Back On The Air

We drove back to CA from Colorado this past weekend, and tried to get in Sunday night, but as we approached the California border, we ran into a jam of people returning from Thanksgiving weekend. It took us an hour to get from Jean to Primm at the border (a few miles), so we gave up and turned around to go back to Vegas, which had cheap rooms on an off-season Sunday night (though infuriatingly, the room at the Luxor was only forty bucks, the “resort fee” took it up to seventy). Add in ten bucks for parking and taxes, and it was a hundred, but still a good deal for a luxury room.

Anyway, we drove home yesterday, getting in mid afternoon. My back is quite a bit better, and the painful spasms are gone, but now the problem has migrated to a pain on the inside of my right thigh when I walk, probably as a result of how I was walking when my back hurt. I’ll be going in for epidurals this week, and starting some kind of physical therapy, which will probably just be standard strength training, which I should have been doing anyway.

Of course, the new problem du jour is a furnace that’s not lighting, which apparently started over the weekend, according to our house sitter. Last time this happened it was a bad igniter, and I’m hoping that’s the problem this time as well, because it’s an easy and cheap fix.

But the fun never ends.

[Late-afternoon update]

As I suspected, it was a bad igniter. These things seem to be like light bulbs, in that they have no predictable life, and can fail at any random time. Of course, in a sense, that’s exactly what they are, in that you’re heating a filament with electricity, except not in vacuum.

21 thoughts on “Back On The Air”

  1. I am so sorry. And it’s not really the fault of Thanksgiving. You _never_ want to take I-15 south from Vegas into California on _any_ Sunday afternoon/evening, because the casinos are emptying out, and you end up with 120 miles of stop-and-go traffic through the desert. It’s been that way for many years. My wife & I — who have lived the last 14 years in either Colorado or Utah and who have family in San Diego — learned that lesson the hard way long ago and ever since have carefully planned our travel accordingly.

  2. FWIW I had the same problem this time last year. It was not the igniter…

    OTOH don’t you live outside of LA? Why do you need a furnace? Don’t you just close the windows at night?

    1. I gather that Rand lives within a mile or two of the water in one of the L.A. coastal suburbs with “Beach” in their names. Coastal areas tend to be significantly cooler, both by day and by night, than areas further inland.

      I live a couple miles further inland than Rand but enjoy a similar micro-climate. During cold, wet California winters like the one now ongoing, our dwelling gets down into the low 60’s or worse at night unless we run the furnace. Which isn’t a furnace in the usual sense, just a wall-mounted space heater in the largest room which also dumps heat to both sides of the wall it’s mounted in. So part of the house stays comfortable, but the parts most remote from the furnace stay pretty frosty.

      When I first moved to CA in 1974, I lived in the high desert. Temperature swings of 80 degrees F. or more between night and day were common during summer.

      The balmy CA climate of legend is real for much of the heavily-populated coastal strip. Go too far inland, though, and it’s strictly a desert climate. And even the coastal strip has some climatic rough edges in certain places at certain times of year or at certain times in the multi-year El Nino-La Nina cycle.

      Cole Porter didn’t write, “hates California, it’s cold and it’s damp” in The Lady is a Tramp for no reason. Sometimes, it bloody well is.

      1. I feel for you, I really do, after I just finished up removing my 2nd 12″ of “frost” off my driveway this afternoon after the first 12″ yesterday afternoon….

        1. I grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and went to college in Lansing so “frost” removal isn’t exactly an unknown novelty. Dealing with snow, though, is strictly optional once one reaches one’s majority. As soon as I could, I left for snow-free parts. I’d advise you to do the same.

          Failing that, I hope you at least employ mechanical assistance in removing your “frost.” I had a 6.5hp Ariens that I used for a decade. Bulletproof.

          1. A UUUPer’ eh? I have a sister that lives in Wisconsin. Okay I’ll admit, you’ve earned it. I’ll let you go aboot your business. Help yourself to a pastie.

            14hp Cub Cadet. Heated handles. (A luxury I did way too long without.) I’m in New Hampshire. Trying to avoid the bozo parades by erecting snow banks. 🙂

          2. New Hampshire, eh? My sympathies anent the bozos. Mostly an invasive species from Boston, MA I suspect. Worst drivers in North America.

            Sounds like a good snow removal rig. One should always try to make disagreeable chores as comfortable as possible.

            Cornish pasties are among the few ethnic dishes that never seem to have achieved trendy status here in the Golden State. Probably just as well given how carby the genuine articles are. Maybe I’ll give some thought to how a keto-friendly pasty might be concocted.

  3. “the “resort fee” took it up to seventy”

    And presumably you didn’t actually use anything that would’ve justified that fee, either.

      1. …but on the way out, paused to drop a quarter in a slot machine, and hit the jackpot for $27 million!

        Oh, wait…that was the guy walking right behind you. Ooooooh…sorry, didn’t mean to bring that up again.

  4. I had a “no start” issue with my “high efficiency” furnace this weekend. Turns out the having the air intake for the furnace near ground level is not entirely compatible with someone using a leaf blower nearby. An amazingly small quantity of dried leaves can block enough airflow that the furnace won’t start.

    Check the intake at the furnace, and any filters at the wall.

      1. Don’t these furnaces have a “Check Engine Light” and a Trouble Code?

        Mine blinks One if by Land, Two if by Sea, or something like that. You then go on the Interwebs to look for the furnace manual that is at home buried under a pile of stuff and find out if it is the igniter. Or a blocked outside pipe.

        On the other hand, it must be a luxury to live where you can put off getting the furnace repaired. Here in Wisconsin, a failed furnace can result in death by cold exposure. Or fractured water pipes.

  5. I’m shocked that you’re still allowed to heat with a planet-destroying fossil fuel. I’m sure a regulatory fix for that is in the works. You could use this as an excuse to buy one of those cheap radiant propane heaters (which are really useful sometimes) as a just-in-case item.

    1. I had similar concerns. How dare Rand warm his home by burning fossil fuels. I didn’t even know you could still do that in California. I suspect that loophole will be closed soon.

  6. I had an igniter go in my furnace a few years back. Easy to diagnose, as there was a visible crack in it. Not so easy to find a compatible replacement (I don’t live near a big city). I ended up having to order online and get it overnighted, which took 3 days. Of course, it occurred when nighttime temps were below zero.

    As for needing heat in SoCal, I grew up there, and yup, sometimes you do, even near the coast. Inland, the desert climate can get downright freezing in winter. (and as an aside, I’ve been in Vegas when it’s so cold the fountains are frozen).

    As for the resort fee scam, those are spreading like the plague, and not just in Vegas. The reason for them is fraud; so the hotel can misrepresent their price to fare better in online price rank searches.

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