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I've been collecting Magic: The Gathering cards since I started playing back in 1995. This very quickly developed into keeping 1 of each card in a binder, in 9-up page sleeves. On a shoestring budget, I was always on the lookout for a (free) slightly-nicer binder to keep my cards in. When my dad brought home a set of four 3" D-ring gray binders from work, it was a small windfall. I printed out the expansion symbols for the sets I was collecting on a piece of printer paper and slid it in the spines. This was Very Fancy.
For the uninitiated, MTG releases (mostly) unique sets of cards, (usually) 140-350 cards each, (usually) 4 times a year. Each of these sets has a unique expansion symbol printed on each of its cards to distinguish its origin. They're often in "blocks" of 2-3 sets that are related.
I mostly stopped playing/collecting when I left for college in 2002, picked the game back up briefly from 2009-2010, played sporadically at Icrontic events, and then started again a little over a year ago. When it came time to dust off the ol' Magic card sets, I wanted to be able to have them sitting out in the house somewhere without it looking like... well, a giant pile of Magic cards in school binders.
Nerd stuff's gotta match the decor, man.
Step 1 was to find some nice binders. After much searching, I found a 3-ring Barrister binder with optional sleeves. Spill- and dust-proofing the binders was high on my priority list, so I splurged on a set of these.
Step 2 was to be able to identify what was in each binder. I wanted to put expansion symbols on them, but it had to be in a classy, fairly subtle way. These binders go in the pub, so writing on the spine in a silver Sharpie was way out of bounds. I considered custom vinyl stickers, but some of the symbols were far too detailed. Stencils seemed a poor choice for similar reasons.
Eventually, I settled on clear adhesive-backed printer paper. Now it was down to finding and printing all those symbols. Fortunately I stumbled upon Keyrune, a new open source font of all the Magic: The Gathering symbols, hosted on GitHub. Now I was getting somewhere!
After a test run on plain paper to gauge sizing, the first run on sticker paper.
Trying out the first binder - all 3 sets in the Ice Age block, 1 per color area. Great success
The 7 blocks of the pre-modern era of Magic.
As I'm able to afford more binders and cards, this system is very easily expandable and looks classy as hell. Pretty happy with the outcome.
🍀 St. Paddy's & Marche Du Nain Rouge
23-26 March — 10th Annual #ICSP
Boardgame & beer weekend with a costumed march thru Detroit on Sunday in the early afternoon. Bright colors (especially red) and ridiculous costumes are appreciated - we're trying to scare the Nain Rouge out of the city to start spring! To participate in the march, do not plan to leave the event before 5pm Sunday (as in, book your flight well after that).
★ Icrontic (Messes With) Texas
19-23 April — 3rd #ICTX
🍖 Memorial Day BBQ
28 May (Yes, Sunday) — 6th
Come join us for a long and lazy afternoon/evening to smoke a wide array of meats with us. Local friends join us for this 1-day event, but feel free to stay overnight because hey, you probably have Monday off anyway. Bring a side dish if you wish; all we have is pipin' hot meat and buns to slide it between.
🎪 Expo Icrontic
21-25 June — 14th Annual #EPIC
Video games, boardgames, field trips, and food! This is the big one. We pack Wednesday night thru Saturday night with scheduled fun in Detroit, including a LAN party and new things to try every year. This is the only event we charge an admission fee to cover swag, rentals, materials, and the cost of running this website all year. We welcome friends & newcomers and typically see more than 60 guests. If you'd like to coordinate an event, please contact Linc by March.
Guests may arrive as early as Sunday, 18 June for this event. Scheduled events begin with dinner on Wednesday, 21 June. Official kickoff is Thursday, 22 June at 3pm. Events run until midnight on Saturday, 24 June when we have our annual prizes and awards gathering. A full schedule will be available when tickets go on sale in May.
26-29 Oct — 11th Annual #ICOK
Boardgame & beer weekend with a Halloween costume party on Saturday night. We have fairly organized lunch/dinners Thu-Sun except for Saturday when we order pizza to allow everyone time to change into their costumes. The costume party usually swells to over 40 guests.
🎊 New Years
29 Dec 2017 - 1 Jan 2018 — 10th Annual #ICNY
Come celebrate the new year with your Icrontic buddies. We'll have champagne! This is the most low-key event of the year... well, before midnight, anyway.
Start/end dates: Please clear arriving earlier or staying later than the listed dates with Linc or Brian.
All events are BYOB. There are 2 side-by-side beverage fridges in the pub. The left is shared; the right is drink-only-yours (limit storing 2 at a time). Coolers available on request.
Airport rides: Please coordinate a ride to & from the airport from other guests whenever possible. Please let Brian or Linc know if you haven't secured a ride by the day of your flight. No one in the house is waking up at 6am to take you, so you better have a plan if you book a crazy early flight. See also: Booking departures during the Marche du Nain Rouge. Nope, don't need it.
Coffee is typically communal. Consider buying a pound or chipping in $5. If it's prior to noon and the kettle is empty, refill it using the small filtered tap and turn it on immediately.
Parking: Detroit ordinance limits are 20' from a Yield sign, 15' from a crosswalk, and 10' from a fire hydrant. All of the above exist on our corner. When in doubt, ask us.
Fire safety: Extinguishers at every floor of each staircase, including carriage house, plus at the back of the kitchen on the wall. Smoke detectors are wirelessly linked to all floors. Three-story escape ladder is on the neighbor's side of the attic.
Showering at the house:
We provide towels. They are stacked just outside the bathroom.
Hang up your towel; not on furniture. Additional towel racks outside the bathroom.
Sleeping in the house:
Our spacious attic & basement often have room for sleeping; the spaces are unheated but usually quite reasonable aside from New Years. We have multiple mattresses, futons, cots, and padded tatami mats. You may also bring an inflatable mattress if there is room (typically we can only fit 2-3 per event). If you elect to crash on a sofa or Sumo bag, we request you still obtain and use sheets.
Reserve space before the event begins; include what nights you will need it.
If your plans change, please tell us.
Up early? Consider collecting cans, bottles, and glasses from around the house and rinsing them. If you want to help separate the recycling or use the dishwasher, ask a veteran for guidance.
Headed to the store and want to know if we need anything? The house should always have 3 things: Toilet paper, paper towels, and 2% milk. If any of them is in short supply, we'd appreciate more. (We keep spare TP & paper towels in the linen closet on the second floor.)
Spill or break something? It's cool, but please tell us immediately so we can help mitigate the damage.
Get your "ins" on.
I have Thu/Fri off work. If you arrive earlier be prepared to entertain yourself.
Out of nowhere someone pings our Twitter account tonight. Just signed up for it a few months ago in April.
Stop the presses. The MethoD?
As his tweet says, this utter myth whipped up Icrontic 3.0 back in 2001, the version that greeted many of our oldest old-timers until the day it all came down in 2003. There was an abrupt transition of a week or two during which there was no main page to the site at all, only a forum, and in that moment is when I got Internet-angry enough ("hey! where'd my news page go!?") to register for my very first forum.
He was some nameless, self-described Internet script kiddie that crossed paths with Mortin back then. The only contact info we had was an AIM screen name, and he was never online. Seeing him in the "Who's Online" section of Icrontic was like watching a spectre drift thru the site - no one would believe you, and no trace was ever left. I think he made 5 posts ever, and only in the staff forum.
It's possible I was mildly obsessed with the mystery. I didn't know a damn thing about the web, was DYING to learn about it, and here was this person spitting out this incredible website and then disappearing like it was nothing. I just couldn't believe it.
And then one day my freshman year of college, MethoD was suddenly on AIM.
I pounced. I pumped him for information for at least an hour and he humored me, describing some of the architecture of the site and dropping knowledge bombs (this was the first time I ever heard of object-oriented programming) like it was nothing. My mind was blown. And then he was gone, and I never heard from him again.
Until today. And he was two years younger than me the whole time. Dammit.
I won't say our brief encounter changed my life per se, but if the definitive moment of the direction of my life was choosing to move to Michigan a become a web developer in 2007, then this guy was largely responsible for steps 2 & 3 of 15 or so along the way.
And the real clincher is: The most mysterious person I ever ran into on the Internet, the last true enigma of our lore, signed up to Twitter with a username of first name + last name + birth year and then casually waved.
The Internet, how does it work.
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