Thursday, May 18, 2023

Fwd: Don't let it happen tomorrow.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: WAVE Drowning Detection Systems <>
Date: Thu, May 18, 2023 at 3:07 PM
Subject: Don't let it happen tomorrow.
To: Mark <>

A student drowned in gym class yesterday.
(Click on video to learn more)

Don't let it happen tomorrow.

WAVE Swimmer Safety Systems determine when a swimmer is at risk of drowning and alerts your guards before the event can escalate.
Learn More about WAVE


referencing a previous drowning event





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Mark Rauterkus 
Webmaster, International Swim Coaches Association,
Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3),
Coach at The Ellis School for Varsity & Middle School Swimming
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team & Renegades (Masters) 
Sports Complex Director & Coach at Montour Heights Country Club

412 298 3432 = cell

Fwd: Thank You! We Made it!


We did it. You guys are amazing.

A special shout out to one of our top customers who put in that massive pledge right at the end, ensuring we got into stretch goal territory and have the start of our marketing budget to spend!
From all of us here at LiveCode Ltd, thank you all so much for your support. We are now going to make Xavvi, for you and the rest of the world to enjoy better, faster and more creative app building.

Thank You

Copyright © 2023 LiveCode Ltd, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
LiveCode Ltd

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Fwd: Mark, there's still time

I put in some money to get this going. If you are into A.I. and coding, especially with younsters, then this is super cool. It is worth $100 for sure.

----- Forwarded message ---------
From: The LiveCode Team <>

Let's Make it Happen

50% reached. 1.5 days to go.
We can do this.

To bring Xavvi to life we still need your help. Let's make sure the future of app creating is powered by understandable human readable language. Let's make it easy. Let's make it beautiful. Let's make it Xavvi.

You have a personal offer to get the Business Xavvi license at $499, for one full year - the earlybird pricing has returned just for you Mark Rauterkus! Get it today!

Be a part of the future. Pledge now.

Let's Make it Happen

Fwd: Situational Knowledge of Water

From: Shawn Slevin <>
Subject: Situational Knowledge of Water

Did you know open water is more than 30 degrees colder than air temp?

Mark Rauterkus 
Webmaster, International Swim Coaches Association,
Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3),
Coach at The Ellis School for Varsity & Middle School Swimming
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team & Renegades (Masters) 
Sports Complex Director & Coach at Montour Heights Country Club

412 298 3432 = cell

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Fwd: Run like Jalapeno Hannah is on your tail

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Virginia Montanez from Breathing Space <>
Date: Wed, May 10, 2023 at 4:29 PM
Subject: Run like Jalapeno Hannah is on your tail
To: <>

A pocketful of ninja stars and a shrubbery full of leaflets  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Open in app or online

Run like Jalapeno Hannah is on your tail

A pocketful of ninja stars and a shrubbery full of leaflets

May 10

Happy Wednesday, Pittsburgh!

Lots of pictures to share which leaves me less space to say random things to your gorgeous face. Let's talk!

1. Pittsburgh knows how to marathon

The Pittsburgh Marathon was this past weekend and, as always, Pittsburgh showed up. It's one of the more community-building events here because there's just something unifying and heart-lifting about supporting people who are putting themselves through … well … hell. You know me and running. We don't play together and running is not allowed to sit at my lunch table. In fact, if running comes near me, I will punch it out cold JUST SO I DON'T HAVE TO RUN AWAY FROM IT.

But, one of the best parts about the marathon is all the witty signs Pittsburghers create to motivate the participants. I wanted to share some of my favorites!

WPXI's Jenna Harner went with:

(The Twitter/Substack spat means I can no longer embed tweets and that is dumb)

If you really want me to run, make a sign that says, "Cookie table one mile ahead." Zoom! Look at her go. Such grace! Such determina— oh, she tripped and fell. And she's bleedi— yes, 911?

(via @mjldkltkd and @redoberman on Twitter)

I didn't realize that was a mannequin at first and I was like, "Bold choice, my guy!" Two of my absolute favorites, because honestly, these signs would have motivated me:

(via @redoberman and @glassblower1001 on Twitter)

I, for one, am all for more profanity in marathon signs. Don't email me. Go tell it to your fainting sofa.

(via @expatpghgirl on Twitter)

You're the best at exercising. I love it. Like someone having a sign at an Olympic ski jumping event all, "Hey, you're pretty good at gravity."

And then there's the group of Burghers led by architect and urban planner Bruce Chan, who set up their third annual MEATBALL table in Bloomfield around mile 23:

Now listen. I already told you I don't run and therefore I don't know anything about running, but … eating meatballs WHILE RUNNING A MARATHON? It's giving …

But according to Bruce, runners do eat the meatballs, as evidenced by this brave soul:

He tells me that 5% of runners take a meatball, and that the Meatball Group (band name!) doesn't pass them out to the elite runners, but to those non-elites who "really need it." Now, why? WHY? I'll let Bruce tell you why in his own words, which I edited for space:

You might be asking, "Why meatballs?" To that, I ask, "Why a marathon?"

To some, a marathon is an un-human, un-natural, unnecessary, arbitrary 26 miles of monotonous pain. To the runners, it's something personal. Every single one of these runners had to train, prepare, consider their goals, and get up earlier than the sun to do this run.

So, why not a meatball?

Other than having just run through Little Italy, the meatball is less of a symbol, and more of a reflection of the spirit of the day - to celebrate our communal struggles and pains through this life, and making the most of it with the limited time that we have.

So, with only 3 miles left to completion, the runners must ask themselves: "Do I eat the meatball?" Our savory meatballs may give runners those extra carbs and salt that'll boost them through the next few miles… or our meatballs might give some that miserable belly bomb feeling, standing in the way of their personal victory; we're not quite sure.

What we do know is even if not all runners EAT a meatball, they will smile and laugh when they see us.

In this absurdity lives camaraderie, and every runner is fed like family, while supplies last. Music playing, meatballs cooking, cowbells ringing, horns blaring, we are a nonstop cheering meatball machine! They think we're deranged, getting out there in the morning and making meatballs, but we know they're truly the wacky ones; they're running 26 miles!

I love Pittsburghers. Someone should set up an ACTUAL cookie table next year. Hell, I'll do it. I'm completely serious. We'll get all the bakeries to pitch in. Why the hell not? Imagine runners stopping all, "Do I want a thumbprint or a Mexican wedding cooki— Ooh! Ladylock! This is the perfect dessert after that meatball I just ate. Do you know if there's coffee ahead?"

Hope my sister is okay with baking 10,000 wedding cookie table cookies.

2. Girlbossing all up in this bitch like Nellie Bly

I realized I forgot to put together a Mother's Day Gift Guide this year, and I'm sorry about that. Between school and writing and the book, well, things fell through the cracks. I'll make it up to you with a kickass Yinzer Holiday Gift Guide, as I do every year. (Makers, start emailing me now with suggestions for that list!)

That said, I was hunting for some vintage stuff on Etsy when I visited one of my favorite Burghy shops and found this recently added sticker that your Burghy mom might love for her laptop (not an ad!):

She is indeed a girlboss. Always out there having to show the boy pierogies she can do what they do, while carrying a purse. I like to think she keeps ninja stars and a lipstick gun in her purse … like I do. [awkward kung fu moves]

Because one thing you never want to do is mess with a Pittsburgh girlboss. Just look at Nellie Bly. Her editor here tried to force her to write society-page drivel instead of her usual hard hitting exposes, so one day she left him a note all, "This girlboss is heading to NYC. Watch for me." And I like to think she then threw the peace sign and stalked toward the door shouting, "Bly out, bitches," before whipping a ninja star into the wall and "accidentally" knocking some Type-A schmuck named Percival's giant stack of papers off of this desk.

I have the best imagination.

3. A shrubbery! Full of litter!

Let's get serious for a moment here and talk about Pittsburgh's litter problem. I know you've noticed it. How dirty the roadsides are, litter everywhere, stuck to trees and shrubbery, gathering unbothered along the parkway ramps, blowing around downtown. It has gotten so bad.

I'm not the only one who has noticed, but as per my usual, I'm just the one being the loudest and most annoying about it. How bad has the problem gotten? Well, take a look at this TikTok/Insta Reel, and believe you me, when he says Pennsylvania, he means us. Here are some screenshots:

He's not the only one who noticed. Talk Pittsburgh noticed and now, Pittsburgh Magazine has noticed, with this piece by Sean Collier (full disclosure: Sean edits my mag columns). He asked me for a quote and boy, did I do some stretches before I sent him a fiery email. Here's a snippet of my quote in the piece*:

"Mayor Gainey doesn't seem to care at all and I can't get any City Council or County Council members to pay attention … our elected officials have completely given up and seem perfectly content to allow visitors to drive past piles of garbage as they enter our city. They've failed us and they don't seem to care."

Like Sean writes, there is a personal responsibility aspect here, but the litter is there now and we have got to get it cleaned up. We can't expect the volunteers of Allegheny Cleanways to clean up the whole city. We need the mayor to pressure PennDoT to clean the on and off ramps and the roadsides. We need the leaders to allocate resources to street sweeping. And we all need to do what we can to help make sure the problem doesn't get any worse than it already is. Otherwise, it will eventually start impacting business, convention, living and office space decisions that will put the city on a downward trajectory that we spent the better part of the 80s and 90s digging our way out of. It's time for us to team up and tackle this problem, and part of that teamwork is putting pressure on our elected officials to make a plan of action and implement it.

It's a sad day when Philadelphia can brag they're a cleaner city than Pittsburgh. But that's where we are. Here are just two pictures readers have sent me:

(Arabella Street)
(279 inbound ramp)

If you want to help, check out Allegheny Cleanways and sign up to volunteer for a litter pickup event! They recently cleaned up Allegheny River Boulevard which was in terrible shape. It looks fantastic now. Let's try to keep it that way, Pittsburgh.

At the very least, let's try to get as clean as [gag] Philly.

*Not an ad. No one asked me to share this article, nor am I under any sort of contract with the magazine that requires I share anything of theirs.

4. The tale of the gravestone of James B. Hogg

Recently while researching for a few fun things I have in the works, (mystery! suspense! shenanigans!) I stumbled upon a letter dated October 26, 1860 from a correspondent in Pittsburgh to the Franklin Repository and Transcript newspaper in Chambersburg, PA. In the letter, the writer describes Pittsburgh as …

"The rattle and clatter of the numberless drays, the whistle of the street cars, the smoke and soot … still however, no one can but notice how universally the spirit of go-a-head-a-tiveness is manifested."

After escaping the smoke and bustle of the city proper, the writer headed 'out of town" to … Allegheny Cemetery, a "half an hour's ride" away. As he and his traveling companion began walking the cemetery, they noticed a well-worn path that had clearly been trod often by visitors. Their curiosity piqued, they followed it to see whose grave so many had visited. The path led them to this gravestone:

Larger memorial image loading...

What is depicted in that worn gravestone is an artist's rendering of what would have been the last moments of James B. Hogg's life aboard the ill-fated steamer Arctic which sank near Newfoundland on a journey from England in September of 1854 after colliding with a smaller French ship. The Arctic was sailing with 226 passengers (not including their children), and 175 employees … and lifeboats enough for 210 people.

The gravestone is evocative: a sailor struggling in vain to manage a sail. A woman, in the throes of terror. A small lifeless body being tended to. Water.

It is actually a testament to Hogg that he died on that boat. Why?

As printed by The Pittsburgh Gazette at the time, as the boat sank, the "firemen" rushed the liferafts being arranged for the women and children. One of those liferafts broke apart and sank completely under the mad rush of men. Another left in a hurry, filled only with men and with space for more passengers. Another was never able to be launched before the steamer sank. All told, only 88 passengers survived. All men.

The Gazette reported on a rescue ship arriving in Quebec with surviving crew members: "They saved themselves by clinging to a raft. As yet we have not heard of any of the lady passengers or children being saved."

There were several first-person accounts printed detailing how the men rushed the boats and left behind all women and children (and many other men), who went down with the ship. So this is me telling you that the next time you take a stroll through Allegheny Cemetery, spend a beat at this gravestone, admire the faded, eroded artistry from 1854 before time erases it fully, and think of Pittsburgh's James Hogg, who didn't survive.

Also, this shiz is why I'm never setting foot on a cruise.

No thanks! I'd rather run a meatball marathon.

5. I'm out of space!

That's all for this week! Be sure to come out and see my Hole cover band Shrubbery Full of Garbage! Be kind! Don't litter! And no matter what, if you ever see me running, assume it's the start of the zombie apocalypse, and just start running too. Because whatever is after me is BAD NEWS.

See you next week!