Kerry O'Keeffe used to call him the "Oswald" in the Australian one-day team alongside (Shane) Lee and (Ian) Harvey. But Andrew "Roy" Symonds has suddenly decided to snap into gear as a wannabe born-again dreadlocked Andrew "Fred" Flintoff. Or maybe, even more ambitiously, a Jacques "Jacques" Kallis with personality. Just remember that this is the guy who is now keeping Michael Clarke out of the Test eleven.
Meanwhile, there is Mike Hussey. I regret that I didn't get to see his century on Tuesday morning as I was on a train somewhere between Sydney and Newcastle at the time. There's a great tradition of these almost single-handed late-order hundreds in the MCG Boxing Day Test - Kim Hughes (1981 v West Indies), Greg Matthews (1985 v India) and Doug Walters (1980 v New Zealand) are three that come to mind, though the Walters ton had at least one clearly bad umpiring decision to help it along.
While Symonds may have just pushed himself over the line to remain in the Test squad for a while, Hussey has well and truly pushed himself off the top of the chart. Hussey, of course, is a useful stand-in opening bat as well, and Phil Jaques has to be careful not to turn into the new Wayne N.Phillips.
Finally, there is the passing of Kerry Packer. I heard the news just as I was heading off to take Adara on a post-Christmas vacation at her grandmother's. If you're wondering why I haven't written my obligatory Packer obit yet then it's because I have been away on holiday and simply haven't had the time yet.
The media coverage of Packer's death reminds me of that when Ronald Reagan shuffled off last year, and like with the former Bedtime for Bonzo co-star, most of the tributes to Packer are so far removed from reality that it's not even funny.
I have illustrated this blog entry with a cricket-related snapshot from our Lake Macquarie sojourn, namely a pair of ducks.