Until the Kaycee Nicole thing started, Metafilter was just that "blue site" that I occasionally saw in passing on my stepdaughter's monitor, or I might see a link to from somewhere else on the web. One night at dinner, my stepdaughter mentioned that she'd started something, unintentionally, and it had been picked up on Metafilter, and was blowing up bigtime. Curious, I looked up the thread in question, and was hooked within a few posts. I didn't think of actually signing up at the time (something I regret to this day), and was so bad at timing that I never got in to sign up in dozens of tries. I gave up after a while, until Matt opened up the $5 deal in 2004. I found out about it, and actually opened up a Paypal account to sign up.
I can never repay Metafilter
I've already posted to the gray about it, but it bear repeating that when I was in a low spot, financially and physically, lying in pain on the couch, tethered to a wound pump, Mefites came through with amazing gifts and companionship that helped me through it in more ways than I can even say. Metafiltarians are the salt and pepper and sugar and spice of the earth to me.