Several little events and moments the last couple of weeks have coalesced and got me thinking: We're not getting younger.

I had a great time on my annual vacation the first week of July. The bad news is this means we are now slightly more than halfway through the year. Labor Day, the last summer holiday, is next up on the calendar. We are closer to the next World of Concrete/World of Masonry than we are to the last one. My favorite baseball teams are mired in last place or close to it. Thus, I'm looking forward to college football season, which ends early next year. Here at the office, we have been busy planning the remaining issues of the year and talking about magazine stories and events for 2011.

Yes, the year is flying by quickly, which shouldn't come as a surprise. When was the last time you heard someone say, “This year is going by so slowly”?

But part of me doesn't mind time flying by. The last two years have been brutal on the economies of the world, and particularly awful on the U.S. construction sector (and, I don't have to tell you, the masonry industry). Our Top Contractors feature story in the September issue will show this.

And for more than a year now, I have been telling people that as more time goes by, we are getting closer to the nation recovering from this protracted slump. I'm tired of hearing myself say it.

Speaking of calendars, it was heartening to see several hundred construction professionals at the spring ASTM meetings in St. Louis last month. The Symposium on Masonry was particularly well-attended and the presenters gave audience members several case studies and reasons to be optimistic for masonry's future. With business slow, this is a good time to attend such events. Boning up on new technologies, products, and developments will give an edge for when business does return.

Here at MASONRY CONSTRUCTION, we keep an updated list of industry events and meetings in our Events Calendardswedbyyvzwsuaycvvzybbuc. E-mail me your own masonry-related event if you would like us to post it.

Where's Rick?

You may have wondered where Rick Yelton has gone. Well, he's right where he's always been but with a new job: Commercial Editorial Program & Events Manager.

While no longer an editor in chief, Rick has an expanded role that includes other Hanley Wood magazines, trade events including World of Masonry, and training opportunities such as Hanley Wood University. Rick will maintain his industry involvement through associations, conferences, and other editorial activities. And he will have time to focus on several key magazine features each year. You can still contact him and read what's on his mind through his online blog. And he will continue to give you his thoughts and opinions in our What's New column.

Tom Bagsarian