FATHERS | DAD LIFE
YOUR PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR NOT BEING A JACK*SS COACH OR PARENT
AT YOUR CHILD'S SPORTING EVENTS
WRITTEN BY: PAUL HANKEL
Now that youth sports are back, it is
my great hope that a one-year hiatus
has resulted in the extinction of one
of the worst things plaguing sports:
jack*ss parents who verbally abuse
referees, coaches, and players.
Are YOU one of these types of
parents? Let's discuss.
The Signs and Symptoms
Often disguised as, "advocating for
their child and ensuring they get the
best experience possible," in reality,
it's a small vocal minority of parents
who are ruining what is supposed to
be a fun and educational experience
for our kids by acting like children
themselves. These parents can often
be found pacing the sidelines at their
child's games and practices, visibly
sweating and hurling critiques at
coaches, refs, and anyone else within
earshot. Lord forbid the coach call a
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play that doesn't result in their child
scoring a touchdown…you'll get to
see a full-on adult temper tantrum.
They are the first parents in the ref's
face when there's a blown or missed
call…completely devoid of the
realization that this is just a game
and that their third-grader is still in
the "just having fun," stage of their
The Numbers and Facts
The numbers are startling: more
and more umpires and referees are
quitting the profession. To go along
with this shortage, fewer and fewer
numbers of parents are willing to
coach their child's team for fear of
getting verbally assaulted (heaven
forbid physically assaulted) or
getting accused of favoritism for
playing their child. A quick Youtube
search of, "parent attacks referee,"
will yield hundreds of results.
According to USA Today High School
Sports, nearly 60% of coaches have
considered quitting or have quit,
and, "nearly 67 percent of coaches
revealed that unsportsmanlike
conduct among parents was also an
issue. In fact, 60 percent explained
that they've recently had to speak
with a parent about their conduct."
What was once a fun way to make
some extra money while still being
involved with the sport they love has
now, for many referees, become an
unbearable burden. Coaches, who,
at the youth and junior high level, are
often unpaid, offer similar sentiment.
"I had a parent threaten to sue me for
not playing their daughter enough!"
said one regional coach who asked
to not be named in this article. "I had
no idea parents could even do that!"
If that doesn't tell you somethings
wrong, nothing will.
But, I Just Want My Kid to Have the Best Shot at
According to the NCAA, nearly eight million athletes
play sports during their high school years. Of those eight
million, roughly 2% received some form of scholarship.
More and more student-athletes are choosing to,
"specialize," in the sport(s) they feel they are the best
at, instead of playing three or four sports seasonally,
thereby driving the competition level for playing time and
scholarships even higher.
To put it bluntly, there is a very small chance your child
will get a sports scholarship. My son happens to be a
super talented athlete and excels in almost every sport
we put him in. However, he is the unwitting bearing of
myself and his mother's genetics and is therefore subject
to the harsh reality that, having a mother who is 5'3" and
a father who's barely 6' doesn't bode well for his NBA
The solution to this growing problem is simple:
• Remember that, especially at the youth level, these
are kids and that it's more about developing a love for the
game than winning at those stages. Don't get me wrong,
winning and competition are very important. I absolutely
abhor the, "everyone gets a trophy," movement and think
it's one of the most destructive parenting movements of
the last century. It leads to children who don't know how
to lose or be told they aren't good enough at something.
I could type pages and pages about this specific topic
(maybe my next article?), but will spare you an all-caps
• Remember that the brave parents and volunteers who
choose to coach or referee your child's sports programs
are often underpaid or not paid at all. They are donating
their time and energy to help instill a sense of teamwork,
camaraderie, and a passion for healthy competition in
your child. Let's maybe cut them a little slack for missing
a side out or two at your daughter's volleyball camp?
• Remember that, unless your child is extremely gifted
in the genetics and talent departments, their youth and
high school sports experiences will serve more so as a
way to learn about teamwork, victory and defeat, hard
work, and sportsmanship.
• Lastly, there is no better way
for you to experience what
some of these coaches
and referees are dealing
with than by trying it
out for yourself! Almost
all youth and high
school sports leagues
are in constant need of
coaches and referees
for their various sporting
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VOLUME 9 | ISSUE 2
02 DON'T BE THAT PARENT 10 THE ROOTS OF HUNTING 24
Your Practical Guide for
Not Being A Jack*ss Coach
or Parent at Your Child's
HOT AIR BALLOONING
Melting Away Stress and
Spreading Joy, One Ride
at a Time
Pursuing the Squirrel
HAVING A BEER WITH
Senior Anchor at KVRR -
Providing a Peaceful
36 HANDY, LIFESAVING
AND FUN USES FOR A
A Healer's Heart - Nathan
Squared Circle with
4 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
Urban Toad Media LLP
OWNER / GRAPHIC DESIGNER
OWNER / PHOTOGRAPHER
Brett and Kate McKay
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urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 5
6 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
WRITTEN BY: EMMA VATNSDAL
It's no secret that the last year and a half has been
stressful for many reasons.
But it's how you deal with the stress that makes
For John Boulger, the stress he faces each and
every day as he practices law in Fargo, N.D., is
slowly melted away as he fires up the burner,
inflates the brightly-colored envelope and takes to
"I find it such a nice change from practicing law,"
Boulger said, from a conference room in his
downtown Fargo law office. "Because if you want
to fly safely, it has to require 100 percent of your
attention. So that's the only thing I think about
while I'm in the air."
Boulger has been a hot air balloon pilot for years
— 38 years to be exact.
"A gentleman named Greg Paul taught me how to
fly," Boulger said. "He taught several other people
in this area how to fly. You're licensed by the
F.A.A., Federal Aviation Administration, just like
if I flew a plane."
Boulger has flown his hot air balloons all around
the globe. From the bicentennial celebration
across Australia, to celebrations over Theodore
National Park near Medora, N.D., if there's a
recognizable, or even unrecognizable, balloon
festival, there's a good chance Boulger has been
"We flew a balloon for Kodak of the Pacific (in the
Australia bicentennial), you know, for a division
of Kodak films," he said. "And I ended up flying in
Albuquerque at the International Balloon Fiesta
for Kodak for about 10 years. And because Kodak
was the name sponsor of the event at that time,
I would get to be the first balloon up on the first
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: JOHN BOULGER
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 7
weekend. So that was kind of a thrill to get up in the
air and be able to carry the American flag and they'd
be playing the national anthem, and I'd be able to
look back at all these balloons that were either fully
or partially inflated. It was just so pretty."
But not every ride is American flags and beautiful
balloons. Boulger has had his fair share of not-sograceful
landings and adventures as well.
"When I was a student pilot, we weren't using tie-offs,
or ropes tied on your vehicle so that if the wind comes
up, it stops you," Boulger said. "When I was a student
pilot, there were two student pilots and the instructor,
and we didn't have a tie off. So the balloon started to
move across the field and I guess I was running faster
than the other student pilot because the instructor
said 'John, jump in and fly.'"
Boulger got in the basket and began flying the balloon
at what he timed to be more than 40 miles per hour.
"I thought 'I've got to land this,'" he said. "So I looked
for a big field, and I'm up by Blanchard, N.D., in less
than an hour and I say 'I'm going to land right in the
middle of this field."
Because of his speed, Boulger's landing was closer
to a ditch, still icy from the frigid Spring weather.
He recalls leaping into action to salvage the balloon
from the water, but in the process, managed to soak
himself to the bone.
"I ran to the nearest farmhouse and it was an
abandoned farmstead," he said, recalling. "So I ran to
the next one, and there was a guy outside shoveling
snow away from the front of a machine shed. And I
said, 'I don't know if you saw this, but I just flew a
balloon that landed about a mile away, and I'm really
cold. Do you think there's someplace that I could get
Boulger was taken in by the farmer and his wife and
lived to tell the story. And for every difficult landing,
there are many peaceful flights — ensuring Boulger
keeps his balloon in the air and his passengers safe.
And keeping his balloon in the air is what helps keep
his full-time job in line.
"(Ballooning) is not like owning a horse," Boulger
said. "I can put it in the garage and not take it out
for two months. It doesn't need to be fed, it doesn't
need to be watered, it doesn't need
to be cleaned up after. I only do it on
Boulger also takes multiple
vacations per year — most centered
But when asked what the Good Life
means to him? Boulger had a few
"Happiness and doing good, and
if you've been blessed, you need
to share," he said. "I also have had
several occasions where families
have contacted me with a family
member who is really ill and they
want to (go ballooning) as a last wish.
It's really brought happiness to the
family, and to the person going on the
balloon ride too. So that's probably
the best of the happiness that I've
been able to provide to people. The
good life to me is happiness and
being able to provide that happiness
to people. It's a joyous occasion to
be able to provide that happiness to
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 9
THE ROOTS OF HUNTING
Pursuing the squirrel
WRITTEN BY: JEFFREY MILLER
My earliest hunting memories are of drifting through
the woodlots of south central Minnesota with my father
hunting squirrels. Those golden autumn days gave me
an appreciation for hunting, wildlife and the environment
that continues to this day.
Many experienced hunters begin by learning from a family
member adept at the pursuit. While that has worked in
the years past, today's society is more urban than ever
before. Neophyte hunters today can learn a tremendous
amount on the internet, of course, but sifting through bad
information can be overwhelming. Whether young or old,
starting small can help lead to a lifetime in the outdoors.
In my opinion, the perfect rifle for a new
hunter is the 22 Long Rifle. Inexpensive
to purchase and shoot, the diminutive
cartridge is quiet and recoil-free. One of
the biggest issues for inexperienced shooters is choosing
a gun with too much recoil, or "kick." If the shooter begins
flinching, in anticipation of the recoil, it will be very
difficult to shoot accurately.
Before shooting, purchase a quality pair of earmuffs.
Hearing damage can occur even with a 22, and once
hearing damage has occurred it cannot be reversed.
Select a safe location to shoot. If you live in an urban area,
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"THE PERFECT RIFLE FOR A NEW
HUNTER IS THE 22 LONG RIFLE."
"SQUIRREL HUNTING IS THE BEST WAY FOR A NEW HUNTER TO GAIN
EXPERIENCE SCOUTING, STALKING AND HARVESTING WILD GAME."
there are many shooting ranges
around the Fargo-Moorhead
area. Rural dwellers may find it
easier to shoot on their property.
A proper backstop of dirt, brush
or the like, is essential. Even
a small bullet can travel well
beyond the intended target.
A quality telescopic sight can aid
in accurate shooting, but many
shooters prefer to use iron sights.
Whatever is preferred, the gun
will need to be sighted in. Start
by shooting at 25 yards, moving
the sights or reticle to match the
bullet's impact. Once the gun is
sighted in, have fun shooting! Tin
cans or balloons, attached to a
safe target, are fun to shoot at no
matter the shooter's age.
Another great gun to start with
is a 20-gauge shotgun. Recoil
is minimal and the gun can
be used both for small game,
upland game and even waterfowl
with the appropriate non-toxic
For my money, squirrel hunting is the best way for a new hunter to gain experience
scouting, stalking and harvesting wild game. Small game licenses in both
Minnesota and North Dakota are readily available, and there is plenty of public
land in both states that have good populations of animals. Of course, obtaining
permission on private land is possible as well, and often only takes a knock on the
door and courtesy in asking to hunt.
Once a license is purchased, read the hunting regulations carefully. It is the
responsibility of the licensed hunter to know the open season, shooting hours and
limit of the game pursued.
TREE SQUIRREL SPECIES IN THE AREA
INCLUDE FOX SQUIRRELS, GREY SQUIRRELS,
AND RED SQUIRRELS.
Tree squirrel species in the area include fox squirrels, grey squirrels, and red
squirrels. Fox squirrels are the largest, weighing up to three pounds. As their
name implies, they are a rusty orange color. Grey squirrels are a touch smaller,
weighing over two pounds, with a coat ranging from pure black to light grey. Red
squirrels seldom weigh more than a pound and are not considered game species.
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: JEFFREY MILLER
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 11
While the two types of squirrels share habitats in some
portions of Minnesota, they generally prefer different
locales. The fox squirrel is found in open woodlots,
riparian areas, and shelterbelts. They spend a lot of
time on the ground foraging for food. Grey squirrels, on
the other hand, like a dense forest. They will seldom be
more than a scamper away from a tree.
What they have in common are food preferences. In
farm country, this means corn. Squirrels will travel
long distances to find ripe, golden corn in the fall.
Other food sources include hard mast such as acorns
and hackberry seeds and soft mast such as crabapples.
Find the food source and you will find the game.
My favorite way to collect ingredients for a squirrel stew
is to take a seat near a food source. While squirrels in
city parks are habituated to humans, squirrels in the
wild do not tolerate human intrusion. By sitting against
a tree, with a good view of a cornfield or acorn flat, the
hunter waits for the game to come to them. Even though
I have hunted big game in many states and provinces,
the sight of a squirrel moving through the treetops into
gun range still gives me the shakes.
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You've selected a hunting location,
found the food source, and bagged
a couple of animals. What happens
next? Preparing the animal for the
table requires first removing the
hide and entrails. There are many
excellent YouTube videos that
walk through the task step by step.
The meat of the squirrel closely
resembles chicken in color and
texture. While non-hunters may
scoff at eating a squirrel, one bite
of a properly prepared squirrel dish
and they are sold.
Squirrel meat is tough, making
them great options for braising
or crockpots. My favorite way to
cook them is to tenderize the meat
by cooking in a pressure cooker
or InstaPot for 10 minutes. Next,
bread the quarters with flour or
batter and fry in hot oil until golden
brown. Believe me, fried squirrel is
Hunting is more than just harvesting
game, of course. Immersing oneself
in the natural world will bring
many rewards, even if no game is
bagged. In today's digital, artificial
society, hunting can reconnect us
to our ancient roots and allow us
to participate in the rhythms of the
natural world. •
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HAVING A BEER WITH | TJ NELSON
WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN FEIR
PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Freshly colored by the sunshine from his recent
trip to Las Vegas, TJ Nelson, the senior anchor
at KVRR, answered my questions with ease as
we sat in Brewhalla. I learned about his love for
a certain redheaded entertainer (not me), the
secret he never tells (though he didn’t tell me the
answer directly), and how a particular cuisine
from his Norwegian heritage makes him gag (for
For the past 8 years, Nelson has been at KVRR,
but he’s been in the broadcasting industry since
the ‘80s. His first gig was at the tender age of
15 where he went by “Nick James” at his local
radio station. By 16, he was already in charge
of scheduling. After spinning disks and being a
morning show host for several years in Rugby
and Minot, N.D., Nelson made the switch to
television as a weather anchor in 1995 and as a
news anchor in 1998.
In the summer of 2021, he was interviewed by
yours truly. Read on to find out some morsels of
information you didn’t know about TJ Nelson.
14 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
GOOD LIFE: When you were a kid, did you
pretend to be on the news or your own show?
TJ NELSON: Oh, did I pretend! I have two
younger sisters, so I made them pretend I had a radio
station. They’d sit down the hallway and listen to me as
I talked in my little microphone.
GL: What’s the weirdest or most uncomfortable story
you’ve ever covered?
TJN: I used to do a weekly series in Minot where I’d
go and do other people’s jobs. One day I’d be working
in a restaurant, and the next I’d be a massage therapist.
It was weird trying to massage someone I didn’t know.
One of my favorite ones was horseshoeing a horse.
They taught me how to pinch the leg of the horse to get
it to raise. That was kind of fun. You don’t get bored.
GL: Did you ever think, “Man, I can see myself
switching over and doing this instead” with any of the
jobs you tried?
TJN: No. I felt like I had the best job because I got to
see what everybody else was doing. I knew I wouldn’t
want to horseshoe a horse every day of my life with the
chance of it kicking me.
“When I was a disk jockey, my first
radio name was NICK JAMES.
I found it in the phone book.”
GL: What TV, movie or book character do you
most resemble or relate to and why?
TJN: My mom told me I was named after Troy
Donahue, an actor from the ‘50s.
GL: So Troy’s your first name? What’s your middle
TJN: James. When I was a disk jockey, my first radio
name was Nick James. I found it in the phone book.
When I moved to Minot people always called me TJ,
so then I just went by “TJ the DJ.” I became the No.
1 radio show host in town, so when I moved over
to TV, I wasn’t going to change my name because
people already knew me by that.
GL: What are your most loved and hated foods?
TJN: Most hated is lutefisk. I’m a Norwegian and
I hate lutefisk. I can’t stand it. I don’t care what
you do to it. Most loved food would be king crab
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 15
HAVING A BEER WITH | TJ NELSON
legs. I ordered those at the Gordon Ramsay Steak
restaurant in Las Vegas recently. The way they made
it was ridiculous. They were fantastic.
GL: What’s one thing people would be surprised
to know about you?
TJN: People always ask, but I don’t tell them my
age. We told a guy my age in Vegas last week on the
monorail and he almost fell out of his seat. He was
"People always ask, but I don’t
tell them my age. We told a guy
my age in Vegas last week on
the monorail and he almost fell
out of his seat. He was shocked."
GL: What’s been your favorite year of life so far?
TJN: I’m going to say the year I graduated high
school and left the house. You get to be on your own
for the first time. It was such an adventure.
GL: If you were to teach a kid one life lesson, what
would it be?
TJN: I would say listen more. Especially with
social media, everybody is talk, talk, talk, and people
don’t listen enough. You sit there and talk to people
and they’re either zoned out on their phone or doing
something else. That ticks me off.
GL: What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
TJN: I like to have fun. I don’t like being serious
all the time. I like comedies and that kind of stuff. I
don’t like scary movies because I have to deal with
that every day. I have to listen to a scanner about
shootings, stabbings, suicides and all that other
stuff. When you get out of work you need to find
something uplifting for your own mental well-being.
GL: What’s your favorite thing to do to have fun?
TJN: Travel and concerts. Last year was a killer.
We used to go to two or three concerts a month.
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GL: Who’s your favorite celebrity and why?
TJN: Reba is my favorite country singer. In
high school, my girlfriend at the time and I
got to meet Reba right after she’d finished the
movie “Tremors.” We were in her fan club and
she came to the state fair in Minot, so the fan
club gave us passes to go meet her. It was so
exciting. She had her big hair back then and we
got to talk to her a little bit and take pictures.
"Reba is my favorite
country singer. In high school,
my girlfriend at the time and I
got to meet Reba right after
she’d finished the movie
GL: What does living the good life mean to
TJN: Freedom. I can’t stand that this
pandemic impacted so many people’s lives. But
we’re moving past it. You realize what you’re
missing out on when everything is taken from
you for a few months and shut down. So I’d say
the good life means freedom and the ability to
do what you want to do when you want to do it
and go wherever you want to go. •
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ON THE COVER | BELOW ZERO WRESTLING
Inside the Squared Circle with
WRITTEN BY: BEN HANSON
PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Kids of the 90s, you had it good. Coming of age in
the era of bag phones and Zubaz came with perks
only fully appreciated in hindsight... and with a
very meta sense of regret.
"Big Sugar" tricked the country into thinking fat
was enemy number one, so it was a decade-long
sugar rush. Soda with every meal. Candy as a
reward. FroYo for everyone at any time. Halloween
was by today's standards a public health concern.
Cable TV opened up new worlds of entertainment.
MTV, ESPN, Nickelodeon, etc. If your backyard
had enough room and your parents had enough
money, satellite TV made you famous. Otherwise,
free previews of HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and
the Disney Channel (yes, back then, Disney was a
premium channel) gave you a taste of the rich life…
and the chance to sneakily record some R-rated
movies on VHS for future sick days from school.
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And no child of the 90s will ever forget
the sound of dial-up internet or the thrill
of an AOL chat room. If you ever wondered
where the idea for parental controls came
from, it's safe to assume it was the direct
result of some poor parent who stumbled
upon the history feature of Windows 95
Then there was the Friday night movie rental. It's
hard to imagine anything more fun, exciting or
important to a kid in the 90s than looking forward
to wandering the new releases at the local
Blockbuster on a Friday night. If you were lucky,
your parents handed you a $10 and waited in the
car, giving you that first sense of independent
New releases took up the most attention, but you
had your pick of genres throughout the store.
Comedies, dramas, Sci-fi and eventually game
rentals, too. If you were daring (or cool), you'd
wander over to the unrated section to peruse
things like Faces of Death, the first Ultimate
Fighting Championships and, of course, all the
WWF pay-per-views your parents never let you
order live. The bulging biceps and vicious stares
of Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker and Macho Man
Randy Savage glared at you from behind the
plastic case, daring you to check them out.
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 19
ON THE COVER | BELOW ZERO WRESTLING
This is where our story picks up …
Super Fans Find Each Other
The nostalgia of the 90s lives on as passions for many
now-adults who will take any excuse they can find
to keep that passion alive. For Zach Werre, it was a
natural progression that started, where else, but at
the rental store.
"I didn't start getting into wrestling until middle
school," Werre admitted. "It was through video games
— I was a gamer first — I got into wrestling."
Zach lived near a used video game store, and as a kid
he just wanted to buy as many games as he could get
his hands on. The genre didn't matter. Budget did. So
when he figured out the wrestling games were the
best bargain, he jumped right into the virtual squared
"Starting out with those games, slowly but surely I
figured out how things worked in wrestling," Werre
explained. "I started tuning into the weekly shows,
which all build up to the pay-per-views… the storylines,
the drama, wrestlers leave, they return, the good buys
vs. the bad guys."
Through video games, Werre got addicted to the sport
of wrestling as a teenager. For his future business
partner, however, the seed was planted at a younger
"I was around 10 years old," Nick Stokke recalled.
"WWF came to the Fargodome and they actually
screwed up our seats. But because of that, I got to go
down to the locker room and meet some of the guys.
I remember seeing them all dressed up in their gear,
then they made their entrances... guys like Tugboat,
Razor Ramon and Brett Hart."
That up-close and personal glimpse into the world
of professional wrestling left a strong impression on
Stokke, and his passion for the sport grew steadily
throughout his childhood. And wouldn't you
know it, he, too, can trace much of it back to
weekly trips to the rental store.
"Friday nights, if I was renting videos from
the rental store, wrestling videos were my
first choice," he said. "As we got older, we'd go to
friends' houses and watch pay-per-views. There are a
lot of parts of my life where wrestling was a big part.
I can look back and picture the different stages. The
larger-than-life Hulk Hogan when I was a young kid
to Degeneration X (Triple H, Suan Michaels, Chyna,
Xpac) when I was a teenager… It's cool to think about
my own progression as a wrestling fan."
Both Werre and Stokke grew up to become wrestling
superfans, and as adults, they were searching for a
way to make the sport a bigger part of their lives. In
their own ways, each had been pondering the idea of
launching their own promotion that would feature
local wrestlers (also referred to as talent) with a
focus on family-style entertainment.
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With his background in social media and video
production, Werre decided to put the question out
there. He posted an inquiry on Facebook, looking for
"Zach put up a post on Facebook about wanting to
start up a wrestling company," Stokke recalled.
"What started as us chatting quickly became reality.
We talked for a while, realized we both have a lot to
bring to the table with ideas and completely different
mindsets, so we got down to let's make this happen!"
Below Zero Wrestling
In May of 2021, Below Zero Wrestling debuted in
front of a live audience at the Sanctuary Events Center
in downtown Fargo, a venue that proved a perfect fit.
The immediate success was a surprise, but the secret
became clear minutes after the final bell rang — it was
a show built by fans for fans.
"Being fans of wrestling, but also
understanding it is a business as well,
is what makes our partnership work
so well, but also what makes Below
Zero Wrestling work," Stokke
explained. "It was exciting we both
had that mindset… put the young
fan in ourselves in charge for a bit
to provide an all-ages show that
kids can come to, grandma and
grandpa can come to… there's
something for everyone."
The two superfans were such
a perfect match that they were
able to start the company
without ever meeting face
to face. Werre, based out of
Sioux Falls, S.D., and Stokke
in Fargo spent months on the
phone, online and on the road
planning, scouting venues and
evaluating talent… all the while
maintaining the same mindset
with an eye on a shared goal
of developing a brand of
wrestling focused on family
entertainment. And though
the goal has always been
shared, Werre and Stokke
each bring unique skills to
"Being fans of wrestling,
but also understanding it is
a business as well, is what
makes our partnership work
so well, but also what makes
Below Zero Wrestling work."
– Nick Stokke
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 21
ON THE COVER | BELOW ZERO WRESTLING
"Nick is a fantastic businessman with experience
helping out with other wrestling promotions,"
Werre said. "He was really instrumental in leading
the charge to find talent for Below Zero. I knew a
few people being fans of other promotions in the
area, but Nick definitely knew a lot more up in
While Stokke took lead on many of the logistics,
Werre — a YouTube entrepreneur with a longrunning
channel devoted to all things wrestling —
used his experience in media production and digital
marketing to brand the new promotion for local
audiences and start hyping up the first show.
"He's able to do so much of that digital media
production and marketing," Stokke said of his
business partner, "any type of flyers or video editing,
he's the man behind all that. I have my input, but it's
what he does and he's so good at it."
"Starting out as a fan of WWE on the national level,
but then discovering the local scenes and smaller
promotions, I eventually introduced to the world of
independent wrestling," Werre said. As I got older, I
got more passionate about media, video production,
business… so all my passions kind of steamrolled
into one with Below Zero."
The Good Life In the Squared Circle
Spend any amount of time talking with Werre and
Stokke, and you'll quickly find they're both living the
good life. It's all about passion for them, and the fans
sitting ringside enjoy the benefits of their hard work
and shared vision.
"What we do at Below Zero is an all-ages show,"
Werre explained. "Yeah there's wrestling, but it's an
action-packed show with stories that go beyond just
wrestling. We do some really fun stuff like videos that
we show in between the matches, playing with the
crowd. There's the wrestling side, but so much more
to it than just wrestling."
The promotion's very first show at the Sanctuary
proved the concept worked. Both partners shared
similar memories of fan reactions that cemented in
their minds they were on to something.
"The whole time I was a little tense during that first
show," Werre admitted. "Running the video and
sound, staying on top of what's coming up next… but
once the first match started, I could pull back a little
and enjoy and take it in for at least a moment. The fans
are ultimately what decides what's truly awesome, so
seeing the crowd react that night, I thought to myself
we got something here, this is working."
22 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
For Stokke, the proof was also in the
fans' reactions to that first show.
"We were blown away at our first show
from the support of the community
and the talent on the show," Stokke
said. "We had a few 100 people in the
crowd. The energy and electricity was
just insane. The crowd brought out the
best. Every match was awesome."
Based on fan reaction, the future of
Below Zero Wrestling seems brighter
than either Stokke or Werre would
have allowed themselves to believe.
The two have plans to continue to
grow the promotion into a Midwest
entertainment event, bringing back top
talent to keep storylines going and fans
engaged. Stokke is always scouting
new venues, and Werre keeps the hype
up online. It's clear both superfans are
enjoying every minute of it… all to the
benefit of the families who come out to
see the show.
"It's been so fun to do this," Stokke said,
letting his inner fan out for a moment.
"I never thought it was anything but
a dream. I'm a history buff, so just to
say I've now been a part of wrestling
history... it's been humbling. I'm so
excited for what the future holds for
Below Zero Wrestling." •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 23
WRITTEN BY: KRISSY NESS
You may be asking yourself, what is CBD? I am sure
you have heard a lot of accurate and inaccurate
information about this subject.
Before we dive into CBD, we must first know what
it is and from where it comes. The term CBD
comes from its scientific name, Cannabidiol, an
active compound naturally produced in cannabis
– known as cannabinoids. Cannabis sativa is
the plant species that CBD comes from; both
marijuana and its cousin, hemp, come from this
CBD works with our endocannabinoid system,
which is responsible for keeping the body in
homeostasis. Essentially, CBD provides a link
within our central nervous system to provide
internal balance and stability.
CBD is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients
of cannabis behind Tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC), which is the compound in cannabis that has
psychoactive properties that give people a high.
Cannabinoids are the source of the cannabis plants'
various medical and recreational properties.
24 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 25
To sum it up, you can find CBD in the cannabis plant,
and it can provide benefits for some individuals,
like stress management, pain reduction, and help
to fall asleep.
In 2015 the FDA relaxed its requirements to
allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. While
production and sales are a reasonably new
business, only becoming legal in late 2018, there
is a lot of misinformation about CBD.
First and foremost, CBD is not marijuana; it
will not get you high.
According to the World Health Organization,
"In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of
any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there
is no evidence of public health-related problems
associated with the use of pure CBD."
Can you become addicted to CBD? In short, no,
and here's why. To paraphrase cbdhealthcentral.
com – for a drug to be addictive, it has to have
specific characteristics. First, it has to stimulate the
brain's pleasure center – by releasing high levels
of dopamine. Second, your body typically builds a
tolerance to the drug, which requires that you take
more and more of it to get the same pleasure or
euphoric effect. Fortunately, CBD leads to neither
of these conditions.
Finally, another misconception is that CBD is not
legal. While the government still places marijuana
and CBD in the same class, it depends on whether
the marijuana or hemp plant is the source of CBD.
CBD derived from hemp contains no more than
.3% THC and is federally legal. As a result, many
people, including myself, buy CBD online
and have it shipped to their homes.
The benefits that come with taking CBD
can significantly improve your life in many
different ways. As I mentioned earlier,
people use it for pain, a sleep aid, or stress
management, but those aren't the only things
CBD can do for you. Tinctures – which are elixirs
– can promote different feelings such as focus,
relaxation, and passion, to name a few.
As of December 2020, one CBD product has the
approval of the Food and Drug Administration; it
is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. According
to the Mayo Clinic, two types of epileptic seizures
26 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
can be treated with Epidiolex. In addition to those
above, there are numerous studies with CBD
as a treatment for many other conditions such
as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes,
multiple sucraloses, and anxiety.
Currently, I use CBD for many reasons, including
stress management, pain relief, and an overall
sense of calmness. I use a water-based soluble; it
is easy to take and provides a lasting effect at the
correct dosage. CBD has become a game-changer
for me as I have a physically demanding job that
can be highly stressful. When I forget to take it in
the morning, I notice that I am not on my game as
much as I am when I take it.
You can use CBD in many ways, whether through
ingesting it by vaping, gummies, or smoking the
flower. In addition, you can use CBD by applying
balms, lotions, oils, or gels to the skin. Mainly
topicals are used for pain relief. For example, I
have used CBD lotion from time to time when I
have been on my feet for many hours, and I have
noticed relief in a reasonable amount of time.
If you are even the slightest bit curious when it
comes to CBD, I implore you to do some research,
talk to your doctor, and head over to your local
shop. You might get more out of it than you think. •
CULTIVATION EXTRACTING QUALITY CBD PRODUCTS
hemp has been
dried and cured to
or heavy materials.
allows for clean,
high quality CBD
be created that is
safe to produce
of the product is
essential to ensure
products have the
highest levels of
give you safe and
easy access to
the full potential
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 27
Lifesaving, and Fun Uses
for a Pocketknife
WRITTEN BY: BRETT & KATE MCKAY / ARTOFMANLINESS.COM
Every man should carry a
pocketknife. If you haven’t made
one part of your EDC yet, having
perhaps remained unconvinced of
its utility, below we list the many
ways a pocketknife can come
in handy on a daily basis. From
making chores easier, to solving
minor annoyances, to even saving
a life, here are 36 uses for this
Note: Some of the uses listed are
suboptimal for a knife and can
potentially dull and damage it.
Whenever possible, you should
use the right tool for the job. But
when you don’t have the right tool,
and need to improvise in a pinch, a
pocketknife can be clutch.
1. Open packages. Get at the
umpteenth thousandth thing you
ordered from Amazon with ease.
2. Break down packages. When
you’re having trouble fitting that
28 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
umpteenth thousandth Amazon
box in your recycling bin, it’s time
to slice through all its tape and
fold it up.
3. Slice fruit. Then eat the slicedoff
chunk right off the blade. Like
a produce-consuming badass.
4. Make kindling. Pare sticks into
more combustible pieces and
create shavings for a bird’s nest
5. Cut a seatbelt. Free yourself
or a loved one trapped by a
jammed seatbelt inside a car
that’s sinking into a lake or going
up in flames.
6. Cut fishing line. Because
7. Cut fishing bait. Two weems
for the price of one.
8. Remove splinters. Sterilize the
blade with alcohol; get digging.
9. Remove staples. When that
claw thing goes missing.
10. Whittle. Carve yourself a nice
little duck head to while away the
11. Strip/cut electrical wire.
There are official wire strippers/
cutters for this, of course, but a
knife will work in a pinch.
12. Open a wine bottle. Takes
a bit of finesse compared to a
corkscrew; watch a video tutorial
for the technique.
13. Cut open clothes to administer
first aid. Whether you’re treating
an impalement injury or gunshot
wound, or applying AEDs to
the chest of a heart attack victim,
you first need to cut off the victim’s
clothes around where you’ll
be administering aid.
14. Spread toppings. Peanut
butter. Jelly. A little smear on a
15. Open clamshell packaging. All
packaging becomes frustrationfree
packaging when you open it
like a heedless barbarian, stabbing
and slashing with abandon.
16. Fillet a fish. For prepping your
catch-of-the-day for the campfire frying pan.
17. Cut off clothing tags. You’re driving to work
and realize you’ve still got one sticking out of your
18. Sharpen a pencil. For when you want to feel like
a real ar-teest.
19. Cut through zip ties. Which present themselves
in packaging or wrapped around cables.
20. Clean car battery terminals. Remove corrosion
before you jumpstart a battery.
21. Open a letter. It’s rare to get real correspondence
these days, but when you do, you want to avoid
tearing through the envelope’s return address and
contents by slicing it openly neatly.
22. Open a can. When you come upon a cache of
delicious peaches during the apocalypse (à la father
and son in The Road) and don’t have an opener.
23. Cut rope. Rope is handy for a variety of things,
and sometimes you need to trim it down to size.
24. Pry out batteries. When they need replacing
and are stubbornly stuck.
25. Untie a tight knot. Inserting an implement into a
knot can get a tight one undone; a duller tool works
best (you don’t want to cut the rope in the process),
but a knife can get the job done too.
26. Cut loose threads. Those little danglers that
mysteriously emerge from your clothes.
27. Perform an emergency tracheotomy. When
someone’s choking and the Heimlich maneuver fails,
an emergency tracheotomy may be needed, and
doctors have indeed successfully performed them,
using a pocket knife, in places like restaurants and
airplanes (back when carrying a knife on board was
kosher). The whole “being a doctor” part of these
stories is of course an important consideration here.
28. Open a bottle. Use either the spine of the knife’s
blade or the top scale of its handle to pry it up.
29. Cut a new hole in a belt. When you’ve gained (or
lost) some weight.
30. Fend off a wild animal. This dude fended off a
mountain lion attack with his pocketknife; this guy
was able to stop a bear attack using a mere 2-inch
31. Play mumbley peg. Once a popular pastime
among 19th century schoolboys, Wild West
cowboys, and World War II soldiers; still a viable
32. Puncture and deflate those plastic packaging
pillows. You know, the big bubble things you get in
all those aforementioned boxes from Amazon.
33. Unscrew small screws. Not the most effective
method, but works in a pinch.
34. Trim your calluses. Peel ‘em like a potato.
35. Open a coconut. There are a variety of ways you
can open a coconut, including using only a small
36. Defend yourself against an attacker. You don’t
want to bring a knife to a gunfight, especially a
pocketknife, but if it’s all you got, it’s all you got. •
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 29
LOCAL HERO | NATHAN KOBRINSKY
A HEALER'S HEART
From the smallest of patients to the most puzzling of disorders,
Nathan Kobrinsky builds a life he loves through his service to others
WRITTEN BY: EMMA VATNSDAL
PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA
Generally, folks choose their
career path based on what they're
good at or what they're interested
At times, their decisions can
waiver, maybe they love some
parts and hate other parts, or they
wake up and decide they never
want to see another (insert career
However, when it comes to
creating a life they love, doctor
Nathan Kobrinsky has done pretty
well for himself.
"My father was a physician, and
he died of cancer," Kobrinsky said.
"At the end of his life, he pushed
me to become a physician. I had
decided I wanted to be a physics
teacher, but anyway, I guess I did
what he told me to do."
It seems parents do sometimes
know what they're talking about.
Kobrinsky holds a medical degree
from the University of Manitoba
in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, as
well as several specialty degrees
from both the United States and
His work has led him from
Winnipeg to Saskatchewan, and
south to Fargo, where he and his
wife of nearly 50 years have made
their home, living and working
in the community. Kobrinsky has
seen the change of hands from St.
Luke's to MeritCare and MeritCare
to Sanford and eventually made
his way to Essentia Health in
Fargo, where he currently works,
primarily in hematology and
But while he works mostly with
adults in his day-to-day life now,
30 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
his career began focused around
a much smaller package.
"In medical school, when I was
an intern in pediatrics," Kobrinsky
said, remembering, "I cared for a
little girl who would have been 12,
and she had cancer of the leg. And
she lost her leg. And then it came
back to her lungs. So for the first
month I was on the ward, I was
caring for her while she died. And
I'd go in and see her every day and
got pretty close to her, and wanted
to do something in childhood
cancer after that."
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 31
LOCAL HERO | NATHAN KOBRINSKY
Kobrinsky's work with childhood
cancer has helped save hundreds,
if not thousands of lives all over
the Red River Valley and beyond.
In 2016, he was recognized for
his work in pediatric oncology
and hematology with the
Children's Miracle Network
Achievement Award — a national
award that honors a caregiver,
team or unit that has significantly
elevated the care of children and
has been significantly affected by
funds raised through Children's
Miracle Network Hospitals. It's
an honor he doesn't take lightly,
but it's also an honor he has a
difficult time accepting on his
"It's like, well, we're all part of a
team," he said. "And, you know,
what's more important: a spark
plug or a gas tank? The only way
you can move forward is to hold
hands and go on together. We're
all part of something and to say
'look how special this is,' I don't
want to belittle the fact that we
all have a part in what we're
doing. I see it as a recognition
of the miracle of the Children's
Miracle Network and what they
do. I'm just honored to be part of
Puzzling, isn't it?
Nowadays, his work focuses more
on adults and the mysterious
ailments they present him with
Kobrinsky's work with childhood cancer has helped save hundreds, if not
thousands of lives all over the Red River Valley and beyond.
32 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
"Years and years ago, I did adult
hematology and my training in
Canada," Kobrinsky said. "I wanted
to do more, and so that's what I do
now (at Essentia Health); adult
blood cancers and blood diseases.
Part of what I did at Sanford, all
through the years was clotting
problems, and particularly got
involved with women who were
unable to carry pregnancies or
miscarry. It turns out that in many
instances, that's because they
have a clotting disorder, and a clot
forms in the placenta and the baby
cannot survive — so it's actually
a clotting problem that leads to
recurrent pregnancy loss in many,
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: JANEEN KOBRINSKY
This clotting issue piqued
Kobrinsky's interest and he's
kept his eye on blood-thinning
for pregnant ladies for more than
20 years. He's helped well over
250 babies come into the world,
thanks to his sharp eye for the
"(This work) is very rewarding
and depressing," he said. "But
helping moms who can't have
children have them, I found that
very rewarding, So I got more and
more and more involved in that
and into clotting."
He says, in terms of patients he
sees every day, it's a nice mix.
"I've got patients
that range in age from
one month to 90 years.
So that keeps every day
"I've got patients that range in
age from one month to 90 years,"
he said. "So that keeps every
day interesting. The patients are
fascinating and the puzzles are
amazing. I try to look at it from a
urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 33
LOCAL HERO | NATHAN KOBRINSKY
PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY: JANEEN KOBRINSKY
Despite his work being extremely
taxing at times, Kobrinsky does
have a glaring reason to smile,
and it's quite a bit smaller than
"I love kids," Kobrinsky said. "I
love torturing them and teasing
them, bugging them — I mean
that's still the love of my life, for
Both Kobrinsky and his wife
Janeen volunteer their time at
Kamp KACE each summer.
Kamp KACE is a summer camp
at Lake Cormorant where kids
and their siblings get the chance
to be kids for a week, regardless
of what their diagnosis might say.
"I have this thing about being a
Vampire Doctor," he said.
Janeen also leads a memorial
service in the Memorial Garden
to remember each of the campers
who have died since the last time
they were all together.
"It's amazing because we have
like a sea of survivors," she said.
"And a lot of the survivors of
childhood cancer come back as
counselors. It's great for the kids
to see counselors with the same
little port scars, and many of them
are married and have kids of their
"Kamp KACE is magical,"
Kobrinsky said. "It's such a big
part of my life, of our lives, of who
And he's not slowing down any
time soon either,
"To retire, to move, to check
how to make any change in your
life, presumably you should do it
because it's something that you
are looking forward to, where
you're moving up in what you want
out of your life, right?" he said.
"Not going to something that you
like, less. So if I was to leave... I
don't like golf. I don't like sports,
I don't like outdoors. You know,
I don't like politics. I'm pretty
boring. I like my family. I like the
kids. I like my work, and I enjoy
complaining about my work. I
don't know what I'd do if I couldn't
enjoy complaining. I don't think
that retirement is something that
would make me happy. So I don't
think I will ever retire."
"I don't think that retirement is something that would make me happy.
So I don't think I will ever retire."
34 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com
While it can be a taxing job,
Kobrinsky has found what
makes him happy; his work at
Essentia Health in Fargo, as well
as his former job at Sanford.
"It's enjoyable," he said. "And it's
enjoyable to come home, and
sometimes I don't want to go
back to work, but for the most
part I like it all."
But for Kobrinsky, the ultimate
Good Life comes down to one
thing, and the one thing fits
perfectly for this physician.
"To me," he said, "The good life
is being a part of healing." •
"The good life is being
a part of healing."
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