Our furnace is dead. This is less critical than if we lived in, say, Wisconsin or Maine, or even Washington state; but the tag end of October is a bad time for the heating system to go Tango Uniform, even in California.
It's only a relatively new furnace. We put it in 20 years ago (almost exactly 20 years), to replace a gravity-feed gas furnace dating from 1938, which took 40 minutes to warm the house up. It's run like a clock since then, we never even serviced it except to change the filter. The other day we turned it on, and it began to cycle - on, and on, and on, and on, about once a second. We turned it off and waited, and it was OK. Then it did it again.
Today the furnace man came. His name is Mike. It took Mike about 5 minutes to find the smoke stains on the control board where a resistor burned out. (He didn't call it that, but it looked like a resistor to me, and I used to sell 'em.) He took the board with him, so he could order the correct replacement. It was a period classic - I haven't seen a breadboard hookup with individual transistors and resistors for years. Mike assured me that the replacement board would be "all digital." He'll also bring an elbow joint for a 4 inch pipe - the one we have has had a segment crack loose and fall off, which Mike tells me has been flooding the basement with carbon monoxide. Maybe it's a good thing we don't spend much time in the basement.
Mike will be back "in a couple of days," with the new furnace motherboard; he'll change the filter and "give it a bath" (OK, after 20 years, I guess it needs one). In the meantime, we have no heat. Today is a lovely warm autumn afternoon in the mid-70's, but mornings are getting colder, and all the windows downstairs (where I prefer to spend my days, as the view of the garden is better) are single-paned. Time to break out the sweaters, and the wool socks. And I think I'll take my travel kit to the gym tonight, and take a shower there instead of at home tomorrow morning. The heat works in the gym.