Mothers Day and Other Gifts

What to get for the girl who has everything. Well, that is hard, but here are some things I’ve been looking at:

* A Cook’s Wares – First on the list is a Cream Whipper. Amazing way to get whipped cream for those fresh strawberries. BTW, Cookswares, is a very nice online site. So is “”:
* “iSi”: is an Austrian company and appears to be the only folks making these things.
* “”: Cheaper one pint version. And, you’ve got to love the company that has the URL. First site I’ve seen that uses .Net as well. A little cheaper
* “”: A good reliable site. Great merchandising.

Weekend Away

Planning a weekend away. We’ve been to all the usual places. Here are some of the wonderful places that Connie found. Most are unusual and away. We’ve been to all the standard places:

* The Avalon Hotel & Spa – Packages. Sounds like a wonderful hotel in Portland. Deluxe Riverside Suite with Fireplace & Jacuzzi $650. (additional night $350, room only)
* “Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts”: A wonderful place. It is actually a floating inn with eco adventures and a spa too. All meals included.

Finding Connie on the Web

Connie says she doesn’t have a neat web site. A quick “google”: search shows that it’s true, in fact this entry is one of the top ones. In fact, she’s the #1 hit for Constance Mao on google. What pride:

* “University of Washington”: Where she works
* “HPV Paper”: A Jama paper she coauthored.

* “HPV in the News”: A trade rag writes about HPV and her study.
* “Teaching Scholar in 2001/2”: What a scholar she is!
* “Colposcopy Queen”: She’s a Colpo queen.
* “Connie in the Green Journal”: The famous journal of OB.

Senegal Roaming

Connie is headed out to Senegal. Here’s the mobile operator. I need to get her the right SIM card for her tri-mode phone. Wow, is this complicated. Fortunately John did some research on Spanish SIM cards and such, but Senegal is a little bit farther afield. Here is what I recommend

  1. Sentel GSM – Services. This is the core carrier over in Senegal. So first thing is to determine what kind of service is available. I love the coverage maps on gsmworld. BTW
  2. Sentel. This is the carrier and is owned by Millicom. They are 98% prepaid over there, so getting a prepaid card over there shouldn’t be too hard. I’m going to try to find out where that would be, although that might be a hassle for Connie.
  3. Telestial or Planetomni. Getting a global SIM card. The best seems to Swisscom’s $1/minute anywhere in the world deal. Otherwise, she need a prepaid SIM *and* a calling card.
  4. 10-10 Phone Rates. An incredibly great web site for dial around service. Right now 1016868 looks like the cheapest long distance for me to call Connie
  5. IdT Calling Card. I’ve used IDT, but they cost $2/month and have a $25 minimum so you end up spending $1 on calls and then wasting the $25. They charge $0.85 to/from Senegal. Wow, the Swisscom deal is sounding better! The other problem is that IDT doesn’t have a Senegal local access number, so you can’t call back
  6. Sonatel Senegal. One of the two GSM providers. They even have a web site.
  7. Calling to Senegal. Here’s how one local does it.
  8. Calling to Senegal. These guys say they’ll do it for $0.18.
  9. Nobelcomm. These appear to underlie most of the commercial offers. They charge $1.05 per minute
  10. Alize Prepay. It’s in French, but here’s the prepay plan for a local Senagal phone. It is 531 FCFA per minute to Western Europe and 236 FCFA to another phone in Senegal. That’s 610 FCFA to the US dollar, so quite reasonable

Connie’s Summer

The darling
person who made me come up to Seattle?right now, she’s doing research at
University of Washington after having spent a few years working in a small
private practice and Virginia Mason. Here she is enjoying a beautiful day on
Lake Washington.

Alex and Connie with
Elana’s Kids at Legoland.

dearest friend with her latest baby

Here she is with Alex
and a very young Calvin

Here she is the summer of
1999 with the boys

An older picture of Alex with Connie

On the boat before all
those kids happened

Connie with Calvin on his first day back

Connie with little Calvin at one year of age

on the boat with Alex