I am writing this letter at 5:00 AM, holed up in a luxury suite at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas—still on “stock market time,” or up four hours earlier than the rest of the country, while everyone else here is sleeping off hangovers.
It is a tradition among old traders to perform some ceremony when good fortune smiled upon them. At Morgan Stanley, the head trader in Tokyo used to take his team to a Shinto shrine and pray to the gods whenever they bagged something big, like eight digits. It is all a way of reminding oneself of the transitory nature of life and to reinforce humility.
Whenever I have an unusually hot hand, I do what I usually do, and jump into the cockpit of a souped up plane and execute some daredevil aerobatic maneuvers over the Grand Canyon in Arizona. I flew out to the Western section of the park, where no one ever goes, and executed my ritual loops, barrel rolls, whip stalls, and Immelman turns, using the stunned river rafters on the Colorado River below as my point of orientation.
Air traffic control called me a view times to ask if everything was alright. In the end, the heat waves radiating off the black basalt mountains nearby caused such severe turbulence that just keeping my craft straight and level required some serious aerobatic talent.
To get there I had to fly commercial to Las Vegas. I dropped a quarter in a slot machine on the way to pick up my baggage and hit the jackpot. When I’m hot, I’m hot, and I mean sizzling!
I picked up my usual local intelligence from my friend, the black jack dealer at the Bellagio. The crepes for breakfast at the Paris, France Hotel were perfect, as always. I took The Babe to see the Cirque du Soleil show, “O”. Warning: do not sit in the front row! At the Bellagio the guests don’t throw up in the swimming pool like they do at the Aria. They just spill their drinks.
To wind up the weekend, I bungee jumped off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere. To watch the video, please click here at http://www.stratospherehotel.com/Tower/Rides/SkyJump ., I can’t help it, but every now and then I need a shot of adrenaline to remind me that I am still alive.