As I was saying …

Wait till next year!

It's October, so Cubs fans, as they must do, start to think about next year. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in four short months.

The roofing industry has had it better than the Cubs in 2010, but it's been a strange year for both. The roofing industry had some nice spurts, but none of them was really sustained. The Cubs never spurted; they just fizzled.

Roofing contractors are optimists almost by definition. The next good job is always around the corner. One weather event can change the fortunes of an entire year. The flow of work is never predictable; even in a bad economy, some contractors in every market are doing well.

Still, it's difficult to be too optimistic about 2011. Money is just beginning to come back into the system in the form of investments in commercial mortgages, capital spending and business expansion. Credit markets, which have been almost nonexistent for two years, are showing some signs of life again. Still, nonresidential construction is not expected to improve much.