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(Slate)   Pressing questions of our time: why do Walt and Skyler still have an answering machine?   (slate.com) divider line 85
    More: Obvious, answering machine, Breaking Bad, Sunday Night, caller ID  
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2487 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 18 Sep 2013 at 1:39 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-17 11:52:25 PM  
Pressing questions of our time: why do Walt and Skyler still have an answering machine?

i.imgur.com

Well Harvard Boy, I'm going with it's a sunk cost, paid in total years ago, and not a recurring monthly cost.

I'll add on to that it's a device they've been using for 10 years or so and know how to use with no need for learning something new that does the job about as well as the old.

Go ask Professors DeLong and Krugman and Duncan Black to teach you some home economics too.
 
2013-09-18 12:00:29 AM  
The show isn't taking place in 2013 anyway. It's like 2008 or so. And they seemed to be creatures of routine once.
 
2013-09-18 12:23:00 AM  
It's the AT&T Plot Device 2000.
 
2013-09-18 12:23:06 AM  
I still have an answering machine.  it's all digital and came with the wireless phone system.  Why?  Because fark paying Verizon $10 a month for voice mail.  I'd get rid of the home line altogether if the wife would let me.
 
2013-09-18 12:32:23 AM  

RoyBatty: Pressing questions of our time: why do Walt and Skyler still have an answering machine?

[i.imgur.com image 571x158]

Well Harvard Boy, I'm going with it's a sunk cost, paid in total years ago, and not a recurring monthly cost.

I'll add on to that it's a device they've been using for 10 years or so and know how to use with no need for learning something new that does the job about as well as the old.

Go ask Professors DeLong and Krugman and Duncan Black to teach you some home economics too.


Yeah, they turned me down when I applied too.
 
2013-09-18 02:00:41 AM  

Confabulat: The show isn't taking place in 2013 anyway. It's like 2008 or so. And they seemed to be creatures of routine once.


Yeah, that's what I figured. Although if you check the cars they might have an anachronism or two.
 
2013-09-18 02:04:26 AM  
Because they still have Landline, Genius!
 
2013-09-18 02:05:03 AM  
Because it's a little hard to have the FBI listen in if Skylar is answering her cell phone.
 
2013-09-18 02:07:16 AM  
Who?
 
2013-09-18 02:09:30 AM  
Here's another question:  If you just robbed Walt of over 60 million dollars, why are you still cooking meth? That money is completely unaccounted for. You're free - you can go anywhere and do anything...and you stay in the same lame town and set up a meth lab? That's the WTF of all WTF's.
 
2013-09-18 02:09:42 AM  
BB fanboys have run out of things to talk about, I see.  Have people grown tired of discussing the minutia that furthers the plot and leads to the finale of the series?  Now they have moved on to the various small appliances in the White household.  Next Slate article: what was the significance of the White's tankless water heater, and what color was Walt wearing when he installed it?  What does it mean??
 
2013-09-18 02:10:03 AM  

shower_in_my_socks: It's the AT&T Plot Device 2000.


↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑
 
2013-09-18 02:12:29 AM  
In this day and age of email and SMS, I find the concept of leaving a voice message weird and outdated.

Incoming calls that aren't taken still get put into the history, so a record of all missed calls is always available. And if it was so important that the message needed to be conveyed immediately, email or SMS would work better than voice mail, which is sometimes hard to hear.

In short, I'm absolutely confused why anyone in this day and age would have an answering machine. Unless you had this automatic message tape  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciScVUK3zMI , in which case it would be ironically awesome and retro.
 
2013-09-18 02:12:53 AM  
We have a landline number that we give to the doctor, dentist, mechanic, etc etc (for appointment reminders and such) with an answering machine attached which we never answer. Every call coming to that phone gets the answering machine and we call back at our convenience. We also both have cell phones and those are the numbers that friends and relatives call when they want to talk to us. The cells are also our emergency contact numbers so we don't miss anything important like if someone drives into a tree (like our son did).
 
2013-09-18 02:13:23 AM  
Um. I have an answering machine. And a phone with a cord that plugs into the wall and only makes phone calls. And a television with a CRT. (It's not even HD) And a 13 year old car. And this computer? Nine years old. Windows XP.

I could replace all that jazz, but you know ... it works
 
2013-09-18 02:14:16 AM  

StopLurkListen: Um. I have an answering machine. And a phone with a cord that plugs into the wall and only makes phone calls. And a television with a CRT. (It's not even HD) And a 13 year old car. And this computer? Nine years old. Windows XP.

I could replace all that jazz, but you know ... it works


What the fark is a CRT? And everyone has a phone that plugs into the wall.
 
2013-09-18 02:19:51 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: StopLurkListen: Um. I have an answering machine. And a phone with a cord that plugs into the wall and only makes phone calls. And a television with a CRT. (It's not even HD) And a 13 year old car. And this computer? Nine years old. Windows XP.

I could replace all that jazz, but you know ... it works

What the fark is a CRT? And everyone has a phone that plugs into the wall.


Cathode Ray Tube, aka a big TV, not the skinny LCD or plasma TVs.

www.whichtv.com.au

And most of my friends don't have a "landine" telephone with a cord or that plugs into the wall, they all dropped that, because cell phones.

www.telephonearchive.com
 
2013-09-18 02:20:52 AM  
Here at Bell Labs we're developing a way for characters to provide exposition to other characters in distant locations while avoiding the cinematic awkwardness of a phone call and also providing a method for characters to learn information that they would not be provided otherwise.
 
2013-09-18 02:24:56 AM  

glenlivid: Here's another question:  If you just robbed Walt of over 60 million dollars, why are you still cooking meth? That money is completely unaccounted for. You're free - you can go anywhere and do anything...and you stay in the same lame town and set up a meth lab? That's the WTF of all WTF's.


It's unclear if it's Todd or the whole Uncle Nazi crew that's running the meth cooking operation. I'm assuming it's mostly Todd's deal. There are a couple of reasons:

1) If the Nazis stop making the blue meth, it pisses off the Czechs, who will probably send scarier goons than whatever the local prison system can muster.

2) Todd has that weird thing for Lydia, and is cooking just to please her.
 
2013-09-18 02:31:51 AM  

Cagey B: glenlivid: Here's another question:  If you just robbed Walt of over 60 million dollars, why are you still cooking meth? That money is completely unaccounted for. You're free - you can go anywhere and do anything...and you stay in the same lame town and set up a meth lab? That's the WTF of all WTF's.

It's unclear if it's Todd or the whole Uncle Nazi crew that's running the meth cooking operation. I'm assuming it's mostly Todd's deal. There are a couple of reasons:

1) If the Nazis stop making the blue meth, it pisses off the Czechs, who will probably send scarier goons than whatever the local prison system can muster.

2) Todd has that weird thing for Lydia, and is cooking just to please her.


And maybe they can afford to hire a real cook with real skills and make even more money.  I am sure you could buy a disgruntled prof disgusted by university cutbacks for a cool $5 million.
 
2013-09-18 02:33:28 AM  

Cagey B: glenlivid: Here's another question:  If you just robbed Walt of over 60 million dollars, why are you still cooking meth? That money is completely unaccounted for. You're free - you can go anywhere and do anything...and you stay in the same lame town and set up a meth lab? That's the WTF of all WTF's.

It's unclear if it's Todd or the whole Uncle Nazi crew that's running the meth cooking operation. I'm assuming it's mostly Todd's deal. There are a couple of reasons:

1) If the Nazis stop making the blue meth, it pisses off the Czechs, who will probably send scarier goons than whatever the local prison system can muster.

2) Todd has that weird thing for Lydia, and is cooking just to please her.


It's definitely the Nazi crew making meth for Lydia, but I'm assuming that Todd is enslaving Jesse to please Lydia.  Lydia doesn't have any strength on the US end that we know about, so they could easily just drop their meth production if they wanted to.  However, if Todd is interested in keeping it up, they would let him do that.  For whatever reason, Uncle Jack has a soft spot for Meth Damon.  Perhaps they see it as a way for him to build his own business.  Todd has always seemed like someone who just wants to learn a trade and be good at it.  He's a salaryman through and through.
 
2013-09-18 02:40:14 AM  
Because that's where he keeps the key...
blog.cbtnuggets.com
 
2013-09-18 02:42:15 AM  
It's a easy way for writers to move the plot along.

/ It's an ok show. Not as good as the fans make it out to be
 
2013-09-18 02:45:01 AM  

vegaswench: BB fanboys have run out of things to talk about, I see.  Have people grown tired of discussing the minutia that furthers the plot and leads to the finale of the series?  Now they have moved on to the various small appliances in the White household.  Next Slate article: what was the significance of the White's tankless water heater, and what color was Walt wearing when he installed it?  What does it mean??


dailybail.com

I feel your pain.
 
2013-09-18 02:45:32 AM  

Farty McPooPants: Because that's where he keeps the key...
[blog.cbtnuggets.com image 637x314]


Love that movie!
 
2013-09-18 03:02:46 AM  
Jesse also has (or at least had) an answering machine.  It would be a better question to ask why he had one.

Jesse's barely out of high school so what is he?  19?  20?  Whatever, he grew up when everyone had a cell phone.

If I had a land line, I would still use my answering machine.   I've still got it somewhere.  When you get home, it's much easier just to hit a button rather than call and check messages.  If it's urgent and if you're important enough for me to care, you can call my cell phone.
 
2013-09-18 03:13:36 AM  

StopLurkListen: Um. I have an answering machine. And a phone with a cord that plugs into the wall and only makes phone calls. And a television with a CRT. (It's not even HD) And a 13 year old car. And this computer? Nine years old. Windows XP.

I could replace all that jazz, but you know ... it works


I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school myself, and also have a land line, answering machine, and CRT TV (although my lack of an upgrade has more to do with the fact that if I'm going flat, I'm definitely going bigger, and that leads to furniture issues). But the computer? I don't think I could manage with a 9-year-old computer. Please tell me you at least have a monitor that isn't 800x600?
 
2013-09-18 03:21:39 AM  
My brother just bought a house in a neighborhood where the HOA requires a landline. Having an answering machine isn't that odd.
 
2013-09-18 03:23:35 AM  

glenlivid: Here's another question:  If you just robbed Walt of over 60 million dollars, why are you still cooking meth? That money is completely unaccounted for. You're free - you can go anywhere and do anything...and you stay in the same lame town and set up a meth lab? That's the WTF of all WTF's.


Here's another question, you just killed two DEA agents in front of a witness, a man who was related to one of the guys you just killed, who you are also robbing of most of his money. A man you know is living outside the law and has a reputation for getting rid of people that trouble him. Why not kill him? I'm no selling this.

I am not sold.

/and don't give me that they didn't know. The meth lab that blew up, with two dead in it, along with the cartel assassination. That's going to make news, and these guys that were murdered in jail are connected to it. They know what Walt is.
 
2013-09-18 03:24:20 AM  

stoli n coke: My brother just bought a house in a neighborhood where the HOA requires a landline. Having an answering machine isn't that odd.


I'd love to hear the logic behind that little arbitrary HOA fiefdom dictate.
 
2013-09-18 03:26:44 AM  

100 Watt Walrus: StopLurkListen: Um. I have an answering machine. And a phone with a cord that plugs into the wall and only makes phone calls. And a television with a CRT. (It's not even HD) And a 13 year old car. And this computer? Nine years old. Windows XP.

I could replace all that jazz, but you know ... it works

I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school myself, and also have a land line, answering machine, and CRT TV (although my lack of an upgrade has more to do with the fact that if I'm going flat, I'm definitely going bigger, and that leads to furniture issues). But the computer? I don't think I could manage with a 9-year-old computer. Please tell me you at least have a monitor that isn't 800x600?


LOL, it's not, but honestly my "online" activities have been largely via my iPhone lately. So my computer can just limp along forever (or until April 8, 2014, at which time all WinXP security issues become zero-day issues because MSFT will stop  fixing security holes)
 
2013-09-18 03:32:46 AM  
Half of the land line companies around here don't even offer voice mail, and the other half charge $5 - $10 a month extra. Why would you pay that when a $10 machine will do the same thing?

/and people wonder why they're poor.
 
2013-09-18 03:35:48 AM  

glenlivid: Here's another question:  If you just robbed Walt of over 60 million dollars, why are you still cooking meth? That money is completely unaccounted for. You're free - you can go anywhere and do anything...and you stay in the same lame town and set up a meth lab? That's the WTF of all WTF's.


60 mill divided by 10 guys that's 6 mill each, that's some nice walking around money but not stop working forever money not when you can make that 60 mill in 3 months.
 
2013-09-18 04:19:57 AM  

glenlivid: Here's another question:  If you just robbed Walt of over 60 million dollars, why are you still cooking meth? That money is completely unaccounted for.


My guess is that when Walt comes back to Albuquerque, he'll find that Jack, Kenny, and the other two have indeed split town to enjoy about 60 million dollars worth of hookers and blow.  Todd will be the only one cooking, because he's got to look after Jesse, and wants a kiss from Lydia for all his hard work.  Walt will probably ice Todd -- but the series will NOT end with a big shootout between Walt and the Aryans.  That would be completely beneath the show's genius.

(He uses his new big gun to take out Gray Matter instead.)
 
2013-09-18 04:23:13 AM  
Does the show take place about the year-ish since walt got diagnosed with lung cancer?  So 2008-2009 alot of people still had lan lines then. I still have mine ( because mostly my mom seems to forget to call my cell and call my lan. )
 
2013-09-18 04:57:28 AM  

pedobearapproved: Here's another question, you just killed two DEA agents in front of a witness, a man who was related to one of the guys you just killed, who you are also robbing of most of his money. A man you know is living outside the law and has a reputation for getting rid of people that trouble him. Why not kill him?


This
 
2013-09-18 05:04:59 AM  
I don't talk to machines and I don't listen when they try to talk to me.
Screw voicemail, I want meat-dialogues, not mech-monolgues.
 
2013-09-18 05:27:42 AM  
Answering machines allow you to listen to groveling without even having to lift a finger.
 
2013-09-18 05:41:06 AM  
Yeah, isn't every working class suburban family broken up into mobile units of cutting-edge cyber-individuality?
 
2013-09-18 05:52:38 AM  
I've still got one on my landline. Although I can't remember the last time I've checked or emptied it. The landline comes bundled with internet and TV. Might as well use it.
 
2013-09-18 05:56:03 AM  

vegaswench: BB fanboys have run out of things to talk about, I see.  Have people grown tired of discussing the minutia that furthers the plot and leads to the finale of the series?  Now they have moved on to the various small appliances in the White household.  Next Slate article: what was the significance of the White's tankless water heater, and what color was Walt wearing when he installed it?  What does it mean??


i.chzbgr.com
 
2013-09-18 06:53:44 AM  
Uh, because they're old, duh. Old people are stupid.
 
2013-09-18 07:01:56 AM  

MagSeven: vegaswench: BB fanboys have run out of things to talk about, I see.  Have people grown tired of discussing the minutia that furthers the plot and leads to the finale of the series?  Now they have moved on to the various small appliances in the White household.  Next Slate article: what was the significance of the White's tankless water heater, and what color was Walt wearing when he installed it?  What does it mean??

[i.chzbgr.com image 500x347]


We came in late. We got hooked when AMC showed Gus' demise and we knew it was too good to miss.

I came in, with the snarky feeling of not seeing a BB thread, and "whining" where was my daily BB thread.

I clicked on the Showbiz Tab.

Subby and the Mods owe me a new keyboard.

/there's gold in the bottom of the barrel, Jerry!
//the only other thing would be to have the BB cast dressed as the Serenity crew.
 
2013-09-18 07:26:08 AM  
Some people just don't follow the rule that says you have to throw something away as soon as something else is invented that does the same job slightly better.
 
2013-09-18 07:34:21 AM  

NetOwl: Some people just don't follow the rule that says you have to throw something away as soon as something else is invented that does the same job slightly better.


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-09-18 07:42:52 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: In short, I'm absolutely confused why anyone in this day and age would have an answering machine. Unless you had this automatic message tape  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciScVUK3zMI , in which case it would be ironically awesome and retro.


Believe it or not, George isn't at home
 
2013-09-18 07:59:37 AM  

glenlivid: Here's another question:  If you just robbed Walt of over 60 million dollars, why are you still cooking meth? That money is completely unaccounted for. You're free - you can go anywhere and do anything...and you stay in the same lame town and set up a meth lab? That's the WTF of all WTF's.


You can never put that money in a bank.  You can't carry around a dozen barrels of cash.  You can't use it to make large purchases without bringing suspicion on yourself.

It has to be laundered.
 
2013-09-18 08:04:29 AM  
Personally, I hate voice mail. Dial a 10 digit number (or find the number in the directory), then enter your own 10 digit number, then enter your 4 digit password, then use a non-standard set of buttons to FF, Rewind, delete messages (for example, my VM at work uses 7 as a delete button, but at home, it's a 3). I suppose it's more convenient that you can do this from any phone line...but if someone really needs to get a hold of me, they have my cell phone number.

Digital Answering Machine: press "play" to play messages. rewind to rewind. No need to log in.
 
2013-09-18 08:04:53 AM  

vegaswench: what was the significance of the White's tankless water heater


I just got through season 2, and it was my guess that the crime scene stuff was because he installed it wrong, and there was a gas explosion.
 
2013-09-18 08:23:25 AM  

glenlivid: Here's another question:  If you just robbed Walt of over 60 million dollars, why are you still cooking meth? That money is completely unaccounted for. You're free - you can go anywhere and do anything...and you stay in the same lame town and set up a meth lab? That's the WTF of all WTF's.


You know what is better than 60 million dollars? 100 million dollars.
 
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