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      BLOG — HI MY NAME IS

      HI MY NAME IS TIM ARITS

      As part of our ongoing blog series Hi My Name Is, we bring you Tim Arits. Tim came to our attention after the HMNIM "wendy" chicken shirt. Tim is, besides being an entrepreneur, Google employee and drummer, a bit of a chicken expert, well, at least compared to us. He brought to our attention one of the rarest breeds, and one of the most bad ass looking chickens, which we know that statement is an oxymoron. Chicken? Bad ass? How can that be? Well, we will let Tim tell you all about himself and the chicken breed called Ayam Cemani.

      Tim where how did you get into chickens ?

      I grew up in a very small village called 'Swartbroek', which is located in the South of the Netherlands. Although I grew up on a farm, we didn't cultivate any land or keep livestock for a living. When I turned 9, my grandfather gave me a hen with little chicks that hatched a week earlier. This is when I got my first chickens. Together with my dad, I started to search on the internet for more chickens and we found a chicken breeder nearby. This guy I met basically changed my entire life. He showed me what it is to have a clear passion for something. The way he looked at things still inspires me everyday.

      How did you come across the Ayam Cemani? 

      I don't like the normal and I try to make a difference into the things I do. So after a while I decided to start searching for the rarest chicken breed that I could find. After spending hours on the Internet I found the Ayam Cemani breed. One of the coolest and rarest breeds I have ever seen! Because the Ayam Cemani breed is almost extinct, it took me years to find eggs from a pure breed coupleAfter I hatched the first eggs I started to breed more of them and I even won several prizes in the end. At that time, I already dedicated a large part of my time to save them from extinction and it turned out to be my first project which was driven by pure passion

      the Ayam Cemani the rarest of chickens.
      What are you up to now

      Eventually, in 2012 I had to sell all the chickens because I accepted a job at Google as an account strategist. I had to move from the Netherlands to Ireland and sold the chickens to a Belgium guy who shipped them to America. The chickens I personally raised by hand are now sold in the US for $4,999 a pair (see: http://greenfirefarms.com/store/category/chickens/ayam-cemani/)!!! At Google, I now support small and medium businesses in their online presence and help them to further grow their business. Although breeding black chickens is completely different from helping companies with their online marketing, Google and its advertisers remind me of this incredible breed. It's the passion to reach a certain goal that remains the same!!! 

      HI MY NAME IS...

      You are going to meet lots of famous people through our Hi My Name Is series. But we want to put the spotlight on some of you that are just as interesting but relatively unknown. Let's meet Anthony Proetta

      What is your Job Title?

      Locomotive engineer. 

       

      How long have you been driving the trains?

      Never ask an engineer if he drives a train, it's almost as bad as calling him or her a conductor. We don't drive trains!! We run them, or operate the equipment. It's not an automobile, there is no steering wheel, ha ha! Regardless, I have been an engineer for 5 years. 

       

      What made you want to be a conductor? 

      Ha ha!! Engineer you mean?? 

      Everyone loves trains. Whether you're a child or an adult, at some point you've admired a train. I have always admired trains. I never imagined I'd ever be lucky enough to run them. I worked my way up, starting as a track worker, building and repairing the rail road tracks, then eventually with a good reputation, I was accepted into the position of "Engineer". Something I've always wanted to do. And I can honestly say, I love my job. 

       

      Craziest thing that's gone down on your train.

      The craziest things mostly happen on holidays like St. Patty's day, Cinco De Mayo, etc, when there are drinks and drugs being consumed. Htuge crowds of intoxicated people are all taking the trains to go party or parade. Some times the crowds get along and crowd surf each other down the aisles until the police come. Or they don't get along and fight in the aisles until the police come. So, eventually the police are called. It's pandemonium. 

      The best story I have is when a friend of ours, a well-known frequent passenger of our trains, who happens to be a drag queen, was getting harassed by three gang kids. He beat up one of the gang kids while wearing high heels. They never bothered him again. 

       

      Famous people on your train?

      Yes, all the time. Sometimes it's hard to recognize them. Sometimes not. I see a lot of athletes. Met Mark Messier of the NY Rangers hockey team, friendly guy.  But this is New York, and in New York no one cares about celebrities. 

      I actually moved a train around that was used while they filmed a movie that should be coming out this year called "Blood Ties". It was an interesting experience. The actors involved included Billy Crudup, Zoe Saldana and Clive Owen. No big deal. 

       

      Weird creatures in the tunnels?

      Rats the size of cats. Roaches the size of mice. And the occasional houseless person looking for a nap. I'm usually willing to share my food with all of them. 

       

      Any train facts that are cool to know?

      A single train car can hold about a hundred people per car on our trains, that means on an 8 car train the engineer and conductor are responsible for getting about 1,000 people to their destination safely in a single trip!

       

      Thank you Anthony, for sharing your stories and insight in what it's like to live in your world. Think you have what it takes to be a person of interest on HMNI? Hit us up on our FB page about who you are and what you do. Maybe you can be the next "Hi My Name is" profile.