Read Patrick Henry’s Speech, "Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!" (117/366)


“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave … the war is inevitable — and let it come! … I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
~
Patrick Henry


“Give me liberty, or give me death!” is a famous American quote. People all over the United States know it, but not many people can remember who it’s attributed to, and even fewer have read the text of this extremely rousing and powerful speech. I was one of the above! I was both, actually – and that’s why I decided to find out more about this cornerstone of American History.

Patrick Henry delivered this speech in on March 23, 1775, in Richmond, Virginia, to delegates including *future* US presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Tensions were high between Britain and the Colonists, Britain had begun sending militia to America, and other states had begun preparing to defend themselves in the event of a war. This speech is credited with convincing the House that Virginia, the largest colony in America, should join the American Revolution.

Here is the full text:
MR. PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet.

Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort.

I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted?

Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free – if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending – if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

I was surprised at how eloquent and how rousing this speech really was. The story is that Henry gave this speech with no notes, and spoke in a voice that grew louder and louder, more and more passionate, and that at the end of it, the delegates cried, “To arms! To arms!” and “Give me liberty, or give me death!” I can only imagine what it must have been like to hear this speech first hand, and what was going through the minds of the delegates. What a turning point in American history! A lot of times it’s hard to identify with the people we learn about in the history books (and that’s understandable – there are a
lot of differences between us sometimes), but reading a speech like this was a fascinating reminder for me that our founding fathers were human too – they had concerns, doubts, and real fear for their freedom and future. They sometimes didn’t know if they were making the right decisions for themselves, their families, and the budding new country they were forming – and yet they foraged ahead, and thank goodness they did. I love my country!

Related Links:
History.org – Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

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Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle Mat (116/366)


“The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.”
~
Douglas Horton


I recently purchased a Giants jigsaw puzzle (awesome) of AT&T Park, and wanted to open it. We don’t really do jigsaw puzzles, so when I thought about starting it, I realized if I wasn’t going to sit down and do the whole thing in a weekend, I’d need to either dedicate a space for the puzzle so it could stay undisturbed until I could complete it … or figure something else out. I remembered that they sell jigsaw puzzle mats where you build the puzzle on the mat and when you need to store it you just roll the whole thing up, and I thought about buying one of those … but like I said, we really don’t do jigsaw puzzles so I realized I didn’t want to spend money on a mat just for that.

I thought, “What are those things, anyway? Are they made from special material, like rubber or neoprene or something? Could I just make one myself?”

Aha! That’s just what I decided to do. Frugality FTW!

I went online and found a few sites with DIY instructions, like this mat from “Organized Christmas”, but it still kinda seemed like a lot of trouble to go through for something I wasn’t sure I was going to use that often. The patterns I saw involved lots of sewing and cutting different pieces of fabric to make the mat all nice, with ties and other touches. They were using rotary cutters and cutting mats, hot glue guns, sewing machines … blech! That’s cool if you’re making the mat as a gift (most of them were), but I just needed to store a puzzle. Then I found this post from “SuperMom” about making a puzzle mat, and I loved it. All she did was cut some felt and rolled it around a mailing tube. I wanted to make mine a little nicer, but I liked the way she thought.

My mom made these awesome scarves out of felt a while ago and had some leftovers (she scored some of the patterns on sale and bought large pieces), so I went down to her place and asked what her largest leftover piece was. She had several yards of this cute burgundy “cable knit” pattern. Great! The color is nice, and the pattern’s not too “busy” so it won’t interfere with the puzzle building! Plus, the lines on the fabric made it super easy to cut. I had an old mailing tube from a photograph I had enlarged (thanks, Zee & Ruel!), and I just put the mailing tube I had on the fabric, saw where the cable pattern line matched up, and cut what I needed. Yay, no measuring or marking! This was awesome.


The first DIY page I looked at had you wrap the felt around an old wrapping paper tube, pin the fabric, carefully remove the tube, then sew the “sleeve” for the tube and replace the tube into the sleeve. So much work! Plus, I didn’t really like the idea of using an old wrapping paper tube – it seemed too lightweight. What if I accidentally put my elbow on it and crushed it? The second DIY page uses a cardboard mailing tube, which I liked the idea of, and it doesn’t attach the tube to the fabric at all – but then that’s just a piece of felt and a mailing tube. I wanted to attach the tube to the felt somehow, but I also wanted the option to remove the tube. Wouldn’t it be horrible if the tube – it’s pretty heavy since it’s a mailing tube – fell off the edge of a table and took my puzzle along with it?! Velcro to the rescue! I cut four pieces of sticky-back Velcro, spaced them out, and while they were stuck together I placed them on the edge of the felt. Then I removed the paper from the other sticky back side, and rolled the tube and fabric so that the velcro stuck and closed the “sleeve” for my mailing tube.


Yay! I was done! Well, kind of – I had to trim the raw edge off one side of my fabric before cutting it to the length of the mailing tube – I thought it would be kind of cool to reuse the strip, to tie the mat closed when I had it rolled up. I just cut the strip in half and the lengths were perfect! Plus – another bonus from using a mailing tube – I can store the strips inside when the mat’s open!


I was really happy with the way this project came out. I got to reuse things that were around the house, I saved money by not having to go out and buy a jigsaw puzzle mat, and now I can work on my puzzle! All in all, pretty awesome. And I didn’t have to sew a stitch, either!

Related Links:
MLB San Francisco Giants ATT Park Puzzle
Duck Brand Twist-n-Pull Tamper Proof Mailing Tube, 3 x 24 Inches
Velcro Sticky-Back Hook & Loop Fastener Roll In Dispenser Box, 3/4in X 15 Ft., Black
72” Rainbow Felt Black By The Yard

Seen the Movie "Clue" (114/366)


“Communism was just a red herring.”
~ Ms. Scarlet or Mrs. Peacock OR Wadsworth [depending on the ending], “
Clue


Never played the board game, never watched the movie. I know to some people, neither is a big deal, but for a kid growing up in the 80’s and 90’s it was crazy that I had never done either. And they both went on the list as separate items, because that’s how important they were. It’s like someone of my generation never seeing The Karate Kid … by the way, if you’ve never seen that movie, you need to go and watch it right now.

The comedy/mystery movie “Clue” was released in 1985, and it had an all-star cast, including Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Madeline Kahn, Colleen Camp, and Lee Ving. It was based on the board game, with the same suspects, the same weapons, and even the same rooms all being featured in the film.

The “suspects” from the game are all sent mysterious letters, inviting them to dinner at a mansion in the hills. They are given aliases, and all arrive not knowing exactly why they are there. They are greeted by Wadsworth, the butler (Tim Curry), and we learn of their aliases as they arrive. Eventually it is revealed that the thing that everyone invited has in common is that they’re each being blackmailed, and all by the same person, who they previously didn’t know the identity of. There is even an envelope presented containing damning evidence on each of the guests.

Wadsworth reveals that the blackmailer is in fact the guest Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving). Wadsworth informs everyone that he’s called the police, and that the house is locked – Mr. Boddy can’t escape, and the group can now turn him in for blackmailing them (it is later learned that Wadsworth was also a victim of blackmailing, and this was his plan to bring Boddy to justice). Mr. Boddy tells the dinner guests that if they turn him in, he can tell their secrets to the police … he hands out the contents of a box he has brought with him: a rope, a candlestick, a gun, a knife, a wrench, and a lead pipe – one to each of the guests – and he says if someone kills Wadsworth, they can all keep their secrets. At this point, the lights go out and there is panic and confusion. The gun is fired. When the lights come on again, Mr. Boddy is dead on the floor. Whodunnit?! The rest of the film is a roller coaster of insanity as the guests try to figure out what happened, and as other people are introduced to the story. At the conclusion, there are actually three different endings to the film. When it was released in theaters, you only got to see one ending, depending on what screening you were watching. On the DVD, you can see all three, or you can have a random one played. Awesome!

This movie was tons of fun. Although I was a little confused as to how it relates to the game with the exception of the use of the names, I realized that really is the main relationship – the characters, weapons, and rooms are the same, and the movie is built around that. The story is completely its own, and it’s hilarious. Tim Curry is fantastically frantic, the characters are wacky and larger than life, and the humor is classic 80’s. I really enjoyed this one. If you haven’t watched “Clue” or if it’s been a while since you have, it’s totally worth a watch. There’s also a remake in the works that’s supposed to be released next year!

Related Links:
Clue: The Movie (DVD)
Clue: The Movie [Blu-ray]
Clue: The Movie (Amazon Download)
Parker Brothers Vintage Game Collection Exclusive Wooden Book Box Clue
Clue The Classic Edition

Watched "The Kims of Comedy" (113/366)


“Why do ninjas wear those f*ing masks? I mean, they do it to disguise themselves, but they’re Japanese guys. They all look the same!”
~
Bobby Lee


After playing Clue for the first time last night, we stayed up late hanging out and watching TV. We started talking about different comedians, and our conversation turned to the few prominent comedians who are minorities. Aziz Ansari (currently on Parks and Recreation), and Ken Jeong (currently on Community) were the two that came to mind as having steady TV jobs right now. Margaret Cho had her own sit-com a while ago, but it wasn’t very popular – partly because the show was based on the goings-on in Margaret’s “Korean-American” family (cast members were of different Asian ethnicities), which probably didn’t resonate with the majority of the American viewing population. There were stories of producers telling Cho at times that she was “too Asian” and at other times that she was “not Asian enough” – so crazy! I think America just wasn’t ready for a show about an Asian-American family.

Then, Ryan told us about “The Kims of Comedy” – a standup comedy show produced in 2006 and staring Korean comedians Bobby Lee, Kevin Shea, Steve Byrne, and Dr. Ken Jeong. Yeah, DOCTOR Ken Jeong. Did you know that Ken Jeong was a practicing medical physician for seven years before he landed his breakout movie roll in “Knocked Up“? No wonder he played his doctor character so well! A great article by the Washington Post was written last year about his journey from physician to comedian where he talks about fulfilling his parent’s wishes for a stable job in becoming a doctor, but moonlighting as a stand-up comic, what he went through during the years of this “double-life”, how his family has intersected with his career and how comedy has helped him deal with tough times.

So, early early early this morning, we watched “The Kims of Comedy” – hilarious name for this all-Korean show. The jokes were not all about being Asian, but of course for us, those were just too funny. I was so pleased to see an all-Asian production like this put together. Our friend Aaron often laments at the lack of Asian entertainers in the limelight, and I agree, but I think something that hinders most Asians – particularly in the arena of entertainment – is that culturally, we are taught to not bring attention to ourselves, to be humble (almost to a fault), and to avoid the spotlight. So while this was just one show, and it was done a while ago, I was still very pleasantly surprised it was produced, and it would be awesome to see more like this.

Just a warning: This is a comedy show – I did not say it was a clean one – Asians can get crazy too, ya know …

Related Links:
The Kims of Comedy DVD

Played the Board Game "Clue" (112/366)


“Whodunnit? Where? And how? Clue. Solving this mystery … can be murder.”
~ 1986 “
Clue” Commercial


A few years ago, Target started selling classic board games in cool wooden box sets made to look like books. We bought several when they were on sale, and one of them was “Clue” – I remember one girl I knew in high school loved to play it with her family, my brother Jim thinks it’s a great game, and it seemed fun … but I had actually never played it myself before. Well, Ryan’s up this weekend (they’re going bouldering again tomorrow!), so we thought this would be a fun time to finally play the game since you need a minimum of three players (and Ryan hadn’t played it either!). Here’s what’s in the box – the playing board, player pieces, weapon pieces, detective note sheets, pencils, a “solution cards” envelope, and a deck of suspect, weapon, and room cards.


Each suspect/player piece has a specific start point on the board. You determine who uses which piece simply by picking whichever player piece is closest to you when you sit down to play. The weapons are placed in different rooms, and the board is set. You separate the cards into “suspect”, “weapon”, and “room” piles, and choose a card, without looking at it, from each deck. These three cards are the solution to the murder mystery! These cards are placed into the “solution cards” envelope and placed in the center of the board. The rest of the cards get shuffled and dealt to each player. Everyone checks off the cards in their hand on their detective sheet, so they can easily see on the sheet that none of those cards are in the solution.

“Ms. Scarlet” always goes first, and then gameplay moves around the board to the left. You roll the die, and move the appropriate amount of spaces. What you want to do is get into different rooms in the mansion so you can make “suggestions” about who may have committed the murder, with what weapon, in the room you’ve just landed in. When you make a suggestion, the other players, starting with the person on your left, tell you whether or not they can disprove your theory (meaning they hold a card that corresponds to your guess, meaning that card is not in the “solution” envelope. If they do hold a card you’ve guessed, they show it to you without anyone else looking at it, and you’ve eliminated that card as part of the solution. By process of elimination, you try to be the first one to figure out who the murder was, what weapon they used, and in what room the crime was committed.

It was super hot today, so we had the living room and dining room lights off, and used a stand lamp for our light. It gave a more ominous feel to our game play, don’t you think?


This game is super fun. There are a lot of different strategies you can use to try to figure certain things out – but there is also an element of luck in the way information is revealed. I won the first round, so of course I loved the game from the get go – but it really is fun. If you haven’t played “Clue” yet, you really should! Come on over and we can all play!

Related Links:
Parker Brothers Vintage Game Collection Exclusive Wooden Book Box Clue
Clue The Classic Edition

Joined "MyFitnessPal" (111/366)


“Happiness lies first of all in health.”
~
George William Curtis


As I’ve mentioned in a few other posts, I’m not currently in the shape I’d like to be in. I’m going for less of a “round” one. Ha! Seriously though, I’ve been slacking off on my nutrition and workouts for far too long, and though I don’t think it’s truly necessary, I do think it’s definitely helpful when you feel like you’ve gone off track, to be able to log your food and/or exercise (I’ve always liked logging my exercise) so that you have a record to look back on, and to help you just be a bit more mindful of your choices.

I’ve used SparkPeople and LoseIt! in the past, and I’ve liked those – I lost 20 lbs. with SparkPeople about 5 or so years ago – but at the time I felt I was “ruled by the log” and it was actually a lot more stressful and time consuming for me than I could keep up. Yesterday, I decided that just having a food log would be beneficial for me to get back on track, and I opened up my LoseIt app, only to be frustrated with the lack of items in their database. One thing I think is kind of sad with most food log/calorie counters is how many processed/packaged foods are in the database, but I get it – that’s how most Americans eat nowadays. But it makes it totally frustrating to try to write a food log when you have to “create a new food” each time you try to enter something that didn’t come out of a box or a wrapper.

Anyway, I got fed up with LoseIt! and decided to look at alternatives. In the wee hours of the morning, I was checking the app store, and came across MyFitnessPal. My friend Mike has been using it and has been doing spectacularly with his weight-loss goals. One of the hardest things about logging your food is that it takes a bit of time, and Mike is one of the absolute busiest people I know, so if he can log in MyFitnessPal, it must be good. I installed the app, and it took me just a few minutes to get acquainted with it. It’s streamlined and simple, and has a pretty similar home screen both in the mobile app and on the website:


I even entered all that I had logged from the day, and then realized I had put the entries on 4/20 instead of 4/19 (because it was technically 4/20, duh) and didn’t know how to change the date. After messing around for a while in the app with no luck, I checked out the FAQs section and got my answer, and was able to change the info quickly. All this when I was basically falling asleep in bed. Total win.

I feel like this system is a combination between SparkPeople and LoseIt, and just better. SparkPeople.com is great – it’s actually very similar to MyFitnessPal.com, but their mobile app leaves much to be desired (when I used it five years ago they were just developing a mobile app and the current one doesn’t have high ratings), and LoseIt! is a nice mobile app, but between the app and the site (which I never used much because it wasn’t that robust), there’s a lot of clunkiness. If you’re looking to start a food journal, I’d highly recommend MyFitnessPal – it’s easy to use, the database is huge, and its reports, charts, and breakdowns are great. It’s even got a barcode scanner for those times when you DO eat something packaged. That’s awesome. Good luck!

Related Links:
MyFitnessPal.com