January 30, 2007

Horse 712 - This One's A Boy

All the way back in Horse 579 , I remarked that my little red Ka was a girl. Yesterday she was in at the Ford mechanics so I drove my sister's Pulsar to work; this confirmed my suspicion that the Pulsar is most definately a boy.

The Pulsar sits up and does exactly what you tell it to, no questions asked. It points into and out of corners, accelerates upon request and never ever weaves or deviates. Perfectly sensible motoring... but for that noise.

At only 1.8L the Pulsar doesn't really need a bean tin for a muffler. You rather get the idea that the previous owner had dreams of being a hoon and that was it, there weren't any other mods, just the muffler; no real skill at all. The noises that come out the back are of those of a boistrous young yap, who when faced with real competition from anything remotely resembling a performance car is quickly put in it's place.

Perhaps the words of Shakespeare are appropriate:
A poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot; full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.

A little harsh? Rosalini does not pretend to be a performance car, but she drifts through traffic silently and quickly. The Silver Pulsar by virtue of being just a little bigger does lose a little bit of usefulness in heavy traffic. Very much a boy car: Noisy & Clumsy... but better put together than slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails - what was that person thinking?

January 29, 2007

Horse 711 - Let The Ruler Rule

The Australian Open has come to an end with Serena Williams and Roger Federer being crowned as respective champions with some of the most decisive tennis I have ever seen. Serena surely has put all critics to heel by making World No.1 Sharapova look silly and Federer passed through his tenth Grand Slam title without dropping a set; I suspect he will win all four in 2007.

One thing I don't like about tennis (which must be said is a game of skill, battle of wills, clever thinking, and athleticism) is the ability introduced at the US Open last year, to be able to "challenge" line calls. A friend of mine suggested that because it is only able to be done on the show courts that this further benefits the top players but I see this as something far more incidious.

The thing about sport in general is that if you happen to stuff up, you aren't going to get lauded, or put a company into bankruptcy, endanger peoples lives or get fired. Sports are one of the few places in this life when one can acheive total perfection. Hand in hand with this happens to be the person in charge, who in my opinion should have total, exact and perfect authority over proceedings.

On the sporting field one is subject to certain rules and the referee/umpire/gamemaster as the authority one is playing under, even if they know nothing and have no concept of the rules, even if they're totally biased, then the players simply should not have the ability to question anything at all.

There are a few classic examples where the referee either has or should have exerted this authority. John McEnroe should have been sent off on multiple occasions for talking back, Ian Meckiff's cricket career was ended prematurely as a result of his bowling action when he was called for throwing four times in his only over at Brisbane in November 1963 during the first Test against South Africa by umpire Colin Egar. I can think of least a few dozen examples of motor racing cars either being banned or disqualified for technical infringements and on the football pitch, red cards are given for unsporting conduct or more frequently dissent.

Why then should professional tennis players who make their living playing what is after all a game, under a set of rules, then be allowed to question those people who have been given the job to interpret them? Grant that the technology exists, but as per the 3rd Umpire in cricket the technology in my opinion should only be allowed to be referred to by either the chair umpire, the linesmen or an independant referee who is still part of the refereeing staff.

I do believe that someone should review referees if they happen to do a bad job but as a player it's out job to learn to take the good with the bad. The ultimate response to bad refereeing is simply to play better. Both champions Serena Williams and Roger Federer passed through their finals without "challenging" anything. Does this prove my point?

Addenda: I agree with BJD's assertation that MySpace happens to look really silly. I for one have never seen a single MySpace site that looks remotely like I want to visit. Kind of like those vacant homes that squatters live in.

January 28, 2007

Horse 710 - Two Pints & A Wimmen, Please!

I was reading through the great and powerful London Times when I stumbled upon this article.

Lonely Welsh people in a last ditch effort to snag themselves a lady friend have taken to getting their mugshots on cartons of milk. Isolated young farmers in Wales are finding it so hard to meet anyone new that they are looking for love by putting their photographs on the side of milk cartoons. The inference is that with the long hours and the nature of being out in the middle of nowhere, that many farmers struggle to enjoy any social life at all, let alone find a partner.

Quite famously, the side of milk cartons was once reserved for the faces of missing persons. This if anything could tell people where those missing persons happen to be... farming in Wales. I had an interesting thought though - Does the kind of milk carton that one gets their face on indicate what sort of lady they are looking for?

Skim Milk - Looking for a skinny young wench
Full Fat - Looking for a sturdier lass
UHT - Looking for one with no taste?

It does make you wonder about the Welsh though, I thought that they were all content with their woolly friends.

and yes, I failed to get through an article about Wales without making a sheep joke

January 23, 2007

Horse 709 - Not Obvious

How many states are in the United States of America?
Whilst people may say that there are 50, then this would be patently wrong because the correct answer is 46.
Huh? I hear you ask. That doesn't make any sense. Well the long and the short of it is that it makes even less sense when I explain this but first a history lesson.

4th July 1776 - the only date in American history that everyone without fail happens to know. It's the date upon which the Declaration of Independance was presented to the British. If you look at "Old Glory" you'll find 13 stripes for the original 13 colonies. These are thus.

Province of New Hampshire
Province of Massachusetts Bay
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Connecticut Colony
Province of New York
Province of New Jersey
Province of Pennsylvania
Delaware Colony
Province of Maryland
Colony and Dominion of Virginia
Province of North Carolina
Province of South Carolina
Province of Georgia

Sounds proper and normal so far but upon further examination we find a few rouges.

In 1785 the residents of Kentucky County petitioned Virginia for their own legislature. The petitioned the state legislature for the County to be recognized as "free and independent, to be known by the name of the Commonwealth of Kentucky." On June 4, 1792 Kentucky County became officially the "Commonwealth of Kentucky."
1. Kentucky is NOT a state, it's a Commonwealth.

Virginia itself was never a state. It had formally declared its own independance from Great Britain on Jun 29, 1776. Virginia's constition formally states (and I checked this through their website) that "Commissions and Grants shall run, In the Name of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and bear taste by the Governor with the Seal of the Commonwealth annexed."
2. Virginia is NOT a state, it's a Commonwealth.

The Official Seal of Pennsylvania does not use the term, but legal processes are in the name of the Commonwealth and it is a traditional official designation used in referring to the state.
3. Pennsylvania is NOT a state, it's a Commonwealth.

According to the constitution of 1780 Massachusetts is officially named "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts" before this time it was referred to as the Province of Massachusetts Bay and as one of the 13 orginal colonies, it never needed to establish itself as a separate entity with the Continental Congress.
4. Massachusetts is NOT a state, it's a Commonwealth.

The only other thing that bears mention to this is that little square sort of cut out in the top right hand corner of the map. District of Columbia is neither a state nor part of a state. Interestingly because of this, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution doesn't apply. Total jurisdiction over the District is in the hands of the Congress in "all cases whatsoever" which means that residents actually have no say in Congress at all despite being ruled by it.

The United 46 States, 4 Commonwealths and 1 Not Really Anything of America just doesn't really have the same ring as the USA, does it?

January 22, 2007

Horse 708 - << IMPORTANT X LOTS >>

QF 108 - 26 May Sat, Sydney, 7:25am
Terminal 1, Charles Kingsford Smith Airport
Gina is coming to Sydney!

This is Birthdays, Christmases, Cup Finals all rolled into one. Shout it from the rooftops and mark it in the diary, now! Now! NOW!!

January 19, 2007

Horse 707 - Never A Frown With...

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer (which I think is a far nicer title than our Treasurer) Gordon Brown, is currently in India on an official tour in what is expected to be something of of a test, because it is likely that after the next General Election it his he who will be Prime Minister of Her Majesty's United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Political Observers on Fleet St say the chancellor's three-day visit is an attempt to move beyond fiscal policy and strengthen his international credentials but this trip it must be said has been something of a political nightmare what with the racism scandal currently rocking the UK as a result of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 4.
Speaking in the city of Bangalore on his first official trip to the country, Britain's prime minister in waiting talked of a "new world order" (which I find somewhat worrying).

I must admit that whilst listening to the radio last night, I went from Radio 4's news to Radio 1 with Jo Whiley and she was playing the song Golden Brown by The Stranglers. Perhaps my mind by that stage was being warped by lack of sleep, but I couldn't help but think that their song fitted perfectly in the current climate, albeit with a few minor alterations as below.

Gordon Brown texture like sun,
With the Right off Tony Blair runs,
Try as he might,
Can't stand and fight
Always a frown on Gordon Brown

'97 is in the past,
Blair's still here,
But he'll never last,
Dubyah's demands,
Tie Tony's hands,
Fat man with frown is Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown settled for less,
Through the years his plan's going west,
Campbell must pay,
Screws the UK ,
Naught but a frown from Gordon Brown


January 18, 2007

Horse 706 - Just A Minute

Currently at 10 to midnight and thanks to the miracle of the internet I'm listening to that perennial panel game Just A Minute on BBC Radio 4. The rules of this game (which was invented atop a number 13 bus) are dead simple. One has to speak on a subject without hesitation, repetition of any words or deviation from the subject.
This in principle sounds like a simple thing to do but if you consider even within the confines of this very sentence the amount of times that someone actually repeats a word, you'll find that it's actually quite a hard thing to do.

A point is given to anyone who is able to make a correct challenge on any of the rules or alternatively, if an incorrect challenge is made the point is given to the person who was interrupted. Bonus points are awarded for keeping the subject at the end and for any witty remarks for which the chairman happens to find amusing.

Due to the nature of the scoring system, the points are often quite idiosyncratic and it is possible to speak for an entire 59 seconds without a mistake and still not get even so much as a single point for your effort. Contestants like Clement Freud and Paul Merton are particularly good at making interjections for the sole purpose of winning bonus points.

I think one thing that the show does is still show the power of radio as a medium. You can very easily do something else like the ironing while the program is on. Radio game shows are something I think have been sadly lost on the Australian public, and I for one thank the BBC for continuing to produce them.
If I was given my wish, I should like to run a version of this on Vega with me as chairman. Wouldn't that be brilliant?

January 17, 2007

Horse 705 - We've Already Got The Answer!

I found it interesting that the motor companies in America are really good at producing slightly different versions of the rest of the world's cars. I've written previously about the Chevrolet Malibu which is the Vectra; the Chev Cobalt is the Astra and Ford USA builds the Focus.

The venerable Crown Victoria in America has been around since 1979 and packs a 4.6L V8 under the hood; its main use is Police and Taxi work. The somewhat aging motor throws out 239bhp or 182kW. Enter my suggestion for a new motor car, or rather an old one... The Ford Falcon. Its 4.0L inline 6 chucks out 249bhp or 190kW in base trim, uses less fuel, puts out less emissions, is faster, accelerates harder and surprisingly has a smaller turning circle.

The scary thing about this is that the Falcon was originally an American car. So what went wrong?

Well nothing really. The Falcon in American eyes was rejected because it was seen as too small, but in Australia where European sensibilities saw the rise of the hatchback, the Falcon went from being Ford's staple car to their big car. As petrol prices have soared over the past few years, suddenly the car which was too small now looks just about right; with the bonus that we've been developing it since 1963.

So when the Falcon adopts the Orion platform c.2008, it could very well be the replacement to the Crown Vic. How funny would it be to see a 25,000 strong fleet of yellow Falcons in New York City? To Australian eyes, it would be just like Melbourne.

January 16, 2007

Horse 704 - Give It A Name!

I cast my mind back to Year 9 History class for this. We had a scary teacher called Mr Menkes who walked around the classroom with a big metal sword that someone in a metalwork class made. The word association game was some sort of ice breaker I guess and I was sitting next to a very heavily built lad (who eventually played as the Lock in the Rugby team) who had a face that looked like a dropped pie, and a brain with about as much sense as tieing a Magen David and a pork chop to the back of a motorbike and riding through Tehran.

The following responses stand out like spires in the smog:

The Word is EAT
What do you mean Joe's?
Eat at Joe's?
I can see that this is going to be a difficult year Rollason.
And you Park?

I've got you pegged as well.

The Word is CAMEL
Lotus? How do you put Camel with Lotus, oh very funny.
(Camel cigarettes were the main sponsor of the Lotus F1 team at the time)
Park? Why do I even bother?
Ice Cream
The word was Camel, Park; not Eat.
Yeah, but if I was on a camel, I'd be hot.

The Word is AMERICA
Apart from 2 girls who both said Disneyland in this row, the other 14 so far have all said Baseball. I shudder to think at what you two come up with. Go on, if we must.
Vespucci. America was named after Amerigo Vespucci. They changed it to a female name because all of the continents have female names.
I don't know what to say actually. That's really quite intelligent.

The only thing I could think of was going through the desert on a horse with no name.
Oh dear.
You'd think that if you were in the desert with nothing else to do you'd at least give the horse a name!

Is there a point to this story? Probably not. So why tell it? Because this whole post was based on a word association of it's own. When I sat poised at the keyboard wondering what to do about this issue of Horse, that little episode of half of my lifetime ago came back.

Can you just imagine Race 6 at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November?
As they approach the 3000m mark it's Darren Beadman by 12 lengths on... sorry, but we don't have a name listed for this horse.

January 15, 2007






January 14, 2007

Horse 702 - Left-Handed People Look Gumby

After we'd been smacked about the park in some urbane display of contempt in the name of the "sport of gentlemen" we were sent into the breech to attain a target nearly double of what we'd previously achieved for season 2006/7. Upon Mark Bailey's return to the pavillion after a paltry 1 run, he remarked that left-handed bowlers were difficult to bat against because they "looked gumby"

The state of left-handedness has long been frowned upon with either concern and/or ridicule. In ancient Sparta, babies that were found to be left-handed were left on a hillside to the south of the city to fend for themselves. There are tales of the latter city-state where a left-handed boy dared to encroach upon the throne of one of the kings by opening the door to his chamber, wherein the king found out and ordered that this young lad be loaded into a catapult and hurled out of the city.

In Ancient Rome, left handed people were generally the suject of ridicule and under the reign of Caligula, a directive forced the murder of a considerable number of left-handed children. The Latin words for right and left are Dextre and Sinstre from which we get Dexterious and Sinister - does this mean that left-handed people are evil?

We decided yesterday that left-handed people were made out of wood, and therefore witches, and therefore we should burn them!... and that they still looked gumby.

January 13, 2007

Horse 701 - Skegness Is SO Bracing

Skegness will become the new Antibes at the heart of a North Sea Riviera as unbearably hot summers drive tourists away from Mediterranean resorts, the European Commission forecast yesterday while announcing new targets to combat greenhouse gases.

The EU in setting new targets for greenhouse emmissions came to the conclusion that as the planet heats up, then former resorts in the Mediterranean will be too warm to attract tourists, and so places on Britain's East Coast and other places on the North Sea are potentially new holiday spots.

Or are they?

I found this on a Lincolnshire Council's website as an official reply.

"If the Lincolnshire coast is to become the new Riviera, this would be wonderful for the local economy. Skegness has a fantastic theatre, which attracts some of the top names, as well as Fantasy Island, which claims the biggest rollercoaster in Europe. We have the highest concentration of caravans in Europe and some of the best beach donkeys in the country."

Best beach donkeys in Europe? Are they mad? Well quite possibly yes, but is this this the way to sell holidays in Britain to the rest of the world? Ibiza may have rave parties and illicit drugs but come to Mablethorpe because we have Johnnycakes and Rock Candy.

Does this mean that somewhere in about 2055 people will flock back to that jewel of the North-West, Blackpool again? We might see a return to its glorious heyday, until then as before people will realise that it's all a bit naff.

Skegness is SO Boring... but at least we're not Mablethorpe

January 11, 2007

Horse 700 - But It Was Always The Same... Ikky Poo!

I spent a bit of time thinking about this post because I realised that the first words of this would have to be quite profound, so here goes...

Welcome to Horse 700

Here's another profundity... I hate pretzels. Not the pretzels in the packet that are prone to making George Costanza thirsty but the ones that come from major shopping centres and the little booths therein.

Thanks to "I've Turned Up A Day Early From Holidays Because It Wasn't Written In The Diary Day" Day, I suddenly found that at 9:01am I had a whole extra day of holidays. So I took the opportunity to visit the Macquarie Centre in the hope of finding a new pair of Air Force Ones owing to the fact that the last pair I had got ruined by fatal death.

The Macquarie Centre is a dead confusing place. Rather than have actual floors, it spirals around a central set of shops such that if you walk around 4 corners, you're precisely one level above or below where you were. I found that as I was up the Myer/Borders end of the centre, that there was a distinctly foul, horrid & unsalubrious eminating from that end.

The business which calls itself Pretzel World I'm quite sure engages in adequate OH&S practices and all Dept of Health regulations but it still doesn't change the fact that their unappetizing smell, is very akin to spew. I'm not keen on eating something from which hordes of vomitaciousness undead olfactory zombies attack every portion of my nasal passages.

This is not all that uncommon. Across the road from UTS is the Carlton & United Brewery, which every afternoon would consistently throw millions of stinkoid particles into the air. I remember being in a History of Economic Thought class when an invisible zone of pustulent paranormal poo-smelling particles paraded through our priory of learning and the class was abandoned for 20 minutes.

Pretzel World, I can't handle this,
Your smells are too stinkalicious for me babe... YUK!!!

January 09, 2007

Horse 699 - Propagating a Meme Because I Can't Think of Actual Material Today

1. Initials: ATR
2. Name someone with the same birthday as you: I don't know of anyone personally but I know of Eddie Irvine, Martin Luther and Screaming Lord Sutch
3. Last thing you ate? Toast
4. For or against same sex marriage: Against
5. I say Shotgun! You say? Potato. Let's call the whole thing off
6. Last person you hugged? Mishka
7. Do you believe in God? Yes and so? Even the demons do that
8. How many Australian states have you been to? Which ones? All of them
9. How many of the Australian states have you lived in? Which ones? 3. NSW, Vic & NT
10. Ever lived outside of Australia? Where? The UK
11. Name something you like physically about yourself: I can stay awake for a long time
12. Something non-physical you like about yourself: My mind goes on strange journeys
13. Who is your best friend? Katja? Probably
14. Why are you still up? Good question, NEXT!
15. What/who made you angry today? A BMW 130i reg GRN-80W
16. Favorite type of Food? Fresh
17. Favorite holiday: One with a destination but no plan
18. Do you download music? I prefer the record store
19. What illegal things have you done? Why
20. Where would you want to go on a first date: I like parks and riverbanks
21. Would you date the person that posted this? James? No - sorry Jimmy
22. Has anyone ever sang or played for you personally? Nah
23. Do you love anyone? Yes, yes and yes. In many senses
24. Do you like Howard? Not him nor his government
25. Have you ever bungee jumped? Yes
26. Have you ever gone white-water rafting? No
27. Has anyone ten years older than you ever hit on you? Only in a motor accident
28. How much money ya got? Enough for at least a kebab
29. Have you met a real redneck? I'm friends with a few
30. How is the weather right now? Night time
31. What are you listening to right now? Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2
32. What is your current favourite song? In terms of no. of plays it's "Take Me To Another Town" by Emma Bunton for 2007
33. What was the last movie you watched? Night At the Museum
34. Do you wear contacts? No
35. Where was the last place you went besides your house? Bunnings
36. What are you afraid of? Places I can drown
37. How many piercings and tattoos do you have? Nil
38. How many pets do you have? One black cat
39. Have you ever loved someone? Yes
40. What turns you on? Intriguing people
41. What do you usually order from Starbucks? A long black
42. Have you ever fired a gun? Yes
44. Fav. TV show? At the moment it's Black Books on the ABC
45. Do you have an ipod? Yes, 40 gig 4G
46. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celeb? No
47. When are you 47? 2025
48. Who would you like to see right now? Christ would be pretty cool I think
49. Favorite movie of all time? The Italian Job
50. Do you find yourself loved? YES!
51. Have you ever regretted something you didn't do? Haven't we all?
52. Favorite flower? The Scottish Thistle
53. Butter, plain, or salted popcorn? Plain
54. What Magazines are you reading? Auto Action
55. Have you ever ridden in a limo? I own one
56. Has anyone you were really close to passed away? A few people
58. What’s something that really bugs you? Poor spelling and punctuation
59. What are some things you really like doing: Driving, playing or watching other people play
60. Do you like Michael Jackson? Not particularly
61. Whats your favorite smell? Castrol TTS
62. Favorite basketball team? The Weaponettes
63. Favorite cereal? Kellogg's Corn Flakes
64. Do you drive? Yes.
65. What's the latest you have ever stayed out? All night
66. What’s the longest time you’ve gone without sleep? 47 hours between London and Sydney
67. Last time you went bowling? About a month ago
68. Where is the weirdest place you have slept? At Geelong Bus Station
69. Who was your last phone call? Someone from Cable Solutions
70. Last time you were at work: 23rd Dec 2006
71. Whats your favorite city to be in? Liverpool, UK - Sorry as far as cities go, it feels the most like home

January 08, 2007

Horse 698 - Jimmy's English Lesson

Punctuation 101: The Apostrophe


The humble apostrophe is one of the most misused and misunderstood grammatical markers of the 21st Century. As far as the English lanuguage is concerned, there are but three basic uses for it: as a possesive, as a contractive and as marker in non English surnames for characters that either don't exist of other devices.

1. As a Possessive:
This should be fairly straight forward, though there are exceptions. A possessive is when something owns something else. The rule in this case for the singular is to simply add 's at the the end as in "The cat's food". If for instance the food was owned by multiple cats, then it would be rendered at the end of the plural "The cats' food" - same food, but owned by more than one cat.
The mild exception to this is when the thing which does the owning ends in S. If Rees happens to own the cat then Rees' Cat or Rees's Cat are both acceptable.

There are a few cases for this in real life. St James' Park where Newcastle United play or Lord's Cricket Ground in London are both possessive cases but increasingly proper names like Woolworths and David Jones omit the possessive apostrophe for reasons of nicety.

The exception to this is when the possessive is already an indefinate article such as yours, hers and theirs.

2. As a contraction:
These are again obvious. This is when two words are mashed together in common usage. Most commonly is the n't variant which means "not" as in didn't, shouldn't and couldn't. Other variants include I'll and it's.
"It's" is an interesting case. Its is an indefinate article as a possessive and so does not need an apostrophe but it's is a contraction for it is. "It's its head" is one of those rather quaint clauses where seemingly a word is repeated but on reflection is merely the operation of a contraction.
The other commonly seen use is in a term like the '70s where the 19 has been dropped.

3. Foreigness:
Names like O'Reilly, M'Gregor, du'Pree and D'Angelis are all cases where a contraction is made from a foreign language. Ahah you say, but O'Reilly and M'Gregor are already English words! Ahah I say, they're Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic respectively.

So then Jimmy, in review, the line in that song:

From the heavens mercy streams
As it stands it says that there are multiple heavens or that they are vast in number. Sort of, kind of maybe? Well this is one of those archaic uses of English that still exists where the singular and the plural are either interchangeable or are the same word. A similar case exists for sheep and deer.

To add the apostrophe is thus:
From the heaven's mercy streams
Does this imply that something comes from heaven's streams? Although plausible it's not likely.

There are two other cases that warrant investigation.
1. Fortnight
Strictly speaking, this is a contraction and in Shakespeare's day was written as fort'night. Like the now unused se'nnight which meant seven night, a fort'night then as now means a fourteen night period.

1. Hear'Say
Hear'Say were the winners of the British series of Popstars in 2001. The reason why this apostrophe hangs in the air waiting to be explained in the group's name was for a while open to conjecture. Some commentators said it was a deliberate attempt to appeal to a youthful audience by imitating an informal, uneducated style, while others suggested it was simply a case of bad grammar on the part of its creator.
I happen to agree with the author Lynn Truss who argues that "the naming of Hear’Say in 2001 was a significant milestone on the road to punctuation anarchy."

So please learn how to use this piece of gramar. Don't look like a pratt!

January 05, 2007

Horse 697 - Nil - Five to the England

From one of the most remarkable Ashes series victories when England beat Australia in 2005 for the first time in 18 years to to worst result in nearly 80 when the touring English side managed to lose every match in a five test series, the England selectors have to be wondering what went wrong surely. I can tell you in a few short words... five batsmen.

If you look through the batting cards of England this summer they have been nothing short of abysmal but really it's only the last five that never fired. To wit:

1st Test- Brisbane
15-5 and 77-5

2nd Test - Adelaide
DNB and 35-5

3rd Test - Perth
101-5 and 14-5

4th Test - Melbourne
24-5 and 53-5

5th Test - Sydney
33-5 and 33-5

Now admittedly, the tail isn't usually picked for it's batting ability, but when you're up against the likes of SK Warne and GD McGrath then between them they've taken more test wickets than any other two bowlers in history. Perhaps thankfully by the time of the next Ashes series in England, neither of them will be there and as 2005 proved, a side without those two can be beaten by mediocrity.

Yes a 5-0 whitewash is a very black day on which the side wil fade to grey over (nice use of colours there) but it's something to look forward from. I mean let's be totally brutal here, no-one can ever do a worse job than what we've seen this summer can they?