Wonky Search Function - Place Search tips here

My specific problem is that I can’t find a post I made in November 2003. (I even have the exact date!)

More generally, I haven’t seen any sort of threads come up in search from that era (say, ~10/2003- ~12/2003). That may be due to luck.

Even more generally, does anybody have any tips for using search? I assume keywords don’t have to be consecutive, though they must be at least (4?) characters long.

More info:
Winter of Missed Content, due to server crash: Dec 7, 2001 - Feb 2002 (or March 9, 2002 perhaps) , according to Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_Dope_Message_Board

If you’re not a subscriber, you can’t use the Board’s search function.

Google does not archive the SDMB. http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=295727&highlight=search