In honor of Father's Day, we present ...
Q: What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A: A gummy bear.
Q: What is Forrest Gump’s password?
Q: What’s red and smells like blue paint?
A: Red paint.
Q: Two flies are in the kitchen, which one is the
A: The one on the range.
Q: How does a penguin build his house?
A: Igloos it together.
Q: Why did the man fall down the well?
A: Because he couldn’t see that well.
Q: Why did the coach go to the bank?
A: To get his quarterback.
Q: What did the fisherman say to the magician?
A: Pick a cod, any cod.
Q: What’s brown and sticky?
A: A stick.
Q: How many tickles does it take to make an
A: 10 tickles.
Q: What do you call an illegally parked frog?
Q: How do you get a country girl’s attention?
A: A tractor.
Two guys walked into a bar.
The third guy ducked.
Q: Why do bees have sticky hair?
A: Because they use a honeycomb.
Q: Want to hear a joke about construction?
A: I'm still working on it.
Q: Why did the picture go to jail?
A: Because it was framed.
Q: What do you call a hippie's wife?
Q: Does anyone need an ark?
A: I Noah guy!
Q: What do you call a man with
a rubber toe?
2 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
Q: When does a joke become a
A: When it becomes apparent!
Two cannibals are eating a
clown. One says to the other:
“Does this taste funny to you?”
Q: Why did the scarecrow win
A: Because he was outstanding
in his field.
Q: What do you call a man who
Q: What do you call cheese that
A: Nacho Cheese.
Q: Why do cows wear bells?
A: Because their horns don't
Q: Why can't you hear a
pterodactyl go to the bathroom?
A: Because the pee is silent.
Q: What did the drummer call
his twin daughters?
A: Anna one, Anna two.
If you see a robbery at an Apple
Store does that make you an
Q: Why did the tomato blush?
A: Because it saw the salad
Q: Why did the invisible man
turn down the job offer?
A: He couldn't see himself
Q: How many apples grow on
A: All of them.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 3
Volume 7 • Issue 6
FARGO'S TOP DOG
K-9 FALCO AND OFFICER
7 SIGNS OF LOW T
20-30 PERCENT OF OLDER
MEN SUFFER FROM LOW
MACK TACTICAL CUSTOMS
ARTISTRY WITH A BANG
A RESILIENT PRAIRIE
RECYCLING IS ABOUT
MORE THAN SAVING THE
HOW RECYCLING BENEFITS
THE ECONOMY AND OUR
A FATHER'S DAY TO
HAVING A BEER WITH
WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING
NORTH DAKOTA HIGHWAY
PATROL OFFICER GABE IRVIS
SERVES WITHOUT FLASH
4 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
Urban Toad Media LLP
OWNER / PHOTOGRAPHER
OWNER / GRAPHIC DESIGNER
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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.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 5
7 SIGNS OF
20-30 Percent of Older Men Suffer
from Low Testosterone
WRITTEN BY: BEN HANSON
As if getting old wasn’t embarrassing enough as it is,
Mother Nature decided to throw in some hilarious hormone
curveballs later in life to accompany the more outward signs
of old age like gray hair, wrinkles and ill advised jokes. The
good news is that a decrease in testosterone levels isn't
exactly life threatening. But, the symptoms associated with
Low T can still impact your life.
Before running through the warning signs, let’s first take a
quick look at what exactly testosterone is and what it does
in the human body. For that, we turn to our resident men’s
health contributing specialist, Dr. Forrest Sauer, founder of
Twin Oaks Health Solutions in Fargo.
“The two big hormones everyone is at least vaguely familiar
with are testosterone and estrogen,” explains Dr. Sauer.
“Both are found in differing amounts in both men’s and
women’s bodies, and they contribute to your body’s overall
function. The two need to maintain a certain balance
specifically in order to support sexual function and sexual
characteristics unique to each gender. In men, testosterone
plays a role in appearance, sexual development, sperm
production, sex drive, muscle development and bone
mass. It’s really when the balance between estrogen and
testosterone gets out of whack — when we start talking
about Low T — that you start to notice some external
According to Dr. Sauer, testosterone levels naturally start to
decrease the older men get, and some studies indicate that
upwards of 30 percent of men over the age of 70 will likely
experience some symptoms associated with Low T, which
is diagnosed when levels fall below 300 nanograms per
deciliter (ng/dL). A normal range is typically 300 to 1,000
ng/dL, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
A blood test called a serum testosterone test is used to
determine your level of circulating testosterone. Let’s
review seven of the more common signs you may be
experiencing Low T and a call to your primary healthcare
provider may be in order.
Decreased Sex Drive
It’s natural for some men to see a decline in sex drive as they age, but a more pronounced loss of
arousal may be a sign. Testosterone plays a key role in libido in men, and someone with Low T will
likely experience a more drastic drop in their desire to have sex. Your partner may pick up on this
more than you, and they may be the first to notice something’s not quite right.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is not that taboo subject it once was — thank you, little blue pill commercials
— and it’s another sign of Low T, as testosterone plays a role in helping men get and maintain
erections. ED is tricky, though, as it could also be a sign of more serious conditions like diabetes,
heart disease or mental health concerns like depression or anxiety. When testosterone levels are too
low, a man may have difficulty achieving an erection prior to sex or having spontaneous erections
(for example, during sleep). If this sounds familiar, it may be worth that call to your doctor to get a
professional’s opinion… to be on the safe side.
If your family has a history of baldness, chances are good you’re in line for some hair loss. But
genetics isn’t the only factor. Low T may also be to blame, as testosterone also plays a role in natural
hair production. If you’re losing hair everywhere — not just on your head — low testosterone levels
may be the culprit.
Special thanks to Dr. Forrest Sauer at Twin Oaks Health Solutions, medical consultant for our Men’s Health section.
6 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
When you reach senior citizen status,
you’ve earned your afternoon nap.
After all, we tend to get worse sleep
the older we get. But, if you’re feeling
really, really, really tired all the time,
it’s a sign of an underlying issue
and Low T may be it. Pay attention
to your motivation. If you’ve been a
regular exerciser — even a routine
daily walk — but are having no
interest in lacing up and breaking a
sweat, that’s an even stronger signal
of Low T.
Decreased Muscle & Bone Mass
Because testosterone plays a role
in building muscle and maintaining
bone mass, men with Low T might
notice a decrease in both — the
muscle loss being the easier of the
two to catch. Testosterone helps
produce and strengthen bone, so
men with low T may end up suffering
from osteoporosis, a decrease in
bone density and are therefore more
susceptible to fractures.
Increased Body Fat
Back to the discussion Low T
more of a concern about the
balance between testosterone and
estrogen… men with Low T may find
themselves packing on some extra
fat — especially in their breasts.
It’s called gynecomastia, which is a
condition of enlarged breast tissue.
It’s a sign of Low T, but more so a
sign of a hormone imbalance.
Mood & Memory
Oh, I almost forgot. Memory loss is
another sign of Low T. In fact, so
is changes to your overall mood, as
mood and memory are closely linked.
Studies show that men with low T
are more likely to face depression,
irritability and a general lack of focus.
And because both testosterone levels
and cognitive functions decline with
age, researchers are beginning to
link the two together… perhaps more
of a correlation than causation, but
one more sign of potential Low T to
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 7
WRITTEN BY: KRISSY NESS • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Whoever said building a gun couldn't be artistic?
Definitely not Jeff Mack.
Mack is in the business to not only hand build
your gun(s) but to add a bit of uniqueness and
artistry. He has been a gunsmith and designing
exceptional guns for 10 years. More recently
Mack Tactical Customs became a full-time gig
three years ago. The demand for his work has
only grown from there.
"Gunsmithing is first and foremost what I do
– and then I expanded into the cerakote," said
Mack. Cerakote is a porcelain-based film, which
is very thin but very durable, that is applied to a
gun to provide color and texture.
"On handguns, I do polymer frames, I can do
frame manipulation and texturizing for grip, and
slide work," said Mack. "Slide work is where you
cut holes into the gun and kind of make them
look cool and not like every other gun you see out
That is not the only thing Mack does at Mack
Tactical Customs, after all this is a one-man
operation. "I'm the gunsmith, I'm the builder,
the guy that does all the modifications, I'm the
receptionist, billing, and bookkeeper," laughed
It's not always easy to work alone or out of your
own garage, but what does work is passion.
Mack has been fascinated with guns most of his
life and the artistry of cerakoting and slide work
came with the territory. To be able to take your
hobby and turn it into a business truly shows
what determination and drive Mack has.
8 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 9
"The variety is what I like best about my job," stated
Mack. "It's not mundane and it's different every day." I
would have to agree with this and how nice it must be
to get to work on a different project every day. That is
not to say Mack doesn't have a couple of specialties up
"I get a lot of Glocks that come through my door," stated
Mack. "I've kind of gotten the reputation that I'm the
expert on Glocks." Glocks have always been Mack's
personal handgun choice. They are very customizable,
reliable, and easy to take apart. On top of that, he has
also perfected the Mack Tactical Customs trigger jobs
Mack Tactical Customs is growing, "We
are expanding again and building our
own brand of AR rifles," said Mack.
Something you will find with Mack
Tactical Customs is that you will always
get quality professionally built guns with
an abundance of artistry.
"A gun is a gun, let's say an AR-15, all the
internal moving parts are essentially the
same," said Mack. "But, when you make them
look different from what you're just buying off the shelf
somewhere it stands out and people feel like, 'Hey, I got
something no one else has – this one's mine.'"
With that kind of dedication, it is assumed you would
pay a pretty penny. "These big AR companies – they
are just assembling guns on an assembly line going
from one person to another to another, and the quality
control – it's got to be tough, but I know what I'm putting
on these guns because I build them myself from start to
finish," stated Mack. "Mine – there's no junk in them,
which is why mine falls into the more midrange price as
far as quality and price."
10 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
On top of getting to be creative and utilize
very delicate skills comes the final step – test
firing the weapon. "The nice thing with fixing
customer guns and building new ones is that
you have to test-fire them," laughed Mack. "I
show up at the range and they are like 'Oh,
here comes Jeff.'"
These days Mack is working seven days a
week working on guns, whether it is building
and cerakoting from scratch or fixing a gun
from another company, but that doesn't mean
he is content where he is.
"I'm always expanding my business as well,"
stated Mack. "I have recently partnered up with
United States Conceal and Carry Association
(USCCA), and in June I will train to become
a certified conceal and carry instructor and
defensive shooter instructor; like I need to
have more stuff to do," laughed Mack.
"On top of that people will also be able to buy
memberships to the USCCA through me,"
said Mack. This membership is particularly
important if you plan to conceal and carry.
"You can get different online training through
USCCA," stated Mack.
These days more and more people are legally
carrying guns, and it is important to practice
gun safety and receive the proper education.
When asked what the good life means to him,
Mack said, "Living the good life to me means
enjoying our freedoms in this country. Living
a balanced life between work, family,
and fun. Surrounding myself with
great people, and of course getting
out there and shooting guns." •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 11
a resilient prairie
WRITTEN BY: JEFFREY MILLER • PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: JEFFREY MILLER
Restoration of even small areas back to prairie can have an enormous impact on
everything from water infiltration, insect and wildlife habitat, and soil health.
Fargo is located smack dab in the
middle of the tallgrass prairie. This
sea of vegetation used to stretch northsouth
from Manitoba to Texas and
west-east from the eastern Dakotas
to Indiana. The tallgrass prairie area
has only been on the landscape for the
last 8,000 years. In that short amount
of time, the prairie has developed into
one of the most diverse ecosystems in
the world, second only to the Brazilian
Speaking of the Brazilian rainforest,
when I was in elementary school in
the early 1990s, we learned that the
rainforest was under attack. That was
true, and illegal deforestation of the
rainforest is terrible. However, the
textbooks never mentioned that the
12 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
tallgrass prairie, right outside of our
window, was suffering as well. Native
tallgrass prairie survives on less than
1% of its original range today.
There are a wide variety of reasons for
the reduction of tallgrass prairie, and
it would not be possible to restore it to
its original range. Restoration of even
small areas back to prairie can have an
enormous impact on everything from
water infiltration, insect and wildlife
habitat, and soil health.
Prairie advocates point to the fact that
most of the perennial grass on the
landscape today is not native to the
ecosystem. Found in China, Europe
and Siberia, Smooth brome is a grass
that was introduced to the United
States in the late 1800s. An extremely
aggressive species, Smooth brome
will outcompete the myriad of different
species in a prairie and replace them
with a monoculture. Even worse,
Smooth brome forms a dense sod
that will further reduce biodiversity. A
field full of Smooth brome holds little
value for livestock, wildlife or insects.
In contrast, the native tallgrass prairie
has a variety of species. 80% of the
biomass would be grass, consisting
of 40 to 60 different species. The
remaining 20% would consist of forbs
(also known as flowers), with up to
300 different species!
All hope is not lost for the tallgrass
prairie. It can be restored to its former
glory, and all it needs is landowners
committed to seeing the sea of grass
return. Even better, restoration can
occur in a small urban backyard garden
all the way up to a quarter section of
land. There isn't any piece of land too
big or too small!
The most important aspect of prairie
restoration is the use of local ecotype.
Big bluestem, for instance, is the most
iconic and common warm-season
tallgrass prairie species. It is found on
native prairies from Manitoba to Texas.
In that enormous range, however, there
are many locally adapted variants.
Seed harvested from big bluestem in
Texas would be ill-suited to the harsh,
cold climate of North Dakota. For the
best success, the seed source must be
from the local generalized area.
In order to help homeowners in urban
areas and on small acreages contribute
to the restoration of prairie, the Cass
County Soil Conservation District
has developed the Pocket Prairie
Initiative (PPI). We help select species
suitable for the project location's
soil and prairie height and offer costsharing
opportunities to help defray
the financial outlay. For even smaller
locations, such as apartments and
townhomes, we suggest the Planter
Prairie. The Planter Prairie is simply
a plastic planter containing native
prairie plants. The profusion of life
growing in the planter attracts a wide
variety of pollinating insects, proving
that even the smallest prairies are a
conduit for a healthy ecosystem.
The beauty of the tallgrass prairie
can take our breath away. With some
planning upfront, along with financial
assistance, the Red River Valley
can witness a rebirth of our prairie
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 13
Recycling Is About More
Than the Saving the Environment
How Recycling Benefits the Economy and Our Community
WRITTEN BY: KATIE JENISON
There’s little doubt that recycling is good for the
environment. By actively recycling, we can reduce the need
for extracting, refining, and processing raw materials.
Processes such as mining, quarrying, and logging not only
deplete the earth’s resources but also creates substantial
water and air pollution. The energy saved by recycling
and reusing materials also reduces emissions and helps
tackle climate change.
While recycling plays a significant role in the health of
our environment, the benefits don’t stop there. Many may
be surprised to learn that recycling also has a profound
impact on the economy. Mary Aldrich, Sales Manager at
MinnKota Recycling in Fargo, explains that “The recycling
industry generates approximately 32 billion dollars a year
and employs over one million people in the United States.”
Though the industry is relatively profitable, the markets are
considered to be very volatile. Recycling is a “commodity-
driven industry that can be very complicated, and it has
everything to do with supply and demand,” Aldrich says.
“If we have a clean product, it eliminates all these other
costs or factors that can drive the price of services up.
So that’s why we really want people to think about what
they’re putting in their recycling bin.”
The recycling industry employs
over 1,000,000 people in
the United States.
14 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
The secret to clean recycling? Doing it responsibly. Aldrich
stresses the importance of not assuming something can be
recycled. There are a lot of products and packaging that
have a recycling label on the bottom, but that doesn’t always
mean the item can be recycled. The symbol is actually a
legend depicting the grade of the material, as well as the
safety and use of the item. When it comes to recycling best
practices, Aldrich suggests, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
Recycling contaminated with non-recyclable materials
can be problematic for many reasons. Items like
extension cords, holiday lights, and hoses can get
tangled, causing delays and damaging machines used
in the recycling process. In turn, the unnecessary wear
and tear to the equipment and setbacks can increase
the price of recycling services. Luckily, Fargo-Moorhead
residents are a step ahead of the rest of the nation when it
comes to responsible recycling. According to Aldrich, our
community is composed of conscientious recyclers. She
estimates that MinnKota Recycling has a contamination
rate of less than 10%, while the rest of the nation ranges
RECYCLE THESE ITEMS
office paper, junk mail,
cardboard, food and
Plastic bottles and jugs
and tubs (1, 2 and 5). Leave
plastic caps on.
Glass bottles, jars (clear and
Steel or tin food and
aluminum beverage cans.
Rinse out containers before
putting in bin.
PLASTIC GLASS METAL
Shredded paper, tanglers
(hoses, extension cords,
holiday lights, etc), plastic
bags, diapers and pet
waste, hazardous materials
(sharps, motor oil, propane
tanks, etc.) styrofoam or
WHEN IN DOUBT...
THROW IT OUT!
Do not place food waste,
plastic bags, plastic film,
cellophane, bubble wrap
or aluminum foil in bins.
Do not recycle mirrors,
lightbulbs, drinking glasses,
ceramics or cookware.
NON RECYCLABLE E-WASTE HAZARDOUS EXPIRED DRUGS
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 15
Alrich recommends starting small.
Aluminum beverage cans
are a great starting point, as they
make up a large chunk of recyclable
materials in our landfills.
Start Recycling Today
Despite the many environmental and economic benefits
of recycling, some people don’t take advantage of their
city’s recycling programs. For some, it’s because they
don’t quite see the merits of recycling. Others may feel
overwhelmed trying to adhere to the guidelines. If you
fall into the latter category, Aldrich recommends starting
small. Aluminum beverage cans are a great starting point,
as they make up a large chunk of recyclable materials in
our landfills. So much so, that we are essentially throwing
millions of dollars away each year.
MinnKota Recycling also has an answer for those who don’t
recycle out of laziness or the belief that their recyclables
won’t make an impact. The company offers a donation
program at redemption centers in Detroit Lakes and
Fargo. For every pound of recyclable material you bring
in, you’ll earn a penny. Those earnings can then be kept
or donated to local charities and nonprofit organizations.
A penny per pound may seem small in the grand scheme
of things, but when you’re recycling heavy paper materials
like old magazines and newspapers, it adds up quickly.
MinnKota Recycling distributed over $10,000 to various
community organizations last year alone. “For those
organizations, every penny counts. We support over 180
programs, including food shelves, animal shelters, and
schools. The few extra bucks your donation supplies can
help a kid buy a carton of milk. There’s a lot of kids that
can’t afford those things, and recycling your aluminum
cans and junk mail can help them out,” Aldrich notes.
16 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
MinnKota Recycling Brings The
Process Full Circle
Running an efficient and
environmentally conscious business
is crucial to MinnKota Recycling and
Beverage Wholesalers, the company
that started MinnKota in 1975. Both
have grown into the businesses
they are today largely in part due to
product stewardship. Olympia Beer
required Beverage Wholesalers
to offer a redemption program for
its aluminum cans, which would
reduce the product’s effect on the
environment during its lifecycle.
MinnKota added multiple materials
recycling in 1989 and a document
destruction division in 1998.
Today, the company operates three
recycling facilities and maintains a
strategic partnership with Reliance
Transportation and local companies
owned by Randy Christianson of
The addition of a trucking company
is a large part of what makes
MinnKota Recycling so successful.
Aldrich says, “The recycling industry
is all about logistics, and we have
a really well-organized process
that lets us transfer material in
the most economical way. We ship
our recyclable material out east
to be processed, and our trucks
will drop it off at the paper mills in
Wisconsin. They’ll then pick up beer
for the wholesale beverage division
and bring it back to our facility.
It’s essentially a looped system of
Minnkota Recycling’s geographic
location helps keep recyclable
materials in domestic markets, as
well. The company exports very
little material to foreign markets
and the recyclables it collects are
remanufactured into other products
in the United States. Keeping
recycled materials in domestic
markets reduces the cost of products
we use daily, including items like
toilet paper and napkins. For that
to happen, citizens have to do their
part. Each of us can contribute to
the success of the economy—and our
community—by making it a point to
recycle responsibly. •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 17
ON THE COVER | K-9 FALCO AND OFFICER DAVID COCHRAN
18 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN FEIR
PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Every day for the past 8 years, Officer David Cochran and
his Belgian Malinois, Falco, have worked side by side,
"Taking a bite out of crime," as Scruff McGruff would
say. Cochran has been with the Fargo Police Department
for 16 years. Since 2010, he's been a K-9 officer, and in
his words, "It's been awesome. I've done lots of things
throughout the department. All those things are fine, but
you can't hold a candle to handling a dog."
Cochran and Falco have been through a lot together, from
sniffing out drugs to tracking missing people. What
they didn't anticipate getting involved in together was
something a lot less criminal in nature.
In March 2019, an agent from A&E's "America's Top
Dog" approached Sergeant Collin Gnoinsky asking if
Cochran and Falco would apply to compete on the show.
"He thought it was kind of a joke, and I thought it was too.
But then he was like, 'No, this is legit. They want you to
audition.' So I hemmed and hawed, and then I thought,
what the heck, and we had two auditions over Skype,"
Each interview lasted nearly two hours as they observed
how Falco and he interacted with each other. Soon the
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 19
ON THE COVER | K-9 FALCO AND OFFICER DAVID COCHRAN
PHOTO BY: NICO THERIN / A&E 2020
pair was selected and eventually flown out to Los Angeles
for the filming of the show.
"They took care of everything and took great care of us,"
Cochran said. "Falco got a ticket on the plane, just like I
did. He even got the window seat."
"THEY TOOK CARE OF EVERYTHING AND
TOOK GREAT CARE OF US," COCHRAN SAID.
"FALCO GOT A TICKET ON THE PLANE, JUST
LIKE I DID. HE EVEN GOT THE WINDOW SEAT."
"They said, 'We love working with you cops. Usually, we
work with actors and they're very entitled. All you guys do
is talk and hang out with us and we love it.' Falco even had
his own trailer with his name on a star. They absolutely
loved Falco. They thought he was the best."
After filming their first episode, Cochran knew they had
won that round, landing them in the top seven out of 50
dogs entered. Falco and he stayed in Los Angeles for a
week to shoot the grand finale, competing for the winning
prize of $25,000. Although they were eliminated in the first
round, the two won $5,000 to donate to an animal charity,
PHOTO BY: NICO THERIN / A&E 2020
While traveling with a restless dog and competing on a
national television show can cause some anxiety, Cochran
enjoyed the entire experience.
"It was a blast," Cochran said. "The most stressful part
was taking a high-drive Mal and flying across the country,
but once we got there, meeting the other teammates and
the cast and production people were awesome."
The entire crew, Cochran and Falco hit it off right away and
still stay in contact with each other.
20 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
along with $10,000 for the Fargo Police Department's K-9
fund. Falco was the oldest dog in the finals, a testament to
The pair headed for home, but that wasn't the end of
their star-level escapades. They were featured as the first
episode of the season and were flown out to New York for
the show's premiere, providing live commentary with the
hosts of Live PD.
"That was awesome. What an experience," Cochran said.
"It was just Falco and I there for the premiere."
A MAN'S BEST FRIEND AND COWORKER
Falco isn't the first in his canine family to protect and serve
the area. A few years ago, there was Earl, Falco's uncle, who
so impressed the Fargo Police Department they wanted
their next K-9 from the same dogged bloodline. Falco has
another uncle who works for Cass County named Ed.
Across Minnesota and Winnipeg, Falco has siblings
working for other police departments.
"It's a fabulous bloodline," Cochran said. "If he could he'd
push me aside and drive the squad car. It's no-nonsense."
This ambitious, hardworking, dog version of the Energizer
Bunny isn't only in work mode during business hours.
When Cochran and he go home, Falco's hardwired to stay
on the job.
"Belgian Malinois are full of energy and can be over the
top with drive. I knew I was walking into a handful of a
dog," Cochran said. "He's the dog that brings work home.
It's constant with Falco. He never stops. If you harness that
drive, they'll work their heart out."
"BELGIAN MALINOIS ARE FULL OF
ENERGY AND CAN BE OVER THE TOP
WITH DRIVE. I KNEW I WAS WALKING
INTO A HANDFUL OF A DOG."
– OFFICER COCHRAN
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 21
ON THE COVER | K-9 FALCO AND OFFICER DAVID COCHRAN
Beyond the excitement of competing and being featured on
a national TV show is the bond the dog and his officer get
to experience with each other every day.
"I spend more time with Falco than with my own family,"
Cochran said. "There's a saying that when people need
help, they call the police. When the police need help
they call SWAT. Then they call K-9. It's always nice to be
wanted, and you form this bond with your dog and help
your teammates. There's no better feeling. I can't even put
it into words."
Out of nearly 200 sworn-in officers, the Fargo Police
Department just added a fifth K-9 to the unit.
"A dog works 8-11 years, so those spots don't come available
often. Not many people get to do it. I'm very blessed to have
this opportunity with Falco." •
• Falco will be 9 years old in August. Cochran is hoping Falco will be able to work 2-3 more years before retiring.
• He loves food to no end. "You really have to keep your eye on him. It doesn't matter what it is," Cochran said.
"It was very embarrassing at the time, but he was brand new and we got sent to an alarm at a sub restaurant
in town. I was like, 'All right. Time to show off our training.' We had him on a long leash and he goes around the
corner and the line drops. I'm waiting and waiting. I'm like, 'Falco, come!' and he won't. So we work our way up
to him and he's just chowing down on loaves of bread. He even ate a petrified donut in someone's car once.
• According to Cochran, he absolutely loves beds. "He'll roll on them and grab the blankets with his teeth and
roll up in them. We got called to an alarm one night at a furniture store and made it to the bedroom section.
There was a line of beds and he jumped on every single one on the way down."
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Get to know the Belgian Malinois
• The breed was developed in the Belgian city of
• The Belgian Malinois was originally intended
for herding and is one of four breeds of Belgian
• With their high energy levels, they can become
extremely destructive if they aren't exercised
• They often get confused with German
shepherds, but German shepherds are usually
a bit slower and more methodical than Belgian
Malinois. In comparing the two breeds, Cochran
said he compares them to cars. "German
shepherds are Cadillacs and Malinois are Ferraris.
One is a little more fun to drive."
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 23
FATHERS | MR. FULL-TIME DAD
A Father's Day
WRITTEN BY: BEN HANSON
I hope I'm not the only one who doesn't recall
Father's Day having much of an impact on my
childhood. It's hard as a kid to get excited about
someone else's special day, watch them open
presents that aren't toys to play with and sit
through three meals of not-your-favorite foods.
Honestly, I still don't get all that excited for a
made-up holiday. There, I said it.
From my usual glass-is-half-empty
perspective, Father's Day is more or
less a trap for us fathers. We're told
it's our day to spend however we
wish, all while being showered with
presents and praise seemingly for
the previous year's job well done.
Trap, I say! What I really want,
if I'm being honest, is to lay in
bed for a while, go golfing,
take a couch nap, grill a
steak for dinner and watch
something R-rated in the
recliner… none of which
involves my offspring. If
the premise of the day
is me being a good
father, how can I ask
for what is essentially a day off from parenting and
not suffer from an above-average amount of guilt?
But this year is different. Much different.
As I sit writing this column in my home office —
now just "the office" — it's late March. We're still on
the uphill climb of the much talked about COVID-19
pandemic curve. The whole family has now been
self-isolating at home for three weeks, the first of
which was marked by a visit to the ER… the last by
a basement flooded with groundwater. It's been a
month, and I'm not sure the end is yet in sight.
Not to sound trite, but everything is different now
thanks to this tiny, powerful virus. Things may circle
back to normalcy, but even so, the memories of this
period will last our lifetimes and that normalcy may
still feel different.
In early March, before the full weight of the
situation had come crashing down, I posted this
on Twitter: "On the upside, the older you get the
fewer milestones your memory has the opportunity
to capture. This moment in time is rich in emotion.
Moments slow, suddenly important. This is a
milestone. This... is going to be a most unique
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Not everyone agreed with me at the time,
but I think we're all convinced at this point,
our psyches permanently altered. What I can
confidently say is this Father's Day will be one
to remember, unlike the bulk of the previous 37.
And what I truly hope is that it is memorable for
I want to take a walk through the neighborhood
without awkwardly avoiding passersby on
the bike path. I want to let Mack play on the
playground without worry. I want to go to
Costco... with the whole family… unmasked. I
know, not the wish list I started this story with,
but a wish list — altered — for the times we're
living in. Of course, baby number two could
arrive early and completely steal the show. Oh,
what a wonderful diversion that would be… and
a perfect excuse for a guilt-free nap! •
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HAVING A BEER WITH | KEVIN FLYNN
PHOTO BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Having a Beer with
Kevin Flynn (while social distancing)
WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN FEIR • PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: MEGHAN FEIR AND KEVIN FLYNN
Some people seem to be magnets for out-of-the-ordinary
experiences and run-ins with the rich and famous. During
his 40 years of working in the radio industry, Kevin Flynn, the
senior producer of The Flag 1100 AM, has brushed shoulders
with the likes of Sally Field, James Garner and many others.
As we chatted via Zoom to ensure the Coronavirus was held
at bay, he regaled me with a couple of his life stories, from
impromptu dinners with Bruce Willis and Demi Moore to
spending the day with John Travolta.
Hearing of these surreal experiences reminded me of
bygone days when we actually wanted to stumble into other
people; when we didn’t have to be paranoid about strangers
being closer than six feet away, of shaking their hands and
noticing audible signs of allergy season.
Although we couldn’t sit in Drekker’s fine establishment,
Flynn enjoyed a Drekker brew from the comfort of his home
as we chatted about lake life, Corona isolation, and if he’s
watched “Tiger King” yet.
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Good Life: With all the COVID-19 stuff happening,
how has that changed your job in radio?
Kevin Flynn: We’re deemed essential, since we’re a
news organization. Working at The Flag is a little more
weighted than my years working in music radio. People
are tuning in to find out what’s going on and relying on
us to be there. It’s a different world being in news talk
radio, but I love it.
GL: Have you stocked up on anything?
KF: I live on a lake in the Detroit Lakes area. This will be
our 24th summer here. We live in the country pretty far
out, so I always stock up on stuff. I live on a food and
water source. Let the zombies loose. I’m good. I have
plenty of ammo out here, too. What got to me was the
toilet paper business. Do you poop yourself to death
with this thing or what?
What got to me
was the toilet paper
business. Do you
poop yourself to
death with this
thing or what?"
- Kevin Flynn
GL: Yeah, that definitely seems to be the thing people
don’t want to run out of during isolation. I guess they
don’t want to wipe with moldy leaves.
KF: People were grabbing paper towels, too, and I
thought, “Ooh, that’s going to be a rough wipe.”
GL: Plus, are they septic safe? I doubt it.
GL: Have you guys watched “Tiger King” yet?
KF: Funny you asked that. I just came home and started
watching. I have to see what it’s all about. I’m 10 minutes
in and—I don’t know. What’s funny is I spent a couple
years living in San Antonio and I actually met a guy who
owned a big cat farm outside of the city. He had seven
lions, three tigers and a couple of other things. They were
all his personal pets. They would roll around with him and
one of them slept with him in the bed. He’s going to wind
up with a leg off one of these days, but okay, dude.
GL: If you were in the WWE, what would your
wrestling name be?
KF: I’m Irish, so probably the Irish Kid, Irish Tornado or
something like that. I’m Irish and Norwegian, which
usually means I’m too stupid to know when I’m too drunk.
GL: Maybe the Irish Viking.
KF: There you go. If I have a UFC name, it would be Kevin
the Irish Hound Flynn or something like that. The Irish
beast. Kevin the Irish beast. Then I’d have some Dropkick
Murphys as my walk-out music.
GL: How did you end up having dinner with Bruce
Willis and Demi Moore?
KF: I spent two years in Los Angeles and worked for a
station called Pirate Radio. I basically covered all the
red-carpet stuff, so I got to meet a lot of stars. Bruce
Willis was coming down the line for the “Diehard 2”
premiere and we were at the very end of the line. The
guy I worked for at the time knew him from years back,
so I said, “Scott Shannon says hi,” and he stopped for a
second and was like, “Pirate Radio, oh yeah!” Then he
was like, “Are you hungry?” and I was like, “Yeah, sure.”
Demi Moore was with him and she’d just gotten done
doing the movie “Ghost.” I got to tag along with them
back to the VIP area where all the food was and ended
up hanging out for 45 minutes and interviewed him and
Demi. It was pretty cool.
GL: What’s a little-known hobby of yours?
KF: I’ve been working on a few screenplays and working
on a pilot. It’s kind of an old west, Black Hills tale set in
the mid-1800s. Maybe someday it’ll come together.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 27
HAVING A BEER WITH | KEVIN FLYNN
GL: When did you begin to have an interest in acting?
KF: A little in high school. As soon as I was out of high
school I got into radio and didn’t really focus on it. About
five years after I graduated my dad died, so I decided
I was going to go out to Los Angeles, but I basically
got stopped in Phoenix. I ended up staying in Phoenix
for five years and did five films, including an HBO film
with Sam Elliot and a movie called “Star Man” with Jeff
Bridges. I’m just an extra in most of these films, but I got
on to a film called “Murphy’s Romance,” which was with
Sally Field and James Garner. I got to know and babysit
Sally Field’s kids and golfed with James Garner. It was an
GL: If you had to say you have a hero now, who do
you think it would be?
KF: I’m just a fan of people who do good and are
positive. When my dad died when I was 22, I fell into
a funk for a while. I worked for a guy in Phoenix who
ended up being the vice president of FOX Sports Radio.
He was kind of my mentor. His thing was “Always dare
to be great.” I was working for Andy, still doing radio
and not being as good of a guy as I should have been
and he said, “Here. You need this.” It was a book and
cassettes by Tony Robins. The more I listened and read,
I realized that my mood and day is up to me. If I let the
28 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
world dictate my mood, I’ll never be happy. Wake up in
the morning and don’t question if it’s going to be a good
day. It’s always awesome. You’re still above ground, so
why live your life halfway? My heroes now are like Steve
Hallstrom. His passion, compassion, cheerleading and
overall demeanor is a pleasure to work with every day
because he doesn’t let anything get in his way for being
great. Same with Alex and the whole team that I work
with, which is a breath of fresh air.
GL: What does living the good life mean to you?
KF: The lake. I commute an hour in and an hour home,
but on my way in I get updated on the world, and every
day I’m going home to the lake, so it’s not really a bad
deal. I was in LA for a little over two years and then I
went down to San Diego for about a year, which only
solidified my hatred for southern California. I couldn’t
wait to get out of there. Neither one of my parents made
it to 60, so when I turned 30 I thought I was halfway. I
was like, “I’m going to go and see if I can get a place on
the lake because I always loved the lake life.” If you have
a lake place you know what I’m talking about, so for me,
it’s the lake. •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 29
LOCAL HERO | GABE IRVIS
Behind the Wheel
North Dakota Highway Patrol Officer Gabe Irvis
Serves Without Flash
WRITTEN BY: ALEXIS SWENSON
PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
North Dakota Highway Patrol Officer Gabe Irvis has
always wanted to be a cop. In fact, he remembers
telling his mom so at age seventeen. She dissuaded
him from the career choice and after graduating
high school, Irvis studied Business Administration.
He lasted about one year before coming to terms
with the fact that school was not for him. On a
whim, Irvis enlisted in the Army National Guard on
September 12, 2006 at 20 years old. Just 13 days
later he shipped for boot camp.
“It looked like something I wanted to do. I liked
wartime movies and stuff like that. I loved the
atmosphere of boot camp; it looked like fun to me.
And, I wanted to ship as soon as possible,” said
After serving two years in the Army National Guard
as a 21 Whiskey (Carpentry Masonry Specialist),
Irvis transferred to the North Dakota Air National
Guard where he served for 6 years as part of the
Security Forces Squadron, the Air Force’s version
of Military Police.
“When I transferred to the ND Air Guard, it kind of
reignited that desire to be in law enforcement and
I made a conscious decision to try to get into that
field,” said Irvis.
In 2012, Irvis began working for the ND Highway
Patrol while serving as a Guardsman on a part-time
basis. As both jobs are huge commitments, Irvis
decided to focus his efforts on one position and in
2014, he made the difficult decision to leave the ND
30 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
“It’s an honor to be there for people when they
need you. That’s what I like about public service;
just being there for people.” – Gabe Irvis
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 31
LOCAL HERO | GABE IRVIS
“I’m proud to be part of
removing criminals from the
roadways.” – Gabe Irvis
“I was excited to get out, but I remember my last Guard
drill where I turned in all my stuff that had been a part of
me for the past 8 years. It was a big transition leaving and
not having that be a part of my life,” said Irvis.
Life as a Trooper
In his current role as a State Trooper, Irvis said the job
is pretty much what people think it is. He makes a lot of
traffic stops, does crash investigations, helps people who
need help, and mostly maintains a visible presence on
the roadway. He also works some criminal cases and DUI
investigations as well as takes people to jail.
“It’s something different every day. I like getting to help
people and knowing that you’re changing lives. It’s an
honor to be there for people when they need you. That’s
what I like about public service; just being there for
people. I’m proud to be part of removing criminals from
the roadways,” said Irvis.
Irvis cites debriefing as one of the greatest resources
to cope with the harder parts of the job including
memorable arrests and crash scenes. “We’re all
professionals and all recognize that everybody
handles it differently. We’ll do a critical
incident debrief where we get together
and talk it out. I think it’s helpful,” said
Irvis also strives to take advantage
of the many opportunities to learn
how to better carry out his role.
In his work as a Standardized
Field Sobriety Instructor, Irvis is
privileged to create generational
impact by teaching other law
enforcement professionals how
to accurately administer various
sobriety tests to help evaluate psychophysical
signs of impairment.
“It’s pretty cool to think that some of the
people that I’m teaching could someday be
teaching another class or that they’re utilizing
skills to make the roadway safer. They’re going
to be taking drunks off the road and hopefully
having success in terms of conviction rates with this
because of the tests,” said Irvis.
Moreover, Irvis worked for two years as a Certified
Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) which helped further
his skills in dealing with people, drugs and arrests.
The DRE course teaches individuals how to identify
controlled substances inside of people’s bodies through
the evaluation of clinical signs of impairment.
32 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
Ivis likes to joke that, “The only thing flashy about me is
the lights on top of my vehicle,” and he’s humbled to be
the recipient of any award and recognition. Recent awards
include the Luther Ford Salute to Law Enforcement
sponsored by AM 1100 The Flag WZFG and being
recognized internally by the agency for his efforts in terms
of criminal arrests, drug arrests, and DUI enforcement.
For those interested in a career in law enforcement, Irvis
suggests doing what he did—reaching out to the agency
to set up a ride-along to get a better idea of the role of a
members. The first funeral I was a part of was Officer
Moszer’s funeral. That was unbelievable to be a part of. It
was an honor, it was humbling, and it was probably one of
the most powerful experiences that I’ll remember in my
law enforcement career,” said Irvis.
Another memorable experience for Irvis is attending a
funeral for Anthony Borostowski, a fallen State Trooper
in WI. After saluting Borostowski, Irvis, along with other
Troopers from various states, turned to pay his respects
to the family.
Saluting with Honor
While a member of the ND Highway Patrol Honor Guard
team, Irvis traveled to funerals for State Troopers in
Colorado, Wisconsin, and northern ND to honor fallen
patrol officers by paying respects to the individual and
their family as well as playing “Taps” on the bugle at one
“I think it is very important for law enforcement agencies
to pay their respects and to have a team that is able to, on
a moment’s notice, go to another state or another part of
the state for a funeral and pay their respects for the fallen
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LOCAL HERO | GABE IRVIS
“Borostowski’s dad gave me a hug and said,
‘My son was the epitome of squared away
and when I saw you, I said, ‘My goodness—
this guy is squared away, just like my son
was’. That meant a lot to me. For this man
on one of his darkest days to compare me to
his son...It’s an honor to put on the uniform,”
Due to scheduling conflicts, Irvis has
recently made the difficult decision to resign
from the team. “That was hard for me to
give up because I believe in the team and I
believe in its purpose,” said Irvis.
"Borostowski’s dad gave me a
hug and said, ‘My son was the
epitome of squared away and
when I saw you, I said,
‘My goodness—this guy is
squared away, just like my son
was’. That meant a lot to me.
For this man on one of his
darkest days to compare me to
his son...It’s an honor to put on
the uniform.” – Gabe Irvis
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: GABE IRVIS
When initially asked by his supervisor if he would like to “take a
picture with the President”, Irvis envisioned a hurried, blurry selfie
with President Trump far in the background. He was more than a little
surprised on the day of to find himself driving with Secret Service in the
Presidential Motorcade and then sprinting into the building.
A Presidential Handshake
Another unique experience Irvis is grateful
to have had is when he was selected to meet
President Trump. When traveling, President
Trump often does meet and greets with
various officers if time allows. Such was the
case when President Trump recently visited
“We went into the back room and it was completely surreal. I could see
him and thought, ‘Holy smokes. No way.’ It was an honor to shake his
hand. Regardless of political affiliation, that’s something I will always be
proud of and always take the opportunity to do—to shake the President’s
hand,” said Irvis.
Off the Clock
When he’s not on the road Irvis spends a lot of his time at, Metroflex,
his favorite gym. He initially became a Metroflex member to train for a
bodybuilding show and has quickly grown to love the gym.
34 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
"I’m living the good life. I chose a career
that I’m passionate about. ” – Gabe Irvis
“Fitness has become an important part of my life. My job
demands me to be physically fit and the people I serve
demand me to be physically fit. My bodybuilding show
days are over, but Metroflex will always be my home. The
gym has so much energy, I love the workout equipment,
the owners are fantastic, and it’s very military and law
enforcement friendly,” said Irvis.
Beyond gym time, Irvis enjoys his sacred days off with
his fiancé and two boys aged 11 and 10. “They are two
incredibly different boys. One is quieter and reserved
while the other is more outgoing. We do “men’s night”
where we eat popcorn, watch Marvel movies, play video
games, have Nerf gun wars—regular guy stuff. They’re
easy; they’re like mini-mes,” said Irvis.
The Good Life
For Irvis, the “good life” isn’t an unattainable far-reaching
goal. He believes that we’re all responsible for our own
happiness and can choose to create a good life which is
exactly what he has done.
“I’m living the good life. I chose a career that I’m
passionate about. I believe in what law enforcement does
and believe in the critical part they play in the criminal
justice system. I’m grateful to do it here in an area that is
highly supportive of law enforcement at the community
and state level. I have my health, my happiness, a beautiful
fiance, and two handsome boys who have their health
too. Outside of the weather, I love this area. It’s full of
wonderful people,” said Irvis. •
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