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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

See Our Hugging Zoo Animals on TV

Several months ago I received a call from Leftfield Pictures in New York.  They wanted to hire our animals to do a T.V. Series.  Honestly I thought someone was pulling a joke on me.

I asked some questions and gave them a price.  They set up a time to come and meet with me.  I was surprised to say the least.  The two Stars of the show, Jeremiah and Ox and the camera crew, sound guys, field medic and the production people were all great.

We were not allowed to tell anyone the name of the series or any details until filming was done.  Some of the filming was done here at our barn and some in Winter Haven.

When they were doing the filming here at our barn somehow both me and Storm got talked into being on film.  I told them that I was already fat and didn't need the camera to add any more to me.  They all laughed and said they would fix it, I wouldn't be fat.  

We have now been given the okay to tell people about the show.  The name of the show is "Hillbillies for Hire" and it airs on CMT on July14th at 9 pm.  I'm excited and looking forward to seeing it but at the same time I dread seeing what I'm going to look like on film.  I'm self conscious about my weight as it is and the thought of being on t.v.  and everybody seeing how fat I am is my worst nightmare.

At this point we don't know what all was used for the T.V. Series and what was cut.  I spoke to the production guys on the phone and once they filmed it everything then went to CMT for their people to edit it and put it together.  There are four episodes that are going to be on and we don't know how many of them or which ones will have our petting zoo in them.

I can say that after doing this I have a very high respect for actors and actresses.  The first day of filming we spent 9 hours in front of the camera and only got 3 1/2 hours of actual film to use.  Some of the scenes we taped over and over again.  And each time it had to be taped again you had to be in the exact same position as the first time.  That is really rough when you are dealing with animals.

I know the camera guy got one really funny thing on tape and I have no idea if it will be used or not.  If it is, I guess I'll just go dig a hole and crawl in it cause I'm going to die of embarrassment.   In this one scene me and our little mini stallion, "Charlie" was in the house and there were two monkey's sitting on the dining room table.  The lady who was in charge of the monkey's asked if one of them could pet the horse.  She said they had horses at home and the monkey loved them.  So, I walked "Charlie" over to the table and squatted down next to him.  The monkey reached out and patted him on the head, no problem, "Charlie" didn't care.  The monkey patted him again and then started jumping up and down and screaming, it scared "Charlie" half to death, he took off running and with me squatted down I went over backwards and he was pulling me across the living room floor on my back.  Naturally the camera guy got it all.

The filming was horribly long days and it was lots of hard work but it was also a lot of fun.  I wouldn't want to do it for a living though.  We met some great people and got a lot of laughs when they were at our barn.  New York City guys are scared of farm animals.  

The series should be hilariously funny.  Even if I don't look great on film, I'm proud as can be that my animals are going to be on t.v. in a movie.  I hope everyone enjoys watching it and now when our petting zoo comes to your party you will get to meet real movie star critters.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New CDL Requirement Stinks

Well, I have to get on my soapbox over this.

Our kids, grandkids, loved ones and friends fighting and dying for a Free Country when the government is trying (and succeeding) in running our lives?

I drove a tractor trailer when there were no CDL's.  You had a chauffeur license for any commercial vehicle.   I had to get my CDL to continue driving.  I have all the endorsements, including "P", "S" and "motorcycle" on my CDL.  I gave up the "H" endorsement when I renewed them last time.

If you have a CDL you have to have a DOT Medical Card to drive and if you have the "S" endorsement you have to have a DOE Medical Card to drive.

I recently received a postcard from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles telling me there is a new certification requiredment for CDL holders.  You have 4 categories
to choose from:  (A) non-excepted interstate - federal medical certification required, 
(B) excepted interstate- exempt from medical certification, (C) non-excepted intrastate- state medical certificate required, (D) excepted intrastate-exempt from medical certification.

This is required if you operate or expect to operate in interstate or intrastate commerce.

"Failure to self-certify in one of the categories and, if required, maintain a valid Medical Certification will result in the disqualification of your CDL privileges."

Due to the economy there are a lot of CDL holders who are not currently driving commercially.  But, the government is telling them they have to go pay for a Physical or lose their CDL.  If you lose your CDL then you will not even be able to apply anywhere for a job driving.  Any company you go to work for sends you to get a new Medical Card when they hire you, but they are not going to hire you if you lose your CDL.

1.  what gives Florida the right to take our CDL if we are not using it?
2.  what gives them the right to make us have a Medical Card if we are not driving?
3.  if the vehicle weight says you need a CDL, why are some people exempt?
4.  as many people who are driving cars and should not be - why don't they need one?

Seems to me that as long as we have a valid medical card when we are driving a commercial vehicle that is all we need.  

If they want to do something useful and get unsafe driver's off the road then they need to require medical cards for people driving that are over 65 years old.  About 1/2 of them can't see good enough to drive.  The State of Florida will renew their license regardless of their health or age by mail for another 5 to 7 years.

But for us, Professional Driver's, they pull this kind of crap.