Monthly Archives: April 2013

Google Search And Maps Showing The Wrong Language

<sarcasm> Oh we had fun this morning. </sarcasm>

One of our cats slept on Jillian’s laptop the other day, and ever since her Google Search and Google Maps results were showing in French.  (At least that’s what we think the connection was.)

She put up with it for a day or so, and finally today I’d had enough.  It took me a lot longer to fix than I thought it would.

I went into her Google Account thinking “Oh, her language just got changed to French, this will be easy” but when I pulled up the account settings, her language was set to English.

I checked the Windows settings.  Everything in Windows was English.

Remember Air Force One (the movie)?  Remember when they were trying to send a message to the situation room and the aide speaks up and says “No sir, phones and faxes are two separate systems of encryption?”  Yeah well, it’s kinda like that.

For some brilliant reason, Google has two language settings.  One for Search (which apparently also affects Maps) and one for everything else.

The address for the Search preferences is  (Make sure you’re logged in to your Google account!)

Note:  I find it interesting that in the pulldown menu on that page, that it shows the names of the languages in the currently selected language.  This could have been a nightmare for us if the cat had selected Chinese or Korean instead of French.  I take no responsibility for practical jokes that were inspired by this paragraph.


Spiritual Lessons From Herding Cats

When people hear how many cats we have, the response is invariably either one of shock or wonderment. I admit, sometimes it’s overwhelming, particularly when they all get hungry at once. When the breakfast bell rings it can be like The Calgary Stampede meets Survivor. And often my body is Redemption Island.

As I write this, one of the “contestants” in our screwed up little reality show — Miss Weazley — is laying at the foot of the bed. Out cold. This is normally the time that the “congregation” gathers on the bed for their daily community nap, but because I’m still here and the bed is not made, the boys have chosen to wait.

You have to understand something about Weaz. She used to be a very high strung cat. We suspect she is at least part Bombay and when she was younger, she was very aggressive with the other cats. That’s started to fade in the last year. But usually when they have their community nap, she is the lookout. She will sleep paws-down and is the first one eyes-open ready to run if something or someone interrupts their sleeping circle.

Right now she is laying on her side with her paws askew all over the place in a posture of complete and total relaxation. Why? Because she doesn’t need to be the lookout because I’m here. She feels safe. Weaz and I are very good “friends” and she trusts me. She knows that none of the — shall we say “less intellectually gifted family members” — will interrupt her sleep because they will face “Dad’s” wrath.

Most of you know that I have officially declared 2013 to be “The Year From Hell”. Just when I think it can’t get any worse, something else happens. This hasn’t been a one-off. It’s been practically every day of this year since mid January. To say it has at times eaten the joy out of my soul would be an understatement.

And yet I think of this little black cat — who has now awaken from her nap and come to watch me type on the iPad — and I find myself admiring her wisdom. I wonder if she’s been reading Proverbs on my iPad and found my bookmark of Proverbs 18:10. The name of The Lord is a fortified tower. The righteous run into it and are safe. (Before y’all accuse me me of having a God complex, remember that God gave us dominion over the animals in Genesis 1:26, a verse that PETA and Greenpeace and all those other tree huggers could afford to re-read.)

It’s easy to bitch. It’s easy to complain. I do it, I do it a lot. But when it seems the mouth of hell is opening under your feet it’s good to remember who the firm foundation is and just shut off your brain — like Weazley — and take an emotional nap. In the soothing words of one of Jamaica’s most famous sons “Everything gonna be alright.”

Music For Mackenzie

Most of you on my friends list (barring those in Thailand or Israel or other remote regions) got an invite to a concert from me today. In CASE you haven’t heard what that’s about, give me a few minutes and let tell you a little bit about May 11th.


A group of people I will refer to as “Friends of Mackenzie” are raising money for him. Mackenzie (Mackie) Graham is a seven month old boy who was born blind with a condition called PFVS. To make a very long story short, we have to do this surgery in Michigan. OHIP won’t cover it. It’s not cheap. If you want the long version feel free to inbox me or call me. I’ve told the story so many times online my fingers are almost worn to the bone.  But if you want, you can watch the video here, which is a clip that CityTV aired in early March.

So on May 11th we are holding a concert and silent auction. (If you DIDN’T get the invite, the event page is at Feel free to invite yourself.) Mark Masri ( and The Wiebes ( will be performing for us that night and it’s going to be spectacular.  Amber MacArthur from TechTV ( will be our MC that night.  Tickets will be available online THIS FRIDAY (April 5th) at Tickets are $30 for the concert, or $60 for the concert with what I have amusingly labelled a “Meat And Greet” at Buster Rhino’s Southern BBQ which is within walking distance of the theatre. The $60 covers the concert, your food, and a carbonated beverage, but does not include alcoholic beverages. (By the way, we are DEEPLY indebted to Buster Rhinos for their help, support, and generosity in planning this event. Especially with the Boss being couch-ridden for the past two to three weeks. Get well soon, D! WE LOVE YOU MAN!!!) If you have any questions… inbox me. (Oh by the way, there are 554 of the $30 tickets and 50 of the $60 tickets and when they’re gone, they’re GONE. We’re not holding any tickets in reserve. So don’t wait!)

ITEM #2 on the agenda. The Silent Auction. We are STILL in need of items for the silent auction. ESPECIALLY ITEMS THAT ARE NOT SPORTS RELATED. We have enough sports memorabilia to open the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame. We want some variety. If your business or organization would like to donate something for the silent auction, in support of Mackenzie’s medical bills, please inbox me. We will be more than happy to advertise your business at the silent auction.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. This is the most important cause I’ve ever put my shoulder behind in my life. And I thank ALL of you for your support.

CityTV Coverage Of Mackie’s Story