Wrong language in Picasa

My dad was having problems getting Picasa to work properly on his computer. Picasa was coming up in Spanish instead of English. I finally figured out the problem and just wanted to summarize it here for others with the problem. I am getting all my information from this Google Groups posting.

If you already have Picasa installed, you can got to Tools | Options | General | Language used in menus and dialogs. In that drop down box chose your language. Now the problem comes when you cannot read the language that Picasa has chosen for you. For example, Japanese. I am going to take a guess and suppose that the settings are in the same place in all languages.

Tools is the second menu item from the right (next to Help). Options is the last choice on the drop down. General is the first tab. The language can be chosen in the only drop down box within that dialog box.

If you have not yet installed Picasa (or you have un-installed it due to this problem and need to know how to fix it before installing again) you can do these steps that this poster describes. I do not have a Windows machine available to test with, therefore I cannot summarize more clearly. But if you are a Windows user, this probably makes as much sense as using Windows in the first place.

I went to Control panel–Regional & Language–Advanced, and made sure the Language for non-Unicode Programs is English.  Also to Default User account settings- made sure it is NOT checked, and to Default Input Language, and made sure it is English. I was able to reinstall Picasa in English!

I hope this helps someone else who has Picasa (or potentially other software) installing in the wrong language.

Making money!

I am now back from my trip and still need to earn a bit more blog money to pay for the shoes I bought last month. I have been using PayPerPost to generate some cash from my blogging efforts. Out of the different monetization efforts I have tried, PayPerPost has, by far, been the one to generate the most cash.

I guess I have been with them about 2 months and have earned just under $100. I could earn a lot more if I worked it a bit harder. But with all my traveling lately, I think I have done pretty well.

My goal is to be able to buy running shoes and podcasting equipment with this money.

I first heard about PayPerPost almost a year ago when it first started making a name for itself. I was just getting into blogging at that time and did not see much possibility in it. But today I realize that it is a good opportunity to earn a bit of extra cash. Though some people are earning upwards of $10,000 through PPP, I am not dedicating that amount of time or effort. But for the time I am spending, I think the effort is worth the money I am making.

Home with guests

After the major detour, we rested for the night in Acayucan. We then faced a 10 hour day on Saturday to get back home.

The trip was fairly uneventful. We were thankful to be back in familiar territory. It was nice to feel like we were close enough to home that if anything happened, someone could come and get us.

I know you should not talk about being away from home on your blog because that can invite bad guys to come steal your stuff. I am not concerned about that. We had people staying in our house almost the whole time we were gone.

We got home and I found a weed eater in my office. I think that was a hint from our guests that I need to cut the grass more often.

Today we got to meet our house guests for the first time in several years. Though we have seen the mom and dad a few times recently, this was the first time we saw the 9 children together. Our son had a good time talking with the boys and sharing stories. One thing our son has never been good at is asking other people what their name is. When he does ask, he hardly ever remembers. So I guess he just feels fine not asking.

I asked him what the names of the boys were that he was talking with today. He did not know, but the one in the red striped shirt and he got along well. I asked him if he would know which one the red striped shirt boy was if he changed clothes. “Yes,” he replied, “he looks like the one in the blue shirt, but a little less serious in the face.”

Well, that settles it then.


We normally plan 3 days for the trip from Tampico to Mérida. It is not a hard 3 days. In fact, it is quite relaxing. We usually pull into our place to stay each night with plenty of time to talk with our hosts and do not have to rush out the next day. But because the car problems delayed our trip a bit, we needed to make this jaunt in 2 days if possible.

We left Tampico about 9:00 Friday morning. It should have taken no more than 8 hours to make it to Veracruz (the city). There was an accident on the road in Emilio Carranza, Veracruz. We did not get full details, but the road was down to 1 lane because of construction. Apparently this was a bridge. Either a construction crane or a tow truck (the word in Spanish is the same thing) fell off and damaged the good lane to the point where traffic could not pass at all. This meant that no one coming from either direction was able to travel on this road.

Not believing there would be no possible way to pass, we drove about 6 miles from where we were told we needed to detour just to see if it was remotely possible. It wasn’t. There were transport trucks lining both sides of the road just stopped waiting for the road to clear so they could go on. They were not able to take the detour because of their size. One driver told us that the road was not expected to be cleared until Monday. It was Friday then. He told us that he was parking his truck and going to walk down to the beach and spend a few days there until the road was cleared. We declined his invitation to join him.

We turned back and started towards the detour.

Let me see if I can describe this clearly. This is a major “interstate” level road. If you want to get to certain places, this is the only way to get there. In some places you have the toll road and the free road available. Where there are no toll roads, you only have the free roads. This is a free road. But, it would be a major artery. If you don’t take this road, the optional major road to get from Tampico to Veracruz would take at least 14 hours.

That said, this is not a 4 lane divided US Interstate type road. This is a 2 lane that sometimes has a bit of a shoulder, but when it does not, is just barely wide enough for to tractor trailer rigs to pass one another.

The detour was worse.

3 hours of worse.

Here are some photos of the event. The first is the major highway we were on, then the rest are from the detour. You can see it progressively got worse. Click each photo to see them larger.
Main highwayRoad getting narrowerA one lane bridgeRainy, muddy roadOne lane dirt trailGetting back to bigger road, but holes big enough to eat a VW.

We did get back on the big road eventually after a three hour detour. In that three hours we covered about 30 miles on the main road.

Ritz HotelWe did well and hit the bypass around the city of Veracruz in 10 hours. We pushed another 2 hours going as hard as we could so that we could make it to another big town before it got too dark. I ended up driving about 1 hour in the dark on the main road. Night driving here is a big No-No. Fortunately this was a section of the road that is like a US Interstate. I was reasonably sure of no major pot holes or cows on the road.

We ended up in the town of Acayucan. This was our first time there and we were able to stumble into a pretty nice hotel. It was the Hotel Ritz. Definitely not to be confused with the Ritz in London. It cost $41 for their deluxe room. It had 2 double beds, Air Conditioning and a fan. I had to pay extra to get the A/C and double beds, but it was worth it.

Police: Round 2

Yesterday as we were pulling into Tampico on our way back south, we were about 10 minutes from our friend’s house when a police car pulled up beside me. He asked me to pull over.

His claim was that I did not use my blinker when I changed lanes. I cannot say whether I did or did not. I most often do, but not always.

This is a particularly bad area where the police try to take advantage of the people. This is my third encounter with them in town.

It all boiled down to he was going to write me a ticket for $120 and take my license. The fine I could pay the next day at 5:00 in the afternoon. Or, I could give him $60 on the spot and he would take care of the ticket for me. After I lectured him on how illegal that was he asked me if I was a Christian (as opposed to a Catholic). I told him that I was, but that it did not matter. What he was asking me to do was illegal and that I would not do it. I would rather take the ticket and pay the proper fine than to do something illegal.

My wife was getting a little panicked at this point. She thought I might be facing arrest if I did not back off. But the officer knew as well as I did that what he was doing is called extortion. For one, I do not think that the failure to use a blinker would really command a $120 fine. Nor would he want to go through the paperwork to make it happen. I was not at all concerned.

He then backed down and said that if I would just buy him a coffee, then all would be good. I told him to give me my license and paperwork and let me go, or to give me a ticket and leave me alone. He handed me my papers but still asked for a coffee. I shook his hand and walked away. I got in the truck and left with him still standing there with his hand out for his money.

I will not bow to that!

What hurts is that there are so many people who do. On the other hand, because it is such an easy money making (illegal) business, he would rather let me go than to have a fight on his hands. It is not worth the time for him to escalate to actual legal proceedings.

This is a follow up to a post from 2 weeks ago.