By on December 24, 2020

The hellfire of a year that 2020 has been is almost over, and while 2021 likely won’t be a picnic — especially at first, as we wait for the pandemic to abate as vaccines are rolled out — I don’t think too many people are going to miss this year.

As for us, we’re going to spend the next week or so limping into the new year. There will be posts here and there, but even with Covid restricting our travels, most of us are taking some time off from the blog grind. Expect TTAC lite until January 4.

And as for you people out there reading, well, I GOT A LOTTA PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE! Just kidding, Festivus was yesterday and I have no grievances to air (by the way, that episode of Seinfeld was naturally re-run yesterday, and it’s one of the show’s better ones, even aside from the Festivus plotline). I just want you all to have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season, whatever you celebrate.

Safe takes on a new meaning this year — it’s not just about not getting behind the wheel after too much mulled wine and spiked eggnog. Do what you need to do to stay Covid safe — mask up, wash or sanitize your hands frequently, avoid indoor and maskless crowds, and follow public-health guidelines if you’re getting together with anyone outside the household and/or traveling. With any luck, Christmas will be normal next year — even if normal means Uncle Stu complaining about his sciatica and Aunt Emma taking you to task for spending too much time on the “TikToks and ChatSnaps”.

Merry Christmas, belated happy Hanukkah, happy Kwanzaa, happy holidays in general, and a joyous New Year to you all.

May 2021 be full of horsepower and torque.

[Image: Ink Drop/Shutterstock.com]

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12 Comments on “Housekeeping: Merry Happy Holidays, 2020 Edition...”


  • avatar
    statikboy

    “I don’t think too many people are going to miss this year.”

    What are you talking about? I missed this year. Well, most of it, anyway.

  • avatar

    Merry Christmas everybody. It was a challenging year but we won in the end. Now we including me have the second Christmas to celebrate and it will be at January 7.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Question for the B&B:

    Christmas present to my daily driver was a new alternator (installed yesterday, before the cold front rolled in). [Burst of rain got my wrenches 10 minutes before putting them away – sigh. Highly recommended: “Tub O Towels TW90 Heavy-Duty 10″ x 12″ Size Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes, 90 Count Per Canister”]

    Here are the choices I was presented with:
    https://tinyurl.com/ybzzuwud

    I splurged on the TYC (new not remanufactured) 130 amp unit (very nicely packaged, came with its own test printout including output curve). [No core charge, will sell the old unit for scrap value, which for copper windings is not insignificant.] The stock alternator in my XLS trim was 100 amp.

    ->Rockauto provides us with this note on the “Info” page:
    “Tip: Alternators work best when operating between 30%-50% capacity. Upgrading to an alternator with higher Amp output than required may improve fuel economy and extend the life of your battery and replacement alternator.”

    ->Question: Why and how can this be? (Initial intuition would say unlikely or even the opposite)

    Potential background reading:
    https://www.delcoremy.com/documents/high-efficiency-white-paper.aspx
    (see esp. the “Alternator efficiency map” in Figure 28)

    https://tinyurl.com/ycbc83hp

    Please help me understand – thanks in advance.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      The way I understand it is that the process of charging the battery is another drag on the engine. The more efficient the alternator the less drag on the engine which translates to slightly better fuel economy. Same as electronic steering vs traditional power steering, less drag = better fuel economy

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        It makes sense that a more efficient alternator would yield better fuel economy.

        But why would a *larger* alternator yield better fuel economy? (Seems like larger would indicate more drag, all other things held equal.)

  • avatar

    Ugh. The dreaded Christmas letter!

  • avatar

    And the new year starts with the new virus detected in UK and new lock downs all around world. And all blame this time is on the president elect(?) – the Great Angry Mouse of the United States of Europe, Asia and America.

  • avatar
    JMII

    This year flew by for me. Likely because I wasn’t wasting time stuck in traffic driving into an office where I just sit in front of a computer. Just wondering if management will allow work-from-home to continue? Doubt it… I expect a return to your cubical order once you get the vaccine to be the 2021 policy.

    I drove just 3,000 miles this year. Its almost laughable how little you need to drive when you don’t have to slog to and from work 5 days a week.

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