Saturday, December 29, 2007

Year of the Rat 2008 Chinese Horoscope Predictions

What's in store for 2008 -- the Year of the Rat -- courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Read on for a bit of fun and perhaps some insight. Those of you with birthdays in the first few weeks of a calendar year should check the date of the Chinese New Year in the year you were born. Chinese New Year is a moveable feast, and so does not occur on January 1 each year; it can occur any time within a 6 week period. In 2008, Chinese New Year is February 7.

Rat: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

A good year is in store for you. You’ll be successful in romance, but don’t get yourself into tricky situations. Couples will strengthen bonds and there’s strong possibility of a serious union for singles. But tensions may arise: remember to accept your mate’s character. The third quarter may find you alternating between cynicism and dreams. Remember you need someone who appreciates you.

At the end of the year, singles may be attracted by someone unsuitable. You may change company or the kind of work that you do. Try to show imagination in the workplace, but be calm and flexible to avoid clashes with colleagues. Perseverance will pay off and you should be offered great opportunities. The beginning of the year should see your financial situation improve, and will be the right time for many Rats to buy property. Remember not to be too extravagant in the third quarter of the year.

Ox: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997

Your standard of living will definitely improve in the coming year. It will also be a good time to reorganise your finances. Sentimental relationships should be healthy if you treat your mate well. Problems between you will arise about money or time management – you should be able to solve these by the end of the year. Singles should take more initiatives and can hope to meet someone exceptional in the third quarter of the year, and there should be weddings in the offing.

The beginning of the year will be favourable to your career. Hard work and perseverance will be key to your success. You’ll soon earn congratulations and you’ll make some interesting new contacts. Don’t overwork or be too pushy, and avoid gossiping. Don’t be absent minded or you’ll miss a golden opportunity. At the end of the year, choose your associates carefully for assured success. Meditation and reading may help you lead a more regular and less stressful life.

Tiger: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998

This is a time of progress for all Tigers in terms of both career luck and wealth. Although you’re basically faithful and constant, you’ll dally in love at the beginning of the year. Your relationships will become unstable – not a good time for singles to engage their hearts. At work, you may encounter some difficulties at the beginning of the year. Stay strong and act without delay to take up challenges.

This attitude will allow you to turn the situation around, then you’ll be in a position to launch the projects close to your heart. By the end of the year you’ll have new professional opportunities to choose from. Rely on your own intuition to make your decision. You may perhaps have to move for your work. In any case, you’ll have to adapt, but it will pay off. Just make sure you handle your relationships with your supervisors, colleagues and friends wisely.

Rabbit: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999

Your luck is still increasing. This year should be better than last year. At first, you’ll enjoy professional stability. After delays, you’ll be able to define new goals. You may turn to a more independent or more creative activity. The time is propitious for you to learn a new discipline and make contacts. You could embark on a new career. At the end of the year, you’ll be motivated and you’ll manage to establish good relationships with your colleagues.

Put money aside at the beginning of the year. Avoid lending money to someone close to you and take care not to get tricked in the second quarter. The end of the year may be difficult financially but you should be able to overcome this as long as you don’t gamble. The last month of the year however may be a good one for speculations. Singles will have numerous flirtations and unusual and unexpected romantic encounters at the beginning of the year.

Dragon: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000

Luck will smile on the Dragon this year. You’ll prosper in many activities and you’ll be lucky in love. What follows might not seem the most golden of prospects, but remember that you are gaining wisdom all the while! You’ll be at your most seductive at the beginning of the year: beware of possible complications. If you’re in a relationship, don’t let it become monotonous. Singles can expect very good luck in the third quarter.

At work, be sure to solve problems one after another. You’ll need to fight to be accepted for your true worth, after that all will go well, until the end of the year when you may need to seek counsel. If you want to invest in real estate, the third month will be propitious. At the end of the year, be very careful in money matters. Time will bring a solution to any problems. You’ll also succeed in an important financial transaction concerning family possessions.

Snake: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001

This year you should avoid burying your head in the sand. The stars will greatly favour your love life and you’ll be very emotionally involved at the beginning of the year. Your professional activities will risk of being put on the back burner, especially during the first two months. But by the end of the year, if you’re living as a couple, your relationship will be stormy. Be courageous and address the problem: you’ll realise that it’s probably just the result of a misunderstanding.

You’ll have to fight so as to assert yourself at work and you shouldn’t be too demanding. You’ll soon be able to take the initiative to expand or direct your role, and your input will be appreciated. You should seek the advice of competent person regarding your finances otherwise you may make a bad choice or miss an opportunity. You should be able to increase your capital by the end of the year.

Horse: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

This will be the year of adventures in love for the Horse. It will be up to you whether or not to choose short-lived and inconsequential affairs. Other aspects of the Horse’s horoscope look bright. In the first quarter you’ll be easier to live with than ever. Singles will fall in love time and time again in the second quarter but should keep their heads and wait patiently. The third quarter will be extremely favorable to a new amorous start.

The fourth quarter should permit you to get closer to your mate or partner. Those with creative careers will be especially favoured at work during the first three months of the year. But in the second quarter, you’ll have the impression of being misused. Stay patient and confident. You’ll find yourself in a whirl of social occasions which will bring you fruitful contacts. By the end of the year, you’ll be appreciated by your superiors and will feel clear-headed and enthusiastic.

Goat: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003

Enthralling encounters are in store for singles; married couples might even expect second honeymoons. But then old conflicts will re-emerge. Take the responsibility to settle these with calm discussion – you will find this surprisingly easy. Good romantic prospects are in store the whole year – except you should guard against others who want to sow discord between you and your mate. Singles should still be having adventures at the end of the year but will probably not be able to identify any suitable long-term partners for the time being.

You’ll make slow but sure progress in your career, however you should be wary of taking too long over decisions and thereby closing the door to exciting possibilities. You’ll gradually set priorities, make decisions, become more proactive and then be able to make worthwhile proposals. Your financial prospects at the end of the year are excellent. It’s a good idea to join cultural or social clubs this year. You may also make an interesting voyage.

Monkey: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004

You’re a traditionalist and you might feel uncomfortable in the liberal atmosphere that will prevail in this coming Year of the Rat. You’ll need to make sure this doesn’t upset your family relationships. But you’re also very resilient, so remember your sense of humour and be content. The end of the year may see problems in your relationships but you are well armed to overcome these. The first quarter is a time to be ambitious at work and might also bring about significant changes.

Rapid progression will continue, and you should find your leadership qualities coming into play. This would be a good year to take up professional training, and perhaps also to further other extra-curricular activities. Don’t hesitate to ask for a pay raise at the beginning of the year. In the second quarter it would be best to seek advice to reorganise your assets. In the third quarter, think twice before making an important transaction.

Rooster: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

The Rooster is a positive and optimistic sign. You may sometimes not be very sensible, but you can always keep a sense of proportion. These qualities will help you a great deal this coming year, because you will probably do some silly things. Singles will meet someone very important at the beginning of the year. Those in a relationship will have problems in the second quarter and should be careful not to let them get out of proportion.

Things will go well for some months – in fact you will enjoy domestic bliss – and then this cycle will repeat itself at the end of the year. Your career will show positive development as long as you can rise above rumours and are not impatient. You may encounter problems which are of your own making – perhaps something that you did in the past – but you will be able to tackle this. That will be an important marker for you.

Dog: 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

This year should be fruitful and happy for you if you can match your inventiveness and passion at work with equal spirit in your home life. It will be a time for strengthening relationships and for babies. Singles can hope to find a mate – perhaps even on a holiday romance. And if that is short-lived there’ll still be hope for something more enduring to follow soon.

If you’re married, make sure you keep on top of things with your in-laws as there’s potential for trouble from that part of your life. You should also take special care with your family accounts to avoid possible arguments. You’ll be brimming with ideas at work, and if you don’t get too carried away with flights of fancy you should reap good rewards. You’ll find the guts to overcome obstacles and will learn good lessons in the process. Just don’t let yourself be too forthright with your superiors!

Pig: 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

You may have some financial difficulties ahead but you should not despair. You certainly won’t be brought to ruin, you just need to be patient for the long term for this part of your life to give good returns. In the meantime you would do well to remain thoughtful and groom your interests in cultural pastimes. Other areas of your life however will be more than satisfying.

Singles can expect to be whisked into a glorious romance, perhaps with someone who you have had your sights set on for a while. Married Pigs should experience a new lease of joy in their partnership. You’re in a good position to build on your experience at work this year, and you’ll enjoy good professional relationships. It’s the ideal time for you to focus on what you really want and to go for it, but don’t be greedy. And don’t overwork yourself!

Disclaimer Feature articles including this one, compiled by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), are for reference only. Whilst the HKTB has endeavoured to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty or guarantee, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy. The HKTB accepts no liability for errors or omissions.

If you plan to travel to China or other Asian countries in early February, it's a good idea to book your hotels, etc well in advance for this very busy time of year.
To see pictures and travel information for Hong Kong and surrounding Hong Kong Islands, pop over to my photo site

To see what's in store for visitors to Hong Kong in the coming months and for Chinese New Year Celebrations, see Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Winter Getaway Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

I've booked my holiday in Puerto Plata DR! Yes, it was on impulse, prompted by a very good (read Cheap -- under a thousand dollars, all taxes and single supplement included at a 4+ star resort) all-inclusive package from Toronto. Catch is, I have to be ready to travel in 10 days.

What started out as my comparing possible winter getaways to Turks and Caicos, Bermuda or Costa Rica turned into Puerto Plata. (See earlier posts for comparing air fares and Bermuda vs Turks etc. )

Bonus! This vacation package is on WestJet, a Canadian carrier with a good reputation. This will be my first flight on Westjet and I am looking forward to seeing for myself if the service is as good as others maintain.

I've been to the Dominican Republic but this time, rather than stay in Sosua, I want to check out the resorts at Playa Dorada (see Puerto Plata hotels, resorts), the large complex closer to Puerto Plata. This trip, I plan to take as many excursions as I possibly can in the all too short week I will be there.

I hope the whales aren't following their calendar as I arrive about a week before the start of the official whale watching season at Samana. I'm also early for the Cabarete Windsurfing Championships, and Carnaval. Taking my holiday a few weeks before these major tourism draws is likely the reason I was able to get such a good price for my trip.

This is a trade off I can easily live with.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Free Parking Port Credit, River Ice starts to form, Snow on Shawnmarr

Here's one of the parking meters in Port Credit, all nicely wrapped up for the holidays! The 'free Parking' in December is courtesy of the Port Credit (Ontario, Canada) Business Association, and a real help when shopping in the busy little village.

The lamp posts, too, are nicely done up in a simple, old-fashioned style, though they look their best at night with the twinkle lights on.

Along the Credit River near the landmark lighthouse (replica), these mallards steer clear of the ice sheets that are forming on the surface near the river bank next to the library.

A closer look at the encroaching ice, looking east towards Port Credit Memorial Park. Summertimes' canoers are gone for the season.

On Shawnmarr Road, in the townhouses, there's precious little snow still. And that's the way I'd like it to stay!

I took these photos the first week in December. A week later, the snow depth is about the same. See more pictures of Mississauga here. and of the Shawnmarr Road area at this blog post for December 2008, before and after the storm.

Map of Port Credit

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Lake Ontario Port Credit Canada Late November

No earth shattering news to report, just a few pictures of Port Credit - Mississauga from the past few weeks, starting with one from mid November, on the Lake Ontario shoreline at Rhododendron Park.

The long pile of shells was left by summer's stormy waves. (See what the Lake Ontario shore looked like in May on my earlier post).

Here's a close up of the shells. I was told they are zebra mussel remains.

I believe this is a type of maple, from the leaves. In any event, I love the color!

The picture above was taken a few weeks later, the end of November. It's the willow tree on Lakeshore Road at the entrance to Rhododendron Park (same page in the blog as the lakeshore above). I must be a creature of habit when I go for a walk, as I seem to have the same pictures in different seasons!

This grey squirrel stood stock still for more than a minute, but I knew if I moved closer for the better shot, he'd be off like one!

So that's the pictures from mid to late November. Now I'll post the ones I took today.