Do you have any idea how many ten quintillion is? If you divided it among all the people of the planet, your personal allocation would be 1.6 billion. If your 1.6 billion were grains of rice, it would come to 55,000 pounds. Picture it: the number of grains of rice in 55,000 pounds for each […]


It was a few years ago that I read God’s Secretaries, Adam Nicolson’s excellent book on the making of the King James bible. That a bunch of old scholarly guys got together and, by committee and at the behest of the king, came up with such an elegant contribution to our literature is amazing to […]

The fig tree at three

Whoever coined the phrase, “I don’t give a fig,” wasn’t from around here. I’m thinking it was someone from Greece, or maybe Provence. Someplace where figs grow in abundance, and the language spoken is mellifluous enough to make “I don’t give a fig” sound much better than it does in English. If you ever hear […]

Fig watch

Last year, our fig harvest consisted of exactly one fig. Our friend Alison happened to be visiting when it ripened, so we split it three ways. This year, our Brown Turkey fig tree has twelve figs on it. Although we expect to lose some to varmint or mishap, this year’s crop should still be multiples […]