It was a complete-rookie, Vegas-newbie, bush-league-amateur thing to do. I lost my phone and Kindle. It's exactly the sort of thing you expect to happen on your first trip here, but not your tenth.

So it was a bad day. I was feeling like an idiot. Just generally depressed. But as has happened so many times on this trip, someone told me a story about their life that helped me put things in perspective.

The woman at the casino's lost and found told me to report it stolen. “If you report it stolen, they won't be able to reactivate it. If you report it lost, whoever has it may be able to use it,” she said. “If you ask me for something, I might give it to you. But if you take it from me, I'm going to make your life hard.”

There was an anger to the way she said it. And then she explained.

"I'm from an Amish family. We don't really take photographs. My mother died last year, and just before she passed away I went back home and took some pictures with my phone. The only photos I had of her.”

She left her phone in an employee bathroom. “For 12 minutes. That's it. But someone took it.”

And then she handed me back my Kindle. And later that day, I got my phone back. And a little perspective.

Posted on January 12, 2014 .