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The Good Life – July-August 2014

The areas premier men’s magazine featuring inspirational men in our community. Covering a variety of topics including local heroes, fathers, sports and advice for men.

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Landing the job of your dreams in 10 easy steps

BY: MEGHAN FEIR

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Whether you just quit a job you’ve been working at for

28 years, or you just left the arms of your alma mater,

there comes a time in a human’s life when interviewing

for a job is necessary. Weaving through the expectations,

sifting through the stressful questions and attempting to

look like the best your city has to offer can weigh heavily

on anyone’s shoulders. These surefire tips to success are

guaranteed to get results, or your money back! (Please

read disclaimer, conveniently placed at end of article.)

Before the big interview…

Be prepared to show ‘em what ya got (have, actually

what you have). Be unique. Be different. Try really hard

to act like someone they’ve never hired before. Be a little

cocky. After all, why shouldn’t you brag about the trophy

you won in a third-grade science fair? You earned it.

Emulate every Abercrombie & Fitch store by wearing

gallons of cologne enough to where office evacuation

may be necessary upon your arrival. Why? They’ll

certainly remember you, which will give you an edge

over the competition.

During the big interview…

Interrupt them as they’re halfway through asking you a

question by finishing the query you think they’re about

to ask you. By taking the words right out of their mouth,

you will impress them with your intuitive nature. “It’s like

he’s a mind reader, or something. Hire him!”

Just as the most successful relationships are built on

games, play hard-to-get during your interview. Add a

lump of apathy to your recipe for success. Yeah, sure,

you care about getting the job, but not THAT much.

When they ask you why you would be a great fit for

their company and the position, emphasize, emphasize,

emphasize that this is definitely not your first choice,

but that, out of the goodness of your heart, you know

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they need you. If you do decide to go with this

option, forgo step No. 10.

Another route you could take is to be the

over-attached, obsessed fan. When was the

last time you saw someone tattoo the State

Farm logo on their forehead? Yeah, exactly.

Showing intense devotion to the company

will flatter you into the position. They may act

weirded out, but that’s all in jest. Don’t sweat

it.

After the big interview…

After you’ve finished answering their last query,

following the “Well, I think we’ve asked all we

need to, at this point in time,” or whatever,

let out a ginormous I’m talking HUGE sigh.

Take a large gasp of air, hold it in for a few

seconds, and release all the tension you built

up as a parting gift to your interviewers.

After releasing your pent-up stress-ball of

air, hug the interviewer(s) as you bid them

farewell. If you find this slightly uncomfortable,

just remember this: When in doubt, hug it out.

Grab your things quickly, shake their hand

exuberantly and dash out of the office. If you’re

capable of sprinting, like in your 100-meterdash,

glory days of high school, go for it.

Once you’ve reached your car, bike or extra

pair of legs, peel out of the parking lot. Make

another scene. They’ll love it.

Call them an hour after the interview to see if

they have reached a verdict on the position.

Once again, this will show them you care (but

not too much).

Disclaimer:

Money-back guarantees are out of the

question. Don’t follow any of the advice in this

article. I have no money to give you. I repeat. I

have no money to give you. At all.


JULY/AUGUST 2014 VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 1

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Dawn Siewert

dawn@urbantoadmedia.com

PHOTOGRAPHY

Darren Losee

darren@urbantoadmedia.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Soo Asheim

Jessica Ballou

Cantrell

Meghan Feir

Paul Hankel

PUBLISHED BY

Urban Toad Media LLP

www.urbantoadmedia.com

/urbantoadmedia

READ AN ISSUE ONLINE:

issuu.com/thegoodlifemensmag

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may not be reproduced without permission. The

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are the views of individual writers or advertisers and

do not necessarily represent the views or policies of

The Good Life Men’s Magazine.


I JUST WANT TO FLY:

Area Skydivers Jump for Thrills, Friends

FATHERS

How To Be A Good Dad Despite Separations

LOCAL HERO

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Landing the Job of Your Dreams

In 10 Easy Steps

Hot Cars, Hot Nights:

Cruise Nights Are Back!

Cigar Basics

Some Basic Tips To Help You Better Enjoy

Your Cigar

Living Life In High Gear

Ben Schroeder Makes Heads Turn With

His Approach Toward Real Estate

Bugs Be Gone!

Your Guide To Keeping Backyard Pests

Under Control

Build It In Your Garage With A 6-Pack

Build A Flip-Down Bar For Your Garage

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BY: PAUL HANKEL | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

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ne of West Fargo’s premiere summer

events, West Fargo Cruise Nights, is back

again and bigger than ever.

The event, a classic car and hot rod

show which started in July of 2010, gives

area residents the chance to come out to West Fargo and

show off their classic and custom cars and motorcycles.

Attendees can head to Sheyenne Street, park their cars

between Main Avenue and 7th Avenue, and enjoy an

evening of sunshine, cars and motorcycles, and food and

drink.

Cruise Night is hosted by Toppers Car Club, a local

classic car club, and also sponsored by WDAY, the City of

West Fargo, and others.

Cody Wendelbo, a Toppers Car Club member and

one of the event’s organizers, promises that this year’s

festivities will be even bigger and better than previous

years.

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• Third Thursdays of the month

• 4:30pm to 9:00pm on Sheyenne Street, West Fargo

• Both cars and motorcycles on display

• Food and beverage vendors

The Good Life: What is the goal of West Fargo Cruise

Nights?

Cody Wendelbo: The goal is for everyone to bring their

cars out and have a good time.

GL: Is Cruise Night a car competition?

CW: No, it’s not a contest. We just want people to show

up, bring their cars and have a good time. They don’t have to

be perfect.

GL: What types of rides will we see at Cruise Night?

CW: All types of cars and motorcycles. Everyone has their

own idea of what’s cool. All types of cars are welcome.

For the past four years, the numbers of cars and

motorcycles that participate in the event has continued to

swell, as has the number of people whom attend. Newer

features include a motorcycle corral which, last year, included

over 100 motorcycles.

CW: We’ve had anywhere from 450 to 1200 cars and

motorcycles at certain ones (Cruise Nights). It’s hard to

believe!

GL: Is this a family friendly event?

CW: Absolutely. We have food and beverage vendors and

try to maintain the family atmosphere. We do serve alcohol,

but we keep everything under control.

As an underlying reason for Cruise Night, Toppers Car

Club uses the event as a platform to give money to various

local charities that are in need.

CW: Toppers has an indoor car show every year. We

raise money at that and then give that money away to local

charities at each of our Cruise Nights.

GL: What’s the easiest way to sign up for Cruise Night?

CW: The easiest way is to just show up, park your ride

and come to the event tent to fill out a window card. We just

need the year, make and model of your ride and that’s it!

This year’s Cruise Nights events kick off on June 19 and

are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month from 4:30pm

to 9:00pm on Sheyenne Street in West Fargo.

If you can’t make it to the event, The Jay Thomas Show

live broadcasts from 2:00pm to 5:00pm from each Cruise

Night event on 970 AM and, this year, WDAY TV will be

broadcasting live from Cruise Night on August 21st.

West Fargo Cruise Nights is one of the many events that

showcase what this area is all about: celebrating the short

summer months by getting together, having a good time,

and raising funds for worthy causes in our area. So, shine

up your ride, head out to Sheyenne Street and come join the

fun!

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5:00pm to 9:00pm

Broadway, Downtown Fargo

Thursday, August 7

Thursday, September 4

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PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

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FATHERS

AWAY BUT NOT APART:

HOW TO BE A GOOD DAD

DESPITE SEPARATIONS

BY: CAREY CASEY | WWW.FATHERS.COM

Do you find yourself often separated from your

children? Whether it’s due to job demands,

divorce, military service or some other challenge,

this is a growing issue for today’s fathers …

including me.

I travel a lot for work; I’m away from home much more

than I would like to be, although my family knows that I

have a calling on my life. Still, I have to accept the fact that

as a road warrior dad, my absence can add to today’s crisis of

fatherlessness.

For all of you guys who love your kids and can’t be there

as much as you would like, you can be “away but not apart.”

Here are 3 thoughts that have helped me stay connected

at home. I know many of you have other tried-and-true

strategies that work.

1. Have a heart-to-heart talk with your family members.

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Is your absence weakening your relationships? You might

be ignoring some warning signs or losing touch with your

wife and children more than you realize. Sometimes I’ll ask

Chance, “Son, am I gone too much?” And he’ll say, “No,

Dad, I’m okay. I know what you’re doing.” Ask your bride,

too. That feedback also helps you to keep your priorities

straight when you are together. Your time and attention

becomes more focused.

Also, dad, be open to the possibility that changes may

be necessary. If your family relationships are suffering or

even dangerously at-risk, it’s worth checking into a different

position at your company or even changing jobs. That might

seem like an extreme option, but it’s much easier than a

divorce, if you’re married, or seeing your children go through

major struggles without you (or because of your absence).

2. Find ways to stay in touch while you’re apart. Invest


some extra effort and expense, whether that means texting,

video conferencing, or your preferred way of staying in

touch. Set up regular times for phone calls, so everyone can

be available and expect your call. Be creative and find new

ways to connect.

3. Conduct yourself with integrity. This might seem totally

separate from your role as a father or a husband, but it’s

all connected. Doing what’s right when you’re away from

your children makes you a better man, which makes you a

better father. Your self-discipline and character will make a

difference in you life in many ways, and will spill over to

your kids.

Even when you aren’t with your children or you have

legal challenges with their mom, do the right thing and keep

your poise. You will bless your kids by maintaining a high

reputation and a virtuous life.

Action Points

• If at all possible, shorten your work trip. Can you

squeeze in a late meeting and then fly home late

instead of waiting another day?

• Before a business trip, be sensitive to your wife’s

feelings and find ways to lighten her load in some way.

Also, do a few special one-on-one things with each of

your kids. Build up a reservoir of time so your absence

isn’t quite as difficult.

• Tell your children about why you’re leaving —

what you hope to accomplish and the bigger-picture

benefits it will bring to clients, consumers, or families.

• Leave your family members small gifts or notes of

encouragement that they’ll find when you’re gone.

• Put some planning into your re-entry back home.

The first few minutes after you walk in the house can

make a big difference. (And save discipline issues and

bills until later.)

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CIGAR BASICS

Some basic tips to help you better enjoy your cigar.

BY: CANTRELL

Choosing a cigar.

Mild cigars are recommended for beginners, since the more full-flavored cigars will taste too strong to

a new smoker. Each wrapper gives a unique taste and flavor to a cigar. Darker wrappers tend to have a

fuller flavor, while paler cigars tend to be milder. Start by choosing several single cigars. Sample a few

before committing to a full box.

Cigars tend to dry up in less than 24 hours after removal from a humidor. The easiest way to know if a

cigar is fresh is to gently squeeze the cigar. The wrapper should be tender and free of cracking.

How you light your cigar is important.

First clip off the end with a cigar cutter about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. Never light a cigar with paper matches

or a gas burning Zippo. It will give the cigar a bad chemical taste. Instead, use wooden matches or a butane

lighter. Hold the cigar horizontally and slightly above the flame and rotate it slowly so it becomes evenly

charred. Next, hold the cigar closer to the flame and draw in to ignite it. Avoid flicking ashes off the end of

the cigar. A long ash helps the cigar burn correctly.

The enjoyment that you get from smoking a cigar is taking your time to experience the flavor and the taste

without having to inhale.

Where to purchase.

The best place to buy cigars is a well-established tobacconist, preferably one with a walk-in humidor, or one

that stores its cigars in a good-sized humidified cabinet.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most tobacconists are pleased to help you out.

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1

HUMIDOR

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CIGAR CUTTER

PHOTO BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

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BUTANE LIGHTER

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PREMIUM CIGARS

1 Store your cigars in a humidor to keep them fresh and ready to smoke. Humidors come in a wide variety of styles and

prices. 2 A must-have tool for an accurate cut and the perfect draw. There are many types of cutters from punch cutters

to cigar scissors. 3 Cigar lighters are a essential for any true cigar aficionado. Don’t forget the butane! 4 Don’t skimp on

your cigar. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but smoking a low grade cigar may lessen the experience.


BEN SCHROEDER MAKES HEADS TURN WITH HIS APPROACH TOWARD REAL ESTATE

LIVING LIFE IN HIGH GEAR

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BY: MEGHAN FEIR | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

There you are, ready to meet

your Realtor®, when a guy

in a blacked-out Corvette

(resembling the Batmobile)

pulls up. Exiting the car

like a man who knows how to make

an entrance, he’s donning a wardrobe

that looks like he could’ve stolen it

straight off a mannequin from The

Buckle, complete with leather, man

bracelets.

While that scene may sound

like it was stolen from a movie, it’s

actually a frequently repeated clip

from the life of Ben Schroeder a

father, husband, self-proclaimed,

soft-hearted “wild man” and Realtor®.

For six years, Schroeder has been

making heads turn with his approach

toward realty at Park Company

Realtors, gaining popularity in the

land of buying and selling, not

only for his knowledge, but his

personality.

Schroeder is part free bird and

part workaholic, but he has made

these two traits shake hands in a

partnership that has made him a

smashing hit in Fargo. He doesn’t

just own a fast car; his whole life is

in high gear, and he prides himself

on being the “fastest response in

town.”

Let’s take a closer look into the

mind of one of Fargo’s most wellknown

realtors.

The Good Life: What gives you an edge over other people?

Ben: When I first started real estate and took the same approach as everyone

else, I didn’t do very well. I was to the point where I said, you know, I’m

either going to be genuine and it’s going to work, or I’m going to be out

of this industry. I did just that, and ever since then, it’s taken off. If people

know that you’re being genuine, I think they respect that, whether they

agree with it or not. If you’re not genuine, they’re gonna pick up on that.

GL: How would you describe yourself?

Ben: I would say I’m a combination of Phil Dunphy from “Modern

Family” and “The Wolf on Wall Street.” I think Phil is a bit too PG, but I’m

not the wolf either.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: BEN SCHROEDER 15


GL: So, you’re probably rated PG-13?

Ben: It depends on which country you’re in. I’m a wild

man, but I guess I’ve always had a big heart. I always look

for the best in people, no matter what I’ve heard,

and I sympathize with them.

GL: What constitutes “wild” in your

mind?

Ben: I wouldn’t say it’s a bad

thing. If I want to do something,

I’ll weigh the pros and cons, but

more than likely, I’m going to do

it.

GL: Would you consider yourself

high-maintenance?

Ben: Yes.

GL: Besides your highlights, what places

you in that category?

Ben: Maybe not high maintenance. I just have a

high self-image. My dad’s nickname for me in high school

was “catalogue boy.” I always wanted to look good. I

probably have more hair-care products than most women.

GL: If you could give one piece of advice to potential

home buyers, what would it be?

Ben: Do your homework. A lot of people don’t know

you can interview agents. I would pick someone

who you can feel comfortable with, whether

it’s their personality or the way they do

business. There’s so much information

available. Take advantage of that.

GL: With your constantly on-thego

schedule, don’t you ever get

tired out?

Ben: The only thing that tires me

out is when I don’t have control

over things. There are a lot of

outside factors that can affect a

real-estate transaction lenders,

appraisers, home inspectors, buyers

and sellers. That’s probably what I lose

sleep over when something happens to

people who I’m representing and there may not

be anything I can do about it. I don’t think the public

realizes the things that can happen in a real-estate

transaction.

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GL: What is your recipe for happiness?

Ben: Being myself. I’ve learned through other professions

that trying to be someone else is just exhausting. If you’re

just genuine, that’s what they love about you. I think it’s

cool that I’ve been fortunate enough just being myself.

In any career, that’s really hard to do because, usually,

you have to fit some mold to be successful. For me, I’m

just me, I love what I do and it’s worked well for me.

GL: What does living the good life mean to you?

Ben: Just being happy. Too often, people work to live or

live to work. When I got into real estate, I just decided to

do my own thing, be happy and enjoy life. As long as I

continue to do that, I really don’t worry about the other

stuff.

Schroeder’s favorites:

Hair-care product: Rusk hairspray

TV show: The Ultimate Fighter

Beer: Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

Superhero: Batman millionaire playboy

who has all the coolest gadgets yeah.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: BEN SCHROEDER

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: BEN SCHROEDER

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BY: JESSICA BALLOU | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

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What do an electrician, a college

professor and a plumber have

in common? They all like to fly

without an airplane.

Hans Nielsen said Skydive Fargo, the only

drop zone in the state of North Dakota, sees a

wide variety of people jumping at the West Fargo

Municipal Airport.

A lot of people are regulars, but a good number

come just one time, too. There are mostly men in

the club, but there are about a handful of women as

well. The oldest person he’s seen jump was 76 years

old, and the youngest is 18 years old, due to safety

regulations.

“We get people from all walks of life: plumbers,

college professors, IT people, electricians, the federal

government, flight instructors, college students and

more,” he said.

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PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: TERRY PEOPLES The aircraft they use to skydive is a Super Cessna

182, which climbs to 12,000 feet above the ground

in about 15 minutes. Jumpers go up in groups of

four at a time on the aircraft, which could include

four solo jumpers or two tandem sets. Jumpers

must weigh less than 230 pounds for either tandem

or static line jumps.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: TERRY PEOPLES

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Static line and tandem jumps

There are two different types of instructional

jumps that people can participate in: static line

and tandem, both of which are $235. There are no

deposits required, but payments must be received

before jumping. After completing a tandem jump,

the price for a static line course drops to $185 if

taken before the end of the calendar year. Likewise,

after completing a static line jump, the tandem fee

also drops to $185 if done before the end of the

calendar year.

“Our prices literally reflect the cost of the drop,

and we have the lowest price around because of

that,” Nielsen said.

A static line jump is made from about 3,500

feet in the air. Static line jumpers climb outside the

airplane, hang from the strut below the wing and

drop. A static line is attached to the airplane and

the parachute container on each jumper’s back.

As the jumper descends, the static line pulls open

that parachute container and extracts a pilot chute,

which extracts the canopy, and a few seconds later,

the parachute will open. With guidance via radio

from a coach or instructor into a receiver mounted

on the helmet, the jumper then flies the parachute

and lands in the open field near the airport.

To make a jump, you must first take the static

line first-jump course, which is from 6:30 to 9

p.m. Friday and 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday. Weather

permitting, the first load of students will then jump

around 10 a.m. that day.

A tandem jump involves two people (one

jumper plus the instructor) who are harnessed

together in freefall landing under a single parachute

built for two. Tandem jumpers exit the plane at

10,000 feet and free fall for almost a mile before

opening the parachute. The instructor wears the

parachute and is strapped to the other jumper’s

back.

“If they want to be students of the sport, I’d

recommend static line, but if they just want to do it

once, I’d say do tandem,” Nielsen said.

Not many people pass out while doing tandem,

but it does happen from time to time, which can

make for a bit of a less than graceful landing. To

make a tandem jump, about 30 minutes of briefing

and gear-up is required.


PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: TERRY PEOPLES

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Safety precautions

Skydive Fargo is a not-for-profit club, so Nielsen said they don’t offer

group discounts as they’re not a business. Everyone who jumps is

required to become a club member. Annual dues of $50 are included

in the price of a person’s first jump, and membership expires

at the end of the calendar year. Club renewal dues are

$25 after the first year. Annual dues include gear

rental, instructor services, pilot services, gear

repack, altitude and manifest services.

Skydiving can be a dangerous sport,

as jumpers can fall at speeds of 120 mph

to 180 mph or even faster. Because of the

risky nature, every single movement is

practiced on the ground before going up

in an airplane.

“Some aren’t prepared for the

rigorous, rule-following way that we do

it,” Nielsen said. “But we also have an

enormous amount of fun.”

They take numerous safety precautions every

time they jump, and drinking is prohibited. If

anyone sees you even holding a beer, you can’t jump

that day.

Students can’t jump if the winds are 14 mph or higher due to safety

regulations from the Unites States Parachute Association (USPA), the

governing body of the sport.


That can be frustrating at times, Nielsen said, because

new people can go through six hours of training, then the

wind can be too high and they have to go home and

come back a different time to do the actual jump.

Every year Skydive Fargo holds a safety day in March

where club members examine all accidents from the

past year that resulted in death or injuries to figure out

how they can do better.

Weather permitting, jumpers will be at the drop zone

some evenings and weekends during the summer when

the weather is partly cloudy with winds less than 20 mph

(14 mph for students). Some jumpers also participate there

year round. Normally the temperature in the sky is about 30

degrees cooler than on the ground, and Nielsen said this is why

they do very few jumps in January.

Skydive Fargo recommends people call before they come out to the

airport, which is approximately four miles west of I-29 on 19th Avenue

North Hanger No. 8.

Jumpers are asked to wear regular clothing and avoid sandals, boots with

hook laces and jewelry. Skydive Fargo provides jumpsuits that fit over your

clothing, helmets and goggles.

The greatest experience ever’

Sean Maki has been involved with skydiving for about six years, and he

enjoys the freedom of the sport.

He’s done 488 jumps so far. He’s also becoming a skydiving instructor

who helps students learn how to do a static line jump.

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He said skydiving is fairly calming for him now, but it’s

challenging so he’s always learning something new.

“Every jump is awesome,” he said.

Justin Wageman has been skydiving for only about two

years, but he’s made great strides in the sport so far. A friend

invited him to do tandem at 12,000 feet in the air in May of

2012, and he called it “the greatest experience ever.”

After following Skydive Fargo’s curriculum, he became

a licensed instructor in August of 2012.

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The thrill and adrenaline wear off after a while. I

want to become as good as I can,” he said.

All of his training has certainly paid off, as he was

named Skydiver of the Year last year at Skydive Fargo.

“It’s definitely been a life changing experience,”

Wageman said. “And I never, ever thought I would do

it.”

When asked about the first time he jumped, he said:

“Oh my goodness, it was incredible. It’s loud and the


air’s rushing, and it’s a cooler temperature up there.

It was the most freeing experience. That sky is just

expansive. It’s just unbelievable.”

Nielsen, who has been jumping since 2010, said

his favorite part of skydiving involves just being in the

moment.

“That first big step, falling out of an aircraft and

everything is in flux,” he said. “You can’t be worried

about the past; you can’t be worried about the future.

You have to be absolutely in the moment.”

Once you hit terminal velocity, you don’t feel like

you’re falling anymore, he said. Terminal velocity

usually hits around 10 seconds after jumping, once

you’ve descended about 1,000 feet.

He said they’ve had people do tandem dives and

mark the occasion by proposing. Some people land in

the sewage lagoons near the airport, although that’s

only happened twice to Nielsen’s knowledge, and one

of those times was four years ago.

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: TERRY PEOPLES

‘You’re always learning’

Chris Gourde has been jumping for 18 years. He

wanted to just try it once, but then he got hooked, and

now he’s done nearly 1,900 jumps.

“It’s always a challenge. It doesn’t matter how good

you are, you’re always learning,” he said. “Every jump is

an adventure.”

He said he’s landed in a variety of strange spots while

descending, including the driving range of a golf course,

the West Fargo stock yards, someone’s backyard and the

track of a horse park, just to name a few.

When taking his first jump, he remembers thinking,

“This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. Anyone who

says they’re not afraid is lying.”

One of the main reasons he likes the sport is because

you meet a lot of people you would probably never really

meet or find anywhere else.

Derek Cash has been jumping for about three years,

and he has about 300 jumps under his belt so far.

He remembers his first jump clear as day.

“When the door opens, it gets real. You get a wave

of adrenaline and fear. Then all you could see was blue

earth, and it was beautiful.”

Skydive Fargo isn’t a commercial business, since they

don’t sell equipment or anything, and the club members

said that’s a rarity in this sport now.

Mike Ceynar got his start in skydiving in 1984 when

a friend signed him up. He jumped about 2,500 times

before retiring four years ago.

“You need to make a commitment if you want to

be good. You’re playing with your life,” he said. “The

commitment is more intense. You can’t be a once in a

while skydiver; that’s not safe.”

“If it’s on your bucket list, do tandem. It’s the greatest

thing you’ll ever experience,” he said.

After retiring, Ceynar sold his equipment and started

cooking for people. He comes out to Skydive Fargo a few

times a year to catch up and serve food on his homemade

grill. He also brings a trailer and unloads a table, chairs and

a couch so people can be comfortable while they all chat.

He said they’re a tight knit group, and once you get

your equipment, he said you can go to any drop zone in

the world and be immediately accepted as family.

“Maybe it’s something about life and death. When you

trust your life to someone, you tend to trust them more,”

he said with a smile.

When asked what the good life meant to him, Nielsen

had a simple yet fulfilling response.

The good life is full and complete,

doing worthwhile things in good

company,” he said. “Skydiving at

Skydive Fargo perfectly fits

my view of a good life.”

25


Bugs Be Gone!

Your Guide to Keeping Backyard

Pests Under Control

Let’s be blunt: nothing

ruins an evening spent

outdoors faster than being

swarmed with mosquitoes and

other summertime pests. Bug zappers,

smelly bug sprays, foggers and candles

are the most common and widely used

defenses. However, there are some

simple steps you can take that will

help strengthen your defenses

against summer’s peskiest

critters.

Mosquitoes

Limit the amount of standing

water in your yard.

The most common

attractants for mosquitoes

and other pests are the

pools of water that

form in backyards, often

from over watering the

grass or from heavy rain.

Even a small puddle, no more

than a few inches deep, can be

large enough for mosquitoes to

lay eggs in. The same is true of

large collections of water, such as

kiddie pools and water barrels. Drain

items that contain water after usage, or

store with a cover, in order to deny pests

access to the water within.

Keep your grass and plants trimmed.

Mosquitoes rest in shrubs, grass and plants. They rest mainly during

the day and become most active at dusk. Places in your yard like tall

grass and areas shaded by trees are going to have higher concentrations

of mosquitoes. Trimming your grass and plants weekly helps limit the

amount of overall resting space available to pests and also denies them

a cool spot to rest during the heat of the day.

Refrain from wearing fragrances outdoors.

Mosquitoes are attracted to bright colors and strong

fragrances. Opt for scent-free personal care products

and perfumes. Also, when selecting a bug repellent,

choose a scent-free version. They are just as effective

as scented sprays, and you won’t smell like

chemicals!

26


BY: PAUL HANKEL

Household pets are also susceptible to bug

bites. Consider having your pet sprayed for

bugs, fleas and ticks to ensure that they are

happy and healthy while outdoors.

Use citronella or eucalyptus candles.

An irritant to mosquitoes, these two plants are essential

for mosquito repellent. Any box store or outdoor store

will have a wide variety and price range of candles, sprays

and foggers for you to choose from. Again, try to ensure

that the only scented ingredient is citronella or eucalyptus.

Ants, Wasps, and Bees

Other pests can become attracted to your yard by things like sugared drinks and foods being

left out in the open. Ants and wasps are the most common, as well as flies and gnats. Make sure to

clean up your yard after grilling out, and be sure to purchase ant and wasp killer if you see a

large amount of ant hills or wasp nests forming on your property. If you are having fly problems in

areas such as your garage or work shed, consider trying fly paper. It’s a cheap, fast, and effective way

of getting rid of them.

Garden Slugs

The bane of gardeners everywhere, the garden slug is a very common but

easily dealt with summer pest. Consider sprinkling eggs shells around

the perimeter of your garden or flowerbed. This will keep the slugs out.

If you find your plants or veggies overrun with slugs, the safest bet is to

pick them off by hand. If the problem persists and you continue to see more

and more slugs, you may need to invest in a chemical treatment. There are

many different homemade sprays that gardeners use (including some that

include beer as an ingredient!), as well as store bought chemical sprays and

treatments.

In our last issue, we gave you all the tips you need to step your grill

game up this summer. Combine those grilling tips with these simple

pest control ideas and you’ll be all set to enjoy your time outdoors

this summer.

27


BUILD IT

Build a flip-down bar for your garage.

IN YOUR GARAGE

WITH A SIX-PACK

BY: CANTRELL AND JAY THOMAS | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

MATERIALS NEEDED

• Full sheet ½” plywood

• 1” x 2” Board

• 2-4 Hinges (depending on width of bar)

• 2 Eye bolts - 1 ½” with washer and nut

• Chain (length of chain depends on the height of the

bar and the ceiling rafter)

• 2 Chain snaps or Quick links

• 2 Utility hooks - (for ceiling)

• Light utility chain - to anchor to wall

• 3 Eye hooks - (one small, and two larger)

• Washers and Screws

• Vinyl covering (optional)

TOOLS NEEDED

• Beverage of choice

• Drill and Drill bits

• Combination wrench

• Level

• Biggest tool of all - PATIENCE

STEP ONE

Bar top: Cut plywood to

desired length and width.

Cut a second piece of

plywood slightly smaller.

Secure the smaller piece of

plywood underneath for

support.

1 Top board

2 Bottom board

*If anything is missing, email Jay Thomas with any questions: jthomas@wday.com

28 DISCLAIMER: Please drink responsibly and build with caution. We are not responsible for any accidents as a result of this project.

2

1


STEP TWO

STEP THREE

Attach support chains: Drill holes

in the bar (opposite end of hinges)

and attach eye bolts, washers and

nuts. Attach chain snap to chain.

Attach bar to wall:

Attach 1” x 2” mounting

board to wall. Screw

hinges to plywood and

mounting board.

STEP FOUR

Attach support chains

to ceiling: Screw

utility hooks into

ceiling beam. Attach

other end of chain to

ceiling utility hook.

STEP FIVE

Secure the bar

in the folded up

position: Attach

one end of light

utility chain to

screw. On the

opposite side, screw

in small eye hook

to the garage wall.

STEP SIX

Optional: Cover your bar with some snazzy

vinyl!

BAR DOWN

STEP SEVEN - ENJOY YOUR NEW BAR!

Add some flair: Decorate the bottom of your bar

with your favorite signs, mirrors or clocks.

BAR FOLDED UP

29


LOCAL HERO

Not All Heroes

Wear Capes

BY: SOO ASHEIM | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA

30

I

t’s a pretty well understood

fact that not everyone

in the general public

grows up appreciating the

responsibilities and often

unpleasant tasks of the men and

women who wear blue: our law

enforcement officers who stand ever

vigilant in protecting the majority

from the relatively few who would

prey upon us.

The men and women who provide

the “thin blue line” between good and

evil within our society who guard us,

our homes, towns and cities are rarely

appreciated until someone in need or


crisis mode calls out. And yet, within the back of our minds we revel in the security of knowing they are always within

a moment’s notice willing to help, rescue or simply lend an extra hand to anyone in need as faithful as the having the

sunrise every morning.

However, as the need for more “street guardians” grows with every new population census, our law enforcement

troops do not. In order to field the many needs they are called upon for such as searching for lost children or

sometimes older adults, breaking up spats between compulsive teenagers or inebriated spouses, rescuing individuals

from situations not thoroughly thought out, every day traffic accidents, and being the pang of conscience reminding

daily commuters the city streets are not for drag racing, police departments are finding themselves short-handed and

stretched to the max. However, the constant need to intercept those who bring in addictive and dangerous substances

to our communities has certainly not lessened. Our men and women in blue need more help in rounding up heroin

and cocaine, meth and mushrooms just to name a few of the more commonly used street drugs available today.

That’s how and when the next level of trained “street guardians” are applied. They are generally known as police

dogs or the “K-9” units. Their jobs as trained four-legged officers are to sniff out drugs, track people and help apprehend

bad guys. It’s rather awesome to realize someone willing to rob a bank or hold hostage an innocent bystander is less

afraid of a gun-toting law enforcement agent than they are of an eighty-five pound dog with flesh piercing teeth and a

very serious attitude. Yet, time after time it has been proven true with many a tough guy surrendering in lieu of being

charged by a police unit K-9.

Among the three valued canines within the Fargo Police department is Sargent George Vinson’s partner, Earl. Sgt.

Vinson, K-9 Earl, and I met a few weeks ago when I was invited on a morning ride-along. I’ve been in squad cars

with other officers who have canine partners and none were nearly as handsome or (eventually) became as friendly

as Earl. Within a few minutes of softly speaking to Earl and showing him I was a friend, he became as docile and

31


dogs, there are “multi-use” and “single use” K-9’s, each

trained for a variety of commands. K-9 Earl is a ‘sniff

and track’ K-9 not an attack canine. And that is what

nearly led to his early demise. Earl’s dad is Tazer, a five

time award winner and one tough pooch. Earl was

among the first of Tazer’s litters and was also among

the first for K-9 training. When it became evident Earl

was not “aggressive” enough — at least not in the world

of K-9 dog’s, it became a concern regarding the rest of

his training. K-9 trainers spend as much as twelve weeks

constantly training the dogs used for police work.

Afterward there is on-going ‘maintenance’ training as

well. Typical costs for a K-9 is in the neighborhood

of $10,000 for the original training and the on-going

training to keep a dog sharp and in ‘tune’ for the

work they are expected. When it was decided that Earl

would not be a “attack/take down” K-9, the decision

was made to concentrate on his keen ability to sniff

out whatever was given him and to this day, K-9 Officer

Earl has proved time and again he is well worth the

expense and time of training him well. K-9 Earl has so

far seized over $500,000 in drugs and assets seized due

to drug busts.

Earl has also helped in finding individuals who

have become lost. One example was an elderly person

sweet as one of my three dogs and he didn’t continue

to furiously bark as others I’ve been around. At the

same time, Earl would most definitely not be anything I

would want hunting me or determining I was his ‘target’

of engagement and take down.

Sgt. Vinson and Officer Earl have a very special

relationship. They have been together for seven years

and when I say “together” they truly are. Earl not only

goes to work with Sgt. Vinson, he also lives with Sgt.

Vinson and his wife twelve months a year. To say Sgt.

Vinson and K-9 Earl are best friends would be an

understatement. But Earl’s career almost ended just as

it was beginning.

NOT YOUR MOVIE STANDARD POLICE DOG

Originally from Austin, Minnesota, Earl has relatives

on both the Fargo Police Department and the Cass

County Sheriff’s Department. K-9 Falco and K-9 Bali

of the Fargo police department are Earl’s nephews. K-9

Ed, a member of the Cass County Sheriff’s department

Canine Unit is Earl’s brother. All three are a breed of

canines called Belgian-Malinois. Fairly smaller than a

typical German Shepard, K-9 Earl is a deep dark tan

color with soft brown eyes and more anxious energy

than the Energizer Bunny. Within the world of K-9

32

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: GEORGE VINSON


who wandered away from home

one afternoon. After hours of

searching, K-9 Earl tracked and was

able to lead Sgt. Vinson to locate

the elderly man, sitting dazed

and confused behind a neighbor’s

garage. During a drug bust where

the police were positive there was

contraband or money, the car

was towed to impound where the

car was literally taken apart all

to no avail. But Sgt. Vinson had

observed Earl and believed there

was definitely something being

missed. Sgt. Vinson took Earl to the

impound lot and let him go to the

torn apart vehicle and there Earl

sat and sat and sat. Finally, because

the only section of the vehicle that

had not been dismantled, it was

decided to try reaching inside the

gas tank — an area no one normally

would place anything for obvious

reasons. Inside the gas tank —

floating within the gas they found

a very well concealed package.

K-9 Earl has won several

championship awards and in

2010 K-9 Earl won the “National

Case of the Year” award for street

deployment police work. K9 Earl is

the defending Regional champion in

drug detection. He beat 83 other K9

teams in Anoka in March 2014 and

took First Place Overall. It is one of

K-9 Earl and Sgt. Vinson’s biggest

33


accomplishments. Earl and Sgt. Vinson are continuing

to go to the 5th grade graduation presentations at Fargo’s

elementary schools. Needless to say, K-9 Officer Earl is the

hit of the class every time. This year marks an anniversary

for the two as the first class of 5th graders K-9 Officer Earl

and Sgt. Vinson visited are now Seniors and graduating from

high school this year.

WHEN GOOD DOGS RETIRE

Without a crystal ball no one really ever knows with total

certainty what the future will bring to any of us. However,

Sgt. Vinson believes being a K-9 handler is much more than

simply having extra responsibilities; or having a well- trained

canine for a partner. For Sgt. Vinson, “it’s a life style” which

isn’t hard to imagine. He is the person who feeds, disciplines,

trains, plays with, takes to the Veterinarian for routine checkups

and when K-9 Earl isn’t feeling up to par. Once Earl has

retired, Sgt. Vinson expects he will keep Earl with him, as do

most of the K-9 Officers who have retired their partners. Sgt.

Vinson was told he will not be able to have another K-9 dog.

Does this mean Sgt. George Vinson will decide to retire as

well and he and Earl will ride off into the sunset together?

It’s hard to say. But one thing is for certain, there will be one

happy dog meeting him at the door every night after work.

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