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In Google there are some 'standard' calendars, like 'Holidays'. There is also a 'Contacts Birthday' calendar, which takes the birthday field from you contacts and puts an entry in the calendar on their birthday. This calendar is not synced with GCALDaemon. At first I thought beause they are 'read-only', but I have no problems with the 'Holiday' calendar. There is no error-message within GCALDaemon, but nothing shows up in iCal or Sunbird.
I know this probably doesn't help much, but I just got that working for me.
I put a birthday in one of my contacts on Google (hadn't used that field up now), created the gcaldaemon file sync entry in the config editor, copied the ical file location to Lightning via the clipboard, saved the config file, ran "sync now", and then, after the "reload" interval in lightning, the birthday popped up in the Lighting calendar.
I'm running on Windows XP, Lightning version 1.0b2 and syncing via ical files.
Might be worth double checking the ical file location is correct in gcaldaemon config, also refresh the google calendar list and double check the calendar selection.
Other than that, I'm pretty new to gcaldaemon myself, so I'm afraid I can't suggest anything further.