Canadian Content

There is a funny video that has been going around on Facebook from our Ontario pickle pal Mark Renneson. Mark was interviewed in the January 11th, 2016 edition of CC. You see all his videos by going to: … He has been getting creative  in his instructional videos, especially the one below featuring some crazy Canucks and baby Cecily,….Pickleball on Ice:

I wonder what would be a good name for this new sport?… Hockey + Pickleball = Hickeyball?


Are you getting ready for the 2016 PB tournament season? Goggle up – and check out the Nov 20th, 2015 archive podcast by Mark Renneson.

040: How to Prepare for The 2016 USAPA Nationals

The surprising thing to me on Mark’s discussion was how the pro PBers are going to ‘hard to return’ serves vs the conventional wisdom of  ‘just get the ball in play’ on the first shot….Is this influence of the tennis/picklers?


Also on the pickleball show,  (archive 041), was a discussion by Deb Harrison on the ‘third shot drop’. She has good things to say about a pro who has an extra high arching third shot. Check out the video below. I have my own nicknames for the foursome: I think of Alex Hamner as the ‘Psychic’ because of her magical ability to move into the right court position at the right time. Mathew Blom is the ‘Praying Mantis’,… he is tall, long armed, and has a quick poaching move at the net. Jennifer Lucore is the ‘Hummingbird’ because of her bouncy energy. Phil Bagley is ‘Fly Ball Phil’….his third drop shot is so high that he has time to have a drink of water and changes his shoes before his shot drops in the kitchen!

2014.11.04 USAPA Nationals 1V MXD 35+


Being Green – Part 4

‘Life changes’,….I think that combination of words was invented by the baby boomers. Many members of my generation are ‘believers’ or ‘victims’ of the philosophy imbued in those two words…’life changes’. For me, last year was a time for change,…especially to do with pickleball. In January of 2015 I completed the application and orientation process to be a volunteer at Pearkes Rec. I was too busy in Febuary 2015 to help, so I did my first shift as a PB facilitator last March. It was fun helping out at the drop in sessions, and I support the box system as a great way to organize the play. I also felt that an unofficial part of my volunteering was to welcome the ‘newbies’. I remembered how shy, and intimidated, I had felt when I had first played at Pearkes. On my ‘watches’, I did my best to get to know and share a laugh with the new players. If you are a first timer I recommend you talk to your fellow players,…you’ll be surprised to discover we’re all ‘newbies’. None of us are ‘experts’. We’re all trying to ‘find our way’. We all have a lot to learn, and I’m not just talking about pickleball. We’re all different shades of green,….but that’s alright. Green is an appropriate colour for a ‘pickle-baller’, and life is a game for amateurs.

It was about this time in February last year that I had a casual conversation with a pickleballer who writes magazine articles. He mentioned to me that he was thinking of doing an article about pickleball. I told him that I liked writing, but I only did fictional work and I was in a creative slump. That brief discussion planted a seed in the dormant part of my brain, and two months later I got an idea…a way I might be able to get over my writer’s block. I would try a new way of doing creative writing…thus was born on April 12th, 2015 the odd blend of the ‘real’, and the ‘imagined’, that is Challenge Court. I sent the first edition out to 13 pickle pals. This current issue will go out to well over 200 readers. Pickle folks have embraced my work on CC,…and I find the positive feedback I receive to be creatively stimulating! I may have found my ‘niche’ in life…I say ‘maybe’ because I’m not sure,…I’m still ‘green’ at this blogging stuff. CC is different than writing straight fiction stories, but the challenge is similar. You still need to entertain your audience,…your readers.

You don’t have to be crazy to be creative, but,….I wonder….There are 7 billion snowflakes out there, all of us very similar,…but look,…look at me!….My pattern is the one!….I’m different,…my unique pattern is the one you should look at…..Yeah, right!

* This is my last segment on being green, but I will keep it open for another chapter. If you are a new player, your fellow picklers would be interested in what you think of the game.

Send in your story to my personal email:


Cucumber Vine – An olio of ideas, info, and opinions.

– If you go to and look at the January 2016 newsletter, there is an article by Ellen Dale on her time playing PB at Pearkes. Ellen was impressed with the welcoming, friendly atmosphere at Pearkes. There is also a picture, by her friend Jan Bergen, of the winner/loser boxes.

-Weekly rant!… I believe that we need to form a club or committee with a clear goal….to find a way to improve the playing experience for the hardcore pickleheads. You know who you are,…you know the problems,…lets get organized to work on solutions. I think the first thing a group should do is to have a meeting with the Saanich programmers. Their last meeting was with us Pearkes facilitators, and we facilitators are not the official voice of Victoria’s dedicated players. The advanced players need to find a way to have our voices heard!…Please write me if you agree, and, would like to be involved in a think tank.

– Just a reminder that this Thursday, Feb 11th the time for drop in play at Pearkes is changed to 11am – 2pm. This is a one time change. The last 2 weeks of February pickleball at Pearkes is only on Tuesdays, the Wednesday and Thursday sessions are cancelled.

– Next Sunday is Valentine’s Day…. I would like to send out virtual flowers and chocolates to my daughter Heather and my spouse Pamela for all their creative and technical work on Challenge Court.

-*Next week I’m hoping to have a surprise player profile from a VIP player and other interesting an informative ‘play-fare’….’til then…

Thanks for the game,

DJ Baker.





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