By Michael Stodola Special to Published Sep 30, 2011 at 10:45 AM

There are moments in time when one convention comes to an end and another begins. For instance, in the beginning of the 20th century there was a point where cars outnumbered horses. And within that transition there were a lot uncomfortable changes. Horse traders lost jobs, car dealers got jobs and the smell of horse poop was replaced with exhaust.

These moments are marked by events when you suddenly realize they're happening.

Like yesterday, while leaving the house, I nearly tripped over a glossy, orange bag with AT&T printed on it. "A phone book?" I thought. Why the hell do I have phone book on my porch? (And before you leave a comment about people who still use phone books for whatever reason, know that I get it.) But honestly, at what point do we see our last phone book? The two days that I have mine are made up of one day on my front porch and one day on my dining room table until it finally goes into the recycling bin.

Each year it becomes more obvious that this, of all printed material, is dead. Now if AT&T handed out primitive Kindles in little orange bags, I'd think, BOOM, they'd have something – and each year was just an updated download.

And I don't even have a land-line. So, does everyone in town just get one? Did you get one? I'm sure at one point it was an excellent profit center for yellow page advertising, and that could still be the case. But the audience for all of that advertising has surely bottomed out in the past 10 years.

So, there it sits on the porch – future recycling fodder in a future poopy bag.

Michael Stodola Special to
Michael Stodola is the Creative Director at Boelter + Lincoln – a Milwaukee advertising agency. He loves his job, but not as much as he loves scuba diving, crab cakes or playing with his kids. His favorite thing is sneaking off for dates with his hottie wife. Born and raised in Nebraska, he’s been calling Milwaukee home for well over 10 years. After Michael’s impending death, he’d like to return to this world as your next American Idol®.