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2009: The year of the Ox (Cow)

Welcome 2009! According to Chinese Astrology, 2009 is the year of the Ox (Cow) beginning on Chinese New Year, January 26, 2009:

“Pragmatic and down-to-earth, Ox people are motivated to work hard and have no respect for lazy or careless people. Although they can be easily trusted and find it easy to put trust in others, they are not dependent on friends and family and would rather find an answer or a solution themselves than to ask these people for help or guidance. However, others can, without a doubt rely on Oxen, who are always honest and meticulous about their responsibilities. While they do not feel the need for many distant or acquaintance-oriented friendships, they value the strong bonds they share with their partners and families, and make close friends that last a lifetime.”

Each year, I set out my resolutions and make some predictions for the year (See 2008, 2007, 2006). Although I achieved all of my 2008 resolutions, some of my 2008 predictions didn’t come true; most notably Hillary Clinton didn’t win the Democratic nomination. This year I’m going to spice it up a bit and provide the highlights of 2008 based on The Urban Country’s top 15 blog categories:

Highlights of 2008:

  • Humour: Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impersonation on SNL
  • United States:The Collapse and bailout of major US banks while Lehman Brothers CEO earned close to half a billion dollars in salary and bonuses since 2000.
  • Toronto: NFL team Buffalo Bills sign a deal to play 8 games in Toronto
  • Environment: General Production began on March 17th, 2008 for the Tesla Roadster, the world’s first production, all-electric sports car
  • War: Declining violence in Iraq, Georgia / Russia conflict, and Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza
  • News: In May, a devastating Earthquake in China kills at least 70,000 people
  • Sports: 2008 Beijing Olympics: Usain Bolt‘s 3 Gold medals and 3 new world records, and Michael Phelps‘ 8 Gold medals and 7 world records
  • Travel: If it can be considered “travel”, my kayak trip this summer was the highlight of the year for me.
  • Deep Thoughts: Ron Paul’s statement to Ben Bernanke – Feb 27 2008
  • George W. Bush: Iraqi reporter throws his shoes at Bush
  • Terrorism: November terror attacks in Mumbai
  • Music: Discovering “The Airborne Toxic Event” and the collaboration between The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie and Alexisonfire’s Dallas Green in the song “The Sleeping Sickness” by Green’s band City and Colour.
  • Canada: A coalition Government was formed in November causing the suspension of Parliament which has put Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a major pickle
  • Movies: My favourite movies in 2008 were “The Visitor” and “The Dark Knight
  • Technology: The release of Microsoft Silverlight 2.0 was a major highlight for my work

Resolutions for 2009

  • Stay dedicated to my work to complete my current project successfully
  • Implement changes internally at imason to make a major impact on how we communicate
  • Run a minimum of once per week even throughout the winter
  • Go camping/kayaking up North more frequently in the summer with Han and Mojo
  • Keep things simple and try to eliminate anything unnecessary in my life
  • Make time for a 1-week, aggressive solo kayak trip this summer
  • Spend lots of time with friends and family
  • Achieve 5 credits towards my degree in 2009 to keep on track

Predictions for 2009

  • US Economy: The US Recession will continue to deepen throughout the year. Many experts who think we are near the bottom will be proven wrong. It won’t be until 2010 before the economy begins its recovery.
  • Canada’s Economy: Within 6 months, Canada will finally start to feel the impact of the US recession that we have so far been relatively shielded from. Many more layoffs will occur, many construction projects will halt.
  • Israel: Tension and violence between Hamas and Israel will continue to escalate. Israel and Hamas will eventually sign another ceasefire, but suicide attacks against Israel will rise in revenge for Israel’s raids.
  • Iraq/Afghanistan: Obama will stray away from his promise to remove troops from Iraq. Some troops will be transferred from Iraq to Afghanistan, but no major changes will happen in 2009 in either of these wars.
  • Pakistan: More deadly attacks will happen in Pakistan and another major terror attack will happen in India again. Tensions between Pakistan and India will rise but both sides will keep their cool and these countries will remain relatively stable through 2009.
  • Obama: As a result of the deep recession, Obama will back down from some of his campaign promises and by the end of 2009 many people will question whether he will bring the change he promised before the end of his first term.
  • Canada: When parliament resumes, Stephen Harper will make a deal with the coalition to avoid a coalition takeover or an election. Harper and his minority government will retain their shaky leadership throughout 2009.