Solve the riddle, and get a free pass to MIX

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As you may know, MIX is coming up very soon – March 18-20 at the Venetian in Las Vegas. You can find the full details on the conference at It’s an unmissable conference, now more than ever, and if you haven’t had the chance (or the budget) to sign up, I have a free pass to the conference to give away. Note that it’s just a conference pass, and that hotel, airfare etc. are not included. Still it’s close to a $1400 value, so why not? 🙂image

Still interested? Good!

Take a look at the Deep Zoom image below. If you can’t see the IFrame, you can also link to the image directly here.

I was close to somewhere pretty famous when I took this picture. It’s a place I’d always wanted to visit, and I was doing some research on the general area for a book that I was working on. This big guy snuck up on me, scared the life out of me, and I got into my car and drove off. I figured nobody would believe my story so I took a quick snap of him. Sorry it’s blurred! I was wearing a bright red jacket (just like this one!) too. There’s an implicit clue in this story, as well as some joke-clues in the picture itself.



So, leave a comment with your guess for where you think I was when I took this picture. If you guess right, you’ve earned yourself a pass for MIX. Please remember that it’s only a conference pass and not airfare, hotel, meals or anything else. If you can’t attend the conference, but want to guess anyway, go ahead!

Comments (33)

  1. Programmerman says:

    Are you in Boulder, near the University of Colorado? That’s the first thing that popped into my mind.

  2. Solve a riddle and it’s yours! (You can find the full details on the conference at

  3. Keith Farmer says:

    Joshua Tree National Park, perhaps?

  4. shinyhat says:

    I’m going with Pamplona, Spain.

  5. Wolf Logan says:

    Did my guess of Area 51 in Nevada get lost? Abducted by aliens, perhaps?

  6. Craig says:

    How about Yucca Mountain in NV.

  7. Craig says:

    Yucca Mountain.  Everybody loves nuclear waste.

  8. I’ll give the answer out on Monday (along with another riddle).

    The first person who has it right (maybe it’s one of you guys here, maybe it isn’t), will get first pass at the pass.

    Keep ’em coming…

  9. crpietschmann says:

    I’m not sure if my answer posted so here it is again…

    Is it Vienna Austria?

  10. Keith Farmer says:

    I stand by my suggestion of Joshua Tree National Park or vicinity.  Dare I suggest you were watching the soccer match against Sweden in Carson, CA?

  11. Barry Stahl says:

    I’m thinking it’s Whistler Blackcomb, BC.

  12. JustinS says:

    How about Death Valley?  "Scared the life out of me?"  No?

  13. Some great guesses here, including a few that made me chuckle.

    Remember, even if someone has guessed what you think the answer is already, don’t be afraid to post it, because it could be right, and someone who guessed already may not be able to go to MIX.


  14. joewood says:

    Random guess (from the bull and the jacket)…

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada – new the rockies.

  15. Matthew says:

    I’m going to guess the Netherlands

  16. Joe says:

    Is it possibly Slovakia, Austria?

  17. Yucca Mountain. There are yuccas in the background!

  18. Ryan van der Kooy says:

    I would say somewhere near Estadio Azteca…..Tlalpan, Mexico City.  

  19. Steve Strong says:

    I am zooming all over the picture, thinking you added another picture using deep zoom.  I even look in the reflection of the eyes to see if I could see what you both were look at.    I could really use that mix pass.   I will say Area 51 for now, but I may guess again

  20. EthanT says:

    Estadio Azteca in Tlalpan, Mexico City?

  21. Deb Walker says:

    I’m also going with the Running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain…

  22. Joe says:

    Shenyang, China…watching the Netherlands vs Japan game at the Olympics.

  23. Buddy says:

    Little Bighorn ‘General’ Custer’s Last Stand vs Sitting ‘Bull’.  You were in the ‘general area’

  24. Oh my, some really creative guesses here.

    It may have been gotten already, or it may not have…keep trying.

    I’m preparing another riddle to post tomorrow along with the winner of this one…so watch this space 🙂

  25. @Steve Strong

    The bull and I weren’t looking at the same thing. He was looking at me with that mean look on his face and clearly thinking that I’d make a light snack 🙂

  26. You are in Mexico not far from (or on your way to) the Azteca Stadium.

  27. Mexico City near Azteca stadium to see a soccer game between the US and Mexico — probably for the CONCACAF tournament last year.  I’m guessing you are writing a book on soccer (and not on Silverlight or anything related to programming) and that you’ve probably written articles or followed soccer closely enough to want to write a book about it.

  28. To be more precise, you are in Teotihuacan (near Mexico City) to visit the pyramids of the Sun and Moon.  I’ve been there, and climbed both — they are amazing to see…

  29. TRobinson says:

    China, at the Olympic soccer games

  30. TRobinson says:

    China, at the Olympic soccer games

  31. …and the winner is…..

    Wolf Logan who correctly guessed ‘Area 51’.

    This was in 2006, and I was down in LV for the very first MIX (I didn’t work for Microsoft at the time). It was the Sunday before the conference began so I had a bit of spare time, and hired a car to drive up the Rachel, NV. Stopped at the ‘Little Ale-In’ and was given directions on the best places to (safely and legally) get close to A51. Was told to wear something ‘bright colored’ so nobody would think I was trying to sneak in. As a soccer fan I had that bright red jacket. So I drove down the highway, got onto a dirt road and went as far as I thought it would be safe to do so.

    I got out my binoculars and started looking around.

    Then I heard a rustle. I though ‘oh crap I’ve gone too far and I’m going to get arrested’. The bull was about 10 feet from me and as big as a bus. I *ran* to my car, faster than Ive ever run before (Thank goodness I left the ignition running) and started to drive off. Then, I realized that nobody would ever believe that I had been chased from Area 51 by a Bull that looked like it had been reprogrammed (look at the scars on his side and head) so I took a picture of him before driving off. 🙂

    There’s another riddle coming later today, hopefully a little less obscure…and with the same prize…

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