Before you criticize, examine the state of your own basement
Now you may wondering, gentle reader, why I didn't level the hillside first. Ah, but I did. But then I had to dig the footers that support the walls, and all that dirt got piled up beside the trenches, mostly on the inside. So this dirt has been dug once before.
Anyway, it became a priority for today because I had to put up the last five joist hangers, way up in that front corner where there wasn't anyplace level to put a ladder.
I squared up the mound and began to cut it like a cake. First across the front, then back along the side so I could put a ladder where it needed to be. Took me four freaking hours. And digging wasn't the hard part. Dragging the spoil in a two-wheel barrow up above the undercroft to tip it into the ditch was worse.
After getting the joist hangers installed, I did a few other, minor chores. Then I cleaned up and headed for home. The sky was blue, the trees were beautiful, and the mayapples were spreading. Altogether, a wonderful day of hard work.