Video – Still the Best of Times

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

No doubt much of this sentiment vividly echoes today. We are living in turbulent times, but we are also living in the most advanced, wondrous time the world has ever known. The video below will offer a glimpse into this proposition and hopefully some JBRish readers will find inspiration and motivation to achieve more than they thought you could.

Undoubtedly some may find it a bit too proselytizing or idealistic and that’s OK too. If you don’t enjoy this style of video, or it just isn’t your thing, I hope that the quotes below, from the video, will provide food for thought.


  • The video below has some NSFW language. Of course nowadays it may be difficult to judge what NSFW even means, but I would find some of the language offensive if my young child heard them or I had a middle schooler who wasn’t mature enough to hear them. Please consider this before you read further or watch the video.

  • The video is comprised of numerous clips from motion pictures, lectures, speeches, etc. and it is a bit lengthy, coming in at 38:24, but it goes fast IMHO.

Some quotes from the video, but not all the quotes:


  • “Excuses sound best to the people who are making hem up.” — Tyrese Gibson

  • “You can’t talk yourself out of something that you behaved yourself into!” — Stephen Covey

  • “It took me twelve years to get a four year degree but I got it and guess what, on a degree it don’t have dates. So if it took you four and it took me twelve it don’t show up nowhere, but I’m exactly where I want to be.” — Eric Thomas [some editing applied]

  • “I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” — Joseph Campbell

  • “The world shall perish not for lack of wonders, but for lack of wonder.” — J.B.S. Haldane

Photography: The Fuji X-T2 has arrived (Strap and Lens)

The Fuji X-T2

Hello JBRish readers. I have to say that my postings may be somewhat limited over the next several weeks as my new Fuji X-T2 camera has arrived and I am dedicating myself to learn how to use it.

NOTE – My apologies to anyone who isn’t like me. I celebrate everyone who has a different learning style, but I am basically a concrete, sequential person. What that means is that I like to learn everything in a logical, step-by-step progression with details and with lots of reviewing. This is my story of how I am trying to improve my photography skills and learning how to use a professional level camera; the Fuji X T-2.

There are so many unboxing videos for all types of cameras out there. I am going to skip that part and get right down to what I consider to be the “nitty gritty.”

When you buy a modern digital camera, it really isn’t a camera. The word digital is the giveaway. It is a computer that takes pictures. One look at this piece of gear and you know you have something special in your hands. Something serious that demands your attention.

It is easy to be overwhelmed and I thought that perhaps it would be difficult for me to get up and running quickly without assistance. Manufacturers don’t provide owner’s manuals that are very thorough. I am not complaining. I understand that the camera industry today is quite competitive and that everything is being done to cut costs. Still, we need to learn how to use the gear the best way we can. The Internet is a good resource, but it is spotty and doesn’t always have the information needed.

Let me offer some words from one who has, as of now, been down the path before:

  • 1 – When you first get a new camera, unbox it in a clear area where everything can be laid out in front of you. There is usually a page in the owner’s manual that shows what is included in the box so take everything out of the package and review all items to make sure all the pieces are there.
  • 2 – Next, let’s talk about the camera strap! I generally don’t go in for fancy camera straps and I make do with the straps that come with the camera and use carabiners to keep things organized and to stop them from banging into each other. The strap that came with the X T-2 is a bit above par, but not exciting or extraordinary overall. If I decide later on that a different strap is needed, I will consider it at that point.

Here is a picture from the manual describing the final two steps explaining how to attach the strap to the camera:

Attach the camera strap
Picture courtesy of Fuji X T-2 Camera Manual, v.2.10

I may not be the smartest bulb on the tree (so to speak), but I really needed a bit more direction than the information in the manual to make sure that the strap is firmly and securely attached. Nobody wants their camera falling off of their body to go smashing to the ground.

As an example:
That piece of plastic in the middle (shown in the bottom frame), the one with the two square-ish sections with the bar in between appears to have “teeth” on one of the faces/sides when you are actually holding it. This doesn’t show in the picture. Do the “teeth” face inward or outward?

I found the video below which presents a pictorial explanation. Truth must be told, I had to watch the video three times to get it done exactly as they explain!

The next logical step after attaching the strap might be to attach the lens.

Here is the picture and description from the manual:

Attach the lens to the camera

Picture courtesy of Fuji X T-2 Camera Manual, v.2.10

The marks” to which they refer really cannot be seen well unless both the camera body cap and the rear cap from the lens are removed. Then, you need to line up the red dots and twist the the lens until you hear the click. It is not easy to discern the precise position using the graphics in the owners manual (IMHO).

One reason why users want to do this quickly is to prevent dust form getting on the sensor and thus leaving spots on the images. Do this in as dust-free environment as possible.

This was only the first few steps in getting started. We aren’t quite at the point where we get to take some pictures, at least not yet.

The story will continue…

To read more JBRish photography posts, click HERE!



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Pickleball Video: Hate Practice, BUT Love Doing Better

I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' Muhammad Ali
picture quote Via

I like to revisit Muhammad Ali’s quote above because I find it motivating. Whenever I am involved in a competitive endeavor, I like to do the best that I can and I am sure many pickleball players want to move their game forward even if they are just playing to get the exercise without consideration of winning or losing. Of course most people would prefer to win.

Winning can be hard because to maintain the winning edge, there needs to be PRACTICE. Professional athletes practice almost every day. Even on game day they have some practice. Pro players are people who are generally in excellent physical shape and some of the best in the world at their skill set and yet every day they practice. To maintain skill levels, there needs to be practice. To improve needs even more practice.

As Ali states above, training and practice may not be fun, but it helps to make a person better at the thing they are practicing. Sometimes you may be motivated to practice, but you can’t find someone else who wants to practice, i.e. “No partner, no practice?”

Well pickleballers, Joe Baker is here to show us how we can practice alone and do a good job with it. All you need is a wall. It can be a wall in a gym, a racquetball court, a handball court, etc. I have even seen videos of people practicing in their garage against a piece of plywood they set up for the purpose.

If you want to practice your pickleball skills and don’t have a partner, perhaps these drills can provide the repetition you need to improve your play.

Backboard Wall Drills for Pickleball

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Pickleball Video- Not All Backhand Volleys Are Equal

Many beginning players have difficulty with their backhand, but very often they manage to develop a fairly reliable backhand groundstroke. That is the good news.

The bad news is that there is more than one type of backhand shot and to be a top player, you may need to develop several different techniques for the backhand volley. The video below shows backhand options for players in a position to hit a volley.

The two volley techniques demonstrated are:

  • The backspin soft shot that can be effective in putting the opponents in a vulnerable position.
  • The topspin shot which keeps the ball low and difficult to return.

Watch Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports demonstrate these techniques.

NOTE – It has been my experience that if I hit a “good” topspin backhand at the net, the ball has a tendency to stay low and will “skip” (take a very low bounce) which frustrates opponents.

Hint – You can read the comments below the video for further clarification.

Thanks to Mark Rennison and Third Shot Sports for producing this informative video.

Pickleball – Court Coverage Responsibilities Video

I am sure this has happened to every pickleball player and perhaps more often than one would really like to admit. A ball is returned to your side of the court near both you and your partner and neither of you swing at the ball as it goes by without a return attempt. Each of you probably thought the other person was going to get the ball.

Ideally, coverage of lobs, balls down the middle, etc. should be discussed prior to each game. Unfortunately this rarely takes place during casual or clubhouse play.

In the video below, Helle Sparre uses a storyboard to explain her theory of which doubles partner should cover particular areas of their court during certain aspects of play. This is not a video with footage of people playing pickleball and it may not be “exciting” per se, however, the information can be very important. If you have a steady doubles partner or play in tournaments, this information may be essential.

Helle Sparre refers to the roles of the “workhorse” and the “terminator” and which person should accept each role. The workhorse covers 75% of the court while the terminator only has to worry about 25% of the court.


More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross

Tin Man Lee’s photographic wildlife celebration of Mother’s Day

One of my favorite wildlife photographers, Tin Man Lee, has created a moving and beautiful tribute to mothers in honor of their special day. Although it is a year old, the message and pictures are timeless.

I hope you enjoy this brief video as much as I did.

A celebration of Mother's Day 2016 with wildlife photography from Tin Man Lee on Vimeo.

You can visit Tin Man Lee’s website HERE

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!

2017 US Open Pickleball Championships Televised

According to word from, the 2017 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships held in Naples, FL will be broadcast on television as per the following…

On CBS Sports Channel (221 Direct TV)
May 19 8pm ET, 5/26 8pm ET (2 shows)
Repeat 5/26 7pm ET, 5/26 11pm ET

Check your local listings for CPS Sports

For those who want a “teaser,” here are a couple of videos including some of the venues and highlights from the tournament.

Highlights from the 2017 US Open Pickleball Championships

Look for an amazing between the legs shot somewhere between 1:06 – 1:07
[ Don’t try this at home! ]

2017 US Open Pickleball Championships Open Air Arena

It is gratifying to see our sport portrayed in such a professional manner.

Video – Bell the Cat

Cat videos have surely taken on a life of their own on the Internet and the segment below shows one reason why. The video is simplicity itself, but it is entertaining and somewhat captivating. I have one suggestion below the video. I hope you find this as interesting as I did.

Notes From the Video – Pavlov’s Humans: Adorable video shows cats ‘training scientist’ to bring them food every time they ring a bell

NOTE – I wonder what would have happened if ringing the “other cat’s bell” would have yielded more treats? Would they have learned to ring only the other bell?

See more JBRish humor posts HERE


Video: Train of Thought – Not!

This is a slow motion video of an Amtrak Train coming into a station that has snow-covered tracks. Prior to starting this film, I understood that when the train entered the area where the snow was on the tracks that it would be thrown hither and yon or helter skelter; take your pick.

I am not sure why a couple of people close to the camera’s POV refused to move until it was too late. What were they thinking? What was their train of thought?

Credit where credit is due – I first saw this video on Petapixel at this link Slow-Motion: Amtrak Train vs. Snow