Some cars leave a deeper imprint on your heart than others and while it’s been a while since we’ve previewed a Honda Pilot, reuniting with it was like catching-up with a dear friend allover again this past week. Times have been tough. Those of you who follow me on Social Media know that my mom broke her leg last week amidst the ice and snow pile that blanketed Southern Ontario. It has been stressful figuring out accommodations for her and it hit particularly hard that she would be in the hospital this Chinese New Year instead of home. My dad, now well into his 80s, has been stressed also. Above this, I found out that Billy’s Lymphoma has returned. Hence while my test drive of the Pilot was originally intended to attend my niece and future nephew-in-law’s engagement party out near Niagara Falls, it wound-up serving another purpose. Being there for my family when they needed me most.
While I love the strength and security the Pilot gives me, especially in these unpredictable road conditions, I always have found it a bit excessive for my needs as a bachelor with a dog. This is not to say it isn’t perfect for a young family, of which many of my Readers now have or are starting. In fact, my friend Jennifer, a mother of two after seeing me post about the Pilot, asked me what I thought about it as she was considering it for her family. I had nothing but raves for her. With an optional three rows of seats which would work for her – I drove with two – the Pilot empowers you to be there for your friends and family, seating up to eight. You should see how spacious its trunk is! Mini-Van practicality, SUV style and sensibility.
It boasts a 3.5L engine, 24 valve, Direct Injection, SOHC, i-VTEC V6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management and a nine-speed Automatic Transmission with Grade Logic Control. The Pilot is all about power, dominance and being in control of the road. I’ll never forget picking-up some Roast Pork on Chinese New Year’s Eve and the owner seeing me drive-up asked me what I did for a living to drive a car like that. “Lawyer? Businessman?” , he inquired as he chopped the pork into bite size pieces on his wooden board. The Pilot is about status and prestige and I felt elevated in it, and not just physically!
With a combined 11L per 100 km fuel economy, I honesty was expecting the car to be a gas guzzler but it wasn’t, thanks to its amazing ECON mode option. I had to drive twice this week out to the country in Milton to see historic Sam-Son Farm‘s first foal of 2019 one day and also celebrate sweet Princess’ fifth birthday the next day in Caledon. This, plus also trekking downtown and back to the suburbs twice in a week, totaled just $60, thank you also in due part to low gas prices!
Let’s talk about its opulence. While I speak of power and performance, the Pilot is undeniably stylish. I previewed it in a luxuriant White Diamond Pearl, feeling like royalty in its perforated leather-surface seats (steering wheel too!) with heating and cooling, and was in awe at the climate control options for the passengers at the back too. We love that Honda recognizes the needs of the passenger too, making it a hit for everyone. They even get a 10-inch WSVGA screen to view Blu-rays and media streaming apps. And headphones too! Jealous!
Its audio system is comprised of a flashy 600-watt, 11- speaker and 5.1 Surround Sound capability. The world is at your fingertips with the Pilot’s 7-inch touchscreen display, letting you navigate the roads, your listening experience and whatever menu needs you have.
Connecting through Bluetooth to my Spotify playlists was a cinch and of course it it was Sirius XM-enabled, making it tricky for me to get out of the car at times. Not a bad problem to have!
We love that it has auto headlights so we never have to fuss when driving, our line of vision always being clear. And of course we adore the moonroof, which we wished we could’ve enjoyed under better weather than what we’ve had this past week. Driver’s Seat Position Memory and Proximity Key Entry (we loathe fumbling for our keys!) make our lives that much easier, with one less thing to worry about. Ambient blue lighting can be found within the car, with cupholders lit in the dark. A large storage under armrest is super-convenient, while wireless charging and tons of USB ports are very today in terms of needs to stay connected.
I have never felt safer in any offering from the Honda family than in the Pilot, and considering the Carmaker’s reputation for safety, this is extremely high-praise. Its Forward Collision System, Collision Mitigating System, Lane Departure System, Four-Wheel Anti-Locking Brake System, Road Departure Mitigation System, Advanced Front Airbag System, SmartVent Side Airbags and three-row Side-Curtain Airbags serve their purpose and beyond. Rear-view camera aids in perfect parking no matter what the conditions, even with dirt and slush caked onto it.
While the Honda Pilot won’t solve all my problems in life, it certainly was an honourable sidekick this past week, transporting my dad to visit my mom daily safe and warm. It got me to work without a hitch, hassle-free even in the worst road conditions. And while this might be my last Chinese New Year with Billy, I made it memorable, sneaking into the mall with him to get his favourite Hong Kong Style Egg Waffles. And I got a moment to escape in style to the countryside to visit the horses, letting me forget about my worries for bit. These are things I’ll never forget and memories that are irreplaceable.
The 2019 HONDA TOURING starts at $52,490 CAN. More here.
Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 and this year we celebrate the Year of the Pig!
We don’t know about you, but the Year of the Dog treated us pretty well. Being born in the Year of the Dragon, we were expecting it to be much worse with the Dog and Dragon notoriously not getting along well.
About those born in the Year of the Pig
While they don’t often stand out in a crowd, pigs are blessed with beautiful personalities and fortunate lives. While often frugal, they at once can be materialistic, but are enthusiastic and motivated. They enjoy status and can be outspoken.
Famous people born in the Year of the Pig include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Snoop Dogg, Stephen King, Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Hemingway, Hillary Clinton, Michael Jackson, Elton John and Ronald Reagan.
What does your Year of the Pig Horoscope hold for you? How compatible is your sign with the Pig? I’ve combed the internet for Chinese Horoscopes and these were my faves. The first is super-easy to understand and concise. The second is detailed and offers Feng Shui recommendations:
Happy Chinese New Year! Wishing you success in career, love, health and finances! And take my mom’s advice, no bathing or cleaning on Chinese New Year Day as it is unlucky! Clean and tidy-up your homes before Chinese New Year Day. Also try to get your haircuts done before the New Year. Sea Salt baths also are good for cleansing negative energies.🐖
Chinese New Year falls on February 16, 2018 marking the Year of the Dog. Those born under this sign often possess important traits like loyalty, bravery and honesty. But do you wonder how your own sign falls in relation to the dog?
If we are celebrating your actual corresponding year, a general rule of thumb is that this isn’t your luckiest due to a conflict called “Fan Tai Sui”. While misfortunes are unavoidable, there are always recommendations your forecast gives you to reduce the struggle.
Did you know Donald Trump is a dog?
Also remember, it is bad luck to bathe and shower on Chinese New Year day. It is best to shower or bathe the night before. My Mom says so.
Keeping with tradition, we love sharing your annual Chinese Horoscopes with you and after going through several, we love the simplicity of these two we found this year!
The Chinese Zodiac is easy to understand and breaks down how your year will look in quarters. We love that it explains how the quarters look if you are single vs. paired. It also tells you clearly which sign you belong to by your year of birth.
Your Chinese Astrology while not as in-depth as The Chinese Zodiac‘s Horoscope gives some useful recommendations like auspicious numbers, colours, etc. in addition to your forecast.
Whatever sign you are, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Chinese New Year!
In keeping with our annual tradition of ringing in the Chinese New Year, we present to you some awesome Horoscopes for the Year of the Rooster! Chinese New Year takes places on Saturday, January 28, 2017 and the Rooster is known for its quick thinking, so be prepared for some curve balls the year might throw at you!
In a nutshell, the Year of the Rooster is going to be stellar for those who are compatible with it. It will be a particularly great year if you are born in the year of the Ox, Dragon (me!) or Snake. Although it might be a bumpier year ahead for those born in the year of the Rooster itself, Rabbit, Rat and Dog, your Horoscope helps you circumvent the bad fortunes.
I’ve perused through quite a few and found these Horoscopes super easy to understand:
Chinese New Year takes place on Monday, February 8, 2016 this year and we will be celebrating Year of the Monkey. Although Chinese New Year takes place on this day, the actual Year of the Monkey itself begins Thursday, February 4, 2016. Hence when looking at your Chinese Horoscope it is important to know if you were born before February 4th, it might be safer to match yourself with the sign of the previous year.
Those born in the Year of the Monkey are known to be clever, overly-energetic, witty and great at problem solving. People this year are encouraged to make calculated risks, break free and follow their hearts.
Of the twelve Chinese astrological signs, those born in the Years of the Dragon, Rat and Monkey are said to have the best compatibility with the Monkey itself. Those born in the Years of the Snake, Tiger, Dog and Boar are said to have a challenging year, lacking compatibility with the Monkey.
I love perusing the Chinese Horoscopes every year and after combing through several, I’ve found one worthy of sharing! Although one of my favourites, Geomancy Hut in Singapore hasn’t been active in recent years, I find this Horoscope quite easy to understand and detailed.
Click here to read your 2016 Chinese Horoscope from ASTROLOGY CLUB!
The Year of the Ram brings some uncertainty and mystery, but promises to be somewhat peaceful. Of course, this varies depending which Animal Sign you were born under. Let’s see together what your Year of the Ram Horoscope holds for you. If you aren’t sure, simply look-up the year you are born in to locate your Animal Sign. Although I normally rely on Singapore’s GEOMANCY HUT, this year they didn’t release a 2015 Horoscope. I did snoop around and found this Horoscope on MYSTIC SCRIPTS which is v. easy to understand, clear and straight-forward. Click here to read. Chinese New Year is celebrated this year on Thursday, February 19, 2015.
And now to share with you some things which are amazing and Chinese, because I’m proud of my People!
G.E.M. (an acronym for “Get Everybody Moving”) might be pint-sized, but this adorable 23-year-old Singer/Songwriter/Multi-Instrumentalist is perhaps the greatest Musical Act to come out of Asia in quite some time. Hong Kong-born Gloria Tang has become an international sensation among the Chinese Community thanks to some smart Internet-based marketing which made her a viral success. Her Vocals are phenomenal, but equally she is a magnificent Entertainer. I encourage you to check-out a couple samples of her singing below. You will be blown away and I’m extremely-proud as a Fan to see her great success. She is an absolute Standout in a Market filled with Beauty Pageant Contestants-turned-Singers, Actors-turned Singers and Children of prominent Celebs who get a recording contract by default. Literally every Song coming out of Hong Kong sounds the same right now, but G.E.M. (seen top left in collage) is different.
G.E.M. ft. Jason Mraz – LUCKY
G.E.M. – If I Were a Boy
CHINESE NEW YEAR FOODS
If you visit any Chinese Grocer (i.e. Loblaws-owned T&T) around this time of year, you will find right by the Cash, piles of Chinese New Year Candies. Growing-up, my Mom always brought home these amazing treats and I think you absolutely must try these!
Su Xin Tang (translation: Flaky Heart Candies, top-right in collage)
One-part pastry, one part-candy, these usually come in a large bag of 12 flavours including Black Sesame, Almond, Coffee, Peanut, Coconut, Mixed Nuts, Cola, etc. They are delectably sweet, firm and crispy. Kinda like the center of a Crispy Crunch! Fave.
Li Shi Tang(translation: Lucky Candies, bottom-left in collage)
They taste of strawberry and almost a bit floral-like, which is fitting in that Cherry Blossoms often signify luck during Chinese New Year. If you’ve ever had a Peach Blossom Tea Latte at Starbucks in its limited edition run, I’d equate its flavour to being similar to these hard and chewy delights. They are packaged charmingly in shiny Red Envelopes similar to those that we receive from our married Family members – an incentive to remain single as only those married have to give them out at Chinese New Year!
Yu Tou Gao(translation: Taro Cake, second from top-left in collage)
Ube quickly is catching-on in these parts as a new “it” flavour (I’ve heard of Ube-flavoured Doughnuts at some Hipster Shops) so if you’ve tried the Purple Yam in some incarnation, you’ll sorta get what to expect with Taro as they are similar. They often serve this at DimSum during Lunch, but for me it is synonymous with Chinese New Year. It is savoury, glutinous and outright delicious with small cubes of the Sweet Potato cut into the mixture; best served pan-fried.
CHINESE NEW YEAR ORNAMENTS
Although Alpacas aren’t Lambs, they are friends of the latter in that Alpacas protect baby Lambs from preying Foxes. We think these Alpaca Stuffies (bottom-center in collage) from Japan named ALPACASSOare absolutely adorable! Kelly Clarkson recently was in-town and I bought one for her Daughter River Rose and she was in love (read more)! Shop online here. Broadcast Books sells these at Pacific Mall for those of you in Toronto/Markham. Trinkets are a must to celebrate!
From acclaimed Director Zhang Yi Mou, COMING HOME was a critical success at TIFF ’14. Although Mongrel Media won’t be releasing the Drama till later this year in Canada, here is a Preview of the heartbreaking tale of separation among a Family during the Cultural Revolution, starring Queen of Chinese Cinema, Gong Li (seen bottom-right in collage)and Chen Dao Ming.
A continuation of the ratings-smash TVB Series, which had a successful two-installments in Hong Kong, TRIUMPH IN THE SKIES (top, second from left in collage) is all the rage right now in Hong Kong as it is set to open Chinese New Year Holiday Weekend, expected to pull-in huge numbers. Its soapy Plot centers on a group of Flight Attendants and Pilots and their complicated love lives and career challenges. It brings together an A-List Cast including Golden Horse Award (Asia’s Oscars) Winning Actor Francis Ng, Chinese Pop MegastarSammi Cheng, red-hot TV Actor Julian Cheung and Award-winning TV Actress Charmaine Sheh.
Happy New Year! The Year of the Horse officially begins today and here’s your annual Horoscope! Wishing all my Wongsters a year filled with prosperity, good health and the Equine energy!
Geomancy Hut, based out of Singapore I find predicts my year with great precision and I’d like to introduce you to them if you don’t know of them already. I love that if your year isn’t great, they straight-up tell you and are honest about it. They break it down really simple in a .pdf File for you. You simply look-up the year you were born and find your corresponding Animal Sign. Under each Animal you will find its Character Traits and also its respective Forecast.
With less than a month to go till Chinese New Year, I am keeping-up with my annual tradition of posting my favourite annual Chinese Horoscope Forecast. Geomancy Hut, which is based out of Singapore, as in previous years has been dead-on in predicting general trends and patterns and I wanted to give you the joys of direction and self-indulgence by sharing this.
This coming year is the Year of the Snake and that means this is the year your Family will not starve. The Snake is a symbol of mediation and self-sacrifice also, seen often as a good Omen. Chinese New Year falls on Sunday, February 10, 2013, so mark your Calendars! If you’re married, pass some of that good fortune over to your single Friends like me with some Lucky Money in a Red Envelope (above). I swear, I have no ulterior motives there! LOL
I myself am a Dragon and often that bodes well since the Dragon and Snake are compatible. Looking forward to a prosperous year ahead to make-up for some personal setbacks I had last year.
Click here to download your 2013 Year of the Snake Forecast from Geomancy Hut in .pdf format. Keep a tab, review next year and tell me it wasn’t accurate!