Most of us received a bonus this year when July 4th fell on a Monday. It gave us a long weekend. It was so good, in fact, that we wish Congress would consider making Independence Day a permanent Monday holiday, just like Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Aside to the woman reader who called my home last weekend and got my answering machine. Yes, I did know that there was a Twilight Zone Marathon on television over the July 4th weekend. And, yes, I did watch several episodes, between taking boat rides and cooking out on the grill.

A lot of us were relieved that gas prices dipped into the $3.40s for the July 4th holiday. But don't forget, that's still about 70 cents a gallon more than we spent on gas this time last year.

A thought passed on by a loyal reader: "Life without God is like an un-sharpened pencil it has no point."

With all the great young players emerging on the PGA Tour (most of them from other countries), I'm thinking maybe Tiger Woods will never win another major championship, even if he does get healthy.

Pro football a lockout.

Pro basketball a lockout.

Can baseball and hockey be far behind? And how will we survive without major league sports if the lockouts wipe out the season? I think we'll surprise ourselves and get along very nicely, finding other venues to occupy our time.

What does July bring besides oppressive heat and fresh off the farm corn on the cob? If you live in Schuylkill County, it means your property tax bills arrived just in time for the July 4th holiday. If you're a Carbon County resident, you'll get yours next month.

They were scary stories this week, watching the devastation caused by a flash flood in Plymouth Township, Luzerne County. Hard to believe that much damage could be cause in so short a time.

That, coupled with the roaring fire that consumed several homes in Tamaqua Tuesday morning, was enough bad news for the holiday.

I'm still trying to figure out how a jury found Casey Anthony not guilty in the death of her two-year-old daughter, in the trial that gripped the nation the last couple of weeks.

It's shades of the O.J. Simpson murder trial all over again.

Maybe Pennsylvania shouldn't get out of the liquor business after all. The state liquor board this week is reporting record high sales of $2 billion, or $496 million profit for 2010-11. That's a lot of shots and glasses of wine.

I'm rooting for Roger Clemens to win his trial on charges he committed perjury.

And, I think Derek Jeter becoming the first Yankee to reach 3,000 hits is a big deal. He's been a world-class act ever since he arrived on the New York scene back in 1995.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated Magazine has some suggestions for managers to help make the Major League All-Star game more interesting and entertaining. I couldn't agree with him more.

Here are his suggestions. But don't bet on them ever taking place. They make too much sense.

Ÿ Tell Commissioner Bud Selig that not every team needs to be represented. You should make the game on merit, not on quotas. The only team that must be represented is the host team of the All-Star Game. You can thank Orioles fans for that suggestion.

Ÿ Keep the biggest stars in the game. Hank Aaron averaged three plate appearances per All-Star Game.

Ÿ Don't play everyone. This is not a church picnic softball game. And it's not a 25-man roster. There are just too many players.

Ÿ Resist the urge to play the bullpen matchup game that sends viewers running to their remotes. These are All-Stars, guys. They should be able to get out batters regardless of whether they hit left-handed or right-handed.

Ÿ And if nothing changes and you get this chance again, just bring a note from your dentist to get out of it.