Mechanical Woes

My answering machine is a piece of crud, and I'd be quite upset at it if I hadn't deliberate bought the cheapest one in the store, one from a company not generally thought of as making telecommunications equipment. When it loses power, whether from me tripping over the cord or from something genuinely interesting, like power outages induced by trees falling in gale-force winds, it undergoes complete and total amnesia. It forgets the stored messages. It forgets the outgoing greeting. It forgets that it's entire purpose in life is to be the best damn answering machine it can be. It just sits there, a couple of red lights flashing at me confusedly. There's something a bit cute about its befuddlement, the way it sits there like an idiot waiting for me to push a few buttons to make it remember how to pick up the phone when it rings.

This much I'm used to dealing with; my greetings have gotten progressively shorter, stranger, and more resigned in tone as I have to rerecord them every few weeks. I've stopped bothering to teach it the time; all my messages arrive at 12AM Sunday now. This morning, it actually up and crashed. It stopped working as a phone -- the handset couldn't get a dial tone, although anything else I plugged into the phone line -- my modem, my old phone, even a banana -- could. Good old fashioned power-cycling did the trick, at the cost of yet another outgoing message lost and gone forever, one I'd slaved over for maybe all of a minute.