The Instagram Husband

My name is Rick, and I’m an Instagram Husband.

My wife has had various ventures through the years. One side effect of being a military spouse, especially of a Navy pilot in training, is that we move ALL the time. That means she hasn’t been in one place long enough to make a typical career. So what does she do? She makes the most of it and always tries new things as they come up.

In addition to a few “normal” jobs, she tried  an independent consulting gig, a blog, and most recently selling women’s clothes (probably more on this one in a later post). Nowadays she has an Instagram account devoted to all things ketogenic and her personal journey. I think it’s great and I like to support however I can. One of those ways just happens to be taking pictures. A LOT of pictures. Not as many as when we sold clothes, but it’s still a lot.

This video cracks me up. A little more negative than my personal take, but it’s hilarious.

“Behind every cute girl on Instagram is an Instagram Husband. And a brick wall.”

A perfect season

Which do you prefer?

13-0 UCF Knights calling themselves national champions, OR

0-16 Cleveland Browns fans throwing a “perfect season” parade

Sports produce such interesting reactions in people. On one hand, you have the 13-0 University of Central Florida Knights football team. They have legitimate grievances, and a better claim than most, in that they went undefeated and beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl. The same Auburn team that beat both Alabama and Georgia, who are playing Monday for the official College Football Playoff National Championship.

That said, the whole College Football Playoff system, the descendant of the BCS I grew up on, was designed to crown one National Champion. You can’t ever satisfy everyone, but it’s the best we probably deserve. I think it is a fair compromise between a perfect world basketball March Madness style bracket and the fact that 20 year-old kids don’t need to be playing 20 bone-crushing games per season just to satisfy every blogger’s (ahem!) possible “who could beat whom” scenario.

If you accept that no system is perfect and someone will always be unhappy with you, UCF’s “we’re calling ourselves the National Champions” seems a little disingenuous and honestly just rubs me the wrong way. There are of course various opinions.

Now on the flip side of sports, we have the glorious 0-16 Cleveland Browns. A proper sports writer would insert a clever historical perspective here, something like “the Patriots have more Super Bowls titles this century than the Browns have wins”. While that obviously isn’t true, it probably feels that way to the average Browns fan. So what do you do about it? Do you send mean tweets and demand the coach gets fired and all future team decisions be made by a committee of third graders?

Heck no! You throw a parade. A proper, tongue-firmly-in-cheek parade. That’s awesome. That strikes me as funny, cathartic and entirely healthy. And compared to the response out of Orlando, it just seems like a lot more fun.

My book of 2017 – Tribe by Sebastian Junger

I don’t read near as much as I would like, but audiobooks help. I have the book cued up on my phone in the Audible app, hop into the car or turn on my Bluetooth speaker and boom – it starts going.

That said, the best and most impactful book I read in 2017 was Tribe by Sebastian Junger. He’s the author of The Perfect Storm and War and also helped make the documentary “Restrepo.”

What I really loved about the book was how he explains the way we’re meant to live, with our tribes and close-knit communities caring for each other and setting aside our personal needs for the greater good. When was the last time, in your life, that you and your neighbors had to come together to in combined effort to supply the means for your survival, or even just your comfort? For me, outside military training, it’s been a while.

Junger argues convincingly that the lack of this common struggle and the bond it creates is what’s missing in modern society. I especially enjoyed the tidbits on residents of London during the Battle of Britain. Reported cases of depression and anxiety actually DEcreased during the period. Junger original goal was to explain the epidemic of PTSD among combat troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In combat they were fighting for their very lives and the lives of those next to them. Back home, they don’t really have to fight for anything.

It’s a quick read, only about 3.5 hours on audiobook. Well worth it, especially for anyone who is caring for someone with PTSD, anxiety or depression.

Podcasts right now

I’m pretty into podcasts right now. I don’t have a long commute to work, but even the short 15-20 minutes goes quicker with something interesting to listen to. Plus it keeps me learning new things.

My top three podcasts right now are:

  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, especially the “Blueprint to Armageddon” series on World War 1
  • Jocko Podcast, especially #98 with Dr Jordan Peterson. Also, every parent should listen to #70 on protecting children from the unspeakable darkness that is out there.
  • Beyond the Uniform with Justin Nassiri. Justin is a fellow Naval Academy grad and former Navy submarine officer who interviews veterans from all ranks, services, warfare communities and civilian careers.

First blog post

This is my first blog post. WordPress added the photo but I’ll leave it for now. I think that’s Greece. I’ve been to Greece but not there specifically.

I started this blog to share my experiences and as a place to write down and tell people about my favorite things.

My name is Rick. I’m married to my wife, we’ll call her A, and we have an 11 month old daughter E. My day job is as a pilot in the US Navy and in my off time I enjoy cooking, reading, podcasts and playing peekaboo. I hope you enjoy the blog!