About us, the Contryman's

Hi! About Us, Vicki and Bruce.

I am Bruce, a retired electrical engineer from the Telecommunications Industry. I started my carrier by installing dials into a Western Electric 302 telephones. The small telephone company was converting the town over from the magneto telephones to rotary dial phones.

Well I guess that pretty much dates me as to how old I am. Most of you probably don't know what a magneto telephone is, well it is the type with a crank on the side that you turn to alert some one that you are calling. Our call signal was one long ring and 3 short rings. We could have up to 10 people on our party line.

When I retired from the telecommunications industry I was designing and fixing computer controlled Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) Private Branch Exchanges (PBX's) that served small 100 lines, to large 10,000 lines businesses. These were all private lines.

In my spare time and when I was not traveling, I would refinish or refurbish the rooms in our home. This web site is all about us doing that work. I enjoy this type of remodeling and especially the wood work. Whether it is floors, cabinets or refurbishing an old buffet cabinet to it's former brilliance.

Now that I am retired I have made this website that shows a number of projects that we have completed, but I still love to design things and am always working on some project.

I designed and built a fuel cell generator that uses hydrogen as fuel. A colleague and I built about 6 of these fuel cells and got good performance out of the last three units. Unfortunately the "I square R" losses (watts) made my design impractical.

"I" is the current produced by the fuel cell and "R" is the resistance of the conductors of the fuel cell. So when you square 100 amps and multiply that by 0.007 ohms you get 70 watts. My fuel cell design produced 2.1 volts at 100 amps or 210 watts, so it was only 66.6% efficient.

My wife Vicki is a Registered Nurse and has worked in the Operating Room most of her carrier. We got married right after she got her diploma from nursing school, and shortly had a boy and girl.

She worked in small hospitals while I worked for the telephone companies. One day I called home after being out of town for a week and she told me things had to change about us. Well I decided to go back to school and get my Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.

We made it through school in 4 years and had our second son in the middle of it all. She worked at a large hospital in the operating room and put me through school. She only took 3 months off to have our son and then was back to work full time.

I got a job with a research and design group in Ohio that manufactured telephone systems. Vicki took some time off from work to raise our family and I had a job that did not require a lot of traveling, so it was working out good for both of us.

Nothing stays static for long and I got a job with a small start up company in Southern California that had a partner with a large company in Japan. We had our 3rd son 6 months after moving to California. I worked for them for almost 20 years.

After 6 years in Southern California, my wife wanted a house, so she went back to work in the operating room of a large hospital here in Southern California. She has worked there for over 25 years. We got a very nice 4 bedroom 2 story house in a very nice neighborhood that has an excellent school system.

We now have 8 grand children 4 boys and 4 girls, and 1 step grandson. Our two oldest grandsons are bound and determined to make all about us great grand parents, but I keep telling them that we are too young for that.

PS That is our youngest grand daughter up in the left hand corner of all our web pages. She is adorable and papa's girl.

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