To Catch a Pisser

In the early morning a few days ago I saw that someone had peed in our staircase. Luckily this doesn't happen very often but this time it happened for the second time in a week. There's trees and a wide canal right outside our house so I don't see the reason why someone would climb a stairway to do this.
It's a stone wall and floor, so all it took was a few buckets of hot soap and a squeegee to clean the place but still, I'd like to see who did it.

A friend had a tip for me: a very affordable camera to monitor the place. It connects to my network and I can watch the hallway from my living room, but also from my laptop when I am (far) away and I can even watch it everywhere on my iPhone using the IP Cam Viewer app. The camera doesn't just provide a remote viewing. It keeps an active watch and sends me an email when it has detected activity, sending along three snapshots of whatever is happening and saving 30 seconds of video and sound of the event.

At first I'd calibrated the screen picture of the dark hallway to be bright but then the camera shows some shimmering which the internal alarm interprets as ghosts floating by and these need to be filmed and photographed. After I'd calmed down this screen, no false alarms were sent out and I've been surprised at the level of activity. Before, I hadn't realized that there are actually six homes behind the four doors and every household has people going to work, coming back, ordering food delivery, getting mail and parcels.
It may be caused by images of security cameras on the news shows, but somehow, the pictures the camera is sending me suggest there's something suspect in most everyone coming or going. Hooded, helmed and hazy, everyone seems to be on their way to a hiding place or leaving in a hurry. The camera provides more of an adventure than I had expected. I might not catch the pisser but I have caught everyone else redhanded.

When I turn the camera around (which can also be done remotely), I can have my appartment watched and any trespasser will be spotted and reported right away. Plus, with the better lights inside which I can also switch on and off remotely now, the picture will be quite clear and colorful. I've never had a burglar in my life, but I'd be ready...

The camera has a speaker and microphone so I could even have a conversation with my visitor when I'm not home.

When I'm done watching the staircase, I could move the camera to watch passing ships. Or it could be looking at my coffee machine. It wouldn't be the first.


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