and has played many rounds of golf. It was great getting to know this fellow PK who enjoys Birkdale as much as I do. His favorite thing about Birkdale… “the atmosphere”.

Day 320

Car of the Day:


2006 – Present GL450

Character of the Day:


Karen – Cold Stone Queen

First off it’s imperative that we let everyone know that Karen is a huge NC State fan. She overhead me saying that I wouldn’t hold it against someone since they attended NC State, this of course coming from a proud ECU alumni. “I was looking for something to throw at you” she said with a smile when she told me of her Wolf pack allegiance. Karen, a true southern bell, was born and raised in Shelby, NC. She attended UNCC where she received her degree in Psychology.  It was there she met her husband of 30 years who was introduced to her through a suite mate. Their first date was at the Stonehenge restaurant in Charlotte but the spark didn’t happen until they later went to Carowinds. Her husband, who was a senior when she was a sophomore, was her inspiration to follow the 3 year plan. They were married after her graduation and she promptly moved to Wilmington to join him.  They have two children who both attended NC State (which continued to foster her previously mentioned allegiance). Thanks to Karen we can enjoy sweet creamy treats in Birkdale from her store, Coldstone Creamery, which is one of four they currently own. She happened to be in Birkdale today to interview prospective managers. Amazingly six didn’t show for their interview! Odd behavior during a recession. Her love for her family was apparent especially when I learned that she has been able to see both of her children at least every 2 months. An impressive feat considering her daughter lives in Colorado. When she’s not busy keeping and eye on her stores you can catch her tailgating during NC State football games, attending country concerts, or reading the occasional book. Unfortunately we Pirates can’t redeem ourselves in ’09 since State isn’t on the schedule. I had a lot fun interviewing Karen with her candid upbeat personality. Her favorite thing about Birkdale… “how beautiful it is and the inviting shopping atmosphere.”

Day 319

Car of the Day:


2006 – Present Aston Martin Vantage

Character of the Day:


Landon – Overachieving Architect

Landon and I have crossed paths numerous times in Starbucks. We started our conversation joking over the fact that we either had to be a business owner or in sales due to our inordinate amount of time we spend in Starbucks. Coincidentally we have similar paths concerning our careers (a loose comparison of course). He was born and raised in Charlotte and attended NC State where he received his degree in Architecture. After college his internship at an international architecture firm wasn’t exactly what he envisioned. It was during this time he had an opportunity to defer graduate studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in NY and try his hand at real estate development and investment which ignited his career in bricks and mortar. Landon started his first company focused on building custom green-built homes in Plaza Midwood. But he is always ready for the next challenge. His portfolio of companies is pretty impressive ranging from custom environmentally friendly homes to Web 2.0 social networking applications. He is also a family man having been married to his lovely wife for the past 10 years. It seems he likes to keep his hands full keeping an eye open for new endeavors while spending time with his wife and two children. Our conversation was short and to the point since he was on his way to a meeting. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to learn the rest of his story. His favorite thing about Birkdale… “the fact that it makes my wife so happy, and of course my Starbucks”.

Day 318

Car of the Day:


2007 – Present Audi S5

Character of the Day:


Pat – Artificial Intelligence to Human Intelligence

My introduction to Pat was at Toastmasters. The bright green room with Staples “Easy” buttons on each table where the meetings were held was actually HIS office. I then heard him speak during the impromptu portion of the meeting which resulted in some serious laughter on my part. Pat was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where he attended Central Michigan University. He received his degree in Computer Science and started working for Bendix right out of college. “I wouldn’t recommend anyone going straight to work out of school” he said with a smile. You see, Pat is a kid at heart and had a difficult time working in corporate America. After moving to and living in New Jersey for 14 years he and his wife Karen (who was introduced to him through his neighbor) decided it was time for a change. Focusing east of the Mississippi and south of Jersey his wife spotted Lake Norman on the map. After doing some reconnaissance they were on their way down. It was 2 years after his move when he decided the computer field was no longer for him. While heading home one evening he heard a commercial for a Franchise show and immediately pointed his car in that direction. It was there he learned about Sandler Sales Insitute. It has been seven years now and he has enjoyed every minute of teaching people how to effectively communicate with each other. As you might have noticed from the picture above he loves the outdoors and does everything from slalom skiing, snow skiing, biking, and camping. Spending time with his family is a must especially with his son Ben and daughter Katie. His favorite thing about Birkdale… “people watching”.

Day 317

Car of the Day:


1956 – 1958 Jaguar Mark VIII

Character of the Day:


Heather – Sweet Tooth

I’ve overheard Heather in the past discussing wedding cakes with her clients. Today I was finally able to get her as a Character. She is from Cumberland, Maryland and moved to Charlotte at the age of 4 with the family. According to her, the first year was a little scary since they weren’t living in the best part of town. They quickly moved up to Huntersville and have enjoyed the area ever since. After graduating from Hopewell High she did some modeling in New York City. It was a great experience and a ton of fun but she decided, however that wasn’t the career for her, so she attended the Art Institute of Charlotte to receive a degree in Fashion Marketing. During high school and college she started working for a local cake shop. After realizing she had a knack for decorating she then decided to purchase all of her own equipment and get started on her own. She and her mom perfected recipes together and Heather now runs a business part time out of her house. She hopes to open her own store someday. What really impressed me about Heather was her self awareness.  After constantly getting sick for about a year and a half she decided to keep a food diary to see if there was any correlation. She realized that animal products were causing the issue. She started a Vegan diet and instantly felt better. Wow! Heather’s hobbies emphasize her artistic side such as painting, photography, etc. Shopping is also a must seeing as she works at Nordstrom in Southpark. Her favorite thing about Birkdale… “is always running into people you know… and a soy chai latte of course”!