To give anything less than your best is to
sacrifice the gift.
- Steve Prefontaine, from a poster hanging above Keith Geiger's bed
Texas- The Texas economy grew 3.3% in 2011, placing the Lone Star State among the fastest growing state economies in the country. Texas now accounts for 8.7% of the nation's economy, up from 7.4% ten years ago. No wonder J.R. and the gang from "Dallas" are back on TV.
Productivity- According to the Labor Dept., nonfarm productivity fell at a 0.9% annual rate in the first quarter, the biggest slide in over a year. The fact that the amount of time people spent on Twitter increased by 56% over the same time period is purely coincidental.
Garbage- According to the World Bank, the total amount of garbage generated by urban residents around the world will surge to 2.2 billion tons a year in 2025 from today's 1.3 billion tons per year. This problem signals the biggest explosion of trash since the Kardashian sisters went solo.
Just Plain Marginal
Steroids- In the nine seasons before major league baseball began testing for steroids, players crashed the 50-home run threshold 18 times and the 60-home run barrier six times. In the nine seasons with steroid testing, there have been only six 50-homer seasons, and no one has hit 60. Has anyone noticed that since he retired from baseball, Barry Bonds looks less like Godzilla and more like Michael Jackson?
Views From the Cheap Seats
Three years ago, you donned a cap and gown and strode in your sneakers along the Campolindo football field to scoop up your high school diploma. My favorite memory from that special day was the picture we took of you and your record setting 4×1600 meter teammates at the track and field record board, standing next to a brand new plaque featuring the name "R. Geiger" that I thought would last forever.
Sitting in the sun-splashed bleachers that hot afternoon, looking more bored than Mark Zuckerberg opening up his Visa bill, was your kid brother Keith, coming off a freshman year of high school that was significant for its insignificance. I remember looking over at Keith and wondering what was going through his fourteen-year old mind, watching his Joe-Cool older brother, blessed with the athletic and mental talent that got him into the Ivy League, being fussed over by his pretty girlfriend like a teenage rock star.
A few weeks later, I stumbled upon a blog posting where Keith wrote about his admiration for you, and how much he was going to miss you when you went away to Brown. He also wrote that by the time he graduated from dear old Campo High, he was going to be as smart as you, just as cool as you, and just as fast as you. "That's a pretty high mountain to climb," I thought at the time.
Then I remembered the family vacation of 2001 to the Grand Canyon, and the famous Keith Geiger "Climb."
I think you were about ten years old at the time, which means Keith was all of seven. It was late in the afternoon, and we faced an uphill, two-mile long climb back to the canyon's rim. The Pretty Blonde and I wondered if Keith would be able to make it on his own, since back then he showed about as much interest in physical activity as he did in Brussels sprouts. But something lit a fire inside of Keith that day, and he practically ran to the top. He beat all of us, and I learned that day never to doubt his will.
This brings me to today; Keith's high school graduation. Is he as smart as you? Based on grades and board scores, he's smarter. But you're not doing too badly at Brown. Is he as cool as you? No clue, but I do know you have to be something special to be asked by your coach to be a team captain. Twice. Then again, we could just ask his pretty girlfriend.
Is Keith as fast as you? That's something we'll be debating over the family dinner table for years. In the meantime, I'll be sure to send you a picture of Keith and his record setting 4×1600 meter teammates at the track and field record board, standing next to a brand new plaque that now features the name "K. Geiger." I'll send you back the old ones.
Have a nice day.
Click on LeeGeiger.com to learn more about…well…Lee Geiger