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The Year of the Rat

The Year of the Rat: 2008 - A Video essay

by PF Journey, A Ratty. 

Once upon a time, the Jade Emperor of the Heaven decided to invite the Animals for a party. The first to arrive was, you guess it, the ambitious and resourceful Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and lastly, you guess it, the Pig. Thus the Chinese Zodiac cycle was born and the beginning of the 12 year cycle.

1900 was a Rat year. This Rat year saw the rise of the epoch-making, turbulent and exciting 20th century at 1900, followed by 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020. Note that the Chinese Lunar year is approximately from February to January of the Western calendar year. So if you are born in Jan 2008, you are a Pig and after 7/2/08, you are a Rat. 2020 is also the year where the rich nations should aim to axe emissions of heat-trapping gases by between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels. 

The Rat is respected and considered a courageous, resourceful, cunning, and enterprising person.  People born in the Year of Rat are clever and bright, sociable and family-minded.  They have broad interests and strong ability in adapting to the environment and able to react adequately to any changes. They are great survivors. The Rat is charming, imaginative, very clever and opportunistic in money. They are gifted in many ways and have an easy going manner.  When they decided to do something, they usually do it very well. 

In the Eastern culture, the rat is well respected and revered. It is one of Buddha’s favourite animals. In Hindu, God of Knowledge, Intelligence, Scholarship and Good Luck – Ganesha. Ganesha is often shown riding on rat and be attended in some way by a rat. Since rats are seen as being capable, resourceful and cunning. The rat therefore symbolizes Ganesha's ability to get things done, a perfect companion for "Ganesha, The Remover of All Obstacles". 

In the West, the rat does not have a great reputation and indeed is detested and reviled as a creature of the plague and of disease - harbingers of death. 

Positive Traits: Meticulous, intelligent, shrewd, cunning, resourceful, compassionate, charismatic, charming, ambitious, practical, industrious, honest, eloquent, versatile, familial, creative, hard-working, neat, organized 

Negative Traits: Controlling, obstinate, back-stabbing, resentful, manipulative, cruel, vengeful, power-driven, critical, possessive, stingy, bossy, fickle, defensive, quarrelsome, dishonest.  

The Loves of Ratty:

Rat*Rat - too much competition.

Rat*Ox - exciting sexually but like waxes it grows cold quick.

Rat*Tiger - has potential but must work at the relationships.

Rat*Rabbit - Rabbit wants to go hopping about, Rat wants to stay put, frustration.

Rat*Dragon - A solid, caring partnership. You will value each other and get along very well.

Rat*Snake - see Rat*Tiger.

Rat*Horse - forget it, you will get trample.

Rat*Sheep - If you try hard and make great efforts, happiness will come.

Rat*Monkey - Made in Heaven, the favourite of the Jade Emperor.

Rat*Rooster - ditto Rat*Horse.

Rat*Dog - Rats think Dogs are too boring but opposites can attract.

Rat*Pig - you will love each other intensely, but watch the credit cards. 

Famous Ratties: Claude Monet; Franz Joseph Haydn; Gene Kelly; George Washington; Jimmy Carter;  Marlon Brando; Plato; Tchaikovsky; William Shakespeare; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Al Gore; T.S. Eliot; George Bush Sr; Louis Armstrong; Truman Capote; Irving Berlin; Doris Day; Clark Gable; Yves St Laurent; Gene Kelly; Andrea Lloyd Webber; Charlotte Bronte; Richard Nixon; Olivia Newton-John; Cameron Diaz; John McCain; Michelangelo; Roy Orbison; Bobby Darin; Mickey and Minnie Mouse; John (The Rodent) Howard???. 

The only song that I can find about rat is the beautiful ballad Ben by Whacko Jacko. I think this is very appropriate because us ratties are often a bit whacko jacko ourselves.


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Hanging out like a snake

Hi PF.  Where am I hanging out?  Like a snake in my abode in North Sydney.  In fact I am having a gathering tomorrow night here so if you feel like a drink at my place like 2005, come around!  You, your wife and son would be most welcome.  Just email me if you are free.  It's just a casual affair of a few drinks and nibblies starting from 17.00.   Same bat time, same bat channel.

Justin, I am sorry but I lost interest in my blog when a known group walked out en masse in support of Labor.  I have nothing to say to them.  I may return in one form or another but for now I am keeping a very low online profile.

My fascination now is for US politics. Few in Australia are genuinely interested in it so I cry at the moon.  I'll be back in Switzerland shortly.

United States, Switzerland, Australia.  Same old, same old for me.  That said, my interest in Asia remains very strong.  I have lots of reasons for my interest in Asia, including a near and dear one of mine now in East Timor.

I was bewitched by Vietnam in November.

Drinks tomorrow are casual as you can imagine so if you can tolerate my friends, feel free to show up!

Gung hay fat choy!

Just wondering

How many Webdiarists have been invited to Rudd's talkfest?.

Eating off the hop

Now, does anyone know how to track a flaming frog?

Tracking a flaming frog would best be done at night; but if it is an ordinary frog of the non flaming variety then I would suggest a very long fishing line, if you lose sight of the (non flaming) frog then tug like hell until you can see it again.

Jenny, sweet and precious, there is a solution to every problem, it's just a matter of marrying up all the problems with all the correct solutions. You can see I know how to do this well.

PS. flaming frogs can be a curse in a drought and best left in the sewer.

PPS. I hear the French have a thing about flaming frogs; they call it "eating off the hop".

Bit like a zoo

David Davis, I've got a bloody great bone to pick with you. You know what I'm talking about. Yeh, don't get me wrong or anything, I appreciate you killing off the cockies and keeping the fridge stocked up for me and Kath over there at CC, but how long has a guy gotta wait to see HH fly that bloody great big wooden aeroplane?

You'll have to appreciate that anything with wings longer than mine is either a threat or something to be held in awe.....or a goose.

I'm waiting...

Now what's all this talk about the year of the Rat, it's a long way off, just hours away now. I'm looking forward to this year and propose we all be kind to rats. Even if they decide to spend time in our homes. Can't have the poor little blitters getting wet or anything. And you know if we had always allowed rats to live with us they wouldn't live in sewers and germ infested places like that.

If the silly bloody poms had looked after their rats then their rats would not have given them bubonic plague some years ago. I reckon if I lived in a sewer I'd be capable of spreading a disease or two too tu tu (sorry got carried away).

So let's all be kind to rats this year and adopt a family or two tu tu. Think of it as an investment and in two years time when you should have around 300,000 of the friendly little critters, Think how much electricity they could create running on their wittle wheels.

.....and when times get really tough there will be heaps of protein for nix.

Rats could, you know, save the planet.

I'm only half joking you know for anyone who has kept rats will admit to a deep affection for these very intelligent and resourceful rodents.

Anyway, at the moment, Thor is having a good time out there, probably coming to terms with living with rats, last year it was pigs - no wonder He is pissed.

Bring it on I say, another year another animal, bit like a zoo really.

Forget the rats and track the flaming frogs

Talking of living in the sewers, Justin Obodie, I am a bit worried. There's a dirty great big green frog here who lives in the farmhouse loo and every time the good Scot removes him and puts him in the well he's back within a day or so. What I am concerned about is the route he takes to get back to the loo. Does he have a route via the house tank, that is the question. And is it him that I can hear croaking in said tank? Or just his mates? And where does he go to find a mate anyway?

I wonder if someone could put some sort of tracker on that amphibian and then trace his movements. But until I get an answer I've told his nibs to just leave him where he is. At least there I can keep an eye on him as he navigates the bathroom cleaning up the moths. In the meantime, boil the flaming water just in case.

Sure makes me shudder though when I think back to the year the Scot here got the bright idea to connect the well supply into the house for a day or so. But beating that is the day he was pouring stuff down the drains saying they all stank, till I arrived and realised it was the water in every tap. How a bird gets into a tank beats me. Been there quite a while too. Then there was the chewed up snake carcases in the bottom of the bore pump that fed said tank.

God I must have a stomach made of iron.

Now, does anyone know how to track a flaming frog?


Hi DD, It's good to hear from you. Tq for your wishes. Where are you hanging out these days?

Your personal horoscope v2

This one dates from 1948 ...

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.

Your personal horoscope ...

I lose track of all this. As far as I know I'm an Ox while simultaneously being a centaur archer with a bit of scorpion lurking - or a full on scorpion if I'm being vedic, and also I am 2 Wind. They all ascribe different characteristics to me. Meanwhile here's YOUR personal reading ...

The coming year is likely to present challenges; these trials are when your true character will show. Trusted friends can provide assistance in particularly pressing situations. Make use of the skills you have to compensate for ones you lack. Your reputation in the future depends on your honesty and integrity this year. Monetary investments will prove risky; inform yourself as much as possible. On the positive side, your chances of winning the lottery have never been greater!

Willie - That would be right

Shakespeare, a rat. That would be right.

1912 - the year the Titanic went down. Rat - intelligent, a survivor? Not the ones on that boat.

And you guessed it. Me? - dragon, and married to another dragon.

What was that you called me, Justin Obodie? Sweet and precious? Just goes to show.  Net personas. Never trust the net. 

BTW Malcolm Monkey. I am half way through the Rat's Tales. Shall give you my verdict in due course but can say that at this stage on reading the real thing after the Tale, (yes,I have the whole box and dice here) I think I was right. In his original form he was totally incomprehensible. Well he was to a twelve year old. For heaven's sake. How could any teacher have inflicted that on one who was more attuned to the life as told in the Tales of old Henry. Could one get further away from that reality than the world of faeries, crazy kings, and devious friends that Willie inhabited? No true mates in Willie's days. Who the hell set the syllabus back then? Why were we not set Henry instead? God they have a lot to answer for. Made my life a misery they did.

Happy New Year, PF

Happy New Year PF to you and everyone else.  I was just reminded of it when I heard the fireworks.  It's a big deal in Sydney!

It will be interesting to see what this Year of the Rat brings to us all.  I'm a bit of a Snake myself.  I feel most at home with Roosters.  Well that's what they say but I am also fond of Rams, Monkeys and Pigs.

"you will love each other intensely"

Thank the heavens for that !.

The Chinese year that is just ending-year of the Pig is my year-indeed in was a rare year-the year of the Golden Pig and has been an exceptionally good year for me.

But is this an ominous warning-" Rat*Horse - forget it, you will get trampled.""Rat*Rooster - ditto Rat*Horse." Kevin Rudd-a Virgo Rooster !

En couchant

 "As a Monkey"

And add at the end: "Any rats want to talk?"


Well, as a Monkey, we'd all hate the idea of roostering a Virgo, or vice versa.   Spread for a new thread?  Any rats want to talk? Vade con deos?

Richard: Care to start it, Malcolm?

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