Well the frozen hard drive trick saved me again!
The primary (OS) hard drive in my MythTV system died. It's possible to rebuild the OS, of course, and to reconfigure the system, but importing my recordings is basically impossible. They are stored on a RAID array not on the primary hard drive so I had all of the recordings themselves but didnt have the database information to let MythTV use them..... so I did what any good computer tech would do: put the hard drive in the feezer for two days. I just pulled it out of the freezer now, hooked up my IDE to USB adaptor, and grabbed /var/lib/mysql without any issue.... I then started copying /* and its actually still copying some stuff. Drive is clicking like hell.... but I guess thats to be expected for a drive that shouldnt even be spinning :)
Now I have to get these files imported.... this could be just as much fun :)