Thursday, August 8, 2013
Looks like a stormy day.
I'm lucky because there's a web cam on top of a mountain peak that essentially scans 360 degrees. I can look over the whole county and beyond using that. In the morning when I get up, the first thing on the list is the morning chores. Then I come in, clean up, and have my coffee while I read the news and weather on line. I usually look at this web cam during that process. I'd say we are in for rain and that's fine, as long as it doesn't last for days.
My wife got back Tuesday night, after a good visit with our kids up North. Today we will probably ride into town for lunch, then go pick up some groceries. Not an exciting day but I'm well past the stage in life where "exciting" is good. I prefer sedate and quiet.
Looks like my security camera system is having problems again and I'm going to replace it. I've gotten ten years of use out of it, in fairly rigorous conditions. It's outdated and needs to be replaced anyway. However, I'm like the Russians in that I hardly ever throw anything away if it still works.
With the system I have, I can see the only access route to my place. I can see all four sides of the main house, and the front of the shop. It works in conjunction with red security lights and it has audio, so anywhere there is a camera I can hear what's going on . That's far more useful than you might imagine at first blush. When you have a system like this and it's used in conjunction with layered motion detectors, it's difficult for anyone to approach your house without your knowing it. Add some good watch dogs into the mix, and it becomes virtually impossible.
One of the good things about a comprehensive security camera system is that you can tell what kind of issue you are having before you go outside. If there's a great furor in the middle of the night, it's nice to know if you have a bear getting into the trash can bin, or you have two legged intruders. How you react depends on the threat. Going out into the dark with a big flood light when you don't know who or what is out there is poor planning.
There's only two ways to reach to this house from the foot of the mountain. A person could come up the trail from the creek, if they walked through dense woods for a quarter of a mile from the road and saw the trail heading up slope from the water. Not likely to happen and if it did, there's a "flash bang" trip wire on that trail. If activated it won't hurt anyone (unless they have a heart attack, I guess) but it will certainly draw the attention of the dogs.
The other way is the vehicle trail. When I say trail, that's what I mean. You turn off a poorly maintained forest service road, go through a steel gate with a deep ravine on one side and a steep cliff face on the other. Then you drive through a tunnel in the trees up to my house. The gate is just there to prove that people came on my place illegally. I know an obstacle not covered by fire is not an obstacle, so I don't count on the gate to stop anyone who seriously wants up here. It does discourage the casual "I just wanted to see what was up this trail" type of people. The steel gate's primary function is to demonstrate "intent" on the part of an intruder if they breach the gate.
There are two motion sensors on the vehicle trail as you get near the house, and there' a trail camera on it as well. I used to have an electric fence around the house, meadow, shop and barn but the bears just tore it all to hell, and then every winter trees fell on it after the snow, so I don't have that anymore. I may put up a smaller one just around the main house and shop at some point. Electric fences won't keep a person out but they sure will make him or them holler when they walk into it in the dark. Then they can meet my dogs while I come out to deal with my visitors.
There's a convention here that if you approach a home in the woods, you don't ever go up to the house. You stand out in clear view and yell "hello the house" or "anybody home?", something of that nature. This shows you aren't trying to sneak up. Anyone who doesn't do that is either not from here, or they have evil intent.
The precautions I take are not the precautions someone in suburbia would put into place. Nor would an urban dweller use this system. Whatever system you do use, you at least need one. Too many people use the Sardine Defense ( the odds are nothing will ever happen to me) and come out on the losing end of the gamble.