Saturday, April 06, 2002

13. Today is my oldest daughter's 13th birthday. She is an excellent girl and I am so proud of her.

Friday, April 05, 2002

Mail. I have received many messages lately -- I'll save the faith and works messages for one block. Below are some very good points. What I'll do is that if someone has a blog, I'll use their full name, if not, just first name and last initial, okay?

*Christopher Johnson of the Midwest Conservative Journal has a great response to ". . .the 'Christ-killer" garbage" . . . "my answer to that is uniform. It didn't take, did it?"

*With respect to the Shroud, Lauren C. observes: "I fervently hope it's NOT Christ's shroud. Idolatry lies too close to the devout heart. They worshipped Aaron's rod, which budded. It finally had to be destroyed. They would worship the shroud, too." Alas, she is right. I realize I never passed on the brief OT verse I was thinking of that foreshadows the shroud. I seem to recall that for the sacrificial animal (lamb, goat?) which was slain outside the city walls, the skin was to be returned to the city so that all may know the lamb was slain. Nevertheless, this could be a stretch. "Idolatry lies too close to the devout heart" I shall have to remember that.
Dorothy L. Sayers wrote the following:
Official Christianity, of late years, has been having what is known as “a bad press.” We are constantly assured that the churches are empty because preachers insist too much upon doctrine - “dull dogma”, as people call it. The fact is the precise opposite. It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness. The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man - and the dogma is the drama.

That drama is summarized quite clearly in the creeds of the Church, and if we think it dull it is because we either have never really read those amazing documents, or have recited them so often and so mechanically as to have lost all sense of their meaning.

* * *

The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man. The plot pivots on a single character, and the whole action is the answer to a single central problem - What do you think of Christ? The Church’s answer is categorical and uncompromising, and it is this: That Jesus Bar-Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, was in fact and in truth... the God by whom all things were made.His body and brain were those of a common man; his personality was the personality of God....He was not a kind of demon pretending to be human; he was in every respect a genuine living man.He was not merely a man so good as to be ‘like God’ - he was God.

This is the dogma we find so dull - this is the terrifying drama of which God is both victim and hero.If this is dull, then what in Heaven’s name is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never accused him of being a bore -on the contrary they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left to later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him ‘meek and mild’, and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.

To those who knew him, however, he in no way suggests a milk-and-water person; they objected to him as a dangerous firebrand. . . . He was emphatically not a dull man in his human lifetime, and if he was God, there can be nothing dull about God either.
Less Frequently. I may be posting less frequently for the next week or so -- then again, I may not, we'll see. I'll leave something nice from Dorothy L. Sayers at the top.
Steyn "All civilized people can agree that killing Jews is wrong. Well, killing six million of them 60 years ago is wrong. Killing a couple of dozen every 48 hours or so, that's a different matter." The opening sentence.
On the other hand. The Post does have a little more balance than the Times. Consider the opening of this story:
It wasn't the concussive power of the explosions that paralyzed 22-year-old Sharon Mamon as he strolled along a Jerusalem pedestrian mall one night. Rather, it was the screws and nails soaked in rat poison that did the most damage, penetrating his skull and legs and rendering him immobile and mute.
Then there is the moral clarity of Charles Krauthammer:
What to do with Arafat? Isolating Arafat is no answer, because the isolation must end at some point. Killing Arafat is no answer, because that will make him a martyr. The important thing is to make him irrelevant by expelling him. Let us not hear any more ridiculous talk about Arafat's being the only man who can make peace. Can? He had 8 1/2 years to make peace. He has no intention of making peace. He was offered his peace, his Palestine, in July 2000 by Israel and then by the president of the United States. Like the Palestinian leadership of 1947, also offered their own state side-by-side with Israel, Arafat rejected the offer and started a war.
Headlines. Let's see what the opinion makers in the NY Times and the Washington Post are saying about the Middle East. Where to begin?

The Times: Bethlehem is "A Little Town in Judea, Besieged by Israelis and by Grief" Grief must have a new meaning -- armed Palestinian thugs.

The Post has the most appalling essay I think I've ever read. The insane, fanantic Saudi ambassador to the US equates the Palestinian who kills women and children preparing for Passover with George Washington taking on the British soldiers on the field of battle. He further writes: "The Israeli people are also victims of the Israeli occupation." and this "The Palestinian people are burdened by tremendous suffering and calamity as a result of the continuing aggression of the Israeli government and the insane policies of its leader." This piece is nauseating.

The Times: The Palestinians are happy because they believe their goal of the elimination of Israel is within reach: "The goals of Hamas are straightforward. As Sheik Yassin put it, 'our equation does not focus on a cease-fire; our equation focuses on an end to the occupation.' By that he means an end to the Jewish occupation of historical Palestine." and this "Dr. Zahar said. 'From our ideological point of view, it is not allowed to recognize that Israel controls one square meter of historic Palestine.' " and this "'Forty were killed and 200 injured — in just two operations,' another of the leaders, Mahmoud al-Zahar, said with a smile."

The Times with an article equating the killer and the killed: "Two high school seniors in jeans with flowing black hair, the teenage girls walked next to each other up to the entrance of a Jerusalem supermarket last Friday. Ayat al-Akhras, 18, . . . was carrying a bomb. Rachel Levy, 17, . . . was carrying her mother's shopping list for a Sabbath eve dinner."

The Times: Some hairdresser named Kristof explaining that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon inspires Palestinian kids "to become shahid, martyrs, and to die blowing up a few Israelis."

Enough. Using the logic of the Post and Times it is okay to resume the bombing of abortion clinics in America?

The reason I choose abortion clinics is because that is the only cause these papers seem to think sacred. If you looked at the on-going actions of the ELF, these organs seem to think the problem is only the adverse publicity it causes.

This kind of thing is flat-out wrong no matter who does it, Palestinians, Pro-Lifers, or Environmentalists. It is wrong.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

I Killed Jesus. The professor has a note about a typically trendy Episcopal church in Scotland (why is it Episcopal and not Anglican? I'll have to figure that one out) with its mural depicting modern day Israeli soldiers crucifying Jesus. His title is "JEWS KILLED JESUS."

This is deplorable -- depicting foreign soldiers -- people the Europeans are manifestly opposed to -- as crucifying Jesus.

There's long been controversy about the death of Jesus at the hands of . . . whom?

In the creed we affirm that He suffered and died under Pontius Pilate -- yet that is more a note of who was in authority than who drove the nails. It was Roman soldiers who drove the nails. It was the Temple soldiers who arrested him in the Garden.

So who was it who killed him?

It was me.

He died for me -- He would have died for me if I was the only one who needed redemption.

He died for you -- He would have died for you if you were the only one who needed redemption.

And reducing this essential truth to a vulgar political statement is deplorable. A more accurate mural would use mirrors.

Update: The Anglican Communion in Scotland, as in the United States, is known as the Episcopal Church. See this for more details.
Several Things. I've had several things hit all at once and I'm not really sure what to think about or write about. So I'll blither on and see what takes shape.

First, I have received a number of e-mail responses to my note trying to work through salvation. I am really very touched by these. Very kind. I'll try to respond to each, but it might take a little while.

Second, my daughter celebrates her 13th birthday this weekend -- and her party will last pretty much through the weekend, so I might be a little more quiet than usual.

Third, work is, well, interesting.

Fourth, is the thing that has me feeling reflective. I talked to an old co-worker about another former co-worker friend of ours. A guy I was pretty close to when we worked together. He was about 5 years younger than me and I always treated him like a little brother at work, kind of looking out for him and things. Before we worked together he had gone to Liberty Baptist and then went to work for a pretty conservative Senator you all would recognize. He married a girl he went to school with and they started a family pretty quickly. He had two boys and a girl -- his wife stayed at home full time and started homeschooling the kids. He was good at what he did and soon rose within the organization, got some credentials, left to another job, and we gradually lost contact. I tried staying in touch, but he was pretty busy and then moved to another job and I completely lost touch. He and his wife moved and I no longer had his address or telephone number. I heard a rumour that he and his wife were having trouble, but I'd also heard differently, that they'd had a fourth child.

Then he returned -- he'd been laid off during the recession and needed a recommendation and leads for a job. I asked him about his family and he indicated that all were doing well, but was also somewhat evasive. He said we needed to get together for lunch and catch up. We still haven't done so.

Now, today, talking with our mutual friend, I had many of those rumours confirmed. Yes, he and his wife were having "troubles." They were divorced. Yes, he and his wife did have another baby. The baby is two years old. And the clincher is that he moved out from the house of his family and moved in with a male lover.

Having reached the denouement, thus far, I'm being called to diaper and bath duty. So more some time later.
Unlocking the mystery of diet and dying

The Chinese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine, and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

Conclusion: Eat and drink what you like.
It's speaking English that kills you.
the Shroud. The Shroud of Turin has always facinated me. Is it the burial cloth of Jesus? I don't know. Even before the big "scientific" tests were conducted, the testimony of the witnesses gave me doubts that it was. Specifically, the Gospel of John reports:
He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. [6] Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, [7] as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.
John 20:5-7 (emphasis added). If the linen was in strips and there was a separate cloth for the head, how could the Shroud be authentic?

This site offers one possible answer.

In addition, there is a verse in the Old Testament which almost seems to predict the Shroud. I can't find it right now. I'll post it when I do.

The Moyer Case. Terry Mattingly has a good summary of the attacks on Father David L. Moyer by the heretic bishop Charles E. Bennison, Jr.
More Salvation. I received a very thoughtful response from Jason Steffens regarding my last note on salvation. He begins by noting, quite correctly, that my posts have been pretty vague and ill-formed (my word, not his). Actually, this was what he wrote:
I'm actually not exactly sure what you are saying. You says works are necessary. But necessary for what? Your post is a bit vague in terms of what is actually required for salvation. Are works part of it? If so, how much? If they are part of it, what is the point of Christ having died for us? Is God's grace insufficient?
As I said, he is correct. I was thinking about this, the other day, before I received his response. What exactly have I been trying to communicate? My initial point was that it seems to me that frequently Catholics and Protestants are saying the same thing, its just they use a different language to express this. In doing so, they misunderstand one another.

To be frank -- I don't know really, what part works play in salvation. What I hear Catholics saying, and some Protestants as well, is that works are the fruit of salvation -- the evidence of the redeeming work of Christ. Jason echos this in his message to me: "Of course, that faith should be evident in our lives in the form of good works, but that doesn't change the fact that faith is the only requirement to carry out the actual act of being saved."

Moreover, I believe that our sin nature needs to be washed from our soul. I think that doing the good works, while not leading to "salvation" by themselves, have the effect of washing our souls.

Perhaps I am confusing salvation with sanctification and therefore am the only one doing the misunderstanding. Maybe salvation is the mere assent to the Lordship of Christ. And sanctification is the process of scrubbing the stain of sin from our lives.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Why do they hate...? In the "why do they hate John Ashcroft" file, add this note by Orrin Judd. It's amazing to me how this one man can unite nearly everyone from the libertarians that make up Samizdata to the Michael Moorish lefties.

Consider, for example, the rumour being peddled by Democratic Party treasurer Andrew Tobias that Ashcroft sends an advance team everywhere he goes to make sure there are no calico cats, because, Tobias writes, "calico cats are signs of the devil."

I agree with brother Orrin that it's religious prejudice that seeps out when it comes to Ashcroft. And yet, these people become so frothing at the mouth loony over this man that it makes you wonder. Why the intense hatred that they would invent these calico cat kind of stories?
CJ. Tony Mauro writes that Anthony Kennedy appears to be angling for a possible elevation to the Chief Justice. In the article, Mauro reveals how out-of-touch he is (and has been) with anyone even close to the right side of the political spectrum. He writes that a "heavy-handed" comment made during oral argument in a school drug testing case "may win Kennedy points with conservatives who might be harboring other doubts about him. Kennedy, a 1988 Reagan appointee, lost the warm embrace of conservatives when he joined the majority in the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which rescued Roe v. Wade from reversal."

Uh, yeah.

In PPC v. Casey, Kennedy called reporters into his office before the case was announced and informed them that he was about to cross the Rubicon. See 12 California Lawyer 39 (October, 1992).

In short, I don't see it happening. Besides, and Mauro doesn't address this, the Democrats are liable to subject him to harsh questioning with respect to the Bush v. Gore case. Recall that Alan Dershowitz alleged "that Justice Kennedy has changed his vote in cases in a quest to become chief justice." (taken from Judge Richard Posner in Slate.)

That doesn't mean there might not be a curve ball should CJ William Hubbs Rehnquist step down. It could be that Bush might go to Joe Biden, former chair of the Judiciary Committee, and Teddy Kennedy, to broker a deal to get a conservative along the line of Rehnquist -- J. Michael Luttig? -- named to the Court, in exchange for the elevation of Stephen Breyer to the CJ spot. [Breyer was Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, 1979-1980, when Biden was chair -- and with his Harvard connection, is considered to be a Kennedy man] It could be argued that this would slightly tip the Court to the left, because Breyer would have authority to pick the writer of the decision (that is, when he is in the majority). And a Luttig is not any more or less conservative than Rehnquist. For more on Luttig, consider this statement he made regarding his father's killer.
Disgust. The Independent reports that "The heads of all the Christian churches in Jerusalem" are begging George Bush to restrain . . . Israel? That's right, Israel. Do these folks think the Israelis are strapping bombs to Palestinians and sending them into restaurants, shops, and Seder meals?

Similarly, the newspapers are reporting that "DOZENS of armed Palestinians were today under siege in one of Christianity's holiest sites..." (Telegraph). Wrong. It is more accurate to report that "Dozens of armed Palestinians seized one of Christianity's holiest sites..." If you have armed people holding up anywhere they don't belong, like a church (if I remember correctly, this is a Greek Orthodox church, not a Palestinian church), they have seized it. These armed thugs are, consequently, "under seige" by the legitimate police authority for the state. One of the basic conventions of war is that it is immoral to put military facilities or targets in civilian areas -- like the Japanese did in World War II in Tokyo. This is exactly what the Palestinians have done -- to covert the Church of the Nativity into a fortress, as the Telegraph reports: "dozens of armed Palestinians were firing on Israeli troops outside."

This makes it clear. This is not a situation of Sanctuary -- this is an agressive, beligerant and hostile action. This is an attack by the Palestinians upon the church building. I am disgusted with my so-called brothers in Jerusalem who are approving of this action.
What Can the Matter Be? One of the pleasures of getting old is having your child educate you. When I went to school matter exsisted in three states: solid, liquid, and gas. Sometime when my daughter was in the fifth or sixth grade, she advised me that there was another state: plasma. Now she tells me, via NASA, that there's a fifth state: Bose-Einstein condensates ("BECs" for short).

In my defense, I did learn about the dual nature of light (waves/particles) back in the dark ages of the 20th Century.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Still More Reading. I'm not sure if it's been posted elsewhere -- I missed a lot last week, but Mark Steyn's essay in the New Criterion, The Survival of Culture, from February, is now on-line.
Recommended Reading. Leon Podles, author of The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity (Spence), has a new article on-line: Catholic Scandals: A Crisis for Celibacy?

I'm not quite in full agreement with Podles, for example we disagree about female clergy. Nevertheless, I find his warning about the feminization of the church may mean the de-masculation of the church (emasculation is a different thing altogether). I think those who disagree with him on this article will still find benefit in this essay.
Status Quo in Ohio. I'm glad to see, via Kevin Holtsberry, that Ohio (Japanese for "Hi") is fearlessly standing up for stupid design.
Salvation at Work. Okay, it's a new week, the week after holy week, so I think it's time to get back to the theological wars. Of course wars is a loaded word -- and an incorrect one. While Louder Fenn and Mark Byron, to take two examples, may have differences of opinion and/or belief, I believe their bond, as evidenced in their writing is far greater than what divides. Both are followers of Jesus of Nazareth, a teacher who could call both a tax collector and a Zealot.

Where I would like to start today is with the issue of salvation. First, I would like to state that I concur with most, if not all of what Dr. Byron writes in his response to Fenn, and therefore incorporate the thoughts, by reference.

I write separately to take issue with the doctrine articulated by Jason Steffens:
I believe in eternal security. I am saved now, so I will always be saved. John 3:3:
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
This passage deals with spiritual rebirth. It is impossible to be unborn physically. Wouldn't it be harder to be unborn spiritually, when God is the One who provides the rebirth? As a result, once saved, always saved.

Let me clarify. I agree with Steffens that once one is "saved" that is, has joined the Saints in heaven, that salvation can not be "lost." However, I disagree if the claim is made that all one has to do is say "I accept Jesus as my Savior" which some claim (although I have never seen that come from Steffens) then that person is deemed vested with eternal and unloseable salvation. Admittedly, I am setting forth an extreme posture, but by setting forth a somewhat extreme claim, I'm trying to clarify what we mean about salvation.

As Mark noted in his prior response, reference above, Jesus states quite clearly, in Matthew 7:15-23 "Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven'" Consider also the Final Judgment -- the judgment of the sheep and goats referred to in Mt. 25:31-46. How does he separate those who "go away to eternal punishment" from "the righteous [who go] to eternal life."? The key test is not a profession of faith (which, it should be noted is "works," no matter how you look at it), but deeds: "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'"

Let me make it clear: I am an evangelical Anglican: I believe that our works are as filthy rags. There is nothing we could do that could merit access to heaven. Nevertheless, as an evangelical Anglican, I place high regard on the whole of Scripture and I can not dismiss these passages which do emphasize the need for concrete action. I can not dismiss passages like James 2, again, as mentioned by Mark previously.

I must give these passages full respect. Accordingly, I conclude that, as the apostle Paul writes, we must "work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Phil. 2:12. I am confident that "it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." It is He who sanctifies, who scrapes off the crude of sin, and gives us the new desires to do those things which will calls us to be blessed by the Father so that we might take our inheritance prepared for us since the creation of the world. Salvation is an on-going process -- dying to self each day.

So, in short, I believe that while I can sing Blessed Assurance, there is still work to be done.
Three Rings. Although it sounds like a circus, as I understand it, there will be three different Fellowship of the Rings DVDs released:
1. August 6 - Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD. (Theatrical Version) with the following:
• Three Lord of The Rings Documentaries: 'Welcome to Middle-earth', 'The Quest for the Ring' and 'A Passage to Middle-earth' (which is the Sci-Fi Channel's special).
• Fifteen Featurettes (from including interviews with cast and crew.
• 'Exclusive Early Look' at The Twin Towers with Peter Jackson, with behind-the-scenes footage not available anywhere else.
• Enya 'May It Be' music video
• Preview of the 'Extended Version DVD
• Preview of the Electronic Arts Lord of The Rings Video Game
• Lord of The Rings - The Two Towers TV Spot and Trailers
• Original Lord of The Rings theatrical trailers and TV spots
• Exclusive online content for Lord of The Rings DVD owners with DVD-ROM access.
2. November 12- Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD. (Extended Version). Like the above, this will be on two DVDs and "will feature 30 minutes of additional footage, effects and more recut into the movie. . . "
3. Also on November 12 will be the release of Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD. (Limited Edition Gift Set) -- four DVDs, but details on this version are sketchy.

All of the above is from DVD Talk -- see for more details.
DC Eve Tushnet finally has her brief defense of DC up -- please read it. Washington D.C. is really a wonderful city. Don't confuse your hatred of insane rules with a geographic place or people. The people of this town, even the bureaucrats, are wonderful. Most of the real nuts are the extremists who come from elsewhere (see, we even take your garbage). [Although, as a disclaimer, I should point out that I was born in California and raised out west, including Hawai'i and Taiwan, and spent some time on the east coast.]

It's been said, to paraphrase JFK, that DC is a city, between the North and South, that is a cross of Southern efficiency and Northern charm. Cute joke, but not accurate. First, it's a beautiful town, low buildings, mostly old, with a real sense of history. Granted some of it is in the vein of "that's where Wayne Hays and Elizabeth Ray took a swim." It has lot's of open spaces and trees -- not just buildings. Some of my favorite memories are of playing softball after work in the congressional league on the Mall. [Our team was pathetic, but we came within one run of beating Sen. Kennedy's team, always the champs. My wife struck out their best hitter in that game, leaving him lying on the ground when he tried to smash her sucker pitch.]

Well, I could run on and on myself. Instead, let me make a few comments on Eve's list:
*She liked York Castle for ice cream -- I'll have to try that. I was always partial to Bob's Famous until it disappeared.
*The City Paper -- I don't ride the Metro anymore, so I don't pass a place where this fine journal is distributed, but when I did, I could readily second Eve's motion: this is a wonderful little paper. It always struck me that the quality of reporting on the DC government was proportionate to the size of the staff -- in reverse. This free weekly routinely produced scoops that left the dailies gasping for breath. Those scoops that weren't broken by the City Paper (especially Loose Lips) were broken by the Washington Times. The Post was always writing about stories that were two days to two weeks old.
*The Memorials in the summer nights (she mentioned the Jefferson, my favorite was the Lincoln). When I lived in Arlington, a short walk from the Lincoln, I frequently walked in with a friend and sat around talking about the meaning of life and all the grand questions there in the temple of Lincoln, while meditating on his second inaugral address.
*"SURRENDER DOROTHY" Of course -- I had Mormon friends who were disappointed when this graffitti was painted over.
Thanks, Eve.
Vacation Report. Or, "What I did on my Easter Break." Sorry for being away for so long. We had a nice family Easter. Went to church in the morning, where my oldest daughter and her friends did a beautiful dance to Sydney Carter's Lord of the Dance. We had a relaxing family dinner and afternoon together. My father-in-law came over in the evening for leftover ham.

On Monday, we took the kids to the White House Easter Egg Roll. What a beautiful day it was -- simply glorious weather, nice crowds and wonderful volunteers and performers. If you've never done this, you should make an effort to try to do so at least once in your life. Yes, the parking and logistics can be difficult. And yes, there are lines for everything -- but when it's good, it is wonderful. The kids all had a blast. Each said the actual roll was the highlight, even though it lasts maybe 30 to 40 seconds, although all enjoyed seeing the different characters, and the performances by USA Yo-Yo Extravaganza, the Krispy Kreme doughnut, and the different stage shows, including Barney. We didn't see the President or Mrs. Bush, and we missed Norm Minetta doing his reading turn.
We haven't been to one of these events since 1995 -- and my last year was 1993, which was the Clintonistas first year running it. That year, to put it mildly, was a fiasco -- I learned much later that the Clinton staffers ignored the advice and direction of the career people in the White House who tried to warn them what a big deal this is. That event was so poorly planned and run (for example, they ran out of the souvenir eggs that are a tradition). Also, to be frank, the class of people attracted to the Clintons, as evidenced by their Hillary for President t-shirts, was scarry.
This was very well organized -- and since I just dissed the Clintons, I'll try to be fair and assume that there must have been changes that took place over his term and that the current administration must be the beneficiary of these changes. Tickets were handed out, up to five per person, to those waiting in line on Saturday morning, 3/30/02. My daughter and I got down to the elipse at about 5:15 that morning -- we understood that the people in the front of the line had been camping out since 2 the previous afternoon. Nevertheless, it was clear that there were plenty of tickets. On Monday, we showed up back at the White House about an hour before our entrance time of 10:40 am.
I think we stayed until about 2:30 -- we drove down to the Potomac Mills area, where we had lunch at "Don Plopos" (my 3 year old's name for it) and then took the kids shopping, where we spent far too much money at Old Navy -- making my soon to be a teenage daughter very happy.
Then back home for the game -- the kids and wife dropped off one-by-one, until it was just Sarah (5) and I. She fell asleep on my lap and we both turned in at half-time.