It's been roughly six months since The X-Box Incident. Perhaps four months since I did something about it, and got an alarm system. So, I've been jabbing at the keypad on my way in and out of the house for something like 120 days.
Not long ago, I noticed that I had gone from getting few messages on my answering machine to getting none. It's hard to tell the difference between "never" and "exceedingly rarely" - but there were a few occasions that made me suspicious that something was not right. The phone might ring twice, and then stop. I have a reasonably good answering machine that's worked for me, and it is set to pick up the line at four rings - something was picking up the line before the answering machine got a chance to.
After something like a month of phone tag, the guys that installed the alarm got their guy who knows how to read a manual to give me a call and tell me the cryptic series of symbols necessary to instruct the alarm system to leave the phone line alone.
Bring on the telemarketers! Bring on the drunk diallers! Bring on all the single women, yearning to date me! My phone is once more my own!