I was born in 1995 at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital, the last of a set of triplets. With two exceptions totaling a year, I have always resided in Harford County, in Baltimore's northeastern exurbs. I was brought up in a rural setting, in a sizeable house on 2.7 acres with a partially-wooded backyard. It extended to my high school, which had a full working farm on its property and was Harford County's agricultural magnet. I spent a few years at Harford Community College, bouncing between business and graphic design majors, but major life events led me to stop attending classes.
I have loved reading maps and going on road trips from an early age. Road signs are an important part of the experience for me, and I enjoy exploring new highways in new regions to catch them. In 2016 I found myself with ample time to sneak out and go on "highway-clinching" trips out-of-state, as far north as Staten Island, New York and as far west as Youngstown, Ohio. By April 2017, I had amassed more than 12 gigabytes' worth of photos from these trips before the next developments in my life. As the years 2022 and 2023 have rolled around I have finally found opportunities to start from scratch and being building my route logs and resultant photo collections again, starting back from my home base north of Baltimore. Outside of roads, I have a separate section dedicated to retail establishments.
Despite being a Baltimoron, my favorite sports teams come from Washington, DC: the National Football League's Washington Commanders, Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals, and the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals. This is because both of my parents were partially or entirely raised on the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs. I have been to many Capitals games in Chinatown, as well as their two Winter Classics, at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field in 2011 and at Nationals Park in 2015. As well, I am a massive NASCAR fan, and was introduced to it right around the year 2000, during a time of increased marketing of it. In 2008 I discovered my current favorite driver, Joey Logano, whom I followed from Joe Gibbs Racing to Team Penske and have been with through thick and thin, never letting his many critics get the best of me.
I am also a weather enthusiast, which I attribute to my lifelong viewership of The Weather Channel. In 2007 I discovered TWC's online fan following through YouTube videos and a couple of viewer-run websites detailing the channel's intricacies and history, including its musical playlists, on-air personalities and "STAR" systems used to provide local forecasts on the channel. Eventually in 2008 I launched my YouTube channel, epzik8 - which has since become my Internet-wide identity - for the purpose of uploading TWC clips from my local area. In 2013 I uploaded a video containing the entire playlist of TWC's 24-hour channel Weatherscan and inadvertenly drew great attention from fellow enthusiasts.
2009 Great Plains/Inner West RV trip