Archive for the ‘Personal and family’ Category

Were children again: Report from Camp Fasola, 2009, Session 1 (Adults Emphasis)

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

At nearly the last minute, Tom Malone suggested that we drive down to Camp Fasola on the Sunday before Camp began in the evening, and return on Thursday, the last day of Camp. I had to work on Friday (“Work—the curse of the singing class,” quipped Richard Schmeidler at dinner ...


Monday, December 1st, 2008

I'm sitting in the airport at O'Hare after the longest plane taxi ride I can remember. It doesn't really matter how long it took since the flight left late, arrived late, and I have even longer to wait to get on a flight to Seattle. I was supposed to be ...

Kalamazoo to Sitka?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

I've been thinking about traveling to Sitka, Alaska using my frequent flyer miles. But here's what Northwest suggests a trip would look like there-and-back-again: And that's just to get to Juneau! I guess I won't be going to Sitka. Unless Sarah Palin is offering rides.

A few personal notes …

Monday, July 21st, 2008

It's been too long since my last update, but life has been busy, especially with the Microsoft purchase. But a few notes: I enjoyed singing Sacred Harp at the Michiana and Kalamazoo annual singings this weekend, and James Nelson-Gingerich gave me the *first* copy of the print version of 26th edition ...

Who acquired Powerset?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

microsoft acquires powerset


Saturday, June 28th, 2008

A response to Mark's tagging me. Seven factz about me: Will Fitzgerald didn't use a computer until he was 23. It had cards. It is difficult for Will Fitzgerald to refer to himself in the third person. Despite his descriptivist linguistic training, Will Fitzgerald tries to distinguish 'between' and 'among'. Will Fitzgerald was known ...

You ain’t seen nothing yet

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Who invented the wireless telephone? It's been 100 years since "American inventor and Kentucky melon farmer" Nathan B. Stubblefield received the patent for the first wireless cell phone (UK Telegraph article, via Mirabilis). Today, the company I work for, Powerset, launched its search product for general public use at It's ...

Canoeing the Kalamazoo River: Goose Lake to Twin Pines Campground

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Bess has this Grand Plan: to canoe the Kalamazoo River from its headwaters (more or less) to Lake Michigan, and to do it in parts. Yesterday, the Grand Plan commenced. She and I drove to the Twin Lakes Campground near Pulaski Michigan, waking the attendants at 10 am, who dropped ...

A day off

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

I have a couple of days off, so I'm writing a bit on 'a simple desire', hanging out with Bess and Jane, uploading MP3 of the afternoon session of the 2008 Golden Gate singing to my website, and watching a waterboarding video.

Foul shots

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

I talked to my brother Dave on the phone today, and we agreed that we haven't played basketball in 300 years. But we have a hoop in the backyard, and I've decided to try to get 'good' at shooting foul shots. The advantage of foul shots, of course, is that ...

Happy 77th Birthday, Dad

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

It was my father's birthday today, and we visited him at the nursing home this evening. We called several of my brothers and even got through to them. Steve complained that I haven't been writing much in my weblog--guilty as charged, but more than you write in yours, Steve! Dad has ...

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Merry Christmas, where-ever you are.

Christmas 2007 newsletter

Monday, December 17th, 2007

In case you'd like to read our Christmas 2007 newletter...

Traveling kindness

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

I had a short article published in our local paper, the Kalamazoo Gazette: It was New Year's Eve, and things were finally starting to go right. Our car had broken down outside Forsyth, Ga., on Christmas Eve, and we had had to hitchhike to northern Florida to visit my mother, leaving ...

RIP, David G. Lockwood

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

David G. Lockwood has died, reports the Linguist List. David Lockwood was one of my professors when I did my degree in linguistics at Michigan State in the 70's. He was (and remained, I think) an adherent of "stratificationalism," a kind of constraint-based network theory of language. His classes were the ...

Changing my name

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

I was born William Alan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, of course is my family name, but I don't have any real connections to 'William' or 'Alan.' My dad sometimes says I was named after my Uncle Allen, but if so, why isn't my middle name spelled as he spells it? It doesn't ...

Glory to rival the sun

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

This past weekend, Bess, Jane and I attended the 50th anniversary of the founding of Reba Place Church, the church we attended in the 90's when I was in graduate school and for a few years afterwards. Saturday was spent going though a decade by decade retrospective. Reba began ...

Distantly related to a giant sloth

Monday, July 16th, 2007

My wife's cousin, David Oren, has been searching for evidence of the existence of the mapinguary, a "giant slothlike monster of the Amazon." The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on it last Sunday.

A new home

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

 We closed on a new home yesterday; our new address will be (as of July 19):1219 Grand AvenueKalamazoo, MI 49006 

A singing vacation

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

II can't do justice to the vacation time we were privileged to have last week, but I wanted to write down a few things, even if it's just for our own memories in the future. The basic goal: go to Camp Fasola, a singing camp put on by the Sacred Harp ...