The Greatness of Bill Murray

"My hope, always, is that it's going to wake me up. I'm only connected for seconds, minutes a day, sometimes. And suddenly, you go, 'Holy cow, I've been asleep for two days. I've been doing things, but I'm just out.' If I see someone who's out cold on their feet, I'm going to try to wake that person up. It's what I'd want someone to do for me. Wake me the hell up and come back to the planet."

Porter Airlines aka A Testament to Canada

Porter has its own terminal in the Toronto airport. Inside, there's a cafeteria full of stocked fridges (water bottles and sodas), self-serve espresso machines, cookies, nuts, tea etc...

I don't see any airline employees working the cafeteria. Its simply an open area in the middle of the terminal where people help themselves to whatever food they want. And it's all for free. Watching the passengers interact with the kitchen is the perfect example of Canadian behavior. They just calmly get up, go to the cafetaria and take what they want in a restrained, self-organized and respectful fashion.

The cafeteria has ceramic cups for the coffee. People make their own coffee and chose how many espresso shots they want to include, just like at home. After pouring, they place their ceramic cup into a ceramic saucer and bring it back to their seat in the terminal. Once done, they bring the cups back to the cafeteria and put them in the washing machine.

In America, people would be stockpiling items. Here, they take one thing and just go back and sit. In America, there'd never be ceramic cups that could break and cause a mess. In America, people wouldn't leave their laptops unattended at their seat while they go up to the free self-serving kitchen.

I think "god, Canada is a quanity little counry" as I board the plane back to reality.

If Jordan stays retired (in '93) where does he rank?

My friend Ryan posed a pretty interesting question a couple months back:

If Jordan retires (the first time) and never comes back, what's his legacy. Where does he stand on the "all time" lists, etc.

Arguing over subjective basketball topics is one of my favorite pastimes so this was a pretty great question to ponder. My initial response was:

Really, really good question. Stays in top 5. Brings him to 9 seasons where Bird played 12 and Johnson 13. I'd put it then at 1)Russel 2)Kareem 3) Johnson 4) Jordan 5) Bird 6) Duncan.

Ryan responds with his take. Dives more into the culturual impact of MJ and the importance of the 72-10 season.

I fought hard that he's still in the conversation. People were already looking for the "next jordan" even before retirement part 1. He never gets the 72-10 season if he doesn't get back. I think even more than the rings, that's his crowning achievement and further cements the "he makes his whole team better" viewpoint.
The other guy said no way. Also says jordan hype in general is based on growth in popularity of both basketball and nike during the early 90s, both of which he was the face... and not that he necessarily should be considered best of all time.

Finally, I reach out to my other friend Mo for his thoughs. I'd say he came in with the winning response:

MJ Basketball Accolades at the time of first retirement in 1993
- Three consecutive championships
- Three consecutive Finals MVP
- Seven consecutive scoring titles
- Three MVP awards
- Six consecutive all NBA Defense
- Seven consecutive All NBA first team
- Rookie of the year
- NCAA champion
- Two Olympic gold
- Playoff Record 63 points (still stands)
- Dropped 69 points in a regular season game
- The shot
- The hand switch layup in the finals (side note: to cap 13 consecutive FGs)
- The (questionable) free throw dunk winning the dunk contest, still iconic.
- The shoes everyone was and still is wearing

Some of the above may be irrelevant to the GOAT argument, but I think by then he'd already thrown his hat into the ring. He came into a league containing Bird's Celtics, Magic's Lakers and the Isaiah's Pistons (each of those teams had a roster of all stars and at least 3 hall of famers starting). Transformed a 27-55 team to a playoff team, under 3 different coaches, in his first 3 seasons averaging 43 ppg in the playoffs in one yr and 37 in the reg season in another. Ran into the aforementioned power houses putting up ridiculous individual numbers time after time. If he had come into the league 10 years earlier when the NBA was getting a different champion year after year, I think a Jordan-led team could have pulled a Bill Russell-eque sweep of the 70s.

The comeback (really only the three-peat years matter) was what makes him untouchable:

- Three consecutive championships
- Three consecutive Finals MVP
- Two consecutive MVPs
- Three consecutive scoring titles
- Bryon Russell
- Flu game
- .....Space Jam

So, with all of that said, where do you think MJ would stand if he never came back?

Thanks to Ryan and Mo for contributing 85% of this post.

Street Vendor Customer Service

I've gotten into a routine of buying coffee and bananas every morning. I get off the F train at 23rd street, head north 2 blocks and get a large coffee from a coffee truck and 3 bananas from the neighboring fruit stand.

These stands are your typical for NYC -- one guy (ostensible the owner) working alone selling a narrow range of culinary products. What impressed me about them both are the little things they do to make my experience special.

Lets start with the coffee truck. The "Hello. How are you this morning" I get every day is the happiest and most genuine hello I get all week. There's a big smile on his face and his enthusiasm is palpable. To top that off, he has my order memorized. Yes, its just a large black coffee -- the easiest order to remember -- but still, he's put in the effort to remember it and starts preparing it before I even get to the front of a line.

Next door, the man who runs the fruit stand throws in a free banana once a twice or week. Given that the normal price is 3 for $1 (expensive as far as fruit stands go), upping that to 4 for $1 is a nice, unexpected and non-necessary, surprise. Even more, he somehow manages to always do it on the days that I'm in a bad mood -- always puts a smile on my face.

Both guys are running their own business and are doing the little things to make their customers come back. It reminds me of a quote from the founder of Slack, Stewart Butterfield:

"Every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity. If you go above and beyond on the customer service side, people are much more likely to recommend you."

Good principles to live by, whether you're running a street cart, a billion dollar company, or an early ad-tech company.

Trying out a MacBook Air

I'm getting my MacBook Pro (15" Retina) repaired. In the interim, I'm using a 13" MacBook Air as a replacement.

First thoughts:

1) Weight: The Air is so fricking light. I never though of my PRO as particularly heavy but the MBP is just a different league. Turns out a 33% weight reduction is actually a big deal.
2) Screen: Amazed at how noticeable switching to a non-Retina screen is. Everything looks crappy. Shows how used to the Pro's screen I've become without even realizing it.
3) Battery: The Air's battery life is simply amazing. I'm getting over 7 hours on this thing compared to <3 on my Pro. Wonder how much of this is because of the non-Retina screen.

Overall, the Air is highly usable. I do miss the screen real-estate that comes with 15" though.

My ideal computer specs: 14" with Retina screen and form factor of the Air.

Update: The one negative with the Air being so light is that I find myself constantly thinking I've forgotten to bring my computer with me. Good problem to have.