#58: Python Hunter Ruben Ramirez

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

You may have seen the headlines: Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission just held a month-long python-catching contest.

Anyone over the age of 18 who had completed an online (online!) training course could participate, and nearly 1,600 people signed up. Most were amateurs, but those who prevailed were pros.

Ruben Ramirez, who has been hunting snakes for more than 27 years and considers the Everglades his backyard, won for “most harvested.” He turned in 18 pythons over the course of the competition.

About Ruben Ramirez: Ruben Ramirez is the founder of a small group of outdoorsmen called the Florida Python Hunters. Licensed to remove Burmese pythons and other non-native reptiles, the group works closely with state officials focused on protecting the ecosystem of South Florida from invasive species.

#57: Lawyer and Writer Carolyn Edgar

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

Ever since this post posing the question, Follow Your Heart, Do the Math, or Something In Between?,” I’ve kept an eye out for people whose work paths would suggest that they’ve come up with some answers, at least for themselves.

Carolyn Edgar is just such a person. Somehow, she juggles a challenging job in corporate law, a lifelong passion for writing, and life as a single mom. In the interview, Edgar reflects on her work choices; she also shares the advice she plans to give when the time comes for her kids to find their own career paths.

About Carolyn Edgar: Carolyn Edgar is a New York City attorney and writer who blogs about social issues and relationships at carolynedgar.com. She has contributed to publications including CNN.com and Huffington Post, and has appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More with Tony Cox, The Michael Baisden Show (syndicated), and The Al Butler Show (Philadelphia, PA).

#56: Bob Baxter, Editor of Tattoo Road Trip

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

After reading about the explosive growth of the tattoo industry over the last 15 years, I got to wondering: how does one become a tattoo artist? What’s the path? How would you go from doodling on your arm with a ballpoint pen (the only kind of tattoo I’ve ever had or drawn) to, oh say, rendering a large multicolored dragon on someone else’s torso?

Researching the topic, I discovered Bob Baxter and his jam-packed website, Tattoo Road Trip. As the former editor of the international tattoo magazine Skin & Ink, and as the father of no fewer than three professional tattoo artists, Baxter knows the culture and industry of tattoo as well as anyone I might have called. I spoke to him earlier this week from his home in Hood River, Oregonabout an hour from Portland, the fifth-most-tattooed city in the nation.

Image credit: drawing of Bob Baxter by Bob Tyrrell. Used with permission from Bob Baxter.

About Bob Baxter: Baxter is the editor-in-chief of Tattoo Road Trip, a website for tattoo enthusiasts that includes reviews of tattoo artists and tattoo shops. The site also features picture galleries, drawing tips, business tips, and extensive commentary on the history, culture, and industry of tattoo. Previously, Baxter was the longtime (14 years) editor-in-chief of Skin & Ink, an award-winning tattoo magazine that was owned by Larry Flynt at the time.