Bio

Woo-hoo! A bio. Such fun, so important. The only distinction here is that mine’s been up for over 20 years, with 5 homes now (the well, freehomepage, geocities, verizon, x10hosting).

I’m 55, with a wife and 3 kids. I live in Milwaukie, Oregon, U.S.A. I’m a computer professional by trade. I’m medium height (5’10”), medium weight (180#), and light build (though I gained 20 pounds after getting married-I made a run at losing it, and lost, but I keep trying). I have very short receding and graying hair, blue/grey eyes, earrings, and varying degrees of facial hair, which is also graying. 2 tattoos (a rose and a bee-I want to edit the rose to a rose cross). I wear skullcaps all the time when I’m not at home.
At the OC fairSince May ’08, I live in Milwaukie, OR, just southeast of Portland. I left Laguna Beach, CA for a new job in Wilsonville in ’08, and I’m on my 4th job here. I’ve moved several times since ’03-I sold my condo in Long Beach in ’03 for double what I paid for it-I had lived there 10 years. Before that I was overseas for 5 years. Before that, school and growing up. We moved to a place in Lake Forest, stayed there 2 years, and moved in ’05 to another 2 bedroom apartment in Laguna Beach-east canyon, then to Oregon and a nice 3 bedroom house. We moved into a small apartment July ’11, and are still there.
I have a lot of interests in a lot of unusual non-mainstream areas. These can be seen in my bibliography, in the essays, and my senior page, which I did for my 25th high school reunion in ’05.
SlideshowMy history: I was born in Walnut Creek, California on July 30, 1961 (I’m a Leo with Scorpio rising, Moon in Pisces, Venus in Gemini, Mars in Virgo). My parents are the canonical 50’s/early 60’s type. He was born and raised in a tiny town in the Sierra foothills, a principal’s son, she was a fisherman’s daughter in Seattle, going to school with the elite. I have a sister who lives outside of Atlanta. I look like my dad when I shave off my beard, but I’m only a little bit like him. We moved to just outside Orinda, then to Cleveland, Ohio from age 6 to 19, where I was a really bright kid, then turned into an adolescent stoner. I went to Orange Schools, then University School-a private prep school, because I was getting in trouble, and college at Miami of Ohio. After college, I traveled around Europe and landed a job in London for a year and a half, went to the parent company in Grand Cayman for 3 years. Did a lot of partying. A. lot. of. partying. Then I moved back to L.A. because my parents lived there. It took me six months to find a short-lived job and I moved to Brentwood. After that I got a job in Long Beach, moved there and bought a condo, lost that job after three years and went out on my own. Lots of partying, trips, skiing, shows, skating, etc. Hung out at a recording studio. For work, a little contracting, started then stopped consulting, started then stopped working for a software company in Baltimore, started then quit working on PMS interface software, worked for Quest Software for 9 years. I got married and started having kids in ’98. We moved to Lake Forest after I sold my condo fall of ’03, then moved to Laguna Beach in ’05. We had a surprise daughter August ’07, got laid off April of ’08, we moved to Portland, joined then left Hollywood Entertainment July ’10 because the company went under, worked for Huron Consulting doing Java programming for 5 years, until they lost a big client and let go of all the people in Portland who worked on the app. I did a short thing for Hitachi Consulting, now on a long-term contract for Daimler Trucks. I also do odd programming and graphic design jobs. I taught 7th grade computers and t’ai chi at Journey School and ran the website, I did live sound for a bit. Who knows what I’ll be doing next? (probably working and raising kids :-p ) Exciting, eh?

 

KitesI fly kites. These aren’t kids kites. They’re high performance trick kites, made of carbon fiber and ripstop nylon, with high strength braided nylon lines. If you haven’t seen people fly these kites, you should. I fly four-line kites called Revolution (the main page has one underneath my name and pictures if you click there (here, too). Basically, I can make this kite do anything in the air-fly up, down, left, right, hover, spin, upside down, backwards, sideways, flat. It’s a hell of a lot of fun. I competed for awhile…won the experienced class National Championship in ’99, placed 13th, 9th, and 12th in Masters class until 2002. Since then, no competitions in Southern California. There aren’t any in Portland either, so I only fly occasionally (mostly indoors) and wherever anyone asks me to (I did a commercial fall of ’04).
I’m somewhat involved in church activities. Currently we belong to Kairos UCC-we like it a lot. Before we moved from Long Beach we belonged to the UU church there, we switched to Tapestry from the Laguna Beach church summer of ’07 (I was the Building & Grounds chair), and joined Atkinson Memorial when we moved to Portland. We stayed there until 2015 or so, when my wife switched to a more accepting environment, and I decided I wanted something more aligned with Anthroposophy (as much as you’ll ever get, that is). I taught Jr. High and t’ai chi some…

 

My wife is Erika…
She works at home and takes care of our kids and is starting Doterra. We love each other a lot, and we’ve been together since October ’97. We’ve lived together since May ’98 and we got handfasted (Wicca marriage) November ’98. She’s pretty much a fulltime mom now, especially after Salem was born. She used to be a childcare worker, and was in the Ren Faire, and was getting back into working before Salem came along. Now she’s probably going to be a chaplain or some such, and is starting back to school Spring of ’17. Her hair changes color on a regular basis and she’s getting tattoos, lots of tattoos.

 

Our first boy was born January 23rd, ’99-his name is Mathias Winfield. He’s smart, and chatty, and liberal, and snarky. He really loves us a lot, and he’s a great guy (most of the time:). He’s a Junior at Clackamas Middle College, after going to Portland Waldorf School in Milwaukie through 8th grade. He loves it, and is progressing nicely-good grades and he got a student of the month award November of 2015, and is now taking college classes. He has dyslexia…but he got a Kindle after my mom-in-law died and it helped a lot. He’s pondering what to do for work, wanted to be chef for a long time, but is now more interested in profiling and criminal psychology.

 

Our second boy, Colin Alexander, was born May 4th, ’01. He’s a very interesting case-good at everything, temperamental, stubborn, smart. He’s a Sophomore at New Urban, got a student award Feb of ’16, and is quite a reader and video gamer-now more of a 4chan/Reddit maven. He likes unusual music, hates homework, and is working the boundaries of parental acceptance. He’s a libertarian/conservative. It’s hard to get a picture of him.

 

Salem Ysabell Joelle is our newest family member-she was born August 31st, ’07. She’s a beautiful little girl, strong and curious, happy, talkative and active. She’s in Third Grade at Micha’el School. She’s really into a lot of things, does weather video segments and we send them to the local news via Facebook. (She was on TV Spring of ’16). She reads a lot, watches too many youTube videos, loves Harry Potter and wants to start riding.

 

We are a happy family, and people always compliment us on how well behaved the kids are, so I guess we’re doing something right… We work hard at creating a safe, loving space for them to grow in, but we’re not permissive. There are rules, limits, responsibilities, privileges, consequences. The TV and computer are off (mostly) during the week, and limited on weekends and summertime. This is crucial. Conflict resolution and self-control are the big things right now, and they’re starting to have chores. They also try to save some money. As far as my personality goes, I’m eccentric-my tastes and likes and thoughts are quite far from the mainstream. I can be egocentric, abrupt and haughty, highstrung and intense, remote. I do have good qualities, though. I’m caring, I love giving gifts and attention, I listen and try to understand. I’m flexible and I try to please if I can. I’m reluctant to get involved because I hate to put people out of their place. I’m also really shy around strangers. I don’t have a heck of a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are pretty close ones. I know a lot of people, though-and am horrible with names-but I do remember faces, most times…After having kids, I’m finding that I get upset a bit more, and frustrated and bossy, but that’s beginning to subside as I relax into having kids. I tried teaching T’ai Chi at church every Saturday morning, and meditation every other Tuesday, but no one came. The 7th graders at school liked it, though. I’m also thinking about teaching guitar. I’m more into Anthroposophy now, and working towards putting together a curriculum. Also trying to get back into exercise and the long T’ai Chi form. I bought a fancy keyboard, and want to get better at piano and record stuff.

 

I did this bio in ’04 for UUFLB.

Tell us about your profession or aspiration.

I’m a user interface/graphic art designer for Quest Software. Two artists work for me here, another is in Australia and maybe a few in Russia too.
I was a programmer/computer jack-of-all-trades for 20 years or so. I’ve worked in London and Grand Cayman.
I want to record music, write, paint, and do something with spirituality that I haven’t figured out yet. I have ideas and equipment, but no time.

Tell us about your family.

You probably know my wife Erika and my two children Matt and Colin. If not, Erika is a lovely and energetic person. She is a stay at home mom, involved in church and is a Wiccan priestess. She wants to go to seminary one of these years. Matt is 6 and entering Kindergarten in the fall. He is a lovely, sweet, smart boy. Colin is 4 and as lovely, sweet and as smart as his brother. Erika and I met and married in Long Beach in ’97 followed by Matt and Colin in ’99 and ’01 respectively. My parents live in Pasadena and travel a lot. I was born in Walnut Creek and grew up in Cleveland. My sister lives in Atlanta-her husband is an ob/gyn and she has three kids.

Who or what brought you to UUFLB and when was it?

We moved to Lake Forest in ’03, and we had been going to the Long Beach church since 2000 or so. We were going to visit all the local churches, but UUFLB was our first (and last!) stop. Erika had wanted to join a church to give the kids religious education, and the UUs are pretty much the only church liberal enough to accommodate her’s and mine beliefs at the same time.

What are some of your hobbies or interests?

I’m a kiteflyer. I specialize in quadline kites, which are steerable and have four lines. I can maneuver these kites with astonishing precision. I won the national championship in ’99 in the experienced class. I also like music-I’ve been playing guitar since ’78, and I used to play in the UCLA Balinese gamelan, which is an Indonesian orchestra. I also used to hang out at a recording studio, and I just started doing sound for the Laguna Beach Community Concert Band (thanks, Ed!) I read as much as I can, mostly non-fiction. I have had a website and online diary (blog) for 10 years now.

What are some of your favorite activities at UUFLB?

I like running the sound system and editing the SeaLight, we have a good time for such a boring activity.

What is interesting about you that few people now have heard?

I was living in Grand Cayman when hurricane Gilbert hit. I met George Burns in Hollywood when I was taking a smoke break from a meeting. Daniel Boone is in my family tree (1st cousin)

I did this bio for Tapestry in ’06.

Where do you originally reside from?

I was born in Walnut Creek, moved to Cleveland at age 6. I’ve lived in London, England, Grand Cayman, Brentwood, Long Beach, Lake Forest, Laguna Beach.

Your current or past work field?

I’m basically a computer professional. Been mucking around with computers since grade school. I took a degree in systems analysis, and worked with PC’s after I graduated. I’ve sort of moved into graphic design and interface design in the past few years.

Do you have children?

2 boys, Colin 6, Mathias 8, Salem on the way. Mathias is an energetic, smart boy. Colin is sensitive and lovely. Salem seems to be coy and energetic.

Do you have pets?

We have several fish-a 10 gallon tank in the boy’s room, and 2 in a small outside pool.

Hobbies?

I fly steerable kites-I’m a former national champion. I’ve been doing tai chi on and off for 18 years. I’ve played guitar for 30 years, didgeridu and gamelan for 10. I have recording equipment, I’ve worked in a recording studio.

Do you want to share something special about yourself like a special memory?

I teach 7th & 8th graders computers and tai chi. They really enjoy it-I’m “Mr. A”.

Favorite vacation?

Anytime I’m not working-I don’t need a trip to get away.

How did you hear about Tapestry and what made you want to join our congregation?

It’s the other south county UU church-we left our former church for a number of reasons, and like this place a lot.

And anything else you may want to let us know about you…

For more, check out my website. I have lots to say-I blog, etc, etc.

I did this one for Atkinson Memorial in ’09.

Eric Allen is 47, born in Northern California, raised just outside Cleveland, lived in London, England, Grand Cayman and Southern California before coming to Portland in 2008. He has a lovely wife Erika whom he likes the best of all, boys Mathias and Colin and a girl Salem. He’s a computer jack-of-all-trades, currently maintaining software for Hollywood Video and looking for freelance web and UI design work. He’s also a “sound guy”, having worked in a recording studio, done sound for the Laguna Beach UU fellowship and built a hobbyist studio.

He came to UUism about ten years ago, looking for RE for his kids and a place welcoming to Erika and his eclectic outlooks. His spiritual interests come from Tibetan Buddhism, Ceremonial Magic and Anthroposophy, plus fairy dust from many other traditions and some of his own. Other interests include gamelan and quadline kites-he’s a former national kiteflying champion, has taught t’ai chi and plays many musical instruments, some of them passably. His entertainment choices can be classified as unusual, to say the least. He’s also interested in theoretical physics, cosmology, set theory, pattern languages and evolutionary theory. He’s a Green, ultra-liberal and anti-war. He has lots of big ideas, but not much time
to work on them. You can visit his website-he’s a weblog pioneer.

Hard to think of much else-bye!