Learning How to Kick Yourself Out First
BY: MEGHAN FEIR
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
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
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.
JULY-AUGUST 2015 | VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 1
ON THE COVER
18 BAD TO THE T-BONE
AMUNDSON ENJOYS THE OUTDOORS
FROM MINNESOTA TO ARGENTINA
IN THIS ISSUE
02 OVERSTAYING YOUR WELCOME
Learning How to Kick Yourself Out First
How to Choose an Automotive Service
FUTBOL IN FARGO
FC Fargo Soccer Team Set to Make Its Debut
HANGING OUT AT THE HOT ROD SHOP OF
Local Hot Rod Guru Cody Wendelbo Shows
The Good Life Around the Shop
HAVING A BEER WITH ...
10 Things to Teach Your Son About Manhood
THE PRAIRIE ROSE MEADERY
The Bees Should Know
Help is on the Way - How the Red
River Regional Dispatch Center Keeps
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How to Choose an Automotive Service Center
BY: MATT LACHOWITZER
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,
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
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.
BY: PAUL HANKEL | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
A ONE ON ONE CHAT WITH TIM SINGLETON,
THE OWNER OF FARGO’S NEWEST SPORTS TEAM.
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.
OUR GOAL IS TO
EVENTUALLY JOIN THE
NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER
LEAGUE, WHICH IS WHERE
MOST OF TODAY’S MAJOR
LEAGUE SOCCER TEAMS
— TIM SINGLETON, OWNER
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
www.fcfargo.com for a game schedule, team bios and more. Fans
can also follow the team on Twitter and Facebook.
BY: PAUL HANKEL | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
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 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 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 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 www.hotrodshopoffargo.com.
BY: MEGHAN FEIR | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
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
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
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
GL: When your kids were young, what was the
most annoying TV show you had to suffer through
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
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
BY: JESSICA BALLOU | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
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
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.
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: BRET AMUNDSON PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: BRET AMUNDSON
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
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: BRET AMUNDSON
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
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: BRET AMUNDSON
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: BRET AMUNDSON
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
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
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 AllProDad.com
THE PRAIRIE ROSE MEADERY
BY: SOO ASHEIM | PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
THE BEES SHOULD KNOW
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
they would be
assured of the
birth of sons.
Thus, the mead
“honey” part of
HOW THE RED RIVER REGIONAL DISPATCH
Remain calm and
WHERE IS YOUR
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 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
CENTER KEEPS COMMUNITIES SAFE
BY: DANIELLE TEIGEN
PHOTOS: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
"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.”
sit so close to
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,”
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
DID YOU KNOW?
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.
FIND OUT MORE AT RRRDC.COM
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.”