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January 9th, 2007

Pyrrhic Victory

The good news is, I finally managed to recover my emails and bookmarks. The "how" of it is long and boring, so I won't go into that. Suffice it to say that while the various fixes suggested by the AOL customer service people in India did not work, I did kinda sorta grasp what they were trying to do, and a couple of days later I finally located a backup file and was able to move it to where it needed to be, and... voila!... I had a filing cabinet and bunch of favorite places again.

It is sort of a Pyrrhic victory, however. The rub here is that the most recent usable backup I was able to find dates from Thanksgiving 2005. So now all I have lost is the last year's worth of emails... which, of course, contained almost everything that was important. Much of the older mail is no doubt very stale by now... but all the same, there are a few letters in there that I really regret having lost, and I'm glad to have them back.

Anyway, it has been a sobering experience, and I remain resolved to change the way I handle these things. For starts, I am going to clean out all these thousands of unanswered fan mails. Let's face it, if the letter has been sitting in my queue since 2001 and I haven't gotten around to giving it the thoughtful, substantive answer it deserved, I will probably never get around to it. I'm going to draft a very simple form reply, send it out to everyone, and clean my inbox. So if you wrote me back four years ago and have been holding your breath ever since... hey, you may get to exhale soon.

At least my bookmarks are back. They hadn't changed much during the past year, so my losses there were minimal.

I appreciate all the suggestions about other email services I might use, and I likely will make some sort of switch in the near future. The problem is, there are so many suggestions that sorting out which one would actually suit me best would be cumbersome. For all its problems, I have come to appreciate the simplicity of AOL. I do not have the time, the energy, or the expertise to deal with a lot of computer stuff.

Oh, and yes, thanks to everyone who sent condolences on the results of the Jets and Giants games this past weekend. Despite what one might conclude from the scores, I thought the Jets played much better than the Giants did. The Jets hung in there for three quarters with a much more talented opponent, and only truly started to fall apart after that freak lateral. The Giants just proved again that they are talented but undisciplined. The defense stuffed the Eagles three-and-out three times in the first quarter, and three times the G-Men got the ball at midfield... and failed to get a point. Tiki ran brilliantly, of course, and Shockey played like the mad berserker that he is, but the rest of the team.... no, I'm not convinced, and I still want Tom Coughlin fired.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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