Particulate Matters: Most Wonderful Time of the Year
As the hook of the classic holiday carol “Silver Bells” notes: “It’s Christmas tiiiiiiiiiiime in the cityyyyyyy…” Yes, I’m composing this edition of Particulate Matters at the top of December 2017, a mere 24 days before observing what many people feel is the world’s most popular holiday (most kids think it’s the best holiday). Of course, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa also occur during the same month and timeframe, and collectively, they’re a trio of events highlighted by presenting and/or exchanging gifts.
Shopping for said gifts is my biggest dilemma during the holidays. While my group of immediate family and friends holds a Secret Santa–style gift exchange that has a maximum spending limit for a person’s present (it definitely helps make the buying process a little easier), there’s always a person or people outside the crew who I consider giving gifts to but lament almost up to the last minute about actually going out to purchase the items—for everyone.
We can blame the procrastination on my hating crowds, not wanting to deal with parking my dualie at the mall, and other excuses, which I admit are pretty lame in the big picture. And, while I’m well aware that buying online is the current norm for holiday shopping, I still go out and actually “get” the items on my shopping list before it’s too late. Yes, I know, that’s a pretty blatant push against my aforementioned comments on holiday shopping, but I guess I’m just weird like that. Ha!
Gift cards are typically the saving grace for folks who share my apprehension but don’t make the move to the mall. Given the huge variety of items covered by the small, plastic wonders, I’ve found that recipients are seldom disappointed with cards they are given, especially those from fuel distributors like Chevron that cover a few gallons of diesel (I sure hope my wife reads this).
But before I have you all thinking I’m the biggest Scrooge on the planet, let me be clear about something: Deep down, I really do love the holidays and everything they represent—the whole being with family and loved ones ideal and having a chance to unwind a bit as we close another year. The Diesel Power staff really busted tail in 2017 and deserve the short break, and I’m very thankful for and super proud of our fulltime personnel: John Lehenbauer (technical editor), Courtney McKinnon (managing editor), Mark Snyder (art director), Brett Evans (who is a Truck Trend staffer but helps us out a ton), and Ms. Glenda Mack (our group’s office mom). There’s also Tori Tellem, Brian Hollingsworth, Brian Lohnes, Jason Sands, and Bruce Smith—the folks who make up our crew of “regular” freelance contributors. Without these people, my job—making sure there’s something new for you to see and read about—is pretty much impossible.
I’m sure in the upcoming weeks some of you will, like me, finally venture out to shop for gifts—or surf the Internet and make click purchases. There is one thing I bought as an early gift to myself. Well, it’s for my house, and more specifically, the little outdoor pub we built next to our pool. A kegerator beer cooler and tap, which I brought home in the cargo area of a 1.6L EcoTec diesel-powered ’18 Chevrolet Equinox. For me, it’s a perfect gift, and I acquired it “just in time for the holidays.” And I was able to put a cool new oil-burning crossover to good use while doing it.
Well, I guess I better keep my ambition high and go get the other presents. I hope the 2017 holiday season is wonderful for everyone, and here’s to diesel-related good stuff in the new year!
The good people at Chevrolet put me behind the wheel of an ’18 Equinox LT all-wheel drive during Thanksgiving weekend 2017. Contrary to Internet-forum and social media naysaying, the little utility’s 1.6L EcoTec diesel definitely is for real, as it provides plenty of torque to make zipping around town and especially on the freeway fun (with its more sport-oriented suspension and six-speed manual transmission, I bet commuting in the new diesel-powered sports sedan Cruze is even more of a blast), and being able to do it while sipping fuel at 31.15 mpg is just plain awesome. There’s plenty of space in the cargo area for holiday gifts, too.