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Rhythm of the Seasons: Stacking Firewood

This is my 8th autumn at The Pad, the 8th time I’ve stacked firewood for the winter.

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Six face cords of oak: $390. 3 canisters of propane: $240. A winter’s warmth.

The Wengers, local firewood barons, dumped the wood outside my fence 2 weeks ago.

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I’ll try to haul 12 wheelbarrows of wood to my shelter every day—over 160 split logs. That’s about 1 row of logs in the small wood shelter.

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Travis “helps” me every year by walking in front of the wheelbarrow and grinning at me while I stack the wood.  My dogs appreciate a good Stupid Human Trick.

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12 loads takes a nice bite out of the pile.

Next autumn I hope to stack wood at my new cabin in Washington state.

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Big Decision: I’m Moving Back to Washington State Next Summer

As much as I love The Pad I’ve decided to return to Washington state next summer. I’ve known for a while that the next stage of my life will be set there.

Daisy, Margaret, and me exploring our favorite camping area in the Cascades – the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River.

I’ll be looking for a cabin within two hours of Seattle. I’m centering my search Highway 2 just West of Stevens Pass. It’s fun combing zillow.com for cabins near Skykomish and Index.

There are many good reasons for my move. Being closer to Margaret is important. I hope my future is writing science fiction and most of my sci-fi friends are in Seattle and points south on the West Coast. I lived in Washington for 11 years, 93-’04 – working at MSFT and disabled with brainrot. I love  the state. Mountains, ocean, Seattle, lots of fun geeks, and Archie McPhee—what’s not to like?

I’ll miss my Wisconsin paradise. The seven years I’ve spent here were incredibly healing. Martel Lake will always be a part of me. I will try to savor each remaining day. This autumn’s leaves make that an easy task.

Unless Channel Zilch dumps a pile of money in my lap I’ll sell The Pad next summer after I hear the first Loon. I look forward to a hard cold winter.

If I make money in the future I’ll buy a cabin on Martel Lake and spend a few months here every year. As I hike my woods and canoe my lake I have the feeling that I’ll be back.

My Interview with Jason Kavanagh, the Great Helmsman of itsu jitsu

Jason Kavanagh is itsu jitsu’s Heid Daftie (Pictish for “Great Helmsman”.) Abandoned at birth because of his resemblance to Ronnie Corbett, Jason was raised by a wandering band of Klezmer musicians.

Click for interview.

Jason Kavanagh: Glaswegian Music Mogul

Itsu jitsu launches an album of remixes of my music: “5DBSSS One – tha ReeMux is”

I’m honored and delighted that eighteen musicians from around the world liked the first 12 tracks of my 5 Dozen Bite-Sized Sonic Sculptures enough to remix them. 19 eerie, harsh, gorgeous, irritating reinterpretations of my dozen tiny tracks.

Download or listen here:

I haven’t heard about half of the tracks and am listening and relistening right now with a big goofy smile on my face.

I am a social being and hermiting is unnatural to me. The last 6 months of getting to know Jason Kavanagh’s circle of musicians reminds me of some of the best times in the computer game industry and at MSFT – working and joking with a great group of passionate and talented people.

Thanks to all the musicians who contributed to this album. I promise to get cracking on the next dozen Sonic Sculptures as my health allows. We’ll do another remix album in a couple months.

Thanks, Jason!

Link to itsu jitsu release page here:

5DBSSS One - tha ReeMux is Artist: Doug Sharp & Friends Title: 5DBSSS One – tha ReeMux is Running Time: pu:re:ag:es Catalogue Number: 5DBSSSR1 Release Date: 5th September 2011 About: Remix album of 5 Dozen Bite-Sized Sonic Sculptures One Artist Details and Tracklisting: ARTIST: Dead Kid Harvester TITLE: Metal on Utensil CONTACT: http://www.bloopy.org/dkh.php COUNTRY: New Zealand ARTIST: Elizabeth Veldon TITLE: metal plates 3 (metal on metal remix) CONTACT: https://www. … Read More

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Ogre Island Cargo Canoe for Myrna’s Camping Trip

IMG_5754, originally uploaded by myrna mae.

Myrna Mae Berg camped on Ogre Island the weekend before she returned to her teaching job. She’s got a kayak so I happily canoed her supplies to the island.

She took lots of great pictures.

I paddled over at dusk and we ate s’mores and laughed.

I don’t usually see pictures of myself from afar so it’s fun to see Myrna’s pictures of me during her Ogre weekend.

Ogre Island Sunset #396


I left the dogs at the cabin for tonight’s sunset, something I rarely do. I floated in silence as the sunset ripened from greys to intense ruby.

Three deer came to the shore to drink. Kingfishers chittered angrily at one another while it was still light enough to hunt fish.When the sky turned pink Nighthawks hunted bugs in the sky.

King of Chicago Box Pix

When you work on computer games you get to do fun, weird stuff. In the fall of 1986 I was working insanely hard on my game The King of Chicago. My publisher Cinemaware needed a designer photo for the box and since I was doing a gangster game I decided to dress the part by hitting up second hand clothes stores.

My buddy Sam Ross is a fine photographer so I asked him to take the pix. We found a grungy alley behind an abandoned train station which looked Chicagoish enough. We had a blast posing and clicking and got some decent pix.

Recently I’ve been acting as hitman for itsu jitsu so I thought I’d post these pix to strike fear in anyone who is thinking of crossing Jason Kavanagh.

doug king of chicago box pix 003doug king of chicago box pix 006king of chicago box pix 001doug king of chicago box pix 005king of chicago box pix 002doug king of chicago box pix 004Box Cover of Doug Sharp's The King of Chicago (Cinemaware, 1986)

Back Cover of Doug Sharp's The King of Chicago (Cinemaware, 1986)

The King of Chicago sold over 50,000 copies in 86-88. The Amiga version sold better than the Mac, Atari, or PC versions because of Rob Landeros’s amazing gangsters.

I’m proud of King of Chicago.

Thank You, Myrna!


Myrna Mae Berg took great care of me that past few weeks. My health has been scraping bottom and my friend and aide Brook has been busy on a big carpentry project.

Here she is making spaghetti for me.

Myrna delivered food and laundry, cleaned my cabin, and fixed big pots of yummy food that keeps me fed for a week.

She walked the dogs for me and found out what a willful being Mika can be. Mika wanted to get in the canoe and Myrna tried to talk her out of it. Haha. When Mika makes up her mind you have to follow her or be firm.

I’m glad Myrna loves my lake and woods and was able to spend some quiet time. Next week she comes to camp on Ogre Island.

Thanks, Myrna. You’re a great friend!

Slow Dusk Paddle around Martel Lake

Still getting used to the seizure meds. I rarely drink. Had a beer out on the lake which turned our dusk canoe trip into a long leisurely paddle.

2011-08-15 Martel Sunset etc. 028Three Trumpeter Swans have been hanging out on local lakes. They were sitting in the forest when we paddled around a point and startled them into the water.

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The Swans were between me and the sun so I drifted and let them swim east. Here they are just under the sunset.

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Travis swam after them when they neared the east shore of Martel. They avoided him until he tired and then they followed him to shore. He’s sleeping soundly by my bed right now.

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I wrote a draft of a Channel Zilch query letter today. Tomorrow I send it to an agent.

Watch Out, Lady Gaga!

My improbable “music” career continues to amaze and amuse me. Yesterday I got email from a Spanish fan alerting me to his review of Boogafoo and Pink Toads.

Google Translate assures me that the review says:

In the mid 70’s, a man named Doug Sharp let his young fingers on a Moog synthesizer play, finding ways pitched noise, full of intensity oscillations, which remained secret for decades, kept on tape until scanning XXI century. BOOGAFOO MUSIC (Itsu Jitsu, 2011), particular definition provided by her daughter, is eaten as a rehearsal for massage hallucinatory ears open, which gives two pieces that exceed 13 minutes, “Opus # Glork, Move 2” and “Schveltronia Bimmsler études, “sequenced together with other shorter. Underline also “Wasp train”, a playful track that moves like a locomotive difficult to pinpoint. Look to the right was saved …

Sharp does not stop to rescue these old keys, but proposes very new lines of flight, more puzzling, in Bite-Sized 5 Dozen Sonic Sculptures One (Itsu Jitsu, 2011), EP opening of a saga that will extend to 5, to be reissued in a box complete with a remix album. The dozen exhibits sculptures of yore as “fip fip Peodopular” the same track that closes BOOGAFOO … intersection that leads to an outbreak of glitch-hop (“Kuul”), the elusive rock of “Complicated”, kinematics for pissing of fear of “Citizen Sane” or IDM with muriatic acid to “Skink gobblers.” Among these miniatures (only two exceed the minutes) stand a “Metal on Metal” that strikes true, and “Down on the Pharm” or the base that Michael Jackson had worked in the case of pop to avant-garde. Investigations are appreciated.

I hope some of my Spanish/English-speaking friends can refine this translation. I love the fact that my music “is eaten as a rehearsal for massage hallucinatory ears open” and that “Sane Citizen” is “kinematics for pissing of fear.” Those are both valid comments about my music.

Entries continue to pour in for the 5 Bite-Sized Sonic Sculpture remixes. Hox turned in a wild and wooly remix of the whole album that he calls (poetically) “4:33:”, which he describes as “Result is like a demented drama micro-opera with a further more demented soundtrack.”

I’ve got a track on the ALTERED STATE OF MIND compilation. It’s a fairly long, dark track called “Oppressed by Dreamdark” because it was turned down by the Dreamdark label for being too dark and dreamy.

Here’s a picture of some Lily Pads in Sunlight for all you nature fans:

2011-08-12 Late summer 039My health is still scraping bottom but I am a lucky man because I can rest to recuperate.

Next week I do some querying to capitalize on the fact that Angry Robot is looking at my full of Channel Zilch.