Trip to the Outhouse–Blogging, Four Years and Counting . . . and It All Started with Hurricane Ike and Matthew Mitcham

Matthew Mitcham, having fun, before the start of the 2012 London Olympics (photo @matthew_mitcham)

It’s hard to believe that four years have gone by since I first started this blog.  It’s doubtful that I would have put in this much continued effort were it not for two big topics that I blogged about back in 2008, the devastating Hurricane Ike, which passed through southeast Texas, and gay Australian diver, Matthew Mitcham, who was a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics.

There’s not that much evidence of the extensive damage that Hurricane Ike caused, even when you head down to hard-hit Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula.  Galveston, though still trying to recover population numbers, is once again bustling with out-of-state tourists and day-trippers from nearby Houston, who are attracted by the warm water, great restaurants, and new entertainment venues.  If you take the ferry and cross to Bolivar Peninsula, you pass by new sub-divisions of beachhouses, most of which rise high off the ground to protect them from rising water.

When it comes to the second topic, Matthew Mitcham is back, once again competing in olympic diving, this time in London.   After winning his gold medal in the 10 meter platform dive, Mitcham, at age 20, became one of the most–if not the most–well-known out gay athletes in the world.  For some so young, being such a worldwide celebrity might have been a heavy load to carry.  However, Mitcham, as athlete, activist, and product spokesperson, has worn all of his hats well, and once again is back competing in the London 2012 Olympics.

While this blog attracted many readers because of my telling of the events happening to me personally and that of Houston during Hurrican Ike and the days after, thank goodness there has not been another hurricane that has headed our way in these past four years. 

On the other hand, my blogs about Mitcham’s victory in the Beijing 2012 Olympics still bring readers to this site, showing that he’s still–if not even more–popular.   I still admire Matthew Mitcham, not only because he’s such an amazing athlete and role model, but also that in spite of his célébrité, he has been able to keep a good sense of himself and just be a normal early-20s guy.

Check the early posts (2008) for more about Hurricane Ike and Matthew Mitcham on this blog.  Also a good way to keep up with Matthew Mitcham is through Twitter (, where he posts lots of photos.

Delhi Commonweath Games: Matthew Mitcham Gets Silver in 1-Meter Springboard, Looks Forward to Wednesday

Only because of listening to the BBC on KUHF ( Houston’s local public radio station) in the morning on my way to work did I hear about the Commonwealth Games 2010, taking place in Delhi, India.

Diving Determination--Matthew Mitcham at the Dehli Games (SMH photo)

The event is a sports competition among many of the countries which were once under the control of the British crown and takes place every four years.  The sports include many of those seen at the Olympics, but some appear to be those that would go with a “spot of tea”, like cricket and lawn bowling.

I was curious to see if Matthew Mitcham, Australia’s gay diving sensation, would be taking part, and, indeed, he is.  In fact, in today’s 1-meter springboard, he took the silver medal to Canada’s Alexandre Despatie. Mitcham will compete again on Wednesday in the 10-meter platform, the event which put his name on the map with the Olympic Gold Medal win in 2008 in Beijing.

Update (Wed. Oct. 13th):  Matthew Mitcham finished second in the 10-meter platform dive to England’s 16-year-old Thomas Daley.  According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian “scored 509.15 points to claim his fourth silver of the Games and finish shy of 16-year-old world champion Tom Daley (538.35 points), whose sublime performance included one dive that earned perfects 10s across the board.”

Watch Matthew in a promo for the Dehli games:

What’s Matthew Mitcham Up To These Days?


Matthew Mitcham and his partner Lachlan Fletcher enjoy the time they have together between busy schedules.

Matthew Mitcham and his partner Lachlan Fletcher enjoy the time they have together between busy schedules.

The hits on here indicate that a lot of people are still very into Matthew Mitcham, the Olympic gold-medal diver from Australia.  It seems like he’s been a very busy guy since winning the diving championship last year in Beijing.

According to an interview done by “A year after shooting to worldwide fame, Mitcham isn’t just training for his next diving competition, but is also studying science at Sydney University.”  If you haven’t done so yet, you can read more of the article “Catching Up With Mathew Mitcham” here.

Squidwho also has many photos and links for Matthew Mitcham fans.

Britain’s Hope for the 2012 Olympics Outshines Mitcham at World Diving Championships in Rome

Fifteen-year-old Thomas Daley of Great Britain wins the 10-meter at the World Diving Championships

Fifteen-year-old Thomas Daley of Great Britain wins the 10-meter at the World Diving Championships

For all those enamored with the golden boy of the Beijing Olypmics, out diver, Matthew Mitcham, there may be a new name in town. 

The new guy hails from Great Britain and is just 15 years old.  He’s Thomas Daley, and today the young man defeated a couple of Chinese divers and Australian Mitcham to win the gold in the 10-meter platform at the World Diving Championships at the Stadio Del Nuoto in Rome.

According to KXMB News, “Daley received three perfect 10s and three 9.5s for his final dive Tuesday, barely rippling the water as he sliced through. His winning total was 539.85 points.  Then he watched his main rivals falter on their final attempts.  Qiu Bo of China had a poor entry and finished second with 532.20.

Mitchem, winner of the gold in Beijing, dropped to fourth after botching his dive.

China’s Zhou Luxin took bronze with 530.55, just ahead of Mitcham at 529.50. American David Boudia was sixth.”

Mitcham had this to say about Daley in an article in a Sydney Morning Herald article,  “I really do [support him]. He is a very talented and very well-mannered, polite and friendly young man. . . . I think he could take over the world if he wanted to. He is something I have never seen before. I respect him.”

Britains seem all agog over their new diving star and are hoping for a gold medal in diving in the 2012 Olympics, which will be held in London.

Mitcham fails to medal in the 10-meter dive.

Mitcham fails to medal in the 10-meter dive.


See more links to Matthew Mitcham here.

Matthew Mitcham Signs With the Aussie Telecommunication Giant, Telstra for a Year-Long Sponsorship

mitcham-in-pool1After a long wait, Australian Olympic gold medal winner in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and out gay guy Matthew Mitcham, has received a sponsorship deal. Telstra, the largest telecom company in Australia, has inked a deal with the young diver through the end of the year 2009.

As part of his sponsorship by the big Aussie phone company, Mitcham will appear in advertising, open stores, and keep a weekly blog.

See more about the Mitcham and Telstar deal in Andrew M. Potts’ article in the Sydney Star Observer.


Check out more posts and photos of Matthew Mitcham: (A), (B), (C),(D), and (E).

Matthew Mitcham vs. Hurricane Gustav feat. “About the Blog” (Unless you’re into dance music, you won’t get this title.)

Having only been doing this blogging stuff for about six weeks, I never imagined that anyone would take an interest–just thought it’d be a fun way to get back into doing some writing again. (There was a journalism degree earned way back when, after all.) Then when I started writing about the weather here in Houston, and Tropical Storm Edouard came our way, I saw that people were tapping into my posts.

Then I entered a post about a gay Australian kid’s gold medal in Beijing, and as they say, “the hits just kept on coming.” And now, Hurricane Gustav comes along, and plink-plink-plink, the counter continues to move.

I’ve learned a lot about who and what people are interested in. I’ve also discovered how cookies work and that you can find out some interesting information about who’s checking out your blog. I found out that people all over the world are interested in the out gay gold medal winner. I got hits from places i’d never have imagined, like Kenya, Moldova, Saudi Arabia, even Iran. There were lots of hits from Hong Kong and Taiwan, but not a one from mainland China. It makes one wonder if they were just tired of all things Olympic, or was it that any internet freedoms they had during the Olympics had been taken away.

Also there was a lot of interest from those in universities and offices, where some people probably should have been working. Of course, these little cookies can’t tell you exactly who is looking at your page, but I still wonder if that was some forest ranger up there in one of those lookout towers who checked in from the National Forest Service. Somebody else with such a specific government address wanted a look at the Matthew Mitcham post, that I hesitate to mention any details. But when it comes to searches, people are most curious about Matthew’s boyfriend. I was a little curious myself, but I really in no way have the time nor desire for this blog to be I did, however, run across this photo of Matthew and his boyfriend Lachlan Fletcher, which some of you may not have yet seen, so I’ll share it. (They do look pretty cute together, don’t they?)

When it comes to the storms, people just want to know whatever they can find out. I’ve always been fascinated by the weather, so providing information for others, and places where they click to something more specific has been fun.

But as my “stay-cation” is over today, I’ll go back to writing things a bit more personal, and just when I have time. I hope that some of those who came here just because of Matthew Mitcham or Hurricane Gustav will return and check out some of the other posts. And thanks to those who made a comment; those are nice to get as well.


See more links to Matthew Mitcham here.

Fans of Matthew Mitcham should also check out Squidoo.