Landing the job of your dreams in 10 easy steps
BY: MEGHAN FEIR
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
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
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).
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
Urban Toad Media LLP
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may not be reproduced without permission. The
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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
How To Be A Good Dad Despite Separations
Not All Heroes Wear Capes
Landing the Job of Your Dreams
In 10 Easy Steps
Hot Cars, Hot Nights:
Cruise Nights Are Back!
Some Basic Tips To Help You Better Enjoy
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
Build It In Your Garage With A 6-Pack
Build A Flip-Down Bar For Your Garage
BY: PAUL HANKEL | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
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
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
• 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
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
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
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
5:00pm to 9:00pm
Broadway, Downtown Fargo
Thursday, August 7
Thursday, September 4
PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
AWAY BUT NOT APART:
HOW TO BE A GOOD DAD
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 …
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
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.
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
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.
• 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.)
Some basic tips to help you better enjoy your cigar.
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.
PHOTO BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
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
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
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
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
Let’s take a closer look into the
mind of one of Fargo’s most wellknown
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
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
GL: Would you consider yourself
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
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
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
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
BY: JESSICA BALLOU | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
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
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
“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.
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
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
“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
“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
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
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.
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.
“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
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
“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
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.”
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
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
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.
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
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
Build a flip-down bar for your garage.
IN YOUR GARAGE
WITH A SIX-PACK
BY: CANTRELL AND JAY THOMAS | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
• 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)
• Beverage of choice
• Drill and Drill bits
• Combination wrench
• Biggest tool of all - PATIENCE
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
1 Top board
2 Bottom board
*If anything is missing, email Jay Thomas with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
28 DISCLAIMER: Please drink responsibly and build with caution. We are not responsible for any accidents as a result of this project.
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
Attach support chains
to ceiling: Screw
utility hooks into
ceiling beam. Attach
other end of chain to
ceiling utility hook.
Secure the bar
in the folded up
one end of light
utility chain to
screw. On the
opposite side, screw
in small eye hook
to the garage wall.
Optional: Cover your bar with some snazzy
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
Not All Heroes
BY: SOO ASHEIM | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
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
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
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
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.