Upward view of trees at the edge of a wooded area on a foggy morning in Summer - Cockeysville, Maryland, USA

I’ve been working to educate myself on the ins and out of award travel for a good while now (over 3 years, by my estimation). Last Tuesday, at approximately 3:04pm, I graduated. That’s when I completed a call with a Turkish Airlines agent to book a flight from Baltimore to Hawaii for a mere 7,500 points and $5.60 per person! Now that’s a deal. In this article, I explain the steps I took to make the booking, in detail.

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Vimeo Disabled My Account for Submitting HTML

by Michael Scepaniak on July 23, 2019 in software development

Close-up view of mushrooms growing on the bark of a tree in a wooded area in Summer - Cockeysville, Maryland, USA

Just yesterday, I created a Vimeo account and uploaded my first two videos. This effort was in support of my most recent blog post, Early Retirement Expert. Today, a day later, I thought I’d go in and include links to that blog post in the description for each video. I wanted to provide context for each video, just in case someone came across them directly and not via my write-up. It didn’t go well.

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Early Retirement Expert

by Michael Scepaniak on July 22, 2019 in finance

Wooded area with tree standing along descending path through leafy floor in Summer - Cockeysville, Maryland, USA

When the number of people who do what you do is small, it’s easy to be considered an expert on it. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to after serving as an early retirement “expert” for a panel discussion. Fortunately, by all accounts, I held my own and lived up to the title/role.

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I. Am. Retired. (Kinda)

by Michael Scepaniak on June 22, 2019 in finance

Wooded area with fallen trees and path through grassy floor in Summer - Cockeysville, Maryland, USA

I’ve been giving early retirement a try for the past year and a half or so. I’m 44 years old. By all indications, it’s working!

Despite that, when given the opportunity, I frequently hesitate to declare myself “retired”. When filling out surveys (and forms for things such as loans, credit cards, and new accounts) I tend to select “Self-employed” rather than “Retired”. I find this interesting, partially because I didn’t see it coming.

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How I Got My Ice-maker to Make Ice Again

by Michael Scepaniak on January 6, 2019 in sustainability

If only a moose came by...

In which our hero fixes the ice-maker in a Samsung french door bottom-freezer refrigerator (model #RF260BEAESR) using nothing but a hair dryer and his own two dexterous hands!

So, my lovely Deborah mentions to me that she thinks the ice-maker in the refrigerator isn’t working – that the ice bucket is empty. I don’t typically use ice on a regular basis, so it isn’t something I would notice. But, when I take a look at the ice bucket, it sure does look empty-ish.

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How to Find, Choose, and Book Airbnbs

April 4, 2018

When buying something, how often do you consider buying that something used? Whether that something is a car, house, appliance, bicycle, article of clothing, piece of furniture, etc., how often do you give real consideration to buying one that has already been used by someone else – instead of one that is shiny and new? […]

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Starting Stopping Working

March 12, 2018

I’m giving early retirement a try this year. I’m 43 years old. I’m not sure it’s going to work. In my mind, and the way I present it to those I choose to tell, I’m giving early retirement a try this year. Note – I’m not saying I’m retired. With this approach, I’m seeking to […]

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Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Good Start

December 24, 2017

What happens after a piano falls on you? I suppose your initial question would be “What do you mean ‘after’”? Well, what if the piano doesn’t kill you? What’s the next day like? How does your life proceed? In July of 2014, I was hit by a metaphorical piano – I was diagnosed with Ankylosing […]

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Fixed-Length Level Logging in Winston

November 29, 2015

Do you do Node.js development? Do you use winston for logging in your Node application? Are you a stickler for having consistently-aligned content in your log entries? Have you struggled to prevent the log level portion of your log entries from shifting the positioning of your log entry formatting? If so, you might find this […]

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How to Read HttpClient Logging and Prevent Connection Leaks

November 25, 2015

“Where there is great power, there is great responsibility” – Winston Churchill If you have a Java-based application that makes HTTP requests, there’s a good chance you are using Apache HttpClient to make these requests. If the application in question needs to make these requests at scale or with any sort of concurrency, there’s a […]

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