I used to be a bit frustrated by his lack of independence, but he was just being a kid. But then around when he was 13 or 14 or so, I started to meet his friends. They all had so much fun together and got along so great, especially him and Pat (pato). I was so proud that Mike was friends with such good people. They were intelligent (here's Pat's fantastic post from after the 2004 elections), they respected him as an equal even though he was a few years younger than them, and they had great senses of humor. Pat and I became friends in our own right. Though I didn't talk to him all that often, we IMed occasionally to joke around, and I always looked forward to seeing him when I visited. In the past couple of years, both I and Mike grew apart from Pat as he spent more time with his girlfriend, building a life for himself in another part of Florida and spending less of his time on the internet.
Pat died in a car crash on Friday.