Sunday, July 31, 2011


Hey I spent a week at scout camp. Here is the full report (well as full as it gets with me any ways).


This picture is dorky on so many levels. I'm truly sorry.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oh Boys!

Wow, I love my boys. They make me smile in 47 different ways on any given day. They are growing up to be fine men and they are always fun to be around.

At Christmas time we dropped in to visit my cousin Laurie. We hadn't seem her and her family in a good decade and the boys were right at home and ruff housing with her kids and like it had only been a few weeks since we had seem them last.

They always have some fun creative project going on. Grant asked for Duct Tape for Christmas so we got him a rainbow assortment. The Viking Duct Tape helmet is a fine example of an inventive application of adhesive backed handy strips.

 Caden the world's greatest gnome impersonator.
 Me and Trent after a little run down the Provo River.
Mason and Miki before Mason went to talk in church. He will be leaving to go to the Missionary Training Center in a few days to learn Japanese and get ready to go to Kobe Japan for 2 years to serve the Lord and the people there.
I'm one Happy Daddy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More Postage Due

Yes, Well that is the way things seem to go now isn't it. Yesterday I had a good day. I was invited to go on a hiking trip with the older scouts, Melissa invited me to go paddling down the Provo River with her and her boyfriend Adam and some friends from church invited me and Miki over make some music. Any time I get to be on top of a mountain, paddle and surf a river and play bass it's going to be a good day.

For a while I've been super busy with work and class and scouts and haven't had much time to do much else. I guess that I was feeling lonely even though I had lots to do. You know, everyone expects you to do this or that 'cause you are supposed to or 'cause it is your job or your church calling. But somehow I was feeling lonely because it just didn't seem to me like anyone was thinking "man, I'd sure like to hang out with that Rob Allen dude." Then I get invited to do three different things in one day. Cool.

Here are a couple of pictures from the hike. 

This is from the top of Y mountain looking down into the Rock Canyon with Timp and Lone Peak in the distance.

Me and Trent looking down over Provo and Utah Lake and our house (see middle left).

If you really want to get ya some more of that dish called "what the heck is that Rob Allen dude up to," you can read my posts on our Scout Troop Blog Wahoo782. I post there about every month or so when we are camping or doing something worth taking pictures or writing about. Here is the post about the Y mountain hike and camp out. Thanks for looking! and hey if you ever want hang out with that Rob Allen dude, just let me know.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crazy Busy Summer

Man what a crazy, busy summer this is turning out to be.

In May I formed a paddling team to compete in the Vertical Challenge to raise money for the First Descents charity for cancer patients. We took first place in the Class III division and raised about $500. Our team logged over 8000 vertical  feet. Which was a lot more than I thought we could starting out.

Then we had a family reunion for all the Allen relatives that I organized. That was a lot of work and emailing and phone calling and such. We had about 75 people show up for it. Most from Utah but some from Texas, Oregon, Maryland, Arizona, and Idaho. This is me and some cousins on a little hike up to Battle Creek Falls.

Next I had a week of summer camp to plan and shop for. My great assistant scoutmaster's wife had a baby two days before we left so I had to line up other leaders to be up there with me and the boys. It seems like we went through 10 or 12 people before we got the 6 days mostly covered. It was good to get away from everything for a week but not so good to have to nag, discipline and pick up trash after 12 boys for a week.  It was definitely a great experience for the boys and that is why we do it right!?

Next week I will be going to LA for the annual Siggraph computer graphics conference. There is always some new cool stuff to learn there.

Then in the Fall I have a new teaching assignment. So there is a whole nother set of lectures and assignments to plan, create and grade.

Busy busy! thanks for looking and please leave a comment.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Amazing Places

I got to go to Goblin Vally and Wild Horse Canyon for the first time today. They are both pretty amazing places to explore. Here are a couple of shots that turned out alright. Let me know what you think about them.

Also a few days ago I was paddling with friends down the Provo River, West of Bridal Vale falls. It was late afternoon and the sun was just barely above the canyon walls. A few times we would come around a bend, riding waves and dodging rocks, and the sun would be lined right up with the river, creating some intense highlights and refractions through the water. After the run we were talking about how beautiful the water is like that and it popped into my head that that is how the sea of glass would look in the celestial kingdom. Intense light mixed with deep shadows, shifting and swirling beautifully as we glide along our journey.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Life is pretty darn great! (funny how the RN looks like an M in darn)

Funny how you come to realize stuff gradually over time, but somewhere in the last few weeks its seeped into my consciousness that life is very good and that I feel very happy. As I thought about it some I've realized that this right now is one of the happiest times of my life up to this point. Kind of a crazy thing to think about but I'll just ride with it and enjoy it while it comes.

One of the things that I really enjoy right now is seeing my children grow up and figure out life gradually. Each of them is learning who they are and perusing different interests and growing into their own talents and unique and fun personalities. One thing that we have started as a family is after thanksgiving day going down South and exploring someplace new. This year we went down to Capital Reef National Park and spent one day hiking and goofing around. It was one ov those happy family times that I think we will remember for a long time.

Mason's our fearless leader in nuttiness and spontaneous have a good timeatude.

Miki and these three spent a lot of time goofing and scrambling around on the rocks and features.

Caden and I got to spend a lot of time talking and exploring on our own.

Even the cactus spines were fun in a silly picture and slivers under the skin sort of way.

Plus it is an amazing place to see and be out of the normal cubical canyon that I inhabit most weeks. This is the big arch at the end of the trail that we were on.

This is one of the painted monoliths about half way up the trail. All amazing stuff to see. I think that getting out a lot has added to happiness too. That, kids, Miki, job, friends, church and God are really filling up one happy soul. :)

Thanks for taking time to visit and say "NO" to cats. Leave a comment so I'll know you've been here.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

CG and more CG (Computer Graphics and Chasing Gators)

Hi All,

Last week I got to attend the siggraph conference in New Orleans and listen a lot of cool papers about how they made different cool movies like Up, Coraline, Transformers and GI-Joe (even the presenters joked about this flick). There were some wacky and totally useless research applications that people were working on like a Virtual Reality tactile feedback frying pan simulation and a taste interface game controller. Who cares how Halo or Super Mario Cart tastes!

During the week of the conference, after one days sessions, I wandered the french quarter and got to see some of the raunchier and less family friendly parts. Here's one interesting spot where they kept the front of the building but got rid of the rest. I don't know if this was post Katrina clean up or just I need some place to park my Mercedes.

This statue is in front of the conference center and was made out of random Katrina debris and dedicated to those who did or didn't survive it.

The Mighty Mississippi ran right behind the conference center. Here is a tourist paddle wheeler and a lovely sludge fountain they were spraying into the river. After about 5 minutes of black water it would cycle to white and then back to brown and lovely black.

After the conference was over my cousin Emily picked me up with her kids Huntie, Michael, and Elle and showed me the more family friendly spots in New Orleans.

We went to a market where i got stuff for Miki and the kids and a nappy hat for me. Do you think that it was sending the wrong message to get my boys voodoo dolls and mardi gras beads? The first thing that Caden said was: "Hmmm, who should I voodoo? I think I'll stab Robert in the arm and see if he likes it." Maybe so.

Emily took me to Drago's to get oysters on the half shell. The first thought of it seemed horrible but once I figured out that it was a local thing I thought that I'd give it a try.

Michael here shucked open a big one and handed it to me. It ended up tasting a little salty and well of course chewy. I can honestly say that it was the best less than 10 second's dead thing that I've ever eaten. We had roasted ones after that. I should have tipped Michael more I'm such a retard when it comes to that stuff.

Saturday morning Emily's husband Kevin took me on a swamp tour. This is Lawrence our illustrious tour guide with one of his little buddies.

Here's a typical swamp shot and one of me and Kevin. Kevin got me the best seat in the house (pontoon boat) for gator snapping excitement.

Here's a little one to get things warmed up. He's about 6 feet long just a baby. They said that all the ones we saw were males because the females were on their nests this time of year.

Here comes "crazy Jack" he's about 12 feet long. He was kinda jumpy because he knows he's close to the top of the food chain but not quite at the top yet.

A little video of Jack in action. I still have all my fingers and toes thankfully.

Swamp Tour Excitement from Rob Allen on Vimeo.

Now he's my little buddy too.

Thanks for viewing. Leave a comment so I can know you were here. Rob-

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Low Key

A couple weeks ago I was up in Evanston WY for a kayak race. I got last place out of about 30 in the time trial. I think that my time was about 4:37 and the winning time was like 4:03 or something. I got turned around in a couple eddies and that killed my time. In the boater cross I got 3rd place out of 5 in my heat. I had a better line in that one, stayed away from the big eddy that time. Here's a link to a description of the race venue at the Evanston Playpark. It was a good time except for the big thunder storm between races.

After the race I shuttled my car back down to the put in and went back to try to surf a couple of the waves by the finish line. Got all my gear on and got back in the river for a few side surfs and such. Flipped 3 or so times. When I got out my key wasn't where I normally where I clip it in to my life jacket. I checked everywhere. I think I must have set it on my boat when I was putting my gear on and forgot about it while I was getting in water. Being upside down guaranteed the keys a special place in river bed.

Miki and Trent drove up there to rescue me. That was nice of them. I felt pretty stupid.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hen-Tag Humblification

Hey All,

Last Wed. the 13th I got off work early and drove up to Heneffer to get my first run on the Weber this year. Jeff Bill Clay Buzz Dan and me met up about 5ish. I'd run this about 4 or 5 times before and the flow was an average 500 cfs.

On the first drop into the Rock Garden I thought that I had a good line on the right but I musta been too far right cause I hit a rock and flipped. I was pretty close to the side and when I tried to roll the first couple of times I was pushing up against rocks. I got a breath but was upside down again and thunking my helmet and arms and shoulders on rocks as I flushed down stream. Eventually, I remember having one hand on my paddle and sticking it up out of the water. When my helmet and other arm hit another rock I pushed off of them and flipped back up. I got both hands on the paddle and found the fist eddy. Both my hands were numb and my shoulder and neck were sore. After catching my breath I pealed out and headed down the rock garden. I flipped again but rolled back up with out incident and even flipped going into an eddy. I haven't done that for a long time. Bill kept trying to figure out what was wrong with my boat. I think that it is just a problem with what's in the seat.

Here is a video that Jeff shot of the last drop on the run. I was all settled down and back to normal by then. (orange boat and jacket)

Taggart Falls from Jeff Young on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

kayak rolling - FAIL!

Well, welcome to another installment in the mediocre adventures of Rob. Last Tuesday I took Caden up to one of the few remaining kayak pool practice sessions of the Utah Whitewater Club. I was messing around and working on my off side roll which is coming along good enough to work about half the time. Caden was excited to come but he is still not ready to tip over and do a wet exit to get out of an upside down kayak, which is fine. There is no reason to push him to do something he's not ready to do. He spent most of the session just swimming around in the pool not even in a boat. As the session was winding down Jeff Young aka "smurfwarrior" asked if he could shoot a video of me rolling with his new waterproof fuji camera. He put on a mask and jumped in the water. He said that he would drop under the water and start filming and then I could flip over and roll back up. Sounded simple enough. I'd roll on my on side and I was in a long boat that was easy to roll, no problem. So Jeff went under, I flipped over and set up and proceded to miss three or four attemps before I got back up. Jeff told me that I wasn't tucked up enough so we tried it again and it still took three or four time to get back up. By this point I was feeling pretty stupid after some more advice, I tried it some more. Eventually I did one on the first try, which is the way it should happen every time. So bassically if I'm upside down in the river turn off all cameras otherwise it might take me a bit of work to get back up.

Here's the video that Jeff shot. Feel free to laugh at all the failed attempts.

A few weeks earlier a bunch of us went paddling on the Spanish Fork River. I flipped over a couple of times and rolled right back up with no problem. Jeff must have had his camera off at the time Guess. Here are a couple of videos that Jeff made from that trip.

Seal launching set up and execution.

Here's Jeff's video from the Spanish Fork Trip. I'm in there once or twice (red boat, blue paddle). He must have known to not turn the camera on when I might have tipped over.

Take out craziness.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Nice Ice for sale. 10¢ a pale.

Not sure why that little Dr. Suess line popped into my head as I started to write this blog post but it is about ice mostly. Gotta love the Doctor. I miss reading his nutty stuff to my kids.

Any way, Saturday was a busy one for me. Grant had a b-ball game at 9:00. I had one at 10:00. The team we played had 3 guys all bigger than me. Their center was about 6'7" and at least 50 pounds heavier than me. It was my job to take him and plug up the middle. I had two fouls in the first few minutes and it wasn't looking like I was going make it through the first half much less the whole game. Their center must have scored between 20 -30 points on me but I felt like I did a decent job defending him 'cause I was on him tight every time and got him to miss more than half the time. I got maybe 12 points and didn't get called for my 5th foul and we pulled out the win. The point of all this is that I was pretty tired/beat but the fun of the day hadn't really started yet.

At noon I met up with Austin Mills to do some ice climbing on the stairway to heaven in Provo Canyon. All of these pictures are taken and owned by Austin Mills. Thanks for the trip and the pics Austin. Here's a shot of the trail up to the ice where we were climbing. Bridal Veil Falls is on the far left. The top of the stairway is on the middle right. We were one the first terrace which you can't quite see in this shot.

After huffin' my way up the trail I met up with Austin and crew. They had all gone up a couple of times so it was my turn to strap on the axes. That's Austin on belay.

This musta' been my second time up this wall because Austin's dad Howard is belaying me and Austin is half way up the taller wall.

Yeah I made it to the top. By this point is was starting to drizzle and there was a bit of water dripping down the ice.

After the second time on this route, I got on the next one down and picked my way to the top of that one. Fun times.