Date Sent: September 24, 2009
Subject: September 19th and Email Automation
From: John Bondon
Life is a funny thing. It was a year ago that I announced one of my goals for improving some of the behind the scenes functionality of the hiking website was to automate the sending out of these weekly emails. Ever since the hiking group began I have had to manually compose each email and load that content into the website to then email out to the membership list. The process of creating each email can be quite time consuming and as is typically the case, it usually took the most time when I was the busiest with other projects. So needless to say it wasn't uncommon for my weekly email to go out late ... sometimes late Friday night even. Or sometimes, especially when I was traveling, it wouldn't go out at all. This is why I felt the need to automate this process. To have the email fire each week at the same time, even if I was on vacation and didn't have internet access, so I wouldn't need to manually oversee the process.
It was my September 19th, 2008 email that I first announced I was working on such a project. Since then I really have only had time to tackle this on a couple of occasions and never finished it. Finally this week I decided enough was enough and it was time to get back to this idea. So I spent several hours this past weekend working on it. And incredibly it all came together. This email that you are reading is my very first such auto generated email by the hiking website. For the first time ever in the history of this website, I did not press the send button to email this message to you. Instead, it all occurred automatically on a schedule!
So I am happy about that. I'm happy this is finally done and my code actually works! But it's interesting to note that when I finished my code and looked back to see when it was I had previously talked about this to the group, I realized it was now exactly one year later! I announced this project September 19, 2008 and officially finished it on September 19, 2009 ... totally by coincidence. How weird is that?!
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