Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In, out, gone

My Outlook mail has been doing strange things for the past month. Lately, any time I close my in-folder, I cannot reopen it without rebooting my computer. This has been frustrating at times, especially when I'm in the middle of something and need to refer to a recent piece of mail or if I'm anxiously awaiting an answer from someone.

I've figured the problem was occurring because the in-box was so loaded with messages. So, for the past couple of weeks, I've been archiving a few months' worth at a time. I'd gotten most messages from 2001 to 2003. After this morning, I guess I won't have to archive any more for a while.

When I went on line for my first view of overnight messages, it was obvious from the sound much like my virus scan, that the computer was working hard at some project. Four messages had downloaded and a fifth was taking its sweet time. I thought this was rather strange but just skimmed the open messages while waiting. Then, the "ILLEGAL OPERATION" sign flashed on and the computer wouldn't let me go further.

So, I shut her down as I've done so many times lately. When she rebooted, my entire inbox, including this morning's messages had disappeared. They're still gone. Nearly three years of mail from family, friends and business associates vanished---just like that.

I guess it's therapy to write about it. I haven't even said the "S" word this morning. I'd like to, but I've dealt with computer anomalies enough in the past to know that even going out to the bunkhouse and bringing in one of Bill's hammers has not made my computer cooperate. Yes, I've actually done that but have set the hammer down before inflicting a blow.

I guess age has calmed me down about these matters, but I'm still frustrated and curious as to where those 9,000-plus messages have gone. I hope the computer didn't mail them to someone. If so, I may have more problems because I'm not ALWAYS nice with my email notes---most of the time but not always.

To all email correspondents, if you've sent me the best forward ever, it's gone. If you've sent me pertinent information about some upcoming event, it's gone. If you wrote me a nice note that made me tear up, it's gone. If you've written me a not-so nice note, I won't have to reread it. If you've told me your life story, I've lost it. And, if you've tried to coerce me to send you my bank account number because you have millions stored away in some Zimbabwe bank awaiting transfer, I guess I'll have to pass up the opportunity.

This automatic cleansing is probably good. I do delete most forwards and most bank account appeal letters, but I kinda like to keep meaningful historical notes and photos sent to me by family and friends. Admittedly, my inbox was overflowing with this kind of stuff, and my good intentions were to get them archived when time allowed.

But now, that's one more project on the "to do" list that I don't have to do. If any computer whiz is out there who knows how to track down errant inbox mail, I'd welcome all suggestions. In the meantime, I'm staying away from hammers and biting my tongue whenever the "S" word wants to get some much needed exposure.

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