The Critters

Briseadh na Faire

Seek not to change the world. Seek instead to change yourself. Can you become the perfect image of love and peace you would hope for the world?

Imagine that. Hold that vision in your mind and heart, even if only for a moment. And in that moment, you will have changed the world.

Cats r Flyfishn


Meow, meow, meow, and meow.

Translated – I was born in New Jersey but I’m not a “Jersey Girl”.  Spent most of my life living in the Southeastern part of Pennsylvania.  I enjoy reading, gardening, cooking, and music.  My husband tells people that I am a “cat whisperer”.  Funny guy.  I have degree in Nursing Science and spent several years working in the field of addiction.  When I decided to leave nursing, I went to work for the Pharmaceutical Industry.  I have since retired from “Big Pharma” and now have my own business providing therapeutic massage and reflexology.

In 2004, I became politcally active when I realized that something had to be done to keep George W Bush out of the White House for a second term. Unfortunately, the Republican controlled Ohio Board of Elections made sure that GWB won that state. Sound familiar?

We must remain vigilant to protect our democracy. Otherwise, we lose it.


Freegan Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish,Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish,Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish,Fish, Fish, Fish,  Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish, Fish.


Hi, my name’s Amelie. I was born in the middle of Europe in 2006. When my real mom decided five of us were one mouth too many to feed, she picked me to be the one, kicked out of the nest. EV is my surrogate mother. She picked me up and nursed me through my childhood and adolescence and finally let me roam free in her garden. EV is a lot like me. Prickly on the outside and quite soft underneath. She loves nature and her fellow men and occasionally despairs of the world she lives in. On the whole a warm resting place, good food, good people and a good story are her idea of a good time and the Zoo is the place to find the latter two.


Born October 22, 1942 (MN) 
Home town pop. around 1000
Father owned and operated a small local bakery
Grad. HS in 1960
BS degree in Microbiology, Jan. 1965
Graduate school for one semester, then avoided the Vietnam draft via employment for a Defense contractor that specialized in BCW weapons development
Moved from Defense to Aerospace, then into Agriculture in Arizona, eventually started my own (ag) business.
“Retired” in 2001 following brain surgery for a congenital circulatory seizure-causing problem.
Completed writing a novel in 2010, got it published in 2011.
Two children, split with first wife in 1997, now in the process of living happily ever after with one of the finest and most beautiful ladies alive today.

Currently living in Colorado in a small town along the front range where I am researching an idea for a second novel, also working diligently on losing the pounds I put on as I sat here writing the first one.
I am a-religious, a non-theist by definition.  I am, politically, more a Socialist than anything else.  I detest war and anything military, and am a firm supporter of government investment in ordinary people — in education, health care, retirement, and the overall well-being of the masses.  Am also a ‘radical’ environmentalist, and a firm supporter of science-based everything.


Me? I’m a year shy of 60, and that’s really hard for me to say. I’m still waiting for the do-over, because I learned a lot of useful information over the years, almost all of it too late to do me any good. I grew up in small towns in western New York and in Oregon, because my father kept getting transferred. It was disruptive, but I did get to see a lot of the US, driving back and forth. In 1965, we moved to Modesto, California and I’ve lived on the West Coast ever since. After college, I bounced around to Portland, Seattle, Berkeley and finally back to Portland in 1984. Since then, I’ve worked for the local transit agency, first as a graphic designer and now as a half-assed technical project manager, responsible for various electronic information systems. Married (unsuccessfully) twice, and have a son that is 22 and a step-daughter also 22. Both of them are friends to me now, and I’m really glad adolescence is over. Over for them, at any rate. Not sure about me. My loves include books, movies, beer, whiskey, food and photography. Oh, and baseball, when it isn’t making me furious.

Jane E. Schneider

I’ve lived in southeastern New York for all but a few years of my life. I’ll turn (gulp!) 52 shortly before Christmas. Despite thirteen years of Catholic schools, I’m now an agnostic. I prefer animals to most people, and Wayne and I have a large collection of cats. My main interests are: sleeping, baseball (Mets, you tear my heart out!), reading (though my eyes aren’t up to it much these days), photography (extreme amateur), nature, science, and, always, sleeping. Oh…and, of course, political issues. Always of a liberal bent, my early dreams of saving the planet have, of necessity, now been focused on trying to help save my country.


Husband of Cats, but… I have my own identity. Born in the City of Brotherly Love, two degrees from Temple U. (Could have gone anywhere, could only afford Temple). Lifepath- Center city Philly, West Mount Airy (Philly), Reading, PA (met Cats there), Schwenksville (Home of the Philadelphia Folk Festival),   and current stop at Hill Church, Berks County. Occupation- Community Organizer.  Current Practice- Director of Community Life at a CCRC. Proudest Achievement- Volunteer with Trout Unlimited- organized 12 stream restorations in the upper Perkiomen Watershed, awarded Outstanding Member Conservationist Award of Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited 2004. Passions- fly-fishing, stream conservation, winemaking. Politics- decidedly left of center, self described rational positivist (that way nobody can pigeon-hole you because, who can be against being rational, or being positive, except  a few asshole Republicans?). Love music, particularly acoustic roots genres.



I have spent my adult life in the Pacific Northwest. Yup, webbed feet. I am interested in politics and I love reading (though I buy more books than I ever get around to reading..). I love the ocean, especially in the Pacific Northwest. I love gardening and watching things grow.  I’m a musician, wife and mom. I love storms, the smell of a summer rain, and watching snowflakes fall. I love looking at color, the smell of baking bread, and listening to all kinds of music. I love my community, my country and my planet. I care deeply about truth, justice, and fairness.

My motto continues to be “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”~John Lennon. At least, that’s been my personal experience up to this point.. It’s made me learn to be flexible.


Hiker, fisherman, bird watcher, leaf raker, lawn mower, apple picker, paperboy, floor mopper, car wash attendant, gas station attendant, printer, kayaker, lapidarist, silversmith, lumber piler, fork lift operator, aluminum siding applicator, lumberjack, furniture factory worker, apple picker (again) tool and die machinist, artist, survival school instructor, apprentice  medicine man, wanderer, printer (again) log cabin builder, stone mason, married man, unmarried man, wanderer (again), dishwasher, pizza chef, survival school operator, massage therapist, merchant marine sailor, construction worker, artist (again, still…), adobe home renovator, married man (again), unmarried man (again, still), blogger, wildland fire fighter, trail crew foreman; hiker, fisherman, kayaker and blogger still… apprentice medicine man (still, perhaps some progress will be evident the next time around… chuckle…)

What you do is not who you are…


Beauvais Coat of Arms

I’m a native SoCal boy, actually a Valley boy (San Fernando). Two weeks out of Catholic HS, I enlisted in the Army, seeking my fame and fortune. Unfortunately, after 2 years 8 months I escaped with neither, but luckily still had my life. I attended UC Santa Barbara, married, had a daughter, divorced and worked in the natural food business for 14 years. Came up to the NW in 84, worked as a buyer at a natural foods distributorship from 85 – 89. In 89 I had one of those mid life epiphanies, realized I should have been a computer programmer. Went to school nights for 3 years and went into business for myself, doing database programs for small businesses. Taught at the local CC for four years before winding up over at Costco Wholesale. Married (for the third and final time) in 2000, to my Vietnamese wife Lisa. Amber was born in March of 2003, and keeps mom and dad real busy. Jayden was born on Martin Luther King’s birthday in 09, and is all boy.I’ve played guitar and harmonica and sung since I was 13, and really enjoy it when I find the time. Both kids are now Beatles affiicianados as I have turned them on to U-Tube and they seem to be enjoying it. Yeah, Yeah Yeah!



Being a Critter here at The Zoo is the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in years. What more do I need to say. I’m the mother of one middle schooler and I own a business with my husband but work out of the house. That leaves me plenty of time to watch the news and absorb all the frustration that comes with it. Living in a mostly Republican county makes it difficult to find political conversations that don’t end up in confrontation and I was thrilled when I met my fellow Critters and was able to express my feelings about the path this country has been going down.


Our WaltTheMan peacefully slipped this mortal coil on April 6, 2012.  One of the founding members of TheZoo, his kindness, brilliance, and bawdy sense of humor will be missed by all of us forever.

Born in Washington, DC in 1941, I have lived all over the world. In addition to myself, my Mom gave birth to triplets on June 6, 1944 (DDay!) when I was 3 (If you can imagine the trauma from being the center of attention and then being totally ignored, that took the cake.) and a sister (Born on Halloween.). The picture is of my Mom and myself in 1942. I have three sons, a beautiful spouse and a loving and & lovable granddaughter with an intense interest in nature and science. I worked 40 years in computer design (logic and microcode) and PC programming after vectoring off a combined degree in EE, CompSci and Physics (In 1963!). I am currently retired in Florida where I dabble in woodworking and The Zoo as my hobbies.

Wayne A. Schneider

Life is funny when you look like me.

Born in a mining colony on Rigel VII, I was raised by Vulcan traders who found the wreckage of my family’s spaceship. I was the only survivor. During a subsequent, still-classified visit to the planet Earth, I was exchanged for some Vulcan political dissidents being held in a secret hangar in Ohio ( Hangar 18 ) wanted on their home planet for expressing illogical ideas. My adoptive Earth family raised me as one of their own, never telling me my true origins. I was left to discover this on my own as an adult. On a visit to a place the humans call New York City, my true identity was revealed to me by a strange woman who wore a head scarf and consulted a glowing orb. I’d say I got my $200 worth that day.Posing as one of you, I have experienced many things during my time on your planet. I attended what you call an “institute of higher learning” where I learned about the effects of massive alcohol consumption on education. (It doesn’t help.) I even enrolled in a military organization calling itself the United States Air Force. They sent me from Louisiana, to Maryland, to Georgia, to Alaska, to West Germany, then back to Louisiana again, then back once more to West Germany, then to New Jersey where they told me my services were no longer needed. It seemed like an awful lot of trouble to go through just for that. These days I pose as something called a “Production Planner” in a small family-owned business, with occasional computer programming work thrown in for fun. In my spare time I write silly song parodies and political commentary of an insignificant nature. But it all helps me keep my sanity while I wait for the people from my home planet to come rescue me.


I was born in Twenty-Nine Palms, California, on November 3, in the last century. I was bawling my eyes out because I had been rudely awakened from a deep slumber in my water-filled room – where I dreamed of a world run by people who cared about one another – by an obnoxious smack across my newly-born, yet cute-for-life behind, by some guy wearing a mask. I didn’t get a good look at him, as someone was whisking me away and putting some kind of drops in my eyes. Not two minutes old and already they were trying to control me. But they wouldn’t succeed. Never! They would rue the day they…ever……(yawn)…tried to…con…trol… (yawn)…me… zzzzzz…zzzzzz…zzzZZZ…ZZZZZZ…

(A few years later)

Life is good for the Zooster. No one controls me now – and I’ll never tell where the bodies are buried, so don’t bother asking. The men have flown the coop, but I’ve managed to scrape up all the droppings they left behind, and things are smelling a bit sweeter. Of course, we all have to deal with that moronic boss at work…but wait, I forgot! Not me! I’m happily unemployed – no moronic bosses for me. Now that I have the time, I decided to finally embark on my University career as a psych major. I graduated!  But still, don’t come to me with your problems. 🙂

I guess somewhere along the way, I pissed off someone from China, because I seem to have found myself in interesting times indeed, and I’m hanging on by my fingernails like everybody else. We’re in this together, so let’s get a move on.

Welcome to TheZoo. Enjoy.