Conversation with My Wife (225)

Yes, we have caught the perps! Now what…

I’ve been scouting for a doorbell camera the last several months. Something that will tell us when a package is left at the door (yes, Amazon alerts us, but we do actually buy things from places other than, believe it or not!) or if it’s worth interrupting dinner to tell some political canvasser to bugger off (“Hello, sir! As you know, it’s less than a week to the election—” “And we’ve already voted by mail. Thanks, bye!”) or we can ask the nice Boy Scout what they’re selling (“Did you say flavored popcorn? Don’t go away, we’ll be right there!”). Bonus: if we aren’t at home for an extended period, we’d have an eye on the front door for security.

I had a nice unit picked out. Good reviews. Works with our Apple Homekit system, so alerts show up on my watch, phone, tablet, and AppleTV. Not cheap, but reasonably priced compared to other brands. And then I read some of the not-so-good reviews.

ME: I’ve seen two reviews now where the buyers warn not to have the camera face into the sun.

DEB: Ours would?

ME: Our house faces straight south, so even with the porch overhang, we’d be staring at the sun between August and April.

DEB: But not at night?

ME: Yeah, thought of that, but during the day is basically when we get any traffic that might show up.

Okay, check other brands of doorbells. Tech specs, now that I know what to look for, clearly say that cameras don’t work properly staring dead into the sun. Well… drat.

Maybe we don’t need doorbell cameras?

So I found a brand that has great reviews in general, and for its security cams in particular. AND they make wireless cameras — just recharge them every few months and we’re good. AND they have a two-pack that costs as much as the doorbell cam I had my heart set on. So we cover both front door and back!

ME: Would you want the back door covered, camera-wise?

DEB: So you can see who has been eating the bird seed?

Besides the birds, of course. It took lots of effort, but we finally have a (mostly) squirrel-proof feeder. But our seed started vanishing at alarming rates, and we’ve found deer poop near the feeder. But why would deer eat bird seed?

ME: True, if we cover the back door, we’d see the feeders also.

So I order the camera pack (yes, from Amazon — shush!) and put them both up with the aid of my trusted assistant.

DEB: Jackster, if you’re going to put the ladder on the soft mulch, can you at least put a board or rocks under it?

ME: We don’t have any spare boards, Debster, and no spare flat rocks.

DEB: What about the ones under the feeder?

ME: Valid point. (I married a smart lady. Have I ever mentioned that?)

We got the cameras set up, front and back, and I got to play with all the multiple settings. And guess what?

Yes, it was the deer going after the bird seed. Daylight and night vision. You might also notice we have flat rocks under the bird feeder, which can be propped under a ladder for temporary stability on soft and uneven ground.

We caught them in the act! Well, one, anyway.

Plus the usual suspects:

I got an alert AS I WAS TYPING THE STORY. On our porch. And I look over, and IRL there’s the squirrel, ten feet away (through glass, but still) munching on the suet. And he looks at me like he was invited. <sigh>

I added hot pepper seasoning to the seed mix, we’ll see how that works.

Copyright ©2022 by Jack Herlocker. Oh, and we can trigger a 100db alarm on the cameras while alerting 911 if we determine that you’re a prowler, so don’t get any ideas.



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Jack Herlocker

Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.