gaines without frontiers*


Two jobs ago, I had the best health insurance I’ve ever had, or probably ever will have. It helped that I worked at UAB, which meant there was a world-class academic health center literally right down the street from my office, but regardless, I could walk into UAB Hospital and have just about any…

The result of the play is a touchback by rule. The ball was first touched by the kicking team, batted back into the field of play illegally, and then it was attempted to be recovered, went out of the back of the end zone. As soon as it went out of the end zone, it was then a touchback because it was the KICK that put it into the end zone. Touchback.
NFL referee and explainer extraordinaire, Ed Hochuli, explaining…something.
Forgive Me This Minor Ramble About Myself

I’ve tried to not be too terribly obnoxious about it, but I have mentioned it a few times here and there: since the beginning of the year, I’ve been working really hard to get into shape. That’s no easy feat when you’ve let yourself go - I mean REALLY let yourself go - over the past decade, channeling a decade’s worth of depression, anxiety, soul-sucking underemployment and poor, hurtful life decisions into a never-ending mind-dulling cavalcade of alcohol and pizza. That itself is a story that may someday be told, and there’s been a lot of hard work in that regard as well, but as of now I’m choosing to focus on the present, the future, and the positive things hopefully in store therein.

So anyways, I’ve been working my ass off for the past 6-7 months to improve my physical lot in life. I was tired, literally, of having trouble staying awake, going up stairs, walking around town, fitting into chairs, being self conscious, buying ever-larger pants that were harder and harder to find outside of a big-n-tall (read: FAT PEOPLE) store, and all that other stuff that provided constant reminders of my failure to care for and about myself. In any case, getting into shape is no easy task when you’re 5’8” and somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. So far, I’m down about 60 pounds, with the end goal of another 60 pounds to go. I’m looking much more like my former self, the self I want to be .(physically, anyway, I have no desire to be anything like my 23-year-old self in nearly every other way)

When you’re obese, you may focus on things like your love handles, double chin, and beer gut as the primary “this is how fat I am” indicators. And to be sure, those things are obvious and, well, fat. But the thing that you tend to either not notice or ignore about being fat is that you’re fat EVERYWHERE, you might just not notice it because it’s EVERYWHERE. I have a shaved head. I’ve always pulled it off well due to a lovely smooth round dome for a head. But I hadn’t really noticed until today that my SCALP was fat. Yes, my scalp was fat, pushing fat on the side of my head up against my ears. And now it’s no longer so. The tops of my ears are no longer ever-so-slightly pushed out by my bulbous fat shorn scalp. It’s pretty cool. Everything was fat on my body, there was fat everywhere. And now there’s not.There’s still a lot of fat in and on my body, but there’s less of it every day.  And that’s worth Tumblragging (THAT’S SHORT FOR “TUMBLR BRAGGING,” A NEW TERM I JUST INVENTED RIGHT NOW COPYRIGHT 2013 PETER GAINES) about.


Walmart’s “Real American” Values, Vol. ∞

I needed to buy a couple things for the Fourth of July holiday and found myself in the vicinity of a Walmart. I don’t like shopping at Walmart - the company is actively working to hurt American workers and families - but it was nearby and I knew it would be open. 

This is what I saw. Despite its inescapable advertising, it appears the only values Walmart stands for (other than destroying wages and the American middle class) are sexism and racism. 



I left without spending a dime.

Which of these papers did NOT recently fire all their photogs?


Front pages, June 26, 2013. 


I am forever indebted to sorryyourheinous for dropping this delightful present into my inbox. THANK YOU!



I am forever indebted to sorryyourheinous for dropping this delightful present into my inbox. THANK YOU!



In the early years of space flight, both Russians and Americans used pencils in space. Unfortunately, pencil lead is made of graphite, a highly conductive material. Snapped graphite leads and particles in zero gravity are hugely problematic, as they will get sucked into the air ventilation or electronic equipment, easily causing shorts or fires in the pure oxygen environment of a capsule.

After the fire in Apollo 1 which killed all the astronauts on board, NASA required a writing instrument that wasn’t a fire hazard. Fisher spent over a million dollars (of his own money) creating a pressurized ball point pen, which NASA bought at $2.95 each. The Russian space program also switched over from pencils shortly after.

40 years later snide morons on the internet still snigger about it, because snide morons on the internet never know what they are talking about.

Turns. OUT!

(Can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to share this deflatingly accurate correction with The Snide.)

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.
Fred Rogers
LISTICLE: Top 10 Shirtless Coaches Of All Time, Ranked

Yesterday, a photo of Steve Spurrier coaching shirtless made the internet rounds, mostly with incorrect information that it was a new/recent thing. In fact, the picture was from last year. The confusion, however was understandable as Spurrier is but one of a grand tradition of (mostly, but not exclusively, as we shall see) southern coaches who ain’t skeered to let it all hang out. In honor of spring being right around the corner, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 greatest shirtless coaches.

10. Bruce Pearl, Tennessee


Source: Busted Coverage

We get it, dude, you like to take your shirt off. Nobody likes you, go away. This could have been the “Top 10 Bruce Pearl Shirtless Moments,” but we don’t want the blog to end up sanctioned by the NCAA, now do we?

9. Gib Arnold. Hawaii


(Source: Hawaii Video/Vimeo)

Hawaii basketball has a lot of recruiting disadvantages due to the location, but one big-ass recruiting advantage - it’s Hawaii. We had no idea who the hell Gib Arnold was before seeing this Hawaii basketball recruiting video, and we still have no idea if he knows anything about basketball. But he can teach his players to surf. So there’s that. 

8. Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox


(Source: Masshole Sports - obviously)

Who knows why he thought this was a good idea, but I’m willing to bet at least 70% of Red Sox fans have an identical picture of themselves at a party somewhere.

7. Bret Bielema, Arkansas


(Source: Deadspin)

After this photo hit the internet a couple years back, Wisconsin fans should have known Bielema’s departure for the SEC was going to happen someday. It just feels right there.

6. Barry Switzer, Oklahoma/Dallas


(Source: The Landry Hat)

Barry Switzer would assuredly rank higher on this scientifically-ranked list if there were better evidence of his shirtless hijinks, because if there’s one coach you KNOW has engaged in shirtless hijinks/drug-running/moonshining/etc., it’s Barry Switzer. But just sitting in a chair, drinking a beer, laughing? Barry, we know you can do better.

5. Pete Carroll, USC



Nobody likes a show-off, coach. We know you’re dreamy, you don’t have to rub it in. Try dressing like that in Seattle.

4. Bill Self, Kansas


(Source: Eh, all over the internet)

Bill Self is smart. He knows it is of the utmost importance to protect his investment up top - he paid a lot of money for that hair and damned if he’s going to let the Maui surf run off with it. He gets points on this list for not just lounging in a swimsuit but actually going into the water. Way to get after it, coach.

3. Harry Kipke, Michigan


(Source: MVictors)

How’s your Harry Kipke? You probably didn’t even know that Harry Kipke was the head coach at Meechigan in the ’30s, much less that he had a boat called the Flo. Now you know. Motherfucker was a boat captain. WITH A BOAT CAPTAIN HAT. That’s the Michigan Difference right there.

2. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina


Steve Spurrier is the dean of being shirtless. The Ol’ Ball Coach gives no fucks what you think about his middle-aged-slash-elderly body hanging out in the South Carolina breeze, because he’s Steve Fucking Spurrier. We should all be so lucky as to be Steve Spurrier’s tanned belly. Despite what you’ve seen on all the less-reputable sports sites out there in the last day, this is not a picture from this year’s spring practice. This is from last year, according to Spencer Hall, who would know.

1. Howard Schnellenberger, America


(Source: AP/Yahoo)

Steve Spurrier Shirtless News notwithstanding, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Spencer Hall of EDSBS over the years, it’s that Howard Schnellenberger tops the rankings (well, suspenders top the rankings. Howard Schnellenberger MAKES the rankings. I may not have learned the lesson all that well, now that I think about it. I don’t care). All the rankings. You got a problem with that, take it up with Schnelly.

Everything Old Is New Again - Marc Trestman, Jay Cutler, and Déjà Vu

Stop me if this sounds familiar:

[Jay Cutler], the quarterback, is looking particularly vulnerable. Last season, he was…Most Valuable Player, passing for a team record of 4,689 yards. In Monday night’s 31-10 defeat […] he was sacked five times and completed only 14 of 29 passing attempts. Defeat, and the constant battering… led [Cutler] to let his frustrations get the better of him in front of a national television audience, directing a stream of invective at […] the offensive co-ordinator.

[Cutler] may hold an award as Most Valuable Player, but he has little chance of winning one as most popular player. Never slow to point the finger at team mates, he cannot expect much support now that the fingers are pointing at him, but opinion is divided on whether he is a victim of [Chicago]’s poor start or its cause.

Bears fans have read these sentences, or sentences just like them, about a billion or so times in the 4 seasons since Jay Cutler came to Chicago. So what’s so special about the above quote?

It’s not about Jay Cutler (BOOM, HAMMER DROPPED). It’s a 2003 story from noted NFL journal The Times of London about Rich Gannon and the Oakland Raiders. The “offensive co-ordinator” mentioned as the subject of Gannon’s rage? You guessed it - Marc Trestman.

What’s the point here? The point is that if anyone can get a mercurial, inconsistent, physically gifted Jay Cutler to be a championship-caliber QB, it’s the guy who got the mercurial, inconsistent, physically gifted Rich Gannon to be a championship-caliber QB. I hope.