By BOB URBAN

rurban@tnonline.com [1]

Much of the country, including The TIMES NEWS, will be celebrating the continuation of Independence Day on Monday, because the actual holiday falls on Sunday this year.

I like that. In fact, I'd like to see the July 4th holiday celebrated on a Monday every year, just like Memorial Day and Labor Day are celebrated.

As much as I tried, I can't capture the World Cup fever, like much of the world has captured it. To get me interested they have to devise a way of getting more scoring into the games. One-to-nothing, and 2-1 contests don't excite me. Maybe they should eliminate goalies. Then maybe we'd see a few 11-8 or 14-10 games that would lend real excitement to the contests.

Chicago has strict gun laws. But what good are they? Last weekend 80 people were shot, 15 died. So, the Supreme Court's ruling this week establishing that Americans have the right to own a gun for self defense anywhere they live, might actually help that city. Maybe the bad guys will think twice before they draw a gun on an armed citizen.

Do you believe in miracles? The rescue of Daniel Reigel this week after a trench collapsed in Tamaqua and buried him alive, qualifies as one. Great work by his co-workers and rescue personnel who saved him.

Just what the people living near the Gulf of Mexico need - a hurricane. Tropical Storm Alex kicked up a head of steam, stirring up more problems for those who people who have suffered enough since the oil spill 75 days ago.

Ten alleged Russian agents were arrested this week in the U.S. I thought the Russians were now our friends. What are they doing spying on us?

Jamie Moyer, the 47 year old pitcher for the Phillies, who's still winning big games, is one of the best stories to come out of baseball this year. Here's hoping the old guy wins 20 games this season. And wouldn't it be nice to see him on the All-Star team?

While on the subject of baseball, I watched the rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals pitch (and lose) against the Braves earlier this week, and he certainly didn't look unbeatable. Maybe the hype is starting to get to the kid after all.

Now here's a surprise. One of Michael Vick's dogfighting buddies was shot and wounded this week in Virginia Beach.

I get annoyed when I see Major League ballplayers wearing their hats with flat brims. I want to reach inside the TV, grab their hat, and bend the brim the way baseball hats should be worn. I'm also not a fan of the ankle-length uniform pants. I like the old style when players wore their pants legs up to their knees and showed off white sox and stirrups. That was a classy look. Not like today when it looks like players are about to trip over their own pants legs.

I don't know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching the world's best golfers floundering around the Pebble Beach course during the recent U.S. Open. Having nobody break par (what happened in the Open) should be the goal of every PGA official when one of the major events is staged.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal was dead wrong in publicly criticizing President Obama and others in the Rolling Stone article about their running of the war. His comments were off base. But that doesn't mean they were wrong. He just shouldn't have said them for publication.

Gas prices went up several cents in the past week, just in time for the 4th of July. Another surprise.

Remember when line dancing was the craze not too many years ago? Whatever happened to it? I never tried it but it seemed like fun.

Finally, here are some thoughts to remember:

Happiness keeps you Sweet,

Trials keep you Strong,

Sorrows keep you Human,

Failures keep you Humble,

Success keeps you Glowing,

But ..... Only Friends ....

Keep You Going !!!

Have a happy and safe July 4th weekend.