I was having a conversation with someone over coffee recently where I wound up interrupting the conversation because I needed to take notes for this blog post.

We were discussing certain things that we used to do in the past that are now obsolete and we no longer have to do. It must be a foreign concept for some of you young whippersnappers. In turn, some of you like-minded mummies will remember these things. This has been sitting as a draft for a very long time, but now that I turned 38 and I’m ready to be put out to pasture and shot, I guess it’s time to clickety clack my keyboard and put it together. It’s now or never, I guess. Save yourself. I’m done for.

Yellow pages/phone book:
Yellow pagesyellow-pages

Who doesn’t remember using this? If you needed to find a business or a service provider, you needed to whip out one of these giant books and search the tiny little font. The sheets were thin (even for paper) and ripped with annoying ease – I would know, I’m incredibly clumsy. I never witnessed the actual delivery of these books, but I can only imagine that it made you feel like you were driving a tank.

Picture 20 Yellow page1s

Card Catalog:
cardc cardcc card_catalog

Who doesn’t remember the seemingly endless rows of little cards to finger through in order to find ONE book. It was a painful process, and, if you were lucky, the book was where it was supposed to be in the first place. I remember having to search in the little cards and having to write the information on a separate piece of paper and then searching for the book. I’ll never forget when I went to a library and could, to my amazement, search via a computer for the information…and screw the Dewey Decimal System.


Sure, I guess you can still find these around. The thing is that I had these when these were the things to have, like cell phones today. Hell, I even remember when not everyone could afford one and it eventually became more common. It used to be that only doctors or dealers would have pagers. I particularly like the photo above because it was almost exactly the same brand/model/color of the one that I had. I remember that it was so new to me that I would get an unimportant message while in class and I would jump from being startled. Don’t worry, though. We had a few different types to choose from.


I laughed while writing this because I remember that you would have to call somewhere and give your message to an agent who would then type it out and send it to the recipients beeper. My friends and I would often send the most vulgar message we could think of just to see if the agent would sanitize it or not (they did). At times we would send nonsensical messages just to make the agents puzzled (“the donkey is in the stable”).

Palm pilot:

Don’t worry. Eventually the beeper thing wasn’t as cool and we could upgrade to a brand new Palm Pilot! This could keep all your phone numbers, addresses and appointments in one place! No need to fret, it even had some rockin’ games!


What? You need to make a phone call? Well, there were telephones for that, silly!

Speaking of which, if you need to make a phone call, unless you’re rich or a drug dealer, you wouldn’t have a cell phone

Old-cellphone Cellphones

At this time, you either go home and make a call, go to the office to make a call or get your hands on a grimy pay phone (don’t forget to always check the slot to see if anyone forgot to retrieve their change)


Want to play some tunes? You can make yourself an AWESOME mixed tape. You can get 30 minutes, 60, minute, 90 minute or even 110 minutes!


However, if you make your amazing mixed tape and you don’t want it to be recorded over, don’t forget to pop the tops off (if you don’t know, you don’t know).

However, if you want to upgrade your sound quality, you can always purchase the metal cassettes!


Want to carry your music around? No problem! We had these nifty portable cassette players. The most popular being the Sony Walkman. Don’t forget to carry extra AA batteries!


Cassettes are now obsolete? No problem! Now that we have CD’s (CD’s nuts! – I’m sorry) you can also take them with you in your even niftier Discman! Don’t forget to carry extra AA batteries! Oh, and don’t run around too much or the CD skips. Actually, it’s best if you stand still while you listen.


Manual Scoring Bowling:
You know what else these young whippersnappers will never have to do? Manual scoring when you go bowling. This was a pain in the ass and allowed you to cheat.


Chocolate Cigarettes:
Although these still exist in certain places, odds are that these are frowned upon for some strange reason. Kids today will never know the chocolatey goodness of fake-smoking a paper-wrapped piece of chocolate.

6dd5bf31e8bb9ade94b3ca54a80a0804 chocolate-cigarettes-2.gif

Bank visits:
Another thing that I notice is that having to go to the bank is becoming pretty obsolete. Back in the day, if you want to get paid, your ass needed to go to the bank, stand in line and get your cash – just like the other 2-dozen people who got paid that day (1/2 of which were smelly and grumpy). Added bonus of adventure is to travel through the senseless maze leading to the teller.

bank2 bank

These days I don’t even know where there’s a branch for my bank because I’ve never had to go. I’ve opened up a savings, a checking and gotten a credit card without ever having to see a real person.

Computer Storage:
Glad computers came around! These are the storage units for your files…


…these don’t even include all the obsolete ones I have used because I used other ones such as zip drives (and these started from a whopping 2mb of space)


Oh, you need to go on a road trip? Simple. Go get yourself a road map for your travels. It was amazing when eventually you could print out your directions on MapQuest (don’t forget to print out your return directions, though, and if there’s a detour, you’re pretty screwed).


CD Book:
Want to share your music with your friends? You had to bring your convenient CD book. It kept you from having to carry such bulky things like CD cases by placing it in one nice, giant book!

cd cds

CD Changers:
Now that we could carry our CD’s in a much more convenient fashion, we could evolve and get a CD changer so that we could have several albums available at once while listening at home!

home cd

Actually, we could do the same in our car! Look how far we have advanced! Watch out for bumps in the road, though, as the CD’s tend to skip.

car cd

Passing Notes In Class:
This would seem to be a dying art. I mean, why pass a note when you can send a message to a beeper? I mean, send a text? Passing notes was common – and risky – if you got caught all the information was now available to be read. It was usually read out loud to shame you by dickheaded teachers.


I know you all love me so just send me a note that says “yes”.

Feel free to email me your ideas on what I missed. I suspect that this could be a multi-post blog! Don’t forget: Be Kind, Rewind!

  1. infinitymadness2 says:

    Ha! Awesomeness! I remember all of them. I once (recently) tried to use a payphone (I was crank calling someone, don’t judge me LMAO) and went to 5 of them before I found one that worked!
    I still have my CD books!

    • sirtilc42 says:

      I can’t remember the last time I used a pay phone. I would have to figure out where one is. I have CDs at home and I wanted to store them so I have been considering a CD book!

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