This morning ryano caused a minor stir in the Catbox by asking in a deadpan manner what we all would do with our time from now until E2 was switched off for good on October 17th. Actually, he didn't say E2 would be switched off; he said it would be chopped with an axe. (Which those of us with IT experience know is really the best way to down a server.) Some of us got the joke and played along. Others were bewildered and, as the joke went on, became panicked or angry. At that point I explained that we were just being goofy and that E2 is not being destroyed this October, as I had no desire to see myself and my fellow admins burned at the stake by pitchfork-carrying noders.

(I also remember too well my own feelings when a noder reported in the Chatterbox that wharfinger had been killed in some sort of accident. When I asked if it were true or not, no one would answer me. I was really scared on account of recent events, and then REALLY angry when it became apparent I'd been hoaxed about the death of someone I liked.)

So! E2 is safe, and all is well. But keep in mind, cats and kittens, that Web publishing is a notoriously transient medium. We have surviving manuscripts from the 12th century, but do you seriously think this site will last that long? Will Butterfinger McFlurry still be around a hundred years from now? Fifty? Ten? In his Confessions, Augustine reflected on the death of a friend: "For whence had that former grief so easily reached my inmost soul but that I had poured out my soul upon the dust in loving one, that must die, as if he would never die."

I sincerely hope this site outlives us all. But for the sake of your own mental health, please make sure you're emotionally prepared for the news item that starts out, "It's been fun, but..." Love the site, YES, heavens yes; but not as one that will never die.

And if there's a node of yours the irrecoverable loss of which would break your heart? Dude, print that sucker out.