11 May 2005

No Cause for Alarm

The burglar alarm at home seems to have a habit of going off at random every two or three months. When I'm at work this is awkward -- partly because of the unscheduled time off needed to get on my moped and scoot home to see what's happened, partly because of the panic instilled until I'm able to confirm that it has, indeed, been a false alarm, and partly because the method it uses for telling me that it's gone off is to call me on my mobile in a roomful of students whom we strictly prohibit from using phones in the library. Oops.

When this happened at Christmas we thought the cold snap was interfering with the electronics. When it happened in March, we thought that the window sensors must be loose and getting slighly dislodged by over-affectionate cats, so we superglued them in place. Now it's happened again, and I've checked carefully that there are no, for instance, spiders in the workings, I don't know what to think.

It comes down to two possibilities, I suspect. Either, being a cheap system, it misfires automatically from time to time (whether because it's a bit rubbish or in a fiendish attempt by the marketing people to prompt us to buy something more expensive), or else the cats, despite our best efforts, have managed to work out a way to trigger the motion sensors. This would involve leaping three or four feet vertically into the air for no reason, but who knows what a cat might decide to do when left alone.

[If you've been waiting, a review of The Long Game should be going up on Parrinium Mines at some point today... with any luck. It's all been a bit busy here. Edit to add: It's up now. Hurrah.]

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