guy t. schafer
- Mar 10:
We have a new border collie, Lulu. She's 9 weeks old,
and, unlike her uncle
Zak, classic black & white.
- Feb 27:
the (visitor) dog helped put the chickens away.
Herded them with Zak
for nearly quarter mile, calm and obedient. Good dog!
- Feb 22:
Start of the 2017 sugaring season.
- Feb 14:
Skied Wildcat for the first time. Turns out our
depicts a stretch of Middle Polecat.
- Feb 8:
Large bald eagle (6'-8' wingspan) skimmed the trees over the hen house.
^ 2017 ^ v 2016 v
- Dec 20:
-20°F (-29°C). Chickens survive in unheated coop,
cozy with hay bales, but their eggs froze.
- Dec 14:
Some house circuits go down. Turns out a mouse tried to live
behind some of the breakers. That didn't work out.
- Dec 2:
Yellow birch massacre. Had about 100 taken down, a small fraction
of the total. If the forest is my garden, the yellows are the weeds.
- Nov 24 (not Thanksgiving in Quebec):
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Montreal. Favorites: several massive
abstract 20th c. field of color pieces
(appealing on a bleak, snowy day) and
the modern porcelain vases and teasets (wow).
My wife loved the glass: objets, bowls, furniture,
abstract sculptures. She is a Chihuly fan and loved
the red 'chandelier' and a stunning nested bowl arrangement.
- Nov 20:
Created a card game. The
rule cards & board,
and card box
are all free to Print'n'Play [PnP].
- Oct 25:
A board game designer likes my graphic designs. I designed
the board for his new game.
The crazy rainbows are to match the cards used: the
Badger Rainbow Deck.
- Oct 13:
Invented 2 games that each fit into a mint tin.
Mint Tin Curling,
Pocket-Sized Curling Action and
Avalanche! / Quicksand!
The Winter / Summer Rescue Game.
These games are free to print & play (PnP).
- Oct 12:
Yesterday, 2 of our 7 hens each laid a first egg.
One was very large. This morning we had the two eggs
for breakfast. The large one had a double-yolk.
Not bad for a first try!
- Oct 5:
I thought the chickens and my dog were following me along a
path in the woods. But when I turned and the dog didn't, I
discovered the chickens were actually following the dog.
Zak is apparently an honorary rooster.
- Sep 8:
Gipf Project box.
- Sep 6:
A hawk landed in the dooryard. The free-range chickens hid under the ferns
less than 100' away. I sent Zak out from his office under the wisteria,
but the hawk flew off before Zak noticed it.
- Aug 15:
Had to install the electricity in my house. Finished today at 3:25.
Elapsed project time: 30 years.
- Aug 8:
for the first time. An instant classic.
My wife pronounced it "very nice." High praise which
puts it in rarified company.
- Aug 3:
My wife needs a one-piece handicap in our games of
but she always wins Dvonn, often by embarassing margins.
To eliminate placement advantage, we tried starting
with a perfectly symmetric board; she still crushed me.
- Jul 30:
Usually, adding to our list of birds seen on the property is a joyous occasion.
But 2 bald eagles wheeling slowly over the house may have been stalking our
now free-ranging New Hampshire Reds.
Zak stays on guard while the chickens are out.
- Jul 15:
Been playing Dvonn
with Awik. Early impressions: abstract,
deep, and fun. Promising.
We got Yinsh
also, but haven't played them yet.
- Jun 20:
Repainted the sun.
- May 15-28:
Trip to Florida to build a 200 foot sandcastle. Then off to
Tennessee to float the South Holston & Watauga Rivers.
- May 11:
A day at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Saw Ai Weiwei's "Forever"
and Subodh Gupta's amazing "Take Off Your Shoes And Wash Your Hands."
Han Seok Hyun's "Supernatural" is more powerful than a
description would suggest.
- May 5:
Sometimes the doctor delivers
- May 1:
Dog River now has some spots of algae.
It has been running continuously since winter, a record.
- Apr 29:
My wife and I spent the evening putting
playing cards into envelopes.
Got some interesting looks from the other
- Mar 8:
Town meeting day, 11 warrent articles.
Contentious article #8 took most of the hour-long meeting.
I was in favor, but it went down 18-25. Four of the articles
passed 42-1 with my wife and I splitting our public votes.
- Mar 1:
Pruned an old gnarled branch from our pear tree.
Thinking the grain might be quite pretty,
I did this.
- Feb 27:
Got some buckets out to start the 2016 Maple Syrup season.
- Late Feb:
Working on my pocketwatch.
- Feb 16:
45F (7C); rain.
- Feb 15:
-24F (-31C); clear.
- Feb 9:
Our homemade syrup on my wife's delicious waffles,
then off to the voting booth.
Changed from undeclared to a party, voted in their primary,
then changed back to undeclared.
A classic New Hampshire morning!
- Jan 24:
A second ski day. Coverage still minimal, another storm is needed.
- Jan 15:
Surprised my wife with lunch in Montreal. Hit the Musee d'Art Contemporain.
- Jan 14:
First stop on my
book tour: Fortier Library in Berlin.
- Jan 9:
Owed a guy a favor so I made him a pen.
the threading tools
- Jan 4:
Tried skiing. Minimal coverage means narrow passages between obstacles,
combined with rock hard conditions from the first zero temps this season.
So dangerous, run is closed after one run.
- Jan 2:
A few days of snow left enough to groom with snowshoes. Getting out the
boots and skis.
^ 2016 ^ v 2015 v
- Dec 24:
Finished my wife's Christmas present.
- Dec 22:
Started work in the shop on my wife's gift. I hope to finish Christmas eve.
- Dec 21:
First full day with snow cover (finally!) followed by yet another day of rain.
- Dec 9:
New art for this year's Christmas card.
- Nov 22:
Becoming a splitting maul artist, I filled the last rows of the woodshed using trick shots:
The bowtie (splitting off the diagnol corners of a round);
the no-lift (getting up to 8 pieces off without having to reset the log on the block);
the all-fall (getting the pieces almost off,
then having them all separate with a final blow);
the catch (splitting a piece off and directly into the waiting sled).
- Nov 2:
Sickness descends upon our household. With no one to keep a fire or cook a meal, it looked bleak.
But we could hear our border collie ransacking the kitchen since no one was feeding him.
Calling him, he brought food up to the bed to share with us, so we didn't die. Good dog!
- Oct 29:
I was quoted by
Now get off my lawn, you whippersnappers!
- Oct 17:
- Sep 29:
Got the answers in the NYT crossword, but couldn't figure out the trick.
Tried quotation marks in the across blanks, filled in the down letters
and looked for an anagram or pattern.
Had to admit defeat and look up what was going on (breaking a 6-year streak):
the across quotation marks are down dittos.
On the other hand, my wife and I finished the NYT cryptic in under an hour—and finished
off a particularly devilish cryptic that had been on my clipboard for almost 2 years.
Every week, the clipboard gets 2 new puzzles that stay until completed; it's clean for the
first time in years.
- Sep 26:
Got a hand-thrown cookie jar and a
stack of crows
at the Littleton Art Show.
- Sep 14-18:
Trip to Nashville on business for
- Sep 16:
My sons compete to grow the hottest peppers. The hot sauce
my wife made from their crop cannot be opened indoors because
fumes from the jar can blister skin!
- Sep 3:
Looking to have more fun, I enrolled in a physics course at MIT.
15 weeks of field equations... Whee!
- Aug 28:
Had to fix a small mouse hole. When I took off the siding
and removed the rotten wood, the hole was 5 feet wide.
Rebuilt the wall, then installed new cedar shingles.
- Aug 23:
Annie's funeral. Pete played taps on Annie's bugle.
- Aug 20:
27th wedding anniversary is sculpture,
so I made this for my wife today.
- Aug 7:
Deadly winds in the area killed a few people,
and shook our neighbor's apple trees. I got a half-bushel
of early drops before running from the yellow jackets. My
wife, running across the field stripping off her pants, was stung twice.
We pressed 3 quarts after breakfast and had cold cider by lunch.
- Aug 6:
My art tumblr is up to 75 followers.
For some reason, this image is getting
likes and reblogs at a rate more than 100 times average.
- Jul 24-26:
Drove to Pennsylvania to pick up our second
painting by Meredith Mustard.
- Jul 23:
Bret Dalton coded my
watch design so now it is available—free—for certain smart watches at
- Jul 6:
My art tumblr is up to 67 followers.
- Jun 26:
Shingled the toolshed with help from my dad.
- Jun 13:
Completed the restoration of
an old drill press.
- May 20-21:
Float trip with my dad on the
I'm not great at estimation, but I'd say we caught (and released) 50,000 trout.
- May 17:
Completed my 1,400th New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle.
- May 6:
- May 3:
Seven months after the first fall and six since it completely covered the ground,
the snow in our yard is gone.
- Apr 28:
Took down the sap buckets;
the 2015 maple syrup season
- Apr 13:
70° and sunny, a great day to
ski in just shorts.
The conditions went from beautiful to unskiable
as rocks, stumps, and streams began to emerge.
Ski season is over.
- Apr 8:
New snow means excellent spring conditions on our slopes.
- Apr 3:
60°F temp means skiing in shirtleeves and the start of
the 2015 maple syrup season.
- Mar 29:
Took our son to the new Harvard Art Museums to see Rothko, Frank Stella,
deKooning, Jasper Johns, Max Bill, Jackson Pollock, Joan Miro.
Loved Gino Severini's masterpiece
The Yellow Dancers.
(note: Harvard's image doesn't reveal the insanely incongruous brush work.)
- Mar 20:
-12°F. Once a week, I work with my brother. Today marks the
15th week in a row it's been below zero on the day we meet.
- Mar 19:
Posted my 500th graphic on my art tumblr.
- Mar 9:
Because of the above freezing days, hung a test sap bucket.
- Mar 6:
Another -22°F morning (the 25th below -20°F this season).
My art tumblr now has over 50 followers.
- Mar 2:
4 new slopes: Trail #1, Maple Street, Upper Hen House, and Cherry Squeezer.
These extend the current slopes up to the upper path.
- Feb 26:
Enough snow to groom a second slope in the woods, right over stumps, rocks, and downed trees.
The new slope is much steeper and faster. Did something I've never done on our regular slope:
beat Zak to the bottom, which required very high speed.
- Feb 24:
- Feb 22:
Above freezing for the first time in 10 weeks, a stretch that included
19 snowstorms (100+"), 40 days below 0°F, 20 days below -20°F.
- Feb 4:
Usually these chases end with Songbird 0, Hawk 1. Today, the score was
Hawk 0, Windows 2.
- Feb 3, Day:
The plow went off the road.
didn't put up much of a fight.
Tried out my Christmas present, an LED headlamp, for
some night skiing. The 6 inches of new powder made conditions slow. Zak
was waiting for me when I got to the bottom, his eyes glowing in the darkness.
- Feb 1:
Good to excellent conditions (groomed with snowshoes), sunny and cold.
Honey and Zak ski with us, but Harley isn't allowed to. He thinks we must be rescued from
sliding down the hill. I can outski him, but he catches my wife, grabbing her
with his massive jaws. Bad dog!
- Jan 29:
Four attempts to cut a steel screw about 3 millimeters long with a
.333... pitch. Four failures.
I broke the carbide threading tool that came with my lathe's
threading attachment. I ground a replacement tool from a 1/4" square steel
blank. The cutting edge looked great under magnification, but I destroyed
it within 4 threading passes.
Next time, I'll try hardening the tool and annealling the unthreaded screw.
- Jan 24:
A tenth bitter cold morning this season.
^ 2015 ^ v 2014 v
- Dec 24:
Created a snowflake necklace as a present for my wife.
- Dec 2:
Santa delivers my
- Nov 16:
Fifth and final coat of poly on the new workbench and new door drapes
for winter. The workshop building is officially finished!
- Nov 9:
New workbench installed.
- Oct 23:
Went to the woodshed in the pitch dark. Realized I could still distinguish all
the species of trees we burn: I can tell the difference between maple, ash, cherry,
yellow birch, and white birch just by feel;
and I can tell maple from oak (which feel similar) by smell!
- Oct 22:
works of art in 290 days.
- Oct 16:
My dad, aunt, brother and I kicked in and bought a boat from
some guy's yard. When my brother put it in the water, it sank!
- Oct 7:
Attended the Budget Advisory Committee meeting.
My favorite line item: Postcards for dogs.
- Sep 30:
Mice stole 8 of the spheres from my
they must have thought they were acorns.
The game, bought with 3 months of effort, is now destroyed.
Update: Bought some wooden balls, then oiled some
and painted some red. The set looks better than ever!
- Aug 22:
Attended Next to Normal at Weathervane.
We "first-acted" it—at intermission we ran.
- Aug 13:
For the first time in 49 years, a
Next to Normal, was canceled—there was no electricity
for the musical instruments. Got a raincheck.
- Aug 2:
Moved my office into the
- Jul 10:
My wife and I tried
I didn't get a single stone into the house all night.
- Jul 4:
My tumblr is up to
My most popular post so far: a 4th of July collection of
Red White & Blue Graphics.
- Jun 16:
My art tumblr
now has 35 followers. Fans of my art!
- Jun 5:
Publisher has no legal framework for an unauthorized
of a novel for which they have fan-fic rights. Sent me
$25 for their "inaccurate encouragement."
- May 26:
Submitted manuscript to my publisher for my
- May 19-21:
Drove with my dad from Florida. 1700 miles and no radio!
- May 12-18:
Florida vacation. Beach, golf, pool.
- May 1:
Helping a hospital set up a reference lab. Today I came across
mention of the "Fecal Occult Blood Immunoassay" test. Disgusting, but
the container used to courier the sample is
the greatest band name ever: Occult Blood Bottle.
- Apr 22:
Finished The Illustrated Cat's Cradle.
Available soon on Amazon. The final manuscript has 132 illustrations.
Due to publishing constraints, couldn't use my cover;
so I designed a special
Kindle Worlds Cover.
- Apr 21:
The 2014 maple syrup season
comes to an end.
- Apr 10:
A last ski run today—our trail has only thin cover and warmer weather is expected. So much water recently, we got
a mud slide that bubbled out over the
- Apr 6:
Our ski slope survived the rain: got a few more runs in today.
- Apr 4:
After a week of skiing here at home, final runs on our private slope.
I may try downhill targetshooting next winter,
so I tried skiing with my long recurve bow (though I
carried no arrows). Easy!
Rain in the afternoon ended the ski season.
- Apr 1: Beginning of the
2014 maple syrup season.
- Mar 31:
My wife and I had a free ski day at Bretton Woods.
My brother, also skiing free with his wife, fell and got hurt.
Now he has to spend 3 days at the hospital.
- Mar 30:
107 down, 20 to go.
- Mar 17-19:
Hours of snowshoe grooming resulted in 3 days of perfect
front yard skiing
with Zak the Ski Dog.
- Mar 8:
80 down, 47 to go.
- Mar 3:
Another -16°F (-27°C) morning, the most
weather ever in a winter. Only about a week's worth of wood
left in the woodshed. Predicted for tomorrow:
a bitter -25°F (-32°C).
- Feb 26:
Half way: 64 down, 63 to go.
- Feb 16:
Saw a hawk ice fishing in the Connecticut River. It was standing
on several square miles of snow-covered ice,
next to a tiny square foot hole. The snow
around the rim was newly wet. Can a hawk make a hole? If not, what did?
- Feb 11:
Spending 3 nights and 3 days at the hospital.
Looks like I need a queriectomy.
Prognosis is good, but they're SQL
queries so it could go either way.
- Feb 7:
37 down, 90 to go.
- Feb 5:
Emergency field surgery: I could remove the porcupine
quills from Zak's nose, but not the ones in
the roof of his mouth.
My wife yanked those with pliers, while I held his mouth open.
- Feb 4:
I've been making graphics for Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut. So far I've
illustrated 24 of 127 chapters.
- Feb 1:
Clear, dark sky; no moon, no neighborhood lights; white snow. With the meager 2"
cumulative snowpack in the woods, the paths are very easy walking.
So out with my dog, I needed no flashlight and after a while my eyes became
dark-adapted. Saw something I've never seen before:
Last night I could see that Juptier was casting shadows on the snow!
- Jan 30:
With the cold weather, not much outside time. But here's
lots of graphics to enjoy.
- Jan 23:
Yesterday morning was 15 below. The high
for the day was 0°F (-18C). But the sky was clear to the horizon at sunset...
a sign of bitter cold ahead.
Sure enough, this morning we were at -23°F (-30C). At 30 minutes after noon:
- Jan 1:
A new year and a new family crest for my
new art tumblr.
^ 2014 ^ v 2013 v
- Dec 24:
Enjoy my animated
pin-up girl. Merry Christmas!
- Dec 22:
Because there are only a few hours of light each day, I've been using very bright
colors in my
new sign art series.
- Dec 17:
Power outages are no big deal here. Neither are
bitter cold temperatures.
The combination, however, makes for a tough morning.
Woodshed temp: -24°F (-31°C).
- Dec 9:
New Christmas cards are out.
- Oct 29:
We have a distant view from our deck. Very, very distant.
Our dark skies mean M81 & M82 (8th & 9th magnitude) are naked eye objects here,
so we can see more than ten million light years. Last night, our
new 105mm telescope
brought out the shape and stunning color of these neighboring galaxies.
How small is our town? We now have
1 0 convenience stores, and
1 0 gas stations to go with our
0 hotels/motels, 0 inns,
0 restaurants, 0 bars,
0 schools, 0 post offices, 0 office buildings, 0 hospitals/clinics,
0 theaters, 0 ski areas, 0 golf courses,
0 supermarkets, and 0 shops.
So if you visit, better pack some groceries and a good book.
- Sep 27:
Completed a large-scale, curvilinear
This temporary art installation was hand crafted from
nearly 3,000 individually shaped pieces of hardwood.
- Sep 25:
This week my son brought home some toys to play with.
- Sep 2:
My dad busted my watch!
- Aug 20:
My wife and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary. I took her out for a fancy dinner
(she had the Filet-O-Fish and I got a McChicken Sandwich).
- Aug 15:
Went back to see Shrek the Musical
again. It is so dense with wonderful moments, it easily stands up to a second viewing.
Of special note:
Gingy. She makes that swatch of fabric really live (and, oh, can she sing)!
I saw my first show at
our local theater
in 1973 (The Odd Couple). My wife and I have been regularly
attending since 1993 (season pass holders since 1996). We see all
7 shows every year.
- Jun 27:
Went to the hospital for my appointment and I had to stay overnight for
additional tests. However, test results were good.
- Jun 9:
Playing with the Wayback Machine; added a bunch of links
in the history page.
- Jun 7:
the middle of nowhere,
there wasn't a cell tower until 2009.
That's when we left dialup for 2 Mb/s wireless.
Now they've hung new radios and we get 20+ Mb/s.
- Jun 3:
As of this morning,
my prototype is officially "patent pending."
- Jun 1:
My wife and I arrived at the
in the back seat of my mom's crazy yellow convertible.
My wheeler-dealer dad snagged a
canvas for the camp and got
them to throw in a
- May 24:
3:00 am. Grudge match of the century....
Tree vs. Woodshed.
Zak, my border collie, is faster than my neighbor's
little 8-pound terrier. Every month I have to return
the toys Zak has stolen. With this month's haul (3 stuffed toys,
and a mini tennis ball), I included some of our
I'm hoping a little bribe will make Zak's larcenous behavior
cute rather than annoying.
- May 10:
My Littleton Precision
work has produced a beautiful little prototype.
Next up: arranging for some beta testing.
My old chainsaw helps me turn a tree into 4 foot logs that fit in
our tub sled. I put
the rope around my waist and pull the loads out like an ox.
I try to get 1 cord out every year even though we need 4 cords for a winter—I
buy the other 3 cords cut, split & delivered. Why not take more free wood?
You cut, pull, buck, split, and stack a cord of heavy, green
hardwood...then ask me that again.
- Apr 23 - 26:
Trip to Pennsylvania on business for
- Mar 16:
Trip to Massachusetts on business for
- 2013 maple syrup season
- Feb 28:
To get the 32 images used in my
10-year review of my Villeret,
I took more than 300 photographs.
- Feb 23 & 24:
Two more days of front-yard skiing.
- Feb 12 - 20:
Trip to Florida on business for
- Feb 10:
Ski day! Our work this fall clearing a
ski slope has paid off. A perfect day of
- Jan 3:
My wife snapped a picture of me cleaning the cars in my light cotton shorts and socks
even though it was -16F (-27C).
- Jan 1:
My shocked neighbors caught me during some
^ 2013 ^ v 2012 v
- Dec 25:
Even though I got new shoes for Christmas, I went
hiking without shoes.
- Dec 20:
Whatever you do,
don't hike like this.
Designed and built a new paper sculpture installation.
Time for my biannual haircut.
We were invited to a party so we tried to make more
cider, hoping to get
bragging rights to the latest pressing ever. We found a few apples
left on a tree despite the snow and we hoped the hard frost would
concentrate the sugar of the very tart crabs. We even added a few
market apples to cheat a bit and we got a single quart. Then a
few hours at room temperature to blend the flavors.
This didn't work: The cider was undrinkably bitter.
A guest from Maine helped us press cider.
Three grocery bags filled with Mac drops gave us almost 2 gallons.
Coding up a storm for Littleton Precision.
Too much fun!
Bears are hungrier—and peskier—than usual because of the early spring.
They breached our turkey pen, and despite our daily repairs, they
managed to do damage each night. We think racoons took advantage of
the breaches. We lost our 2 hens, one per night. The tom lasted 2 more
days. After many years, the turkey population on our lot is now 0.
This means Zak is now unemployed!
Usually firewood harvesting is a fall and winter activity (when there
are no bugs). But a windstorm broke one of our mighty 2-foot diameter
maple trees (that diameter isn't much for a field tree, but in our
dense forest it's one of the biggest maples around). Been cutting
it up and dragging out the firewood by sled.
Got a gig as a professional photographer
seven days a week until July 3.
The electrical wiring has been run inside the new
The new panel is fed by underground feeder from the house.
The 150' trench required a lot of digging with a
and garden trowel (to minimize forest impact).
- 2012 maple syrup season
Feb: Cutting firewood for next winter: a few standing dead maples and cherries,
and a few live maples and yellow birch. I cut them down
open-face notch method)
and buck the logs on the snow.
My wife and I take turns pulling the sledfuls to the woodshed by hand.
Jan 23: I captured, killed and hung our tom. My wife plucked and dressed it.
Check out the before and after pics (don't worry, no "during" pics).
Jan: Bathroom remodeled:
Walls repainted. Toilet, sink & faucet replaced. Shower restored.
^ 2012 ^ v 2011 v
Christmas: I'm selling
my IWC Portuguese Chrono.
This is Zak, my new border collie.
Fall: Work continues on my watch workshop.
Aug 25: Got a software engineering job offer from
Aug: Redesigned professorguy website.
poetry & essays about New Hampshire
oldest ad page on the web