More WordPress theme stuff

I’m just going over my whole WordPress setup for this site in case anyone is interested or wants to give advice. If you know anything about WordPress and see me doing something stupid, please go ahead and write a “Hey dumbass” response to this post or my previous post about the wordpress plugins I use.

I use the Inanis Glass theme, basically because I couldn’t find anything better. Most of the free themes look like crap. I’m not a designer by any means, but I know enough to say that most of the wordpress themes I could find just don’t look good, especially for a science-fiction themed website. I did a search for “best SEO wordpress themes” and came up with this site: and this one: Both sites list a bunch of wordpress themes that they claimed were well-optimized for search engine optimization (SEO), but only one or two of the ones listed actually existed when I searched for them in the theme listing in my dashboard.

However, based on their lists of criteria for a good SEO theme, Inanis Glass seemed decent. It’s got the content at the top and seems to come close to validating for properly formatted HTML, though I’m not sure why that’s relevant. I did make a couple changes though, like changing the <H1> tag at the top to show the name of the post instead of the blog title, since I’ve read that’s really important to SEO to have your keyword rich title at the top instead of the site title. I still need to figure out my tagline.

I also almost completely removed the footer where it had a little windows style start menu with search and login features and stuff, as well as some popup menus that didn’t look very good. The pages seem to load a little faster since getting rid of that.

If you have any suggestions for a better theme or other theme-alterations I could make (particularly SEO related), I would greatly appreciate it.

My WordPress SEO Plugins and stuff

I’ve been spending my evenings lately just working through all the ins and outs of this WordPress thing, studying Search Engine Optimization (SEO), link sharing and pouring through a multitude of WordPress plugins. I thought I would list off the plugins I have mostly decided on and describe some of my SEO strategies for this site in case anyone wanted to make some comments or give me advice, or if I happen to hire a WordPress SEO consultant to point out all the mistakes I’m making.

These are the plugins I use.

Add RSS – not totally sure what this does. I think it gives certain browsers some kind of access to my site’s RSS feeds, like if someone has their feed reader turned on within the browser.

AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button – the button in the upper right of the sidebar that gives the sharing menu

All in One SEO Pack – I use this to write my own descriptions, keywords and title tags, and because it has the feature of changing the link names in the sidebar because I don’t like multi-lined links but the real titles often need to be slightly longer than what will fit on  a line. SEO Ultimate, which I use for a few other things, doesn’t have this feature.

AWS Easy Page Link – adds a list of pages in the add link tool in the editor so I can easily make table of contents pages. I wish it added blog posts and scheduled pages/posts as well.

Breadcrumb NavXT – adds the breadcrumbs at the top of the posts, which is supposedly good if my content gets scraped (automatically plagairized) and suppedly helps search engines figure out my site architecture. I wonder if I should add them to the bottom of pages too, since some of my pages can be quite long.

cbnet Ping Optimizer – I tend to edit posts a lot so I needed a plugin that would make it only ping on the first post, so I don’t get marked as a spam. Also for the ping log so I can make sure they aren’t blocking me for whatever reason.

Contact Form 7 – just a simple email form on my contact page.

Contextual Related Posts – supposedly good for getting people back from scraped pages – adds a list of ‘related’ posts at the bottom of my posts and pages. Sometimes they don’t seem quite so ‘related’ so I named them ‘random pages’.

Full Text Feed – no idea what this does. I read that I need it to prevent the ‘more text’ thing coming up. I’ve never liked having to click on a more link when I go to blogs. Do I actually need this?

Global Translator – plugs into google translator and gives me the flag cloud in the sidebar – I wonder if the translated pages get indexed by search engines like my english pages do… I also wonder how accurate the translation is. Suppose I will never know since I only speak English 🙂

Google XML Sitemaps – supposedly helps search engines find their way around the site. I think I just turn this on and leave it. Don’t need to link to it or submit it or anything… at least, that’s my understanding.

JR_Compression – Apparantly pages can be zipped, then sent to the client and the browser automatically unzips and shows them, which decreases load times. I think I understand this correctly.

RSS Includes Pages – adds my pages (since the pages are the most important part of my site) into my RSS feeds.

SEO Ultimate – I use this for some of its peripheral features (canonicalizer, slug optimizer, 404 monitor) but use All In One SEO for the actual keyword/description stuff. Thankfully I can disable individual features of SEO Ultimate.

SexyBookmarks – creates the sharing functionity – similar to AddToAny button – to the bottom of every page and post. They claim that the pretty, animated nature encourages more interaction.

Simple Tags – I still need to figure out a good tagging strategy. Still need to explore this plugin a bit more. But since pages are more important on this site, I need pages to be included in the whole tagging system. Would like to be able to put pages into categories as well.

Ultimate Google Analytics – for my site statistics. Is this a good plugin for this? There sure are a lot to choose from.

WordPress Database Backup – absolutely necessary for those times when I do something stupid and overwrite my database.

WP – to optimize my images without losing any quality. Not sure if this is necessary since most of my images I do myself through Photoshop or Gimp.

WP Super Cache – for server-side caching . How can I tell if this is working? Not all of my pages seem to be listed in the cached files and I always get a new file whenever I hit refresh.

My latest Action-Adventure book: Against A Rock

Art by Areille (a character in EVE Online)

I recently moved my latest action adventure book from to this website to consolidate things. was in pretty shoddy shape before I did this whole WordPress thing, so I gave my book it’s own website, but that doesn’t make sense anymore.

I wrote this in 2008, after a five year hiatus. Writing an action adventure book was kind of a new thing for me, but I found myself falling in love with the genre, and now I think much of my strongest writing is in action, adventure and violence. The story is based on the video game, EVE Online, which I started playing back in 2006.

Writing this changed my life, though I suppose I could say that about numerous other things that have happened to me throughout the years.

I found myself getting in touch with parts of my mind that I had never explored before, most notably my love of war, violence and destruction. Years ago, I wanted to write about nothing but utopian societies without war or violence, because I so firmly believe that a society like this is completely possible, but unfortunately, it didn’t make for exciting literature.

So with this book, I decided to go full-on Action Adventure and violence, basically Die-Hard in space, but with a female lead, and I found myself exploring that sense of glory and satisfaction that we get from action, adventure and violence, and how it affects our society. One of the main themes of the novel is how human beings love violence and drama–we crave it; we can’t help ourselves–and how that drives our desire for war, criminal justice and discipline, and how we invent logical excuses and  pretend that it’s not our animal instincts that are driving these things that we, as a society are so convinced are completely necessary.

I also explored some other concepts…

So far my mom is the only person who has recognized that the relationship between the protagonist and her personal slave is a metaphor for how many people raise their children.

One of my favorite parts is when her slave recognizes that she has always loved him, but points out that she has never cared about him. I found that a fascinating concept, that people can deeply love someone, but ultimately not care if they’re happy or healthy. Part of the parenting metaphor.

I also explore religion, and how it affects our ability to commit violence. Our protagonist is deeply spiritual and uses God as a guiding light in the course of her mutiny. See if you can you find the Bible quotes.

And finally, I explore the concept of being half human and half machine. All my life I’ve wondered what it would be like, and have always wanted to write something like this, but never thought it possible. But now, possibly since scientists have already begun experimenting with connecting computers directly into people’s brains, sometimes with shocking success, I think I have a clear idea of what it would feel like to be half human and half computer.

But ultimately, this is an Action-Adventure novel, full of explosions, gunshots, laser fire, deadly drones, fist-fights, broken bones, screaming, crying, and of course, blood.

Bus Tunnel Beating – Yet Another Reason to Embrace Anarchism

The other day in my post about the IRS I mentioned that sometimes it seems like every day I find another reason, piled on top of my already endless list of reasons, to be an anarchist. Today was no exception.

I noticed a couple times a headline about a Seattle bus tunnel beating. Normally when I hear the word ‘beating’ I think police brutality, but the front page didn’t mention that, so I thought, “Well, gee maybe this will be the one time where the authority figures are not the bad guys.”

Reading on, however, I discovered that the authorities had been present at the beatings, in fact three of them stood and watched as a fifteen year old girl was violently beaten. They called 911, but did little else to help her because of their policy of non-interferance. They were following the rules, the same rules that are supposedly designed to protect us.

We rely psychologically on the security guards in the bus tunnels for our safety. We wander around the tunnel without worrying about things like this because we think that security is there to protect us, and we choose not to intervene in things like this because as a society, we have placed the responsibility for that onto the authority figures. If not for the security guards and their rules and regulations, that girl could have found someone more reliable to protect her, like a random stranger.

The video reminds me of the time the police tried to convince an acquantance of mine to kill me by telling him a bunch of lies–and a few truths they promised to keep secret. He recruited a friend who attacked and beat me in a manner very similar to what you see on that video, with the multiple, full-force kicks to the head. Fortunately my beating occurred in a shady biker-bar with no authority figures. Instead, a couple drunk college students intervened and possibly saved my life.

My Definition of Anarchism

I’ve been wanting to write an outline of what anarchism means to me and why I think it’s the right choice for humanity, because I know it can be scary for people to hear that I’m an anarchist, that I think police are the bad guys, without a deeper explanation. I was fifteen when I learned there were people who wanted marijuana legalized, and it scared the crap out of me, so I totally understand the fear people may show toward this concept. The problem is that anarchism is a bit more complex than most political beliefs… or maybe it just seems that way because I never hear people talking about it. It’s always been difficult for me to find the right words.

I came up with something I thought was a decent start, and was going to post it here, but then I decided to pop the word ‘anarchism’ into Twitter and found @AnarchistNews, which led me to Are you an anarchist? by Anthropologist David Graeber, which is a definition of anarchism that almost perfectly mirrors my own.

I still wanted to post my own little explanation, though it’s not nearly as well-worded or as in-depth as the one above.

When people think of anarchism, they think of Mad Max and Timothy McVeigh, because that’s the vision that’s been drilled into them. But putting an end to people like Timothy McVeigh is exactly the reason I chose anarchism, because ultimately McVeigh was out for the same justice that our government taught us to seek, and saw the horrible things the government has done in support of its systems, and felt justified in doing something similar. He may have read some anti-government literature, but he was nothing close to an anarchist by my definition. He was still acting under the same core concepts as our government. As hopefully you will read in the article above, anarchism is about focusing our attention on solving problems as a community and not on worrying about concepts like justice, ownership, national superiority, or anything else that doesn’t support the populous.

And Mad Max… well, Mad Max was fiction. Admittedly entertaining fiction, but full of evil characters with no clear motivation for the horrible things they did, probably because the writers could not think of any. Star Trek depicts a system far closer to our vision.

When I think of anarchism, I think o f pirate radio stations and streaking. I think of the way the Native Americans used to live, thinking seven generations ahead, and caring about their environment. I think of the moonshiners during prohibition who fought for our right to drink alcohol. I think of the mob during the 70’s making and distributing porn, helping to force our government to give us the right to look at the human body. I think of the medical marijuana that helps patients deal with a wide variety of ailments. I think o f the illegal gay bars in the 70’s that sparked the modern gay-rights movement. I think of Rosa Parks. I think of The Boston Tea party and the beginnings of the American Revolution, and finally, I think of The Underground Railroad and the Germans during the second world war who risked their lives to stash fugitives in their attics, and of course, Jesus.

These are just a few examples. There are countless more that go all the way back through Roman times. So if there was any one thing I could point to that made me an anarchist, I think I’d say history class.

40 Minutes with the IRS

It seems like every day I come across a new reason to be an anarchist.

I’m trying to buy a condo and to apply for a mortgage I need records from the last couple years. In the past I’ve ignorantly assumed that a massive government financial institution like the IRS would keep better track of numbers than a “stoned slacker” like myself, so I haven’t been saving my tax information. In thirty years my credit union has only made one minor mistake. I figured the IRS would be similar.

I requested my W-2s for ’07 and ’08, and received both transcripts,  each listing one job. In reality, I worked two different jobs in 2008 and three in 2007. (I’m a freelance programmer so moving jobs is normal.) Also, one of the jobs in 2008 gave me two W-2s  because I worked for them at two separate times. Today I spent 40 minutes on the phone with the IRS, and the nice operator told me that they had no records of any of these jobs. She told me my employers never sent the forms, but I find that hard to believe when they had no problem sending the same forms to me.

The scary part is how calm the operator was, as though this was a normal occurance that we just have to put up with. She kind of sounded like she was an Indian outsourcer, which would be ironic, but that’s just speculation. She didn’t offer any avenues of resolution, and didn’t seem to think this was even a problem that needed fixing. I asked her if I was at risk of an audit now, since there’s naturally going to be discrepencies between my spending and income. She didn’t have an answer for that either.

Now, I live in an area with one of the highest crime rates in Seattle and I’ll walk around the streets after midnight with my hood on and my headphones blaring, and being afraid never crosses my mind. This kind of thing, however, scares me. It’s always been one of my greatest fears to be wrongfully convicted of a crime, and to think about how the same system that lost four of my last six jobs is used to prosecute people for tax crimes and money-laundering, sometimes destroying their lives, is just plain terrifying.

In The Name of Justice: Dream Story

Today I edited and re-posted the story of the dream I had in 2006 about a 12 year old who witnesses a suicide and acts irrationally out of fear of getting in trouble. The story does not read like a dream at all, and it did not feel like a dream when I was experiencing it. Usually dreams have something crazy inserted, something that just doesn’t make sense. Not this one. Somehow it was realistically scripted from beginning to end, and I was able to simply write an exact transcript as it had played out in my dream.

I wrote this in 2006, right in the middle of my five-year break from writing, and now it’s one of my favorite short-stories as it depicts the real human consequences of criminal justice and helps to give a feel for why I’m an anarchist.

Up to My Eyeballs in Website

Last week I finally decided to jump in and do what I’ve been thinking about for years and rekindle my online writing presence. I looked into a system called MovableType, a content management system (CMS) for running websites. I was attracted to it because it’s open source, which appeals to me since I’m an anarchist and want a system where I know if I see something I don’t like, I can dig into the actual code and change it, like I did for my Android phone when I discovered none of the music players could display my music files the way I wanted them to. Plus open-source is almost always free, which certainly doesn’t hurt.

After a failed installation of Movable Type I discovered that WordPress is also open-source. For some reason I thought it was a hosted solution with a programming interface (API) that you had to plug into. Instead it’s just a big package of files that you put on your server and then do whatever you want with.

I must say, I’ve been quite impressed with WordPress, especially the plugins and their ease of installation. The interface, while a little laggy (probably result of my host), is very straight-forward and easy to use compared to many systems, such as my host, GoDaddy which has the most convoluted website I know of.

I can’t get WordPress to do exactly what I want it to, but it seems I can always find a plugin to get it pretty darn close, and I know that if I have the time, I can improve my CSS and PHP skills and actually dig in and personalize it.

I spent all last weekend playing with WordPress and nearly falling in love with it. Web technology has certainly advanced quite a ways since my old successful days of, and even though I build internet applications for a living, I’ve never actually worked with this kind of thing before.

Then Monday night I played with Facebook and was not nearly as impressed. I don’t really get Facebook… like what does it actually do? I’m gonna keep at it though.

Tuesday night I explored some website promotions options, specifically automated link submission tools. On their promotion page, Social Bookmarks Demon kept saying how it’s not a spam tool, but then went on and on with all this advice about how to avoid being marked as spam. Haha. I need to be really careful about how I use that kind of software, but if done reasonably and sparingly, I think it could work for me. I guess we’ll see.

Then Wednesday evening I went out around downtown Seattle and looked at Condos… “Gonna buy me a condo… gonna buy me a Cuisinart… get de wall-to-wall carpeting, and de wallet full of credit cards…”

But the night before I started working on this, I got an email from someone on the other side of the planet who remembered my website from years ago and decided to look me up. He said, “your former website,, was a cornerstone of my teenage-hood.” He’s a professional writer now, which makes it even more flattering.

At the height of that website’s popularity, I had 10,000 visitors per week, until it was ripped out from under me by a domain-name stealing spam-bot. But maybe it was for the best. I just hadn’t been happy with it.

So tonight I read a wonderful story he wrote, then got into reading some of my stuff from my old anarchism/marijuana legalization website. I was surprised at how quickly I could move from a brilliant and moving paragraph into something completely ridiculous and off-putting. I still think there’s some salvageable stuff there and intend to cut it apart, do a little editing and post it in future blog posts, or, if it’s lucky, on a page in the sidebar 🙂

Oh, Lord it’s late… I need to get up for work in five hours. Then this weekend I’m back up to my eyeballs in website.

My Cardboard Dead Deer Head

Cardboard Deer Head TrophyThis is my deer head trophy I got free from some project I didn’t even work on which now hangs on the wall next to my desk. I chose this because I already had enough t-shirts. It probably would have cost like 20 bucks. We could have photocopied it before I put it together but that would have taken actual time and effort. is the ramblings of Kalin Ringkvist, a science fiction author with a passion for peace and freedom.