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These days, this dude is a pipe-free potato.
These days, this dude is a pipe-free potato.
On a similar note, "The Flintstones" appeared in commercials for Winston cigarettes in 1960. Now that's just wrong.
On a similar note, "The Flintstones" appeared in commercials for Winston cigarettes in 1960. Now that's just wrong.

Nope, pipes and kids don't mix

Recently, I dated myself without even realizing it. My son told me he wanted to make magic wands, and among other supplies, I suggested that we buy some "pipe cleaners." He tipped his head to the side and looked at me like I was speaking blobby alien blab, so I showed him one that he used to make the antennae on an egg carton caterpillar project.

"Oh," he said. "Chenille sticks."

Chenille sticks! Of course. Smoking utensil references don’t exist in kids’ worlds anymore. Mr. Potato Head got off the pipe in the ‘80s and one was airbrushed right out of Margaret Wise Brown's classic children's book, "Goodnight, Moon." Even Popeye's without his pipe these days.

However, I believe Frosty still sports his corn cob smoking vessel. So how far should we take this? Do classic song lyrics need to be changed? Maybe we could sing "with a corn cob bike and a button nose" even though that makes entirely no sense at all.

For the record, Santa seems to be on and off the wagon with his pipe smoking. Occasionally, I see images of the jolly ol' fella puffing away, but most of the time, he appears to have kicked the habit. Or he’s resorted to chewing Nicorette. Hard to tell.

11. You're automatically in the Hollywood Adoptive Mother Cool Club with Madonna and Angelina Jolie.
11. You're automatically in the Hollywood Adoptive Mother Cool Club with Madonna and Angelina Jolie.

11 benefits of being an adoptive mom

The adoptive mom lets go of a lot, but she receives an abundance in return, too. Here are 10 reasons why adoption rocks.

1. You get to drink alcohol at the baby shower.
2. You can mentally blame "terrible twos," failed math tests, back talk, lack of coordination, bed wetting or exorbitant orthodontist bills on random, unknown relatives.
3. You can verbally shut down anyone that tries to call you "breeder."
4. You don’t have to worry about postpartum depression.
5. You can still breastfeed if you want to (it’s true, a woman does not have to be pregnant to lactate)! At the same time, it’s perfectly acceptable not to breastfeed, too. (Biological mothers often report judgment from others and feelings of guilt when they choose not to breastfeed.)
6. If your child was born in a foreign country, your life is forever enriched by another culture and you, most likely, will get to travel to the child’s birth country at some point.
7. You get to gently educate people about proper adoption terminology like "birth mom" instead of "real mom" when referring to the woman who carried and delivered your child.
8. You are amazed by strengths and talents in your child that aren't included in your gene pool.
9. You get to be a parent and still maintain a rockin’ bod.
10. You learn, from the bottom of your heart, what the term "love makes a family" really, truly means.

Too many Facebook friends?
Too many Facebook friends?

Can you politely "unfriend" on Facebook?

A real friend from the real world told me she wanted to clean up her Facebook page and "unfriend" a bunch of people who weren’t really friends. The fewer the friends, the less minutiae she has to wade through to find the information she really cares about. I get it.

She asked me if she should send a message to the people she’s unfriending -- explaining that it was nothing personal, but that she’s trying to spend less time on Facebook -- or if she should just ax them quickly and quietly.

I think she should just delete them. There is no way to tell someone you are unfriending them without basically saying, "Sorry, you didn’t make the cut."

But what do you think? Is it a nice idea to send a message to soon-to-be ex-Facebook friends, telling them she hopes they have a great life but she's not going to monitor it anymore, or should she just clean cyber house without looking back?

Centro has a decent wine selection, too.
Centro has a decent wine selection, too.

Rapid review: Centro Cafe

October is the third annual Dining Month on All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delicious features, chef profiles, unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2009."

Centro Cafe
808 E. Center St., (414) 455-3751

Riverwest’s newest restaurant -- a cozy, Italian eatery -- features a menu that’s affordable and offers a mix of meaty, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free appetizers, salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches and side dishes. There are 12 pasta dishes on the menu from a very light spaghetti marinara to a heavy dish of penne pasta with sausage and mushrooms. Diners can customize their orders with add-ons that range from calamari to vegan meatballs to grilled vegetables.

Since it opened in June, Centro received rave reviews except for the occasional note that certain menu items were not available. It seems Riverwest finally has a another great restaurant.

Menu: Italian.

Price: Inexpensive. (Most entrees are under $10.)

When to go: Centro gets very busy on weekends, so try going on a weeknight.

Dress: Casual to classy.

Don’t miss: The white bean dip appetizer is delicious.

Parking: Street parking only.

Note: Centro does not accept credit cards; it is cash-only. There is an ATM inside the restaurant.