Don’t Forget To Click The “Save” Button

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After my collection of rants on Friday, many will wonder if I ate an overdose of grumpy flakes this morning after you read this. I’ll promise I didn’t start 2015 on the wrong side of the bed. It probably just appears that way after some of my recent posts.

Regular commenter Phil Kaiser was the first of many to chastise me for not wishing AJ Foyt a Happy Birthday this past Friday, which happened to be the great driver’s 80th birthday. Phil softened his stance as if he was kidding, but there was probably some truth behind his message as well.

The truth of the matter is, I made it a point to not wish Foyt a happy birthday. Has Foyt fallen out of favor with me? No. I always have and always will consider AJ Foyt to be the greatest driver to strap on a helmet, and he will always be my all-time favorite driver. There is not even a discussion on either part of that statement.

There are several reasons why I purposely chose not to extend birthday wishes to Foyt on the internet.

First of all, he wouldn’t see it. AJ Foyt is not on Twitter or Facebook, and I seriously doubt that he has ever read a thing I have written. Nor will I flatter myself by thinking that the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner has a clue who I am. It seems pointless to devote an entire post writing to someone who will never see it.

Secondly, I wrote a Happy Birthday post for Foyt when he turned seventy-five. What else could I have written that I didn’t say then? At the time that I wrote that, I felt a little silly doing it knowing that he would never see it. But I figured readers might enjoy reading it, so I did it.

Finally, I wrote a fairly in-depth post on the all-time champion just two months ago when he first went into the hospital. Again, what more could I say without repeating myself so soon.

I was holding true to those thoughts when I chose to write something different for Friday. I had not forgotten that Foyt’s birthday was the next day. I figured there would be so much on the internet about Foyt on Friday that mine would get lost with everyone else’s – so I chose to go a different direction.

When I finished writing Friday’s rant and got it loaded up for publishing on Thursday night – I went out and watched some television with Susan. As I sat there, I got to thinking that perhaps I should at least acknowledge the great man’s 80th birthday.

So I got back on my computer late Thursday night and wrote out a paragraph at the very beginning of the post acknowledging the milestone and how much I admired the man. Then the post was to begin with Friday’s rambling rant.

I consider myself to be fairly technically savvy, especially for someone my age. But Thursday night, I committed the most basic computer error there is – I forgot to hit the “Save” button. Oops!

It is at this time that I should probably fess up to another gaffe. It happened in the same rant post. While discussing the use of Would of for Would’ve; for some strange reason I typed out the word consonant instead of contraction – twice. Fortunately, a reader named Sandy pointed it out to me in the very early hours of Friday morning. I corrected it, sent her an e-mail thanking her for saving me from myself and promptly deleted the comment. In her reply, she couldn’t help but point out the irony of such a mistake during that particular rant. I agree.

Later Friday morning, I was at work when I first saw Phil Kaiser accosting me in the comments section for not mentioning Foyt’s birthday – my first thought was “Well, you stupid #$%^&, didn’t you read the first paragraph?”. Before I shot back a snarky reply, I thought I’d better make sure it was actually there. It wasn’t. I was about to go into a meeting and did not have time to go back and add it. By that time, there was no telling how many had seen Phil’s comment and had wondered the same thing. Later on, there were one or two additional comments from people knowing how I felt about Foyt and wondering why there was no mention of his birthday.

All I could think of was that it was still sitting there on my computer at home, waiting to be updated. Sure enough, when I got home Friday night, that’s where it was.

By that time, the cat was out of the bag. I had responded to one of the comments explaining my dilemma. But that probably didn’t help matters. I got a few e-mails about it over the weekend. Most were good-natured ribbing, but one person genuinely took exception to the fact that I didn’t think Foyt’s birthday rated a full post devoted strictly to him. This person went so far as to suggest that I was not a true Foyt fan since I failed to write a birthday tribute. Sorry, but I disagree.

I’ll go back to my original thought – that it’s a pointless exercise to wish birthday wishes when they’ll never reach their destination. If I see that a friend of mine on Facebook or Twitter is having a birthday, I’ll send them the appropriate wishes. I send birthday wishes to several drivers I follow on Twitter because I know they’ll eventually see them when scrolling through them all.

This thought is a little morbid, but I think the same thing about deaths. I will take time to post on Facebook & Twitter that I was sad to learn that (fill-in-the-blank) has passed away. But I won’t post anything as if I’m talking to them like “You were the greatest! R.I.P. my friend.” I’d like to think that when I pass on to the next life, that checking my Twitter feed won’t be one of the first things I do.

So for those of you that wished a Happy Birthday to Foyt, I apologize for suggesting that your wishes fell into a black hole. And if you’ve ever talked to a dead person on Twitter, I’m sorry if you think I just made fun of you. And for those that thought I was neglectful to my favorite driver of all-time, just remember…this whole thing could have been avoided had I just remembered to click the “Save” button.

George Phillips

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16 Responses to “Don’t Forget To Click The “Save” Button”

  1. Simon Garfunkel Says:

    Why did you send AJ get well wishes if you knew he’d never see them? Just sayin’…

  2. Phil Kaiser Says:

    George, thanks for the publicity! LOL! Hey, the name of my all-original music band is Raized On Records… I ought to send you a CD so you can dig it then become my publicist! Outstanding! 🙂

    The only reason I mentioned the bit about Foyt in my comments on your last article was because I knew you are as fond of Foyt and all of his accomplishments as I am (I dislike saying I’m a “huge” fan, lol)! The omission was a glaring one to me and I was puzzled by it.

    One thing to remember: I had never seen your blog until 2013, therefore I never knew you did a big birthday blog for Foyt on his 75th birthday. Bloggers need to remember they have a “tune-in” factor week to week just like in radio or TV. I used to be in radio and one of the things we constantly had to remember was to repeat things from day to day because of the “tune-in” factor; new people are reading (or listening or watching) your blog daily.

    But keep it up! Don’t give in like some of the others!

    Oh, and thanks again for the publicity!

    Phil Kaiser
    Indianapolis

  3. I am somewhat surprised that so many feel an obligation to wish AJ a happy birthday. I am a fan of a number of drivers but I have to confess I don’t know their birthdays.

    Only birthday I am aware of today is Robert E. Lee’s. 208 years ago today.

  4. When my time here is finally up I am going to try hitting the “save” button.

  5. I agree AJ will never see birthday wishes but I know I sent them. It only takes a minute out of my day. I’m sure many of my tweets go unnoticed and my blog gets very little traffic but it’s a way for me to express my thoughts and well wishes so I will continue.
    It hadn’t dawned on me that you didn’t wish AJ a Hapoy Birthday. Most likely because I’m sure you acknowledged the day in your own way.

  6. It’s like attending a funeral or visitation. You aren’t doing it for the benefit of the subject. You’re doing it for the benefit of those who will see you.

    Like so many things in life, they don’t seem to make logical sense and, yet, can still be very important.

    • I agree with Dennis. I did wish him a happy birthday in a couple of places. It made me feel good and let’s face it getting to 80 has been difficult for AJ. Hey, I am still jazzed he and Mrs. Foyt waved back at me after the Fontana race this year.

  7. Well said Dennis.

  8. billytheskink Says:

    Reminiscing about AJ Foyt is always fun, so I’ll take about any excuse to do so. It is a good excuse too, to educate or remind less avid racing fans about Foyt’s remarkable career. In fact, I’m wearing my Foyt team polo shirt today. I would have worn it on Friday but had a meeting that called for a more formal attire.

    In any event, no reason to sweat it, George. Given the quality of your posts and the number of comments they’ve been garnering lately combined with the lack of aerokit picture leaks or concrete driver announcements, I’d say you are winning the Indycar offseason thus far.

  9. George, where would it stop? This is not a birthday blog, now is it?!

  10. I don’t think you wished me happy birthday last year, George …. DESPONDENCY. Actually, I think you did. Via Facebook. So never mind. My policy is make my own decision re: birthday greetings and not judge others based on the decisions they make re: birthday greetings. I got my hands full remembering the birthdays of my wife and daughters, honestly.

  11. RIP Dale Jr’s dog Killer…Killer reads Oilpressure comments, right?

  12. i agree with you on this george. i cant imgagine aj on facebook or twitter. at 80 i just dont see it. i admire ajs career and his days as an owner. larry his son yes that i can see. any way aj happy birthday aj!

  13. I send more birthday wishes now than I ever have in the past, I do this because social media reminds me it is someones birthday. I have, through time, realized this feels weird and cold to me. I am trying to get better by reminding myself that if I wouldn’t go out of my way and say it in the past then it is probably not very sincere now. On the other hand, it is a very convenient way to send my best regards to those I truly enjoy chatting with. I won’t ever harass someone for not posting a message on social media (or a website) as I just assume it felt weird doing so.

  14. DZ-groundedeffects Says:

    Let us not forget, ‘racecar’ spelled backwards is ‘racecar’.

    Anything else we haven’t covered in this, the #longestofoffseasonsever?

    Oh, yes..
    – Jack Hawkworth’s favorite color.
    – The current extent of Ryden Hunter-Reay’s vocabulary.
    and
    – What Firehawk does from October to March.

    There’s PLENTY of racing material to discuss.

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