As much content as I post here on Ubi Libertas Blog, there’s one thing I struggle with almost every day — the headline. I’m not sure why that is, though it probably has something to do with covering multiple unrelated subjects in a single post.
Headline writing is an art, a discipline of its own. I admire scribes who do it well. The master, as far as I’m concerned, is Tim May, an acquaintance of mine and formerly a sportswriter for The Columbus Dispatch. He’s responsible for my all-time favorite headline:
COTTON PICKING UP END SPOT
What at first looks like a non sequitur captures perfectly the subject of Tim’s article — Ohio State football player James Cotton in 1999 was moved from linebacker to defensive end, and he was learning his new position. “Cotton picking up end spot.” It was clever as hell.
Most days I write the headline last. Often I’ll realize that I’m stuck, trapped in a block, and I’ll throw down something shamefully unimaginative just so I can publish the damned thing.
(Today, for instance.)
When I do that I’m pretty sure it shows. Hell, a few times I’ve inadvertently repeated a title I’d used before (and I’ve been doing this only a couple of years).
But I do have my moments. Maybe that’s obvious, too.
Well, that excavator didn’t arrive on The Mountain yesterday. (Our contractor had brake issues on his gooseneck trailer.) When he rolled up the road this afternoon he was followed by his son hauling a skid-steer. They dropped what they brought and loaded the ‘dozer onto the gooseneck.
We weren’t there but Deb’s cousin was. He snapped a couple of pictures, which he sent to us (below).
The day’s best news came by way of a third image — dump trucks left us another load of structural clay and two loads of three-inch clean rock. The clay will be used for the base of a parking pad on each end of the house, as well as for the foundation of our shed. The rock will be rolled into the clay, making a great base that much better.
I zoomed in on the photo of the piles deposited in the driveway and noticed something interesting. Between the rock in the foreground of the image and the clay in the middle, I saw tire tracks left by the dump trucks’ duals — not ruts, only impressions. Despite the rain we’ve had since the clay went down, it’s holding up remarkably well. That’s a big deal.
Our site guy placed a video call to us while he was on The Mountain, introducing us to the young fella who’ll build the actual foundation for the house. During that consultation we decided to go with 8×8 timbers on the piers, more wood visible than concrete. The piers will be poured to just above grade.
Rustic, if you will. We like that a lot.
After the call Deb and I fed the dogs and started to fix a low-drag dinner here in the bus. My phone rang — it was our contractor again, calling just to say, “Your driveway looks amazing.”
Instead of unloading equipment and leaving, he and his son stuck around and went to work, spreading the rock on the driveway. We didn’t expect that, and we can’t wait to see it tomorrow morning.
No doubt about it, we chose the right people for the job.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.
“Where the sun comes up about ten in the morning” — our Mountain One trailcam faces roughly east, and when the rising sun clears the summit this time of year we get a bit of dramatic flare.