From the Director of Microsoft's Azure Services Platform Ecosystem

Brandon Watson

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Latest Blogs from Brandon Watson
To prevent a hectic end of year gathering of reviews, I figured I would just share out some interesting books I have read each quarter. There’s been a reasonable mix of sports related (trail running is a new hobby and focus) with business and sci-fi/fantasy. Best Business Book Wi...
It looks like I forgot to do this last year. Not sure why, but it didn’t get done. Ever since I was a kid, books have been a part of my life. I wasn’t so much a fan of reading, but for as long as I can remember, my father more or less read a […]
I have a list of “wants” for 2017, and the planning has been in place for some time. However, the first of the negotiated approvals has landed, registration has opened, and we are locked in for 2017. As with the Cape Epic in 2016, Alex and I are going to take on a multi-day...
I’m quite sad today. Sad. Disgusted. Angry. Troubled. I also feel a bit lost. Utterly without answers. My race has always been an interesting topic in my life. Growing up, I was surrounded by white kids. I went to a private K-8 and high school. During my high school years, I read...
Kids Sports I was going to sell my old triathlon wetsuit. It’s not worth a ton, but it’s worth something. I had the posting up on Craigslist, but in the interest of trying to provide Life Nudges wherever I could, I had the following text: This is my old sleeveless wetsuit. ...
Just one for this week, as it’s pretty important. Functioning Marriages – I have been fortunate to be married to the same woman for just about 15 years. We’ve been together for 17. We can, and do, talk about anything. We don’t have any secrets. The vast majority...
Kids Sports My kids were in camp this past week. Boulder being Boulder, they were in a rock gym camp. They loved it. There were a bunch of kids there who didn’t have the same high opinion. One kid in particular was eyeballing the wall and kept saying to the counselor that he was ...
Dear Garmin – Hey girl, how are you doing? It’s been a while since I have told you I love you. I love you. Why? Come on now, don’t play games. When I needed you the most, you were there for me. You took a hit for the team. You literally put yourself in harm’s [&...
Discovering Humility in Serving Others – I never worked in a restaurant. Nor any traditional service industry job. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity this past week to act as an extra pair of hands for my tri coach Ben Bigglestone. He ran a training camp in Coeur d̵...
Starting a Business Surprising that the theme this week would again be around starting a business. Not super surprising, given my background and the things my brain likes to jump to, but here we are. A friend has a good idea for a company he wants to go start. He’s even spoken to...
Mountain bikes – this one should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but now that I am back on the bike a bit more regularly after a several month hiatus, I really do miss it. More than anything, it’s the ability for the bike to take me to places that I might [̷...
Summary: A week ago, I posted about my own experiences with Life Nudges. As part of my time off to design the life I want, I am going to be intentional about chronicling a few things. One of them is my weekly gratitude. Another is tracking Life Nudges (either mine, or recounting storie...
As part of my sabbatical, I have made a commitment to much introspection. I have also wanted to take the path of logging things for which I am grateful. I am not sure what the ultimate form will be, but for now, it’s a bullet list. Family Vacation – I was lucky enough to be...
It’s important to have dreams. As children, we all had dreams; sadly, for many of us, they remain unfulfilled as adults. Think back to some of your dreams you had as a kid. How many of them have come to pass? How many of them have you chased after? How many have ended up in […]
This is a really scary essay to pull together, but there’s a lot swirling around in my head and I wanted to write it down. I needed a focusing lens, and this is the medium. If you had the ability to take a year and retool yourself, with the benefit of 20 years of adult life […]...
With the benefit of a few days since the conclusion of the 2016 edition of the Absa Cape Epic, I thought long and hard about writing a race report. Alex, my teammate for the race, has already posted his race report. The more I tried to stitch together a narrative about the week of raci...
I had a dream once about MotoGP. The year was 2011 and Loris Capirossi was racing his last MotoGP race. He was a very talented rider. He was an aggressive rider. He was a champion that others respected and hated. He also pulled some shit: The important thing to remember in this clip is...
In general, there are no “bad” days when you are racing. To have the opportunity to behave like a boy for a prolonged period of time, without a care in the world (other than “get to the finish line”), is a magical thing. Sure, there are days when you could have ...
I decided to mix things up this year and try a few different competition formats. This was mostly to keep the year interesting, and to hopefully stave off the inevitable burn-out which comes from many months of sustained training. Based on the performance at this race, I have a mixed r...
It wasn’t the race I wanted. It was the race I got. I can’t possibly be upset with a PR. I can be a little upset that I hit some problems on the run, as per usual. The silver lining is that the problems on the run were new. We’ll get to that. In my […]
I selected this Ironman 70.3 race in Monterrey, MX because it was early in the season, the course is relatively tame, and I felt like an international race in a non-English speaking country would afford a sense of adventure. The result so far? Ah jeez… Let’s start with the ...
Ever since taking on the new position at Datalogix (now Oracle), I have been coming up to speed on a variety of topics related to AdTech. It’s been a fun, but challenging, learning curve. One of the distinct differences in this role and every other role I have had designing and b...
I’ve completed exactly one training session on my Wahoo Kickr. During my research, I had seen mixed reports about the comparisons of power reported by Kickrs (all trainers, really) and crank based power meters. As this is my new training tool of choice for my structured, indoor s...
My Wahoo Kickr arrived today, and I couldn’t be more excited. I have had a, erm, lower end trainer for the last handful of years (okay, really, I purchased it in 2003, and it’s rock solid, but it needed to be upgraded). I was fortunate enough to win a competitive fluid base...
Yeah, so today I learned just how fast pros are. Specifically, current (and 3x) Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae. From the moment she passed me (going uphill into about 15mph wind) to the time I could snap this photo, she covered that distance. I run with my phone in my hand, so ...
This will be a bit of a humblebrag post. I love living in Boulder. The reason? Being able to get outside. In the winter. With sunlight. That whole “8” of snow in the backyard” thing? Distant memory. Amazing how fast the snow clears out here. Getting up in the morning ...
It has been an interesting couple of months trying to get my body acclimated to training at altitude. I had been told (sold?) a variety of time frames for this process. Anything from 2 weeks to 6 months. My personal observations thus far has been that I have been erring on the side of ...
The other day, I posted about my experience with the Wahoo Kickr, and some power reading anomalies that I experience. When I first purchased the Quarq, I read that it was calibrated at the factory. My read on that was that it was calibrated. It turns out that calibration is a loaded te...
tl;dr version – the Kickr is a solid trainer that I think will make a welcome addition to my training arsenal. I will sell the CycleOps Fluid2 to anyone who is interested. Somewhere in the middle of last season, I finally caved and purchased a power meter for my bike. I have read...
We took the kids over to the Denver Aquarium today, hoping to take advantage of the New Year holiday and hopefully hit no crowds. For this installment of Today I Learned, I was surprised to find out that a large school of piranha can apparently eat an entire cow in 3-4 minutes. 3. To. ...
Books Read in 2014 Brandon’s favorite books » Share book reviews and ratings with Brandon, and even join a book club on Goodreads. For 2014, I wanted to read 100 books this year. All in, I read 120. This number is inclusive of graphic novels. I include those titles, but not indiv...
In the spirit of reddit’s “today I learned” subreddit, I have decided that at least once a week, I want to share something that I learned. Today’s edition is about running in the cold. And by cold I mean…brrrrrrrrrrrr cold. There’s been a bit of a co...
I find myself on the eve of the known unknown. It’s been 9 years 1 month since I last completed an Ironman. I know what to expect. Yet there are so many unanswered questions. One question I can answer is how to play along at home. You can track me here. In keeping with my […...
As I wake upon the precipice of tomorrow, I find myself in a reflective mood. I’ve written so much about my training and plans to get me to this point, but haven’t spent nearly enough time on thanking the people who have been a part of the team to get me here. The value of ...
As part of my 2014 goals, I wanted to try and connect my endurance athletic training and events with a cause in which I believed. That cause is furthering STEM education in our high school age students. 26 years ago I started high school (jeez, am I really that old?) and the then (and ...
Race day is close upon me.  I have raced many events, and every time there is that part of me that wants to believe that I am ready, but deep down inside, I always had a nagging doubt. There was always something that wasn’t quite right. A run that didn’t go well. A bonk on ...
The look on my face carries quite a bit of context. It was a tough day on course yesterday. The Budu Racing series hosts quite a number of races I have come to love while living in Seattle. True, most of them are mountain bike races, but the organizers also run a number of multi-sport ...
This is a post about little things having huge impacts. It’s hard to have a macro perspective on life when you have a short frame of reference against which to measure it, so what happened 20 years ago was harder to understand than it is today. Things can happen in your life that...
Sometimes it’s the sweet suffering that get’s you through the race. Sometimes you have to dig just a little bit deeper to get to the finish. Sometimes it hurts so much that you have to grit your teeth and swear to yourself that you’ll stop pushing once you catch ̶...
And that, boys and girls, is how you put the wood to the pile. Ouch! What a tough week. The long run on Sunday was particularly nasty because of the inadvertent inclusion of 1,600′ of climbing. That wasn’t my intent. It just sort of worked out that way. Distances reported b...