The Normans in North America!

Still Living the Adventure

2011 in Books (Kevin) December 30, 2011

Filed under: Misc — kgnorman @ 5:32 PM

Following the example of my friend Tony, here is a list of the books I read this year. Some really good books (some just ok :))

In Chronological Order (roughly):
Darkest fear

Back spin
Waiting on God*
Hinds feet in high places
Why is it always about you?
The cost of discipleship (30%)
Experiencing God
Half the Sky*
In the Name of Jesus
Pagan Christianity*

Love Wins
A New Kind of Christian
The Way of the Heart
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
The Heavenly Man*
Inside out*
Bonhoeffer (finally finished last 200 pages)
In the Presence of My Enemies
The Princess and the Goblin

The book of useless information
In His Image
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
For Men Only

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Changing Diapers (most of it)
Radical (skimmed last 40 pages)
The Spirit of the Disciplines*


(* indicates a book that I would highly recommend)


38 weeks and counting April 23, 2010

Filed under: Baby,Misc,Pregnancy,Random Pictures — kgnorman @ 4:19 PM

There’s nothing to report yet, but I didn’t want anyone thinking that inactivity on the blog meant that the baby had arrived.  We’re still waiting patiently, and certainly not in any hurry 🙂

As a side note, we’ve now got another family living with us, and they’re expecting, too!  Two pigeons have taken up residence on our porch, around a corner of our “laundry nook.”  It’s actually quite inconvenient to have them there, because they make all kinds of fuss when we have to do laundry.  For a few weeks, I would stand guard with a broom while Keely loaded the washing machine because the pigeons would try to attack us.  I just didn’t have the heart to get rid of the nest (well, Keely didn’t have the heart — I would have slept just fine afterward).

Here’s their home.  I have no idea how long pigeons’ gestational period is, but I’m hoping the eggs hatch the same day Keely gives birth to our little one.

Not much of a nest, but I guess they don't need a lot since it's got tile flooring


Product review: Vibram Five Fingers KSO February 3, 2010

Filed under: Misc — kgnorman @ 11:40 AM

I’ll put the picture up first to pique your interest.  Yes, I know these are weird shoes and you look weird when you wear them.

They're almost like rubber toe-socks I guess.

There’s a lot of budding research into the benefits of running barefoot.   Big names are getting in the game, like Harvard, MIT, and Oxford.  The initial results seem to indicate that the natural gait of a barefoot runner is far easier on your body due to the differences in how your foot strikes the ground.  Shod runners are inclined to strike with the heel, sending an extreme amount of force up the leg, whereas the barefoot runners naturally strike with the mid-section of the foot, allowing the foot to act like a spring and dampen the force on the rest of the leg.   The research suggests that running with shoes protects your feet but destroys the rest of your body, while barefoot running does the opposite.

My initial results have been positive.  I’ve only run about a dozen times, each between 2 and 4 miles, but my joints feel great.  The change from shod running means that different muscles are being exercised — specifically the calves.  If you decide to try these out, expect your calves to be in some major pain until your body adjusts.  Which reminds me — if you’re going to make the switch, do it gently.  Don’t run 10 miles your first day running barefoot.  Take it easy and you’ll find the transition much more enjoyable.  Also, stretch your calves a lot.

That said, I’m really enjoying them.  My gait has definitely changed from my previous heel-striking days, and I’m now taking much shorter and quicker strides.  I’m eager to try some longer runs in them — we’ll see how it goes after 45 minutes or an hour.  I hope to have good news to report!   The rubber sole provides enough protection to keep your feet from hazards on the roads but it’s still thin enough to feel like you’re barefoot.

I don’t have anything to report yet for durability, but I expect them to last at least as long as your average $100 pair of running shoes.  These cost me $80, which is more than I wanted to pay, but certainly not outrageous considering what you’d pay for a pair of Asics Cumulus 10 (the shoes that carried me through the Marine Corps Marathon).

I heartily recommend these, especially if you can get past the embarrassment factor.  Happy running!


Experimenting with hair clippers December 15, 2009

Filed under: Life in NA,Misc — kgnorman @ 7:39 AM

Over the years, I’ve met a good number of guys who cut their own hair.  I decided that I want to be one of those guys.  Thus, below you have my first attempt 🙂

There were a few stops on the way from start to finish, as I tried different methods/hair lengths.  Suffice it to say that we’ll keep practicing before we land with a haircut other than the one pictured below.

This doesn't look promising. There is only one way this can end...

At least it saves me time in the morning! We'll keep trying on the facial hair to get some of those years back.