So, in the interest of exploring the entire range of somewhat silly google products that may or may not improve my life, I signed up for googlevoice, and thereby googlevoicemail. I feel like I haven't explored all of the services involved (at least I think I haven't), but voice is definitely useful for when I'm at work without mys cellphone and need to make a long distance call. I just plug in the number I want to call online, and it rings my desk phone (which I had to set up, a simple procedure).
The voicemail service, however, is basically a good thought that doesn't entirely float my boat. I would love to have transcriptions of my voicemails, but the transcription algorithm or whatever just doesn't work that great. At least not for message-leavers without perfect diction (or with a sense of humor). Here is the transcript of a voicemail from Dan, telling me that he was coming home, that it's very nice out, trying to figure out where I was, and subsequently saying heck with it, he was coming home anyway. More or less:
The "FFFFA" was actually him laughing. Thank heavens I can still playback an audio file, too.