twit.

As part of my never-ending quest to waste as much time as possible, I’ve signed up for a new Internet toy — Twitter. It started as a cell-phone thing, giving registered users the ability to post short updates — 140 characters, max — about what they’re doing right freaking now:

“Picking my nose.”

“Wishing I had a copy of the Dead’s new vault release.”

“Buying beer for this weekend’s moe. show.”

“Pondering existentialism. And, uh, bottle caps.”

Stuff like that.

Twitter’s since been ported to the Internets, giving people like me — the ones whose cell service plans don’t include unlimited texts — the ability to take part in all the fun.

I’ve seen some content that’s surprisingly creative, especially with the 140-character limit. And much of the content is completely inane — which means Uncle Crappy should fit in just fine.

So. If for some reason you want to see what Uncle Crappy is doing at any given moment, you can go here to find out. And if it looks like I’m going to make this a semi-regular thing, I may even post a Twitter badge on this here page, giving you the ability to check both the blog and the Twitter posts with one convenient click.

I make no promises about how regularly I’ll update the thing — but that’s part of the fun, boys and girls.

i’m huge.

One interesting thing about WordPress is that it comes with its own stats package … and I’m diggin’ it.

Past versions of Uncle Crappy have relied solely on a free counter provided by extremetracking.com, which does a nice job of tracking individual hits, page reloads, and as I’ve mentioned before, a whole bunch of neat stuff about who you are, where you visit from and what got you here.

A little more detail: I like that their counter package distinguishes between hits and reloads — which is the same visitor checking multiple pages during a single visit — and I always used to previous number to determine how many hits Uncle Crappy had received.

Because I liked the old counter package, I installed it here as well, even though WordPress automatically does it for you. So just for fun, I checked today to see how they compare.

Um, holy crap. In the seven days since I installed the extremetracking package here, it’s counted 100 hits, as of 1 p.m. today. In roughly the same time period, the WP counter has tallied 248 — TWO HUNDRED FORTY EIGHT — visits. And their counter doesn’t include me when I’m logged in.

Another example: ET says I got 29 hits on Wednesday, when most of you, directed from the Blogger page, visited here for the first time. According to WP, though, I got 76 hits on the same day.

I’ve always been impressed with bloggers who rack up a kazillion hits in roughly the same period of time it took me to collect 10,000 — we’re at 10,844 now, by the way — but now I wonder: are they using the extremely generous WP tracker when they total their numbers?

And the bigger question: Should I as well? World Domination could be a lot closer than I had expected…

fun new stuff.

There’s lots here to play with, although I’m bumping up against a few limitations as well. I’m probably not going to ever find that perfect blogging platform without paying for it, but this is looking like it could be close enough.

I can’t figure out how to add a non-blogroll set of links, and I’d really like to continue that tradition — especially since I just found the Cheese soundbites, which are the funniest goddamn things of all time. And I have to see how easy it is to add pix … which I think I’ll do right now …

img_0201.jpg

Hey, look — it’s a picture of the cat. That wasn’t too bad, but a little trickier than I was expecting. And for christsake, don’t look at all that crap behind Miles — The Wife’ll kill me.

At any rate, it’s different. Overall, I’m likin’ it so far. And that may be enough.

phony.

We had an awesome time in Philly this weekend. My cell phone liked it so much it decided to stay there. Which is why, if you’re calling my cell in the next few days, you’ll get a message saying the account has been suspended. I had it shut off so my phone couldn’t just take a taxi to Atlantic City and go all crazy.

I should have a replacement in hand in a few days. In the meantime, send me an email. Call the house. Call the office, even. I’m still here.

no sense zone.

I’m a little late on this one, largely because I’d rather have my skin pulled off than listen to Bill O’Reilly’s radio show. But a week or so ago, Billy came up with a real doozy, one that Uncle Crappy simply couldn’t let go.

Billy said the iPod, Apple’s ubiquitous music player, is speeding the downfall of American society.

No, really. He said that.

Billy’s logic can be a little baffling at times, but here’s what I understand he said:

I don’t own an iPod. I would never wear an iPod. If this is your primary focus in life, the machines, it’s going to have a staggeringly negative effect, all of this, on America. Do you ever talk to these computer geeks? I mean, can you carry on a conversation with them?

Hm. If I was one of the computer geeks who produces his show, I think I’d accidentally make sure the Radio Factor went off the air at annoyingly persistent intervals. And a life free from technology hasn’t apparently helped Billy figure out how to speak in complete sentences. Maybe there’s some kind of computer program that could help him out.

Jeff Gamet, a columnist for ecommercetimes.com, astutely pointed out that the first place that many of Billy’s listeners would have heard this rant was on the newly available Radio Factor podcasts. That they downloaded. So they could listen to it on their iPods.

Billy. You just insulted a huge number of your listeners who are paying to listen to your podcasts. Nice going. Idiot.

But Billy didn’t stop his rant with millions of people sporting white earbuds, though. He also roped in everyone who plays video games, stating that the jihadists are killing actual people while we get soft shooting cartoons.

I really fear for the United States because, believe me, the jihadists? They’re not playing the video games. They’re killing real people over there.

Now, I would probably agree that too many people spend too much time playing video games — in fact, I would probably be one of those people, if The Wife permitted me to buy a game system. But it’s interesting to note, as Garnet did in his column, that the best video game I ever came across was an armor platoon simulator at Fort Knox. It was a really cool thing, but it was not a toy. It gave M-1 crews realistic training in maintaining formations and communications once an engagement started, and it did so without roaring through a bazillion gallons of diesel we would have used if we were driving around in the real things.

My platoon was testing that unit, which, as I understand, is now a common training aid for the Army’s tankers. And it’s a big, freaking video game. That’s the one I have some direct experience with; there are others in all branches. They provide low-risk, low-cost, highly effective training for the people who have to deal directly with the jihadists that Billy’s cronies pissed off a few years ago. Explain that one, Mr. No-Spin.

Billy? Better stick to beating up liberals, buddy. When you step out of your comfort zone, it makes it pretty easy for the rest of us to see what a moron you really are.

the secret.

I mentioned a little while back that I accidentially re-started my counter on my birthday, just as one of those blog traffic sites was gearing up to send a buttload of readers my way. That coincidence sent 39 hits my way, an astronomical number for Uncle Crappy, bested only by the 42 I got on the day I announced to my friends that the blog existed.

That was back before I discovered the secret: mention “Apple Store” during the holiday shopping season.

That’s “Apple Store.”

That little thing I posted yesterday apparently was referenced at ifoapplestore.com, a bloggish kind of thing that tracks news about Apple’s retail stores. And that reference sent, as of this moment, 44 people to Uncle Crappy today.

The reference, listed in the “On The Web” sidebar on the left, also netted me a couple of emails from hardcore Apple types, who, apparently, didn’t find the notion of asking an Apple Store employee for an analog writing device at all funny. And maybe it wasn’t. But jeez, guys, maybe you could lighten up a little bit? I love having an Apple Store nearby, and in fact The Wife and I were in the store on Saturday checking out possible Christmas goodies.

I’m one of you. I’m also a Deadhead, another group that tends takes the object of its obsession a little too seriously, so I understand. I’ve discussed before how some Deadheads can choke all the joy out of their lives; I’d hate to think that Apple users do the same thing.

There’s nothing bad here, guys. Maybe we can all just relax?

** 11 p.m. update. Fifty-two hits. Holy crap.