Starting an era of good feelings

Today is the start of a period of good news -- that is, compared to a year ago.

Hey, the first six months of 2009 were ghastly, dreadful, wretched, awful. We all watched as the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate fell below 10 million each of those months, every sales day searching for new words for really, really bad. Call it what you want, it was as bad as it had been for decades. Probably worse than anything we could remember.

Even the second half of 2009 -- clunkers, government stimulus and all -- could only pull sales back up to 10.4 million for the full year.

But as painful as the first half of 2009 was then, for the next six months those stinky numbers are our year-over-year comparison. Even lousy is gonna look better than a year ago.

Any time we feel a need to feel bad, we can compare results against the 17-million years at the start of the last decade. Suit yourself, but through June, I'm choosing to focus on year-ago numbers.

Look, we fell off the edge and spent a year bouncing to the bottom of the canyon. We still have to climb out. And it's a long haul back.

But “race you to the top” sounds better to me than the “thud-ouch, thud-ouch, thud-ouch” of last year.