Contacts & About Me

Here’s all you need to know to get ahold of me, plus a sketchy bio in the ubiquitous “About Us” section.

Contact Van

If the content on any of these pages suggests that we should be in touch and do some business, here's how:

Standard e-mail, checked throughout the day: vanhorn@whidbey.com

Sometimes a phone call really is the best way, even though I'm on the phone or on the road so much that most calls go to voicemail: In the US and Canada: (855) 868-4350, from Port Angeles and Sequim: 207-0026, from everywhere: +1 (360) 341-4350.

To send documents (including checks, of course):
    G. Armour Van Horn
    P.O. Box 1478
    Freeland, WA 98249-1478

I also have a physical address, but prefer not to publish it on the internet for various reasons. If you need to send me something via FedEx, UPS, or other delivery service, we should talk first.

The Inevitable “About Us” Section

Okay, it's really “About Me”.

Van, February 2012I was born at Ithaca, New York in 1953, because my father was getting the Master of Arts in Musicology degree at Cornell University. I’m really a Washington native, my father and daughter were both born here, but not me.

The family landed at Port Angeles, Washington in 1958. I graduated from Port Angeles High School in 1970 and moved to the Seattle area in 1973. And I do mean “area”, the actual cities involved were Bothell, Renton, Kent, Seattle, Issaquah, Bellevue, Everett, Lynnwood, and Redmond.

I developed an interest in screen printing and had two shops of my own and worked (however briefly) for a couple of others over the next 17 years.

I began to write about computers, first specifically about their use in screen printing but expanding into reviews of hardware and software. I had a monthly column in Screen Printing Magazine for about five years, the reviews I wrote appeared in Altos World, BYTE, DG Review, InfoWorld Direct, LAN Times, MacWEEK, and Windows Magazine. As far as I know, none of those publications exist today, although I don't think it was my copy that killed any of them.

I married Larkin Jean Hanich in 1985, now Larkin Jean Van Horn of course. She’s even more a native Washingtonian than I am, she was born here, as was her father, as was at least one of her grandparents.

We moved to Whidbey Island in 1990, just about the time that the magazine business started to implode. I spent some time doing marketing for a large local realtor, Tara Properties, publishing a full-color tabloid presenting the island and their listings until that work was brought in-house. That taught me a lot about how real estate works, which has been helpful in building websites for other realtors, although I no longer do Tara's site.

I earned most of my income for several years after that by providing computer and network support for a number of local businesses on an hourly basis. This has included everything from reinstalling corrupt printer drivers to building workstations and servers to building LANs and WANs. As more and more of my time has been devoted to creating and maintaining websites and shooting artwork, this has declined in importance but I still keep my hand in with several clients.

In addition to a few websites for local businesses, I created one of the first big digital camera review websites, Digital Eyes, in 1998. Alas, it really needed to be one of the big two or three to survive the “dot bomb”, and it was only one of the big six or eight. At about the same time I started playing around with mailing lists, starting a humor list (The Twisted Straw) that grew to 15,000 subscribers in six months. Alas, between the dot bomb and the crowding of everyone's in boxes, subsequent mailing projects haven't been so successful, although I sold Twisted Straw for a good price just before things collapsed. Those projects did give me a good basis in website creation and server management.

As Larkin's artistic career continued to grow it became more and more important that she had good photography of that work. I dusted off my old Nikon FM and started learning the ins and outs of shooting quilts. It was slow at first, but we stubbornly kept at it, improving both equipment and skills over time, to the point that I make no apologies for the work I'm doing in that area, either for Larkin or for other artists.

And somewhere along the line I started speaking. Back when I was writing for Screen Printing I fairly frequently spoke to groups at trade association meetings, for some reason these mostly seemed to be in Ohio! In the winter of 1998-99, our half-time semi-retired pastor decided to retire a little more and removed himself from the pulpit rotation for our Saturday night service at Trinity Lutheran Church here at Freeland. In the course of making sure that service continued, I agreed to preach occasionally, and have now delivered twenty sermons that were reasonably well received. (Okay, the little old ladies that come to Saturday evening service love me!) In 2007, I decided to step up the pace on developing this area of my life and joined Toastmasters.