The General Agreement signed by all team members states, "I agree that travel, especially international travel, has inherent risks to my person and my belongings." I wrote those words some months ago with some abstract notion that they were true. Any doubts of that were erased when I learned of Mike's passing.
The Internet, with the various forms of collaboration it supports: email, http and the web, ftp, streaming media, and anything else that can fit into a cascade of packets, seems to many like a cold and distant way to communicate, devoid of the human touch and interaction. I'm convinced by this tragic event that this is not the case. Mike did not know me, but I very much feel like I knew Mike. I knew him through his many hours of conversations with Bill Meara where he spoke of the projects he was doing, problems he was solving, and little tidbits about his family and home in Alaska. Mike had friends, and fans, in places he'd never dreamed. I know because I was one. My thoughts must now be with those he left behind, his family, his friends, and all of us who admired him and the good works he did.