Sunday, January 9, 2011

... And Happy New Year

Yeah, things have been getting ahead of me again -- and when they do, the blogging is one of the first things to go.  Sorry about that.

Today's Homeowner Story...

Came home last night around 10:00 -- after a friend's retirement party (oh man, my friends are retiring now).  Now, I have lights on my garage, and they were on, like they're supposed to be.  But I also have two motion-sensor lights -- one near my front door and one on the side of the house near the trash bins -- and they were on too.  Like they most definitely were not supposed to be.  The lights are set to go off after five minutes.  So, I reasoned, there must have been motion on the side of my house and near the front door within the last five minutes.  (Now, maybe the wind rustling trees could have set off the one on the side, but there are no trees near the front door.)


I pulled my car into the garage -- I was nearly in anyway when I noticed the lights.  Didn't walk in the house yet, though.  Figured I'd investigate a bit.

Walked toward the front door.  Heard the cat.  This was very reassuring.  First, it meant the cat was alive.  Second, it meant the cat wasn't hiding in a closet someplace, which is her instinctual reaction when anything remotely unknown is anywhere near.

Walked around to the side of the house near the trash bins.  Checked the windows.  All seemed quiet and undisturbed.  Peeked around to the backyard, but figured that actually walking around back there in the dark was probably more stupid than going into the house, at this point.

Went back to the garage and considered my options.

Ah.  The garage.  Full of tools.  Tried to decide how best to arm myself for entry.  Hammer seemed the most obvious option, but if there were some bad guys in the house, I really wondered what good I'd do with a hammer.  Hammers are so short range.  Not that you couldn't take someone out with a hammer, but you'd have to be quick and committed.  My rational brain asked me if I really thought I could take out someone bigger than me with a hammer, or if, instead, it was more likely that I'd be disarmed.

Decided to rely on the fact that the cat seemed unfazed to just go in unarmed. 

There was something else.  The light by the front door was still on, and it seemed like it had been more than five minutes since I'd been there.  (The other one was on, too, but I had been there more recently.)  Could both of my motion-sensor lights have malfunctioned at the same time?  That'd be odd.

Opened door, went in house.  Cat was there.  Belongings were there.  House seemed perfectly normal.  Alarm was still set.

I dropped down to Defcon 2 and checked from the windows -- both outside lights were still on.  And remained on, for over ten minutes and counting.

I don't think I would've realized what had happened if I hadn't gone into the kitchen to brew up a cup of tea.  The clocks on the stove and microwave were blinking.  Ohhh, power failure.  Developed the working hypothesis that when the motion sensor lights are deprived of juice and then re-juiced, they default to on.  Went back outside (with a flashlight) and manually turned the lights off, then on again.

Five minutes later, they went off.


1 comment:

Wil said...

Next time, call the police. Just in case. I'd miss reading about your adventures.

The motion light I installed at the kitchen door defaults to "On" after a power failure. Reset procedure consists of turning it off for a 15 count (1 Mississippi, etc.) and then turning it back on. That rearms the circuitry without having the light stay on again for five minutes.

Just wait until you have to start going to the funerals of the
recently retired. It sucks.

Really, better safe than sorry. As good as you are, you are no match for an intruder, unless they are under 4 foot and sell cookies for their Brownie troop. Call the cops (or area security, if it is a gated subdivision) and have them search the building. They, at least, have guns and don't tend to shoot anything that moves.