The Good Life Men's Magazine - July/August 2015


Fargo Moorhead's premier men's magazine. Featuring the ultimate outdoorsman Bret Amundson, the Hot Rod Shop of Fargo, FC Fargo Soccer Team, Prairie Rose Meadery, Fathers, Local Heroes - Red River Regional Dispatch and more!




Learning How to Kick Yourself Out First



here is a fitting time and

place for overstaying your

welcome. The time: never.

The location: nowhere.

Whether you are the unwelcomed

party or the frustrated host held

hostage, read on, my frustrated


The Unwelcomed

Where you lack in social cues, you

thrive in your ability to annoy. You

are the guest, much to the chagrin of

the wearied hosts, and you somehow

grew up with no social intuition.

Never fear, though. You, old dog, can

learn a new trick or two by the time

you have finished reading this article.

Notice I chose the word “reading,”

not “grazing.” Take this message to

heart, for your own sake and the sake

of others.

Whenever you hear the other guests

uttering, “Welp, I think we’d all

better head out,” follow the crowd.

Make a dash for your car as if the

clock has struck midnight and your

Ford is about to turn back into a


If the host is remarking on how

tired they are, how early they have

to rise the next day and that they are

moments away from retiring for the

evening, take it as a sign that you have

already overstayed your welcome and

must leave in haste.

Do not let it get to the point of the

host having to bluntly state, “You

need to leave.” I have had to do


this before to one oblivious or

stubborn guest after I had tried

all other means. My other friends

had long gone. I told the lingerer I

was tired. I told them my eyes were

involuntarily closing from fatigue.

I told them a great many things

before resorting to the bluntness

of “You need to leave,” and even

after I uttered those words, it still

took them another 30 minutes

before they finally left.

The importance of heeding (and

actually noticing) social cues boils

down to consideration. Take the

time to think of the other person

and their situation. I’m not in the

habit of encouraging anyone to

be prideful, but, in this case, have

a little pride. Don’t embarrass

yourself and your host by being

the pest that incessantly buzzes

around their head. A good thing to

consider throughout the evening

is whether or not they should ever

want to invite you over again.

For the Frustrated

Do you consider yourself “too

nice” to say anything as blunt as

“Well, I suppose you’d better go,”

calling off all the dilly-dallying

and getting to the point? Just stop.

Buck up and realize you are a

grown man and have no right to

act like a shy, passive-aggressive

11-year-old boy. Telling the rest

of your friends how annoying

your unwelcomed guest was is the

reason the term “Minnesota nice”

has been tainted.

Being assertive does not equate

meanness. Would you rather

someone be upfront and honest

to your face or have them tell your

friends and their children what a

moron you were the evening you

wouldn’t leave their doorstep?

You can be tactful and assertive,

honest, yet kind.










Learning How to Kick Yourself Out First









How to Choose an Automotive Service



FC Fargo Soccer Team Set to Make Its Debut



Local Hot Rod Guru Cody Wendelbo Shows

The Good Life Around the Shop


Dave Piepkorn


10 Things to Teach Your Son About Manhood


The Bees Should Know


Help is on the Way - How the Red

River Regional Dispatch Center Keeps

Communities Safe

12 16



Urban Toad Media LLP


Dawn Siewert


Darren Losee


Soo Asheim

Jessica Ballou

Meghan Feir

Paul Hankel

Matt Lachowitzer

Danielle Teigen

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES | 701-388-4506 | 701-261-9139






The Good Life Men’s Magazine is distributed six times a year by

Urban Toad Media LLP. Material may not be reproduced without

permission. The Good Life Men’s Magazine accepts no liability for

reader dissatisfaction arising from content in this publication. The

opinions expressed, or advice given, are the views of individual

writers or advertisers and do not necessarily represent the views or

policies of The Good Life Men’s Magazine.


Car Care

How to Choose an Automotive Service Center


No one likes to think about needing an automotive service center, but selecting a good one is like

having good health insurance: you hope you never need it, but you have it “just in case.” When it

comes to cars, all vehicles require service or repairs eventually. You could even say there are three

things that are certain in life: taxes, death, and vehicle repairs, and having an existing relationship with

an automotive service center will save time and hassle when your vehicle needs maintenance or an

immediate repair. If you’re not sure how to build a good working relationship with a service center,

try taking your vehicle in for regular maintenance; a well-cared for vehicle will run longer and more

smoothly, as well as incur lower operating and service costs.

Some things to keep in mind when searching for an automotive service center:

• Less than 40 percent of new automotive service center customers are walk-ins. Most people are

referred by friends, relatives, or co-workers. If you haven’t received any recommendations, make

sure you ask your prospective auto service center for references.

• If you travel often, look for an automotive service center that stands behind their work with a

nationwide warranty. For instance, a warranty of 12 months or 12,000 miles will give you peace of

mind. Some centers even offer 2 years or 24,000 miles or 3 years or 36,000 miles. Some also offer

road side assistance such as: towing, flat tire changing, fuel delivery, and lock outs for a certain time

after services or repairs have been done complimentary.

• Check the service

centers range of services

and whether the center has

the latest technologies to

properly test, diagnose, and

repair problems with newer

vehicles. For example, can

your prospective service

center handle brake systems,

electrical components,

transmission repairs, or dealer

level services? Do they provide

a loaner, rental car, or shuttle

service while your vehicle is

being serviced or repaired?


• Look for a good

customer satisfaction

policy, equipment in good

condition, bright lighting,

cleanliness in the waiting,

restroom, shop areas,

and general organization.

Also look for the centers

commitment to the

community such as awards

or plaques for sports teams,

benefits, etc. Also check to

see how long the service

center has been around and

take notice to how you were

treated whether in person or

over the telephone. These

factors all contribute to the

level of professionalism,

gaining customers trust, and

to optimal service. In today’s

world, the internet is a

powerful tool. Do a Google

search on the automotive service center you are interested in visiting, read their reviews, how they

respond to positive and negative feedback, and also visit their website and social media pages. Drive

by the center and look at other types of vehicles in their lot; are they similar to yours? Are they newer

vehicles or are they old run down vehicles? These are invaluable tools you can use to help make an

informed decision on which service center you choose.

• Look for brand names such as ACDelco and Certified Auto Repair. These names are associated

with brand name parts that are engineered to meet the manufacturer’s specifications and will likely

come with a warranty that is much better than off-brand parts.

• Is the business associated with the Automotive Service Association (ASA), Alliance of Automotive

Service Providers (AASP), Angie’s List, or the Better Business Bureau? Are the technicians and staff

certified by a specific auto manufacturer or by Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)? If so, this

indicates a higher customer approval rating and the ability to adequately perform and stand behind

the services they advertise.

• Whether you are considering a big name franchise or an independently owned service center,

compare the usual services and fees of each center to familiarize yourself with the average price


• Don’t select a service center based solely lower prices; shoddy service or poor quality parts can

mean more repairs and higher costs in the long run.

After you have chosen a center, try to establish a good working relationship with

the staff. Since your vehicle needs preventative maintenance anyway, take it to

your new service center for a trial run and have a simple service such as an oil

service or air conditioning check performed. Some services may be offered free

of charge; these services can provide you with a good idea of the service you

will need, and the service you will receive. And most of all, ASK questions! The

more you know and understand what is going on with your vehicle and why it is

needed, the better decisions you can make for you and your vehicle.






With summer in full swing, The Good Life caught up with Tim Singleton, soccer

fanatic and owner of FC Fargo, to chat about the new team, his players and his

goals for the team, and soccer as a whole in Fargo-Moorhead.

The Good Life: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your soccer background.

Tim Singleton: When I was younger, I studied abroad in Germany and that’s how I fell

in love with soccer. I also played and coached recreationally. Before this, I worked for the

Minnesota United soccer team, back when they were called the Minnesota Stars.

GL: You’ve played, coached and worked behind the scenes. How did you end up owning a team?

TS: Eventually, it came to the point where I could either get a job working for a team from afar,

such as the team in Des Moines, or I could start my own team. Honestly, I started FC Fargo using

Twitter, and as it took off, we incorporated!

GL: How did you decide on Fargo as the location to put your team?

TS: To begin with, I really only look at four places. I looked at the twin cities, Rochester, Duluth and

Moorhead. I was pretty much going to stay in Minnesota, but once I looked at the metro area of Fargo-

Moorhead, I liked the Fargo side better and here we are!

Singleton went on to explain that the ‘soccer scene,’ in the Fargo-Moorhead area is one that is prevalent and

continues to grow. This is evidenced by the fact that some eighty local and regional players tried out for the team.

TS: Soccer is generally seen as a sport you play through high school. If the players want to keep playing, what are

their options? Possibly find a Division 1 or Division 2 school? I think a lot of people view it as a kids sport. I would

like to give players a chance to play quality, competitive soccer, and to have a chance to get signed to a bigger

team. This team will give these players that chance to get noticed.

GL: Why do you think there is such a drop off in soccer participation numbers, once players hit high


TS: I think it’s because of the fact that soccer and American football are played at the same time. I’ve

always said, America would be the best in the world at soccer if our best athletes played soccer. But

Lebron James doesn’t play soccer! Calvin Johnson would make a great goalie. Could you imagine

‘Megatron’ out there blocking shots?! I think the problem is that players are forced to choose

which sports to play, and football gets all the coverage.

GL: Where do most of your players come from?

TS: We had players come from as far as Des Moines, most colleges around here, and


throughout the region. Of the

27 on the roster, I would say that

15 are American and 12 are foreign

players who live in this area now.









GL: What will be the biggest challenge

for your players, in regards to transitioning

from high school and college soccer, to your

team’s level of competition?

TS: I think the biggest challenge will be the

difference in the speed of the game.

GL: Are your players compensated for playing?

TS: Because a lot of the players on the team are college

players, we are not allowed to give them a paycheck.

But we are allowed to cover some of their expenses, food

on the road, lodging and transportation.

GL: What soccer league will FC Fargo be a part of?

TS: We are not a part of a league this year, but next year we will

be joining a league called ASL2, the American Soccer League. It’s

a professional soccer league that is primarily out east, but they are

trying to expand to the Southeast and the Midwest. ASL2 is a league

that specifically tailored to college players.

GL: As the team grows, will you join a bigger league?

TS: Our goal is to eventually join the North American Soccer League, which

is where most of today’s Major League Soccer teams come from.

FC Fargo will be coached by Tommy Nienhaus. The first season for FC Fargo

will run June through July. Singleton ideally wants his team to play 12 games per

season, 6 home and 6 away. The games will be played at the Shanley soccer fields,

where the team will also practice, along with some practices being held at Cheney

Middle School and the Pepsi Soccer Complex. The team will hold three practices per


GL: Where do you see FC Fargo in five years?

TS: We’d love to have a reserve team and a women’s team. That would be great.

GL: What would be the ultimate accomplishment for you, as an owner and

a soccer fan?

TS: I would really like to see one of the guys that play for our club end up

playing in Major League Soccer. That would be phenomenal.

For more information about the FC Fargo soccer club, fans can visit for a game schedule, team bios and more. Fans

can also follow the team on Twitter and Facebook.




the owner

Wendelbo, the owner of The Hot Rod Shop of Fargo, is no

stranger to cars and has been around them his entire life.

“We always had cars growing up. My mom was the real

hot rodder in the family, and my dad was mechanically

inclined. Fixing cars in the garage was always something

that happened.” Said Wendelbo, “My grandpa owned a gas

station in Langdon and so, during the summers, I’d always

get to go up there and hang out with him and learn.”


the market

The custom hot rod market is booming and, with purchase

prices for the most sought after and desirable models

soaring into the millions, it’s easy to see why. The industry,

including buyers, sellers, custom hot rod shops like The Hot

Rod Shop of Fargo, has seen an influx of hot rod enthusiasts,

eager to either customize a hot rod. Wendelbo explained

that newer hot rodders are naturally tending to gravitate

towards newer model cars to customize. “Now we’re seeing

a trend of guys who do pickups and muscle cars. These are

cars that they drove as their high school car or first car; it was

nothing but junk back then, but now I want to have it in my

driveway.” The boring, non-exciting explanation for the hot

rod boom can, most likely, be attributed to a slight upswing

in the economy, lower, if not stable gas prices and the everincreasing

desire for rare or one-of-a-kind custom hot rods.

The more altruistic explanation: Americans have, and always

will, a passion for nostalgia and muscle cars.

the shop

The Hot Rod Shop, opened in 2007, can be found at 1613 1st

Avenue North, in Fargo. The shop, itself, is close to 10,000

square feet and, according to Wendelbo, is more than large

enough to accommodate their many ongoing projects. The

shop has its own metal fabricator, three separate work areas,

a full staff of trained mechanics, and a convenient location

in north Fargo. According to Wendelbo, “We’ve got some

options to expand on this property and I really like being

centrally located in Fargo. Anyone can find us and anyone

can stop by! It’s good for the customers.”

the cars

The Hot Rod Shop is a full service custom hot rod shop, and

caters to pretty much anything old, collectible, and need of

some repair work. “We’ll do anything from the 1920’s to the


late 1970’s, early 80’s. It’s crazy what you’ll find in some

people’s garages! Every once in a while, we’ll get some

kind of new corvette or something that someone wants to

make look a little nicer, “said Wendelbo, but their bread

and butter is the classics. The shops projects have come

from all over the region, even as far away as Dickinson,

North Dakota. Take a tour of the shop and you’ll run into

everything from a more modern Jeep, getting a custom

interior, to an early 1930’s truck, getting a complete


the good life

Wendelbo is one of the rare few people that get to go to

work every day and do a job that truly brings joy to their

life. “I’m lucky enough that my passion is my job. This is

what I did growing up and I was able to turn it into my life


and my income. So that’s my good life. I get to be around

hot rodders everyday and enjoy my passion.”

Along with doing what he loves, Wendelbo tries to inspire

the next generation of young hot rodders. “We always try

to have one or two younger guys that are going to be able

to learn hot rodding. That’s always my biggest fear: what

happens when this generation goes away? What types of

cars will be hot rodded? We need these young guys.”

When they’re not busy restoring history, Wendelbo and his

staff at The Hot Rod Shop can be found at many of the

local car shows, including the Fargo and West Fargo Cruise

Nights. Anyone interested in getting some work done on

their classic or collectible can come by the shop, call their

office or visit their website at



He’s a Fargo city commissioner, small-business owner of TruGreen

lawn care service, husband, father of two sons, and a former

NDSU Bison football player, but you probably already know all of

that about Dave Piepkorn.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Piepkorn at Drekker

Brewing Company in downtown Fargo where he, as the

headline suggests, had a beer, and I had a root beer (much

more exciting than my usual water on the rocks).

With his gregarious personality and contagious passion for

city development, sports and even bald eagles, Piepkorn

is the definition of “a guy you’d like to have a beer with.”

He answered peculiar questions with surety, grace and

good spirit, questions that no one previously cared to

wonder but will enjoy finding out.

GL: If you had to write a greeting card for

Hallmark, what holiday/topic would it be

for and what would it say?

DP: Seriously, whoever came up with

that question…

GL: I came up with all of these questions.

DP: That’s way too deep of a

question. No, seriously, I have to

pass. That’s way too hard. You

should’ve given me that with

a week to think about it, and

it still would’ve been a bad

answer. I’m sorry.

GL: Can you do any

wildlife calls, like loons?

DP: No, I can do this,

though. This is a

loon, isn’t it? (He

then demonstrated

the proper loon-calling

form with his hands and

made a hoot.) We have

loons on our lake. I love

those. I’m a little bit of a

bird person. I could sit


Not your everyday interview

Good Life: I’m going to apologize in advance for all

the strange questions I’m about to ask you. They may

be things you have never been asked or thought of

before. Are you nervous?

Dave Piepkorn: No, not at all. But the one thing I will

say is that I try to be honest.

GL: If Batman and Spiderman were arm wrestling,

who would win and why?

DP: I’d have to go with Batman. Spiderman has webs,

so he could maybe distract Batman. But I think at the

end of the day, I’d have to go with Batman.

GL: Wise choice.

GL: When was the last time you felt socially


DP: Oh, it happens frequently. I’m fairly tall (6’7”),

so when I go into smaller bars or stores, I’m

just worried about knocking somebody over or

breaking something. That happens all the time. All

the time.

GL: When your kids were young, what was the

most annoying TV show you had to suffer through

and watch?

DP: “SpongeBob” and “Barney.” Most of them

try to cater to adults and have jokes, but they’re

repetitive and the songs still run through our


out on our dock and watch eagles all day. I just

love watching them ride the currents. My family

asks me what I’d want for my birthday. Well, a pet

eagle, or…

GL: Have you ever wanted to be a school mascot?

DP: No, I haven’t, but I will say that Crunch for the

Timberwolves, he was a former NDSU guy, and

they’re phenomenal. And the Phoenix Suns gorilla

dunks and stuff. I’d love to do that. On top of that,

you get to hang out with the cheerleaders. There’s

no downside to that.

GL: Have you ever danced in the rain?

DP: No, I have not. And if you’ve ever seen me

dance… You need to know your strengths and

weaknesses, and that is a weakness.

GL: Who was your childhood/teenage celebrity


DP: Oh, Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Tiegs. That’s

how old I am. “Charlie’s Angels,” baby.

GL: Most people focus on what’s wrong with

Millennials. What do you like the most about


DP: To me, that’s what makes our Fargo an excellent

town. Every year in the fall, we have a new group of

kids coming in, and that is such an awesome thing.

Not every one of them is going to want to stay in

Fargo, but a lot of them are going to think this is a

cool town and want to stay here.

GL: What are your thoughts on UFOs?

DP: I’m skeptical because it (sightings) happens

at night and alcohol is usually involved – not that

there’s anything wrong with that.

GL: If you could describe yourself in three words,

what would they be?

DP: Optimistic, a dad, and I’m blessed. I’m very

fortunate. I own my own business. I can do what I

want to do. I have a great wife and two great boys,

so I’m blessed, very blessed.

GL: What does “the good life” mean to you?

DP: To me, the American dream. It’s different to

each person, but to me, it’s being your own boss,

calling your own hours, being able to go on vacation

when you want to – those kinds of things. Being

the captain of your own ship, that’s my American




“I get to breathe in fresh air out in the open world and not dread

having to do the same thing the next day because I’m doing

something I enjoy.” — Bret Amundson


Amundson enjoys the outdoors from Minnesota to Argentina

he only consistent thing in Bret “T-Bone” Amundson’s

day-to-day work life is a windshield.

As an avid traveler, hunter, fisherman, photographer,

radio personality, owner and publisher of Minnesota

Sporting Journal and more, he’s usually driving somewhere

for assignment and/or fun.

“I haven’t had a permanent address for the last couple of

years because I’m constantly on the road,” he said. “I get mail

to three different places. It’s kind of tough because everybody

wants to know where to send bills or something like that,

and I don’t always know what to tell them. But that’s life on

the road.”

Amundson said the first five months of this year have been

more eventful than the last few years combined.

In February he traveled with Bill Sherck to film an episode

of Due North Outdoors in Ely, M.N. They built snow caves

(also known as quinzhees) and slept out on the lake even

thought it was 31 degrees below zero.

“This was something I wanted to try,” he said. “An accepted

challenge that allows me to say, ‘Yeah, I did that!’ What I

didn’t know is that it would be the coldest weekend of the


One of his favorite trips was a recent working and duck

hunting trip to Argentina in May. The ducks there are a

completely different species than the ones in North America,

he said, and they don’t get hunted as much.

Last year his friend Jim Riley asked him to go on a trip to

Argentina, but he couldn’t make it work. This year he called

Riley and asked if he could go next time, and Riley responded:

“Yep, let’s go next month.”

“This was an absolute bucket-list trip that I never imagined

I’d have the chance to go on,” he said. “The hunting was

incredible and the accommodations were first-class, but what

I was looking forward to most was the adventure. Traveling

to another continent and learning about another culture, all

while strapping on waders and sitting next to a duck slough?

How can it get any better?!”

‘Ready to go somewhere smaller’

Amundson said he had no idea what he wanted to do when

he was younger.

“At one point I wanted to play baseball until I realized I

wasn’t good enough, and once that reality set in, that’s when

I moved on to radio,” he said. “Fortunately I’m better at

running my mouth than I am at running the bases.”


Early on, he envisioned himself

bouncing around to different radio

markets, as most DJs do, until he could

get into bigger areas like in the Twin

Cities or Chicago, which ranks as the

No. 3 market in the country.

“Once I got to Fargo, honestly, I thought

this is good enough for me; I don’t

need to go to anywhere bigger,” he said.

“In fact, I’m ready to go somewhere


“As I got older, my priorities changed

a little bit, and I realized I didn’t need

to have that high pressure job in a big

city just so I can earn a paycheck that

big I’ll need just to live there,” he said.

“I’d much rather live in a small area

with a small house and hopefully a

whole lot of land someday. I got into

the realization that I like it at a little bit

of a slower pace, a little bit smaller, live

out in the country somewhere and just

enjoy life a little bit more.”

‘Isn’t this awesome?’

The first time Amundson was on the

radio, he was interning with a night DJ

at K102 in Minneapolis, and he got to

introduce one of the songs.

“I think I had to call in on the phone

and say ‘This is Bret from Woodbury,

and I want to hear Toby Keith,’” he said.

“It was the stupidest little thing, but I

recorded it and I played it back for all

of my friends and was like ‘Isn’t this


His uncle Gil Amundson was involved

with radio and TV for many years,

including the Channel 11 news in the

Twin Cities, which sparked Amundson’s

interest in the media and broadcasting


Brown Institute, now known as

Brown College in Minneapolis, visited

Amundson’s high school, and he heard

about a scholarship program there.

He applied for the scholarship, got it

and studied in the Radio Broadcasting

program. A few months later he was

working at K102 in the Twin Cities.

He then bounced around Minnesota,

Wisconsin and North Dakota at

different stations and made a fun career

out of it.

He said when he was in radio, he’d hear

about people that make a living doing

voiceover work, and everybody wanted

to do it, but it was a hard industry to

get into. When he decided to leave

full-time radio, he figured he could do

voice over work and combine it with

Minnesota Sporting Journal income to

make a living.


The rock band Sevendust used to

pencil in Fargo dates on their touring

calendar frequently in the early 2000s.

Amundson worked closely with their

management during their stops and

struck up a friendship. That led to

him getting the gig of producing their

national touring commercials. His

friend Collin Taylor voiced them while

he’d put them together and send them

out to radio stations and promoters

all over the country. This sparked his

entrepreneurial spirit, and his voice

over career began.

Amundson’s voice has been heard

on national projects for Best Buy, the

Minnesota Twins, Buffalo Wild Wings,

Red Bull, the Phoenix Coyotes, Southern

Methodist University, Elite Archery,

Clam and iWireless, as well as local

commercials for Dakota Magic Casino,

the Fargo Force, the FM Redhawks,

Nuseed and more, including the TV

shows “Respect The Game” from Elite

Archery and Jason Mitchell’s “Passion

for the Hunt.”

The first time you hear [yourself],

you’re a little weirded out by it,” he

said. “And nobody likes the sound of

their own voice, so you have to either

get over the fact that you don’t sound

like you think you do or you have to

make yourself sound better.”

“Once you’re over the weirdness aspect

of hearing your voice, then you start

listening to [it] to find out how you can


make it better and how you can make it sound the way you

want it to sound for various projects,” he added.

‘Cadillac of magazines’

After working in the radio industry for 20 years and having

a blast, he said it was pretty time consuming and hard to do

anything outside radio.

“I thought, ‘Yeah, this job is fun and I’ve made a good career

out of it, but I’m not enjoying as much of my life as I’d like

to,’” he said. “When I transitioned over to Minnesota Sporting

Journal, I was able to make up for lost time and do all those

things I didn’t get to do for many years.”

As publisher and owner of Minnesota Sporting Journal

for the last three years, Amundson has seen the magazine,

website and radio show continue to grow and thrive.

“We really try to put out the Cadillac of magazines,” he said.

The magazine is all about hunting, fishing, photography and

the outdoors; it’s about Minnesota and what Minnesotans

like to do.

“You may hear about a Minnesota trip to Buenos Aires,

Argentina, or Alaska, but you’re also going to hear about snow

caves in Ely and pheasant hunting down in Worthington,” he





In addition, Minnesota Sporting Journal operates a weekly

radio show, which currently plays on 14 different stations

across Minnesota with more being added in the coming

weeks. While the magazine focuses on photography and

adventure stories, the radio show focuses instead on timely

topics, including tips and tricks from experts.

He said he’s very proud of what he and his team have done

at the Minnesota Sporting Journal, and he plans to keep

growing the magazine and radio network.

‘My idea of exercise’

He said he would much rather spend time outside in the

country, woods or prairie than inside.

“My idea of exercise is walking a couple of miles for pheasants

or trudging through a duck slough in waders, going knee

deep in the mud picking up decoys,” he said. “That’s my idea

of fun exercise. You can take your treadmills and exercise

bikes and throw them right in the dumpster,” he added with

a laugh.

He has a four-and-a-half-year-old lab named Mika, and he’s

happy going anywhere outdoors with her.

“Whether we’re hiking through the country side, walking

through the woods or hunting is even better, she’s my

copilot,” he said. “She sleeps beside me, sits in the passenger

seat of the truck, and if I can spend time outdoors with her,

I’m pretty happy.”

Waterfall hunting was something Amundson did often

as a kid, and it will still always have a special place on his

calendar in the fall. He also really enjoys pheasant hunting

and bowhunting for whitetail deer.

“I’m an equal opportunity outdoorsman,” he said. “I enjoy

it all.”

When asked what the good life means to him, Amundson

said, “The life I’m living: enjoying what you do and waking

up every day and excited to go to work. I get to breathe in

fresh air out in the open world and not dread having to do

the same thing the next day because I’m doing something I

enjoy. Experiencing all that life has to offer and not being

afraid to go out and do it; that is the good life.”


n the book Season of Life, Joe Ehrmann says there are three

false ideas of masculinity: athletic ability, sexual conquest,

and wealth accumulation. Instead, true masculinity is

defined by two principles. One is relationships…to love

and be loved by your family. The other is to live for a purpose

bigger than yourself. Great advice.

So, how are you doing on being a true man? And, are you

teaching your son about being a real man? Here are the 10

things you must teach your son about true manhood:

1. Being a gentleman is still worth the effort:

– Hold the door.

– Stand up when a woman leaves or joins the table.

– Walk on the “splash” side of the sidewalk.

– Attempt (gently) to pick up the tab.

– Go get the car when it’s raining.

– Offer your hand…

2. At the same time, be respectful: All the above

“gentlemanly” actions must be offered subtly, and – if

necessary – set aside graciously when refused.

3. Take responsibility: In a word (well, two), “step up.” True

manhood takes responsibility for its actions, choices, values

and beliefs. And – while taking responsibility, manhood is

also willing to admit – with grace – when it is wrong.

4. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable: Real strength allows

other people in. Manhood is honest about feelings and not

afraid to be known. True manhood never builds a wall where

there should be a window, or a fortress where there should

be a sanctuary.

5. Actually “being” a man is more important than “talking”

like one: Real men don’t just stand up and speak up – they

“put up” too. Loud talk and tough posturing don’t cut it.

True manhood involves finding a need and doing something

about it. Real men don’t complain about social problems –

they go out and do something about them. Real men don’t

point fingers – they work for solutions. Real men get calluses

on their hands – not from flapping their lips.

6. Listen respectfully, disagree politely and never exclude

women from conversation: True manhood is inclusive. It

may be strong, but it’s unfailingly polite. Men who equate

bluster or machismo with strength are typically covering

something up. Men who think women have nothing to

contribute to the conversation need to wake up and smell

the 21st Century.

7. Love is stronger than muscles: True manhood

understands that brute force is less compelling than selfgiving

love. The best solutions to difficulties involved applied


8. The first shall be last: True manhood puts others first.

Jesus is quoted more than once as saying something like this:

If you want to be a leader, then the place to be is on your

knees, with a towel in your hand, washing someone’s feet.

9. Manhood is – sometimes – more about what you could

do but didn’t than what you could have avoided but did

anyway: There’s a lot of restraint – a great deal of “Quiet

Strength” in true manhood. Real men tend to always have

something in reserve.

10. True manhood is more about giving than about getting:

Our culture often touts a “men see what they want, then they

go out and get it” view of manhood. But true manhood is

more along the lines of “see what the world needs, then go

out and do it.” Strength leveraged for the benefit of others.

Copyright 2015 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. For more resources like this, visit







So, what is “mead?” For some this will be the first time to ever see or read the word. Mead is an “alcoholic

beverage produced by the fermentation of a diluted mixture of honey and water.” Easier translation: Honey

wine. Sometimes with fruit and or spices added for flavor it may be called something different. In the regions

of Northern Europe during the middle ages mead was the most popular beverage to drink. It was largely

controlled by the Guild of Free Brewers who also controlled the brewing of wine, mead, and ale as well as

handling all aspects of distribution. Eventually toward the end of the 16th century, honey was replaced by

less expensive sugars and mead was displaced with less costly beers and ales and by imported wines.

What Was Good Still Is

Within the last decade

“craft” ales and beers and

homegrown meads have

become a hit with many

who enjoy brewing their own

potions and libations. Fargo now

has a new meadery to add to the

cities list of home-grown businesses

to try. Owned by Susan and Bob Ruud,

the Prairie Rose Meadery held their

official opening in late May. Susan is the

official “mead maker” of the pair. Bob is the

man in charge of the equipment needed to

mix their delicious wine. The lounge has a long

hand stained bar that beckons thirsty and tired

patrons to ‘just come on in and sit down.’ Susan

has spent hours upon hours decorating the lounge

where their customers will go to sip a glass or two of


their blackberry wine or golden honey

mead while hanging out with a

friend or watching a newscast on

the fifty-odd inch television set,

finally able to unwind and

mellow out after a long day.

Making Dreams Reality

Dreams can become reality, it

is true. Some simply take longer.

Susan and Bob found starting a

hometown meadery takes a bit of time

— especially when there are three different

governments involved and all three require

their own specific approvals. The hardest hit

was to have a “physical location” required by

the Federal government for four and half months

prior to opening. Once they found the location they

wanted they proceeded with acquiring the necessary

equipment to make the mead. Living in North Dakota

made procuring honey much easier, as according to Susan,

“North Dakota is the number one honey producing state in

the country!” Which is no small deal considering it takes 1,300

pounds of honey for each batch of mead!


Susan and Bob Ruud decided about two years ago what

they wanted to do when they were ready for their “second

phase” of life: to make and sell their own mead. They have

been involved in brewing their own ales and beers for years

and in 2006 and again in 2014 they won the Gold Medal at

the National Homebrewer’s Competition in the traditional

Mead Category. This competition is sponsored by The

American Homebrewer’s Association. The organization was

founded in 1978. It is based in Boulder, Colorado and has

approximately 40,000 members to date.

Susan is a Research Specialist in Plant Pathology at North

Dakota State University, since 1990. North Dakota State

University is also Susan’s almamater as it is also where she

earned both her undergraduate and Masters Degrees. She

also holds an elected position on the governing board of

the American Homebrewer’s Association. Susan’s second

“love” is restoring worn-out furniture with a technique only

a refinishing professional can do. There is much evidence of

that within the Prairie Rose Meadery as the tables are some

of her handiwork as well.

Bob works for Precision Equipment. Bob’s forte has been

to keep the “heat on demand carbon-filtered water heater,

fermenting tanks and mixing tanks” working in proper order

as the mead is being made.

When explaining about clover honey mead, Susan said,

“Meads are also made from sunflower, canola, and alfalfa

honey.” The one I want to taste is Sunflower! If that won’t

brighten a person up on a dreary day, nothing could.

So keep in mind Prairie Rose Meadery is the place to go when

you want a not-too-sweet but pure as honey gold wine (kitty

corner across from the Flying J on 39th Street) to lighten

your mood and wet your taste buds.

It was believed

that if the couple

drank mead daily

during the


they would be

assured of the

birth of sons.

Thus, the mead

provided the

“honey” part of

the term





Remain calm and

speak clearly.

Provide the

dispatcher with

the following











n a light-filled room in a nondescript

brick building in downtown Fargo,

computer monitors flash and hum while

voices respond to incoming phone calls

and radio messages. Those voices belong

to Red River Regional Dispatch Center

operators — the individuals trained to

confidently reassure callers on the other end

of the line that help, for any situation, is on

the way.

The Red River Regional Dispatch Center

receives and processes all emergency and

non-emergency calls made in Cass County,

North Dakota, and Clay County, Minnesota.

Last year, the center received 70,000 9-1-1

calls and 250,000 non-emergency calls.

One operator manages each of the six

computer stations — known as consoles —

and each station has a distinct responsibility,

explained Assistant Director Amanda Glasoe.

All operators have the same level of training

so they can assist each other during busier

times when back-up operators are needed

for certain consoles.

Becoming a communications operator

at the dispatch center involves a rigorous

pre-employment process followed by

a significant training period to ensure

operators are equipped to handle the rigors

of the job, Glasoe explained.

The pre-employment stage takes 6-8 weeks

and involves interviews with not only the

applicant but close friends and family as

well as background checks, drug screening

and polygraph testing.

Once hired, an individual works with a

Communications Training Officer (CTO)

during the 21-week training program that

consists of three phases. Bennie Sandhofner

has worked at the dispatch center for four

years and has been a CTO for one year; he

explained that trainees work alongside a

CTO to build their confidence as an operator

and improve their performance on the job.

The dispatch center’s training program is

certified through the Association of Public

Safety Communications Officials (APCO),

the world’s oldest and largest organization of

public safety communications professionals.

Centers are not required to have certified

training programs, but the dispatch center

voluntarily chose to have its program

certified, Glasoe said.

Qualifications for becoming an operator

have less to do with skills and ability and

more to do with personality and attitude.

The key is finding someone who can keep

calm,” Glasoe explained. “The person also

has to be dedicated to the job and public

safety because we perform an essential

function…The job can be trained so we’re

looking for the right mindset.”

Being a communications operator at the

dispatch center is not easy, but it is rewarding.

“It’s great that work is different every day,”

Sandhofner explained. “And you know




"We’re not here for someone to say thanks. We’re here to help people.”

— Bennie Sandhofner, Communications Training Officer


you’re really helping people

and getting officers what

they need to support public


Those officers come from a

variety of agencies in the area;

the resources operators draw

from to respond to a situation include seven police

departments, two sheriff departments, three fire

departments, 27 volunteer fire departments, 15 rural

EMS providers and Fargo-Moorhead Ambulance,

according to the center’s website.

While all of those agencies have different procedures

for how they operate, the dispatch center has

worked to streamline the response process to ensure

consistency. A sophisticated computer system offers

operators a guide for any type of incident that

might be encountered; new operators familiarize

themselves with these guides in the first phase of

training to improve efficiency and comfort with the

various calls. An important component of each call

guide is the response each individual agency has

outlined so an operator knows who and what to

dispatch for a particular incident.


"We have to remember that the

person is upset, and that everyone

has a reason for calling.”

Because operators

sit so close to

one another,

communication is

key. “We’re always


with each other,”

Sandhofner said. “It’s

all about teamwork. Part of the training is to

make the person understand how to be the

best team member.”

When an operator takes any call, an address

and phone number are critical information.

That information allows operators to dispatch

necessary resources as quickly as possible.

Sandhofner said children are often the best callers

because they recall such detailed information;

children are also typically calmer than adults when

making an emergency call.

Just as important as the information is the operator’s

demeanor while on the call. “We tell the person right

away that help is on the way,” Sandhofner said. “We

have to remember that the person is upset, and that

everyone has a reason for calling.”

Glasoe agreed. “We’re not talking

to people on their best days, so we

reassure them that help is on the way

and that we need information from

them to ensure that help,” she said.

Being asked questions often frustrates

callers, but keeping them focused

on the questions can calm them,

Sandhofner said. Using the person’s

first name is also comforting.

While the information gathered is

necessary for the operators to dispatch

the appropriate resources, it is also

imperative for those officers being

dispatched. “We’re painting a picture

for the responders so they know what

kind of scene they are walking into,”

Glasoe said.

Operators always remain on the line

with a caller until a responder is

physically with them. After that, the

operator moves on to the next call.

Operators often don’t know the result

of a situation unless they hear about

it on the news, just like the rest of the


Responding to emergency calls can

cause stress for operators, which

is why the dispatch center offers a

peer support group, Glasoe said. For

major incidents, agencies will hold a

debriefing and invite operators, but

the experience of being on the phone

with someone in an emergency

situation is so different than anything

else experienced, Glasoe said.

National turnover for dispatch center

employees is high — 20 percent, and

that rings true for the local center.

“We try to be very transparent with

a new employee, and if they decide

it’s not for them, that’s okay,” Glasoe


But it’s not all doom and gloom.

“People have to call somewhere, and

we get to take a lot of great calls —

a missing child that’s been found,

babies being born, performing CPR

to try to save a life…” Sandhofner



The Red River Regional Dispatch Center is responsible for sounding

the tornado sirens throughout town. Citizens commonly believe the

sirens are meant to be heard indoors, but the siren system is actually an

outdoor public notification system designed to alert people outside to

take shelter immediately.


For those special circumstances,

operators receive awards for their

exemplary service. For example,

operators receive a stork pin for assisting

with the delivery of a baby. Those types

of rewards keep operators focused on

the positive nature of their job.

Appreciation helps too. Callers don’t

always thank operators, but when they

do, operators take note. “We’re not here

for someone to say thanks,” Sandhofner

said. “We’re here to help people.”

Being able to help people comes from

the uniqueness of the dispatch center,

which is the first consolidated dispatch

center in the nation to cross state lines,

according to the website. The center

opened in 2002 and serves a population


of more than 200,000 people in an area

of nearly 3,000 square miles.

Maintaining neutrality is essential

when serving multiple agencies in

two different states. While many

dispatch centers are in the basements

of police or fire departments, the Red

River Regional Dispatch Center is a

consortium of police, fire and EMS

agencies that operates independently

from the agencies with which it works.

Governed by a Board of Authority

under a Joint Powers Agreement, the

center operates on funding contributed

by the agencies based on the level of

service, Glasoe said. Area police and fire

chiefs, sheriffs and ambulance service

representatives comprise the board.

In addition to being a separate

entity, the center is located in a

historically significant building

in a thriving downtown scene. High

ceilings and loft-style offices provide

plenty of natural sunlight, and the

warmth of exposed brick and soft earth

tones lends a sense of tranquility to

what can be a stressful environment.

In the dispatch room itself, consoles

are height adjustable so operators can

stand when they need to. Bikes and

treadmills can replace office chairs, and

each console offers a built-in heater

or fan to keep operators comfortable.

Because operators cannot leave the

building during their 10-hour shifts, a

break room offers a television, blankets

and, most importantly, couches and


The Red River Regional Dispatch Center

takes its role as a steward of public safety

seriously. In additional to handling all

emergency and nonemergency calls in Cass

and Clay Counties, the center also offers a

9-1-1 Education program to teach children

how to effectively call about an emergency.

The center also offers an 8-hour Citizen’s

Academy course to help the public get a

behind-the-scenes look at the organization

and its role in maintaining public safety.

Citizens can hear actual calls and radio traffic

as well as stories of tragedy and success.



chairs for decompressing. The center also stocks a small

kitchen with items for purchase.

“Our employees are far and above some of the most

extraordinary people,” Glasoe said. “The stress and

emotional work involved makes (being an operator)

such a respected position.”



More magazines by this user
Similar magazines