A raid in Maryland; my poker game; my big yard project

It hasn’t hit the news yet, but there was another SWAT team raid of a poker game in Maryland in the last week.  This time it appears they just confiscated the money and chips, cards, and tables.  Perhaps they will press charges later, but on the whole, I suspect this is just easy money and easy ways to up their misdemeanor/felony count.  Raiding a poker game run by ordinary people is very unlikely to turn violent, or even turn up a weapon.  You go in, collect the cash, take down names, and notify them later of their charges.   60 days surveillance by a detective and one night’s work by a SWAT team.

My poker game continues to be in free fall.  I’m focusing entirely on my limit hold’em game using the math I’ve worked out at the direction of my coach.  While my game is better, my results are not.  I know I’m playing better hands, and playing them in a more positive expected value manner, but I don’t have any bottom line result yet.  It will come, and thankfully I’m playing at stakes suited to my bankroll…

Finally, I started a big yard project Sunday.  We’re clearing an 18’x22′ spot in the backyard to be Sarah’s formal vegetable and herb garden.  I pulled up almost half a dozen bamboo plants that had been planted a while ago.  If you ever feel the need to plant decorative bamboo, let me urge you not to.  It’s like burying nuclear waste in your backyard: it creates problems for the next owners of your house down the line.

I pulled up one plant and found six different runners growing outwards from the plant, trying to spread.  As I tore up flagstones chasing each on with my shovel, I began to get aggro.  Every time I finished one I looked at the remaining bamboo with my giant bolt cutters in one hand and my newly purchased Home Depot axe in the other, asking, "Who’s NEXT?  Who wants a piece of the Shabster!?  Bring it on, frakkers!"

We literally now have over a hundred pounds of compostable material in our yard that has to go.  I’ve moved it into a temporary spot so I can grade and till the remaining soil.  For the grading task I’m using a line level with some string and leftover rebar.  It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’ve got the strength, and time, and it doesn’t require any complex skills.  Once I’ve got the yard leveled we’ll build the retaining walls around it, and then bring in 6 inches worth of dirt.  Sarah says we need compost, and I think that’s an awesomely huge amount of dirt.  This calculator says I need 6.3 cubic yards of dirt, and this other calculator says that dirt is going to weigh a total of 21,262 lbs, which will also equal over 500 bags.

I’m going to have to do this in stages, as there’s no way in hell I can lug that much dirt in at once.   Even if I hired every day laborer in the city.