Episode 61 – Unstoppable Polymath with Pat Daily
So what is a “polymath”? Come on in and listen to this week’s episode to find out from our guest, Pat Daily. After hearing my conversation with Pat, not only will you know the definition of the word, but you will see why Pat fits the Polymath mold.
In his life, Pat has served as a pilot in the military, a pilot for a commercial airline, a successful employee at Honeywell, participated in starting a company and he is now even a successful science fiction author.
I very much enjoyed reminiscing with Pat about some of my and his early days around aircraft as we both have similar experiences in a lot of ways.
By any standard you can invoke, Pat is not only inspirational, but he also is easy to talk with and he is easy on the ears as well. I hope you like this episode and that you will please reach out and tell me what you think. As always, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, I hope you will give this episode a 5 rating after hearing it. Thanks for listening.
About the Guest:
Pat Daily is a polymath, serial entrepreneur, gamer, and the author of SPARK, a near future science fiction novel. Pat began his professional career as an engineer and Air Force test pilot. After leaving the military, Pat worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center on both the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs before launching his first company. He has worked globally as a human performance and safety consultant.
When not writing or trying to bring new airplane designs to life, Pat can be found gaming. He is a fan of role-playing games – particularly open worlds with engaging storylines where actions have consequences. Pat and his wife live in Houston.
Social media links:
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is an Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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Michael Hingson 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson 01:20
Hi, wherever you happen to be, and welcome to another edition of unstoppable mindset. Today, we get to chat with Pat Daily, who describes himself as a polymath. He is also an author, and entrepreneur. And specifically, he’s the author of a book called spark. And we’re gonna get into that, but I’m gonna start with tell me what is a polymath? Because some people won’t quite probably know that.
Pat Daily 01:47
That’s a good question, Mike. And I appreciate the opportunity to be here and talk about that. The I fell in love with this word when I discovered it just a couple of years ago. And really all it is is somebody that’s polymath is someone who’s had professional success in different lines. So not all sales, not all leadership, not all engineering. Cool.
Michael Hingson 02:15
So where have you had success? Well, I’ve
Pat Daily 02:18
been an Air Force Test Pilot. I’ve been an engineer at NASA. I’ve started my own business. I’ve been a safety consultant. I’ve been
Michael Hingson 02:30
now an author. There you go. Well, tell us a little bit about you maybe growing up just to learn about you and your background and stuff. And we’ll go from there.
Pat Daily 02:38
Sure, sure. I grew up in Seattle, Washington up in the rainy northwest corner of the country. From there, I graduate from high school, went into the Air Force Academy, graduated from there and started pilot training in the Air Force flew was a pilot in the Air Force for about 13 years and then decided that my, my life lay in commercial aviation. And so I went to went to work for American Airlines. And they agreed with me up until about the one year point, and then they decided that they had too many pilots and furloughed, me. And at that point, I thought, maybe I need to rethink this, this whole pilot as a career thing. So I went off and did some other things.
Michael Hingson 03:29
So you when you went to the Air Force Academy, did you miss Pike’s fish market?
Pat Daily 03:38
Yeah, yeah, I actually worked there a little bit when I was in high school at a restaurant whose name I can’t even remember right now. But But yeah, that’s a place that’s got a lot of interesting energy.
Michael Hingson 03:51
It does. I’ve been there just once. And I know someone who worked there in in one of the places in the market, but it does have a lot of interesting and somewhat unusual energy.
Pat Daily 04:04
That’s certainly true. So
Michael Hingson 04:07
you, you worked for American, why did you go off and do after American?
Pat Daily 04:11
Well, after American, I went to work for Honeywell and ended up working for Honeywell, Defense and Space electronic systems. And we did guidance, navigation control stuff for the space station and the space shuttle down at Johnson Space.
Michael Hingson 04:30
So what what did you do there? Can
Pat Daily 04:31
you talk a bunch about it? Oh, yeah. And then there’s, we didn’t do anything classified there. I mean, the whole human space thing, at least as far as NASA is concerned, is pretty much an open book. The probably my favorite project that I worked on was a thing that was supposed to be a lifeboat for the space station and it was the x 38 project. And it was kind of a lifting body. So it had some have swept back and swept up wings that that became well we ended up calling a rudder Vader because it was a combination of an elevator and rudder, although it was way more rudder than it was elevator. And, and it was a lot of fun. Got to actually watch it do a few drop tests from NASA aircraft. And then of course, somewhere along the way, it was decided that we were going to use Sputnik capsules and Soyuz capsules to to get us back from orbit so we no longer pursue that project. So it was a sad day when they shut that down but still a lot of fun to work on.
Michael Hingson 05:43
I grew up and near Edwards Air Force Base. So my father worked out there as the supervisor, the head of the precision measurements equipment lab, so he was in charge of calibrating all test equipment and things like that. So worked with Joe Walker, of course, who was famous with the x 15. Going back a long way from the x 38. And, and was there actually at the time of the m two lifting body which was kind of probably the precursor of all of that
Pat Daily 06:10
down. Were bounced because I spent a bunch of years at Edwards. Whereabouts Did you live?
Michael Hingson 06:15
We lived in Palmdale. Okay, and one of my favorite memories, boy I don’t know about today, but was when my dad would come home from work and tell us that he left our street, which was Stan rich Avenue in Palmdale, California, and drove all the way to Edwards without stopping once, which was, which was definitely amazing back in those days, just in terms of no traffic, no cars to interfere. And he oftentimes did it both ways. And in the evening, when he was coming home, I would talk with him, we both got our ham radio licenses. When I was 14, he waited for me because he could have gotten at any time. And we would chat as he was coming home from work and had a lot of fun just talking up on the two meter band a lot. And he would just keep going and going and never stop until we got to our street and there was stop signs. So we had to stop.
Pat Daily 07:09
That is really neat. That was a great memory to have your dad.
Michael Hingson 07:13
It was and you know, there were a lot of things that happen that he couldn’t talk about a couple times we went out and visited him. And we would go to his lab and he said, Well, I can’t let you in quite yet. We have to hide things that you can’t see. Well, that really didn’t matter to me a whole lot. But I guess my mom and my brother were there. So they had to do that. But it was it was fascinating going there. And he introduced me to Joe Walker. He knew Neil Armstrong, but I never got to meet Neil. But did spend some time with Joe Walker, which was a lot of fun. Of course. Yeah. He was one of the first real astronauts taking the x 15, up above 50 miles. What an airplane that was oh, and we actually would occasionally sit on our roof at home. And watch as the B 52. Took it up and dropped it. And they they didn’t have anything on the radio that we could listen to. But he would he told us where to look. And so we actually looked and and watched it drop and then fly and do the things that it did. It was pretty fascinating.
Pat Daily 08:17
Could you hear the sonic booms? down upon do?
Michael Hingson 08:19
That is a really good question that I’m glad you asked when we first moved to Palmdale in 1955. We heard sonic booms all the time. Never thought about it didn’t bother us that they were there. And I remember once we knew that we’re going to be playing war games between us and a couple of the other bases in Southern California. And the way you scored, especially when they did it at night was to see how close you could get to the other bases General’s house without being detected. And break a sonic boom. So I gather we at Edwards were pretty successful at getting getting close to the generals house. But yeah, we heard a lot of sonic booms. And then one day, they just weren’t there anymore.
Pat Daily 09:06
Yeah, I wasn’t there during that. That era. But but when I was we had a we had a corridor, we actually had a low altitude and a high altitude supersonic corridor. And that’s where if we were going to intentionally go supersonic, that’s where they wanted us to be. And that ran mostly east west. Yeah. So so that Sonic Boom would have had to propagate quite a ways for folks down in Palmdale to hear it. But yeah, don’t ever do. We heard them all the time.
Michael Hingson 09:39
Well, yeah. And I would I would expect that. And the reason that they disappeared from us was because I guess too many people started complaining but you know, GE, it never bothered me. I guess, however, that they decided that they could be somewhat destructive, especially if they were close enough or loud enough to buildings and so on. So they had to do it. And then I didn’t hear any until actually, we were down near Cape Kennedy once when the shuttle was coming back in for a landing, and we got to hear the sonic booms, which was fun to hear.
Pat Daily 10:15
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I’ve
Michael Hingson 10:16
heard them loud enough to be startling. But the ones like the shuttle threw off. It was always like, Ah, good. They’re home. Boom, boom, the double sonic boom, yeah, which was great. We were at a number of Armed Forces Day, events doubted it out at Edwards. And it was really fun when the Thunderbirds were there. Other people were flying the jets, and they would come almost right down on the deck, past us. And we were we were all together. So my dad said, well, here they are. And I said, I don’t hear anything all of a sudden boom, and you hear the whole sound, because they had already gotten faster than the speed of sound. So the plane was there about two seconds before the sound of the engine, which was kind of fascinating. Yep. But we, we enjoyed it. And it was part of growing up. Never thought about it. And then all of a sudden, one day, I haven’t heard sonic booms in quite a while. And it was I know, because people were complaining about the noise. Oh, what a world war two world. You know, the sonic booms were there before they were but nevertheless, as I said, probably there were some complaints about the noise. And I’ve read in recent articles that they they did decide that some of the the sonic booms could be destructive to structure. So
Pat Daily 11:35
I know they’ve they’ve broken windows before. And I know that sometimes livestock react poorly. And now NASA and industry are working on a thing called Quiet spike, which was programmed to reduce the the intensity of the sonic boom, so that an airliner for example, that would be traveling supersonic. To hear them Passover would be no more loud than the sound of a car door closing.
Michael Hingson 12:05
Right? There was I think something on 60 minutes about that either earlier this year, or late last year, which is where I first heard about it. So far. I guess it’s still somewhat theory, because they haven’t built the airliner yet that they believe will be able to have that low level of noise. But it’ll be pretty fascinating if they can make that happen.
Pat Daily 12:26
It will be because it it seems like we’ve been stuck, essentially traveling around the world at about point eight Mach. Yeah, for for 50 years, and forever, longer now forever.
Michael Hingson 12:38
And it will be I think it will be great if we can really do that. And also have it on an aircraft that’s small enough that we could even do supersonic inside the United States that will speed up a lot of air travel.
Pat Daily 12:52
It will. It will no it’d be wonderful.
Michael Hingson 12:54
But if I recall, right, they said they were going to have the first generation of that aircraft sometime later this year. Do you know anything about that? I know they’ve got the
Pat Daily 13:03
flying testbeds already. In fact, one of them is flying out of Palmdale.
Michael Hingson 13:08
Oh, okay. Well, we are now living in Victorville, so maybe we’ll hear it on Victorville.
Pat Daily 13:15
I used to live in Victorville when I was able to George Air Force Base.
Michael Hingson 13:19
There you go well, and when I was growing up, compared to Palmdale Victorville was hardly a blip on the radar scope. And now, we have over 120,000 people in Victorville. And in the whole Victor Valley area here we have over 600,000 People go the heck and figure it out.
Pat Daily 13:37
I had no idea that it had grown that much.
Michael Hingson 13:39
And continues to we just learned that there is a new housing development, about two miles from here that will have 15,000 new homes, low cost housing, but still 15,000 new homes. Oh, my gosh, I know, go figure. Now. It’ll be interesting to see how more how many more come along, but they’re building a lot of stuff up here. And at the same time we see open stores that is vacant stores that don’t understand why they’re doing the building that they’re doing when they got all this vacancy. And where are those people going to work? Are they are they commuting down into the LA basin? I work? Yes, that’s I guess that’s what’s happening. And there is of course, a lot of that but I hope that they come up with something other than just going down I 15 Because already the traffic on Interstate 15 going from Victorville down through Cajon Pass and down the other side is horrible. Almost 24 hours a day. I’ve gone to Ontario airport early in the morning like at four and still take an hour and 20 or minutes or an hour and a half or longer to get to Ontario.
Pat Daily 14:52
And Ontario has got to be getting busier and busier too because I remember that that was when I first moved out to that area. It was the like the secret gym that the airport nobody knew about and had very little traffic and and you didn’t have any jet bridges you just walked walked out to the aircraft and up the stairs. But still it was so much easier to navigate than lax,
Michael Hingson 15:18
sort of like Burbank airport. I don’t think that they’ve gotten totally into jet bridges. At least the last time I flew into Burbank they hadn’t. And the value of that is that they have people exit the aircraft from both the front and the back. So it hardly takes any time at all to evacuate an airport. Not evacuate, but get people off a plane when they land. Yeah. Which is kind of cool. Much faster. So as a test pilot, what kinds of of aircraft Did you test? What was kind of maybe the most unusual one? No flying saucers, I assume are
Pat Daily 15:52
flying saucers. Got to fly a bunch of different things. Most of my test time was in variants of the F 16. But probably the most unusual aircraft that I got to fly was the Goodyear blimp. There you go. Yeah. And I mean, did going through a test pilot school. And it felt an awful lot like climbing into someone’s minivan because the gondola was that spacious that that roomy had plenty elbow room, plenty of people could sit around. It certainly wasn’t, was a passenger compartment back in the days of the Hindenburg or anything, but it was, it was still pretty roomy for a modern aircraft cockpit. And we we went in and got to fly out over Long Beach and that whole area and I was the only airplane I’ve ever flown that only had one wheel. And I know because they tie the nose of the blimp to a big mast. And it just has one large wheel that casters around and as the wind blows it, it can weathervane into the wind and just pivot around on that little wheel.
Michael Hingson 17:09
Did you ever have any involvement with the flying wing? No, no at the time was probably before, well,
Pat Daily 17:17
well before but then the b two is a streamline wind design. And other than watching it, you know seeing it fly around. I never had any any interplay with it or never got to fly it. I do remember having to go out to their facility for something, a meeting or a test mission. And if you weren’t cleared into the program, they had to turn on a beeper and a flashing light to let everybody know that that uncleared scum were entering the area and hide all the secret stuff,
Michael Hingson 17:54
tell people what the flying wing is a
Pat Daily 17:56
flying wing is if you can imagine, and airliner with its left and a right wing. And now take away the fuselage where all the people sit and where most of the gas is and the luggage, and then just join those two halves of the wing together. Now you’re gonna have to beef it up a little bit, scale everything up. But it turns out that the flying wing design can be incredibly efficient. But it also comes with some pretty scary instabilities that you have to have to be ready to deal with. And so the earlier version, I think the XB 49 was the original flying wing. And it had small rudders to to help it maintain its directional stability. But the b two comes out at completely differently by using kind of differential speed brakes and spoilers. And, you know, that gave us differential thrust, I guess, but it’s, it’s a much more efficient and much more UFO like looking aircraft than we’re used to seeing.
Michael Hingson 19:11
Yeah, well, it will. It will be interesting to see, well, I don’t know whether they’ll ever use that and probably not for an airliner or anything like that, because there’s just not room for much in the way of passengers is there?
Pat Daily 19:23
No, although I’ve seen the whole design Yeah, and the whole design every once in a while when you see something in Popular Mechanics or something like that, where it’s a hugely scaled up flying wing design. And of course, the downside of that maybe it’s an upside is that everybody is now stuffed in the middle and and very few people get window seats, but the the times I’ve found recently hardly anybody is looking out the window anyway. And they tend to close the window shades and just get on their electronic entertainment devices
Michael Hingson 20:00
he up and it has its pluses and minuses to do that. But you know, I put on my earphones but I do try to listen to what’s going on around me and try to stay aware. But you have people do that. And, of course, lights are brighter or when you’re 30,000 feet or more. You’re you’re dealing with a lot of things. And as you said, people just want to get on their entertainment devices and escape. And so so that happens and then there you go. I’m still waiting for flying saucers and jetpacks, I’m ready for my jetpack. Yeah, that would be fun. I’m not sure how well I do with a jet pack. We need to get more information that comes in an auditory way rather than visually, but we can get there. Down. Yeah. Or tactically? Well ordered and tactically tactically. Yeah. Which would be both. There’s an experiment that the National Federation of the Blind did actually now it’s it started. Well, it started in 2001. Soon after September 11, I was at an event in Baltimore when a new building for the National Federation of blind was started called the Jernigan Institute. But one of the things that the President of the National Federation of the Blind back then did was to challenge private industry and the school systems, the college technical college systems to build a car that a blind person could drive. And in 2011, what they created was between Virginia Tech and some companies that worked with Virginia Tech came up with this device, they actually modified a Ford Escape. And what they did is they put a number of different kinds of radar and sonar devices on it. Other technologies that they felt would ultimately not even cost very much. But then the driver sat in the car and had some very long gloves on that would go up their arms, that had haptic or tactile devices that would vibrate, there was also a pad that he sat back against. And there were also something similar to the gloves that would would go around their legs so that there are a number of different kinds of vibrating things that were available to them. And a person was able to drive a car successfully. In fact, there’s a demonstration of it’s still on the National Federation of the Blind website or a subdomain. It’s called www dot blind driver challenge.org. And what you see if you go to that website is a video where the now president of the National Federation of the Blind Mark Riccobono, gets in this device and drives around the Daytona Speedway right before the January 2011 Rolex 24 race, going through obstacle courses, driving past grandstands, and people cheering and all that driving behind a van that is throwing up boxes that he has to avoid, and then passing the van and eventually getting back to homebase. But no one’s giving him directions. It’s all from the information that the car is transmitting to him. And the reality is that, that it is doable. And he was driving at something like 30 miles an hour, so he wasn’t going slow, and had no problem doing any of that. So the reality is, I think it’s possible to develop the technology that would make it possible for a blind person to have a safe and good driving experience. And especially as we get into the era of autonomous vehicles, where things are not necessarily totally as failsafe oriented as we would like. And as perfect as we would like, I see legislatures already saying, well, even if you’re going to have an autonomous vehicle, someone has to be in the driver’s seat who can drive the car, and there should be no reason why that can’t be a blind person as well.
Pat Daily 23:51
No, absolutely not. I mean, it’s, it’s all just a matter of data and input channel, right? I mean, right, whether it comes tactically or haptically, or auditorily, or we could have olfactory cues, maybe, but that that starts sounding a little messier,
Michael Hingson 24:09
probably a lot less efficient to do that. But but the fact is that Mark did this. And I think that car has been driven a number of times, I think he drove it around the streets of Baltimore as well. But the fact is that, that it is possible, which is another way of saying that eyesight isn’t the only way to do stuff. But unfortunately, it is the main way that most people use and I understand that but the fact is not using some of your other senses, I think limits drivers a lot. I’m still surprised that for example, with Apple who has constructed all of its technologies to be accessible. So VoiceOver is built into every device that it releases. I’m surprised I haven’t done more to make voiceover involved with interactions in automobiles. And there’s an android version of, of all of that called TalkBack. But I’m surprised that with cell phones in cars, that they don’t use more auditory output. And then like, you’ve got the Tesla where everything is driven by a touchscreen, which means no matter what you do you still have to look at the touchscreen. Why aren’t they doing more with audio?
Pat Daily 25:20
Yeah, that’s, that’s a great question. And it, I think it gets to something I’ve heard you say on some of your interviews about sighted people have a disability in that we are light dependent, and you take away the light from us and and the world by and large becomes a navigable right to most of us. And that’s just because we haven’t tuned our other senses in the way that
Michael Hingson 25:49
you have. And there’s no reason that we can’t make it possible for people to use more of their senses. But the the automotive industry doesn’t tend to do that. I think there’s probably although it’s still more emergency oriented. In aircraft, there’s a lot of information that comes out auditorily, but probably a lot more could as well.
Pat Daily 26:12
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And so much in aviation now is, is really autonomous, that the biggest problem that aircraft like the the Boeing purple seven have is, how do we make sure that on a 16 hour flight, the crews are still awake? Yeah. And so they they build checklists to require them every so often to actually physically do something that the aircraft is perfectly capable of doing on its own. But we we want, it seems to still have that that pilot in the loop that pilot and control, do we get alarms or something that makes the pilot pay attention then to do whatever it is they need to do? Yeah, yep, get chart chimes, you get verbal cues, where the aircraft is actually talking to you.
Michael Hingson 27:05
Yeah, it makes perfect sense to to do that. And I’ve seen times where aircraft have flown, although pilots are still there, completely autonomously landed themselves gone right up to the, to the hangar or to the place where they let off passengers and so on. And all of that technology is accurate enough to do that today. Absolutely. There are several of us that are talking about the concept of trying to use some of the same technology I described with the the car that a blind person could drive to create, or build it into an airplane and have a blind person, fly the plane. And there’s one person actually who wants to see this happen, and then be the first person to fly the same route Lindbergh did across the Atlantic, but be a totally blind person doing the flight.
Pat Daily 27:56
Well, that would be one heck of the demonstration of concept. But I’m with you. I don’t think there’s any reason they couldn’t do that. There shouldn’t be
Michael Hingson 28:07
any reason why we do have the technology today. It’s the usual thing of a matter of finding a matter of will on the part of enough people to to make that happen. But I see no reason why with the technology we have today. We can’t do that. Yeah, I think it all comes down to what you said. It’s
Pat Daily 28:26
desire and funding. Sounds like a lot of fun down.
Michael Hingson 28:29
We’ll see it be a fun project. Well, maybe you can help us. But oh, I have to ask this. In all your flying. Of course, you I’m sure you have flown in like the plane that everybody calls the vomit comment and had your experiences of weightlessness. Absolutely. And but you haven’t gone yet fully into space?
Pat Daily 28:52
I have not. That’s that’s been one of my major disappointments. I always wanted to be an astronaut. And got a shot, got interviewed got to go down to NASA and then try to plead my case. And, and unfortunately, I was not selected, had a lot of friends that were selected, but I was not among them. You know,
Michael Hingson 29:16
Scott Parazynski? I do, we interviewed Scott, not too long ago. So he was talking to us about a number of the space station events and thought things that he has done. He wrote his book with the help of the same person who assisted me with underdogs. Susie Florrie. So that’s how we got very good, which is which is kind of fun. So you went off and did Honeywell and and all that and got to work. I’ve never been to the Johnson Space Center. I’d love to do that sometime. I think it’d be a lot of fun. I have spent some time at NASA Goddard. And of course a little bit at the Kennedy Space Center but nothing really too involved in some didn’t really get a chance to look at much of it but it’d be fun to go to the Johnson Space Center sometimes. So we’ll have to come down and visit you and go there.
Pat Daily 30:05
Yeah, come on down, we’ll take you.
Michael Hingson 30:07
But what did you do after Honeywell and all of that? After Honeywell, I,
Pat Daily 30:12
I launched a consulting company where we did safety consulting, and training and professionalism, professional development. And I really loved them, I really enjoyed the work. But after about 15 years doing that I was kind of done. So I left that behind, sold my share of the company to my partners, and wish them all well and, and move back into the flight test world. And so what did you go off and do? I went up to Moses, Lake Washington to work for Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation. And at the time, we were trying to build and certify a thing called the originally was called the MRJ, for Mitsubishi regional jet. And then they rebranded it, and called it the space jet, which, which, I don’t know, I probably would have picked a different name, but hey, I’m not in marketing. And the thought behind the name was that they had reconceived reconceptualized, the way an airliner is built, traditionally, all the all the luggage, and everything goes in the belly. And that moves the floor of the aircraft up into the aluminum tube. And so you start losing head room and overhead, luggage space. And Mitsubishi had the idea, well, what if we just put all the luggage in the back, and then we have more room in the tube, and even fairly tall guys could stand upright in the in the aisle without having to duck. And that gave us the opportunity to build to build bigger luggage, overhead luggage compartments, and things like that. Unfortunately, that, you know, we, we got to flight test we built maybe seven of them that actually flew me see for here too, there are six that actually flew and then some that were just being used for structure testing. And then and then COVID happened and Mitsubishi decided that the program was far enough behind schedule and far enough over budget, that they needed to really rethink it. And so they they put it on what they call an extended pause. So extended that personally, I don’t think it’s ever coming back coming
Michael Hingson 32:39
back. It’s yeah, permanently pause. So that kind of didn’t help your job any?
Pat Daily 32:44
No, no, I got I got laid off from there. And thought that well, you know, I’m not I’m not working when I want to try writing. And so I’d already been playing around with the whole writing thing when COVID hit, and then just took it to the next level and got really serious about it finished the novel. And then, you know, long Behold, found somebody that actually wanted to publish it. You know, Michael, I don’t know if you have this problem. But But I have a bit of an ego problem. I think that what I do is pretty doggone good. And so I wrote this book and draft one I thought, okay, it’s no, it’s no Of Mice and Men. It’s it’s not great literature, but it’s a good book. And so I started sending it out. And and then I joined some writing groups, and the writing groups. It turns out, it’s a little harder to get honest feedback than one would hope. Because everybody’s worried that they’re going to hurt your feelings and offend you. Yeah. And when they tell you you’ve got an ugly baby. But I had, I had a hideous baby. And it wasn’t until well, she’s become a friend of mine, another author, Alex Perry, who wrote a wonderful children’s book, not children mid grade book, called pig hearted that she finally told me she said, Pat, it’s boring. She said, your writing all makes sense. You can put a sentence together but it’s like watching somebody else. watch somebody else play. A video came. And, and it hurt. But but it was exactly what I needed to hear. Yeah. And so I joined another writing group. And then I guess after about four or five revisions and 22 queries later, that Inklings publishing, said, Hey, you know, we think you got something here. So, you know, why don’t we pair you up with a developmental editor and we’ll see you We can do and they paired me up with a wonderful woman named Steph Mathias son. And she shepherded me through three more revisions of the book. And every time it got better, and largely because of the people that were willing to give me that honest feedback people like stuff, so that it you know, it got published and and now I’ve submitted book to to Inklings, and that should be coming out in December. And I’ve started on Book Three. So it’s been, it’s been a lot
Michael Hingson 35:34
of fun. And sequel is booked to a sequel, Book Two as a sequel. Yeah, great. Well, you know, there’s nothing like a good editor, they’re, they’re worth their weight in gold and more. They’re editing, right. And I learned that, not the hard way. But I learned it in a great way when we were doing fender dawg, because Thomas Nelson paired us with an editor who said, My job isn’t to rewrite this in my own style. And to tell you how to write my job is to help you make this something that people will want to read, and to fine tune what you do. And and he did. We had, for example, I don’t know whether you read thunder dog, but one of the parts about thunder dog is that it starts every chapter with something that was occurring on that day in the World Trade Center for me are around it. Then we went back to things I learned in my life. And then we came back and ended each chapter kind of continuing on in the World Trade Center. And what what our editor said was that your transitions lose me there, you’re not doing great transitions from one scene to the other. And you got to fix that. And that was all he said. So I volunteered to do the transition examinations and try to deal with that, because it just clicked when he said that. I know exactly what he’s saying. And I never thought about it. And and Susie says the same thing, you know, we hadn’t really thought that they were as much of a problem as they are. But now that you mentioned it. So literally over a weekend, I’ve just went through and created transitions for every chapter. And I think that’s one of the strong points of the book. And others have have said the same thing that the transitions absolutely take you where you want the reader to go. And it all came about because of the editor. Yeah, and I’m with you there. I
Pat Daily 37:31
think transitions are key. And I largely ignored them as well, in my in my early writing, that that of reading or consuming a book is actually requires work on both ends. And it’s easier for the reader, if you pull them along as the writer if you seamlessly pull them into the next scene or seamlessly transition them. So yeah, transitions are huge.
Michael Hingson 38:00
They are and as soon as I heard that it made perfect sense. And the thing about it is I know now that I knew it, then I just never thought about it. So it’s it’s great to have a wonderful editor who can guide you. Well, your first book is called spark tell us about it, if you would. Spark is a near future science fiction novel, it.
Pat Daily 38:26
It takes place, mostly in Southern California, because when I was flying out there, I remember there being a solar power facility called solar one. And you could see it from probably 100 miles away during the daytime because it was one of these solar facilities where it relied on mirrors to reflect the solar energy up to a central collecting vessel that that normally has some sort of molten salt in it because it turns out that’s really good for retaining heat. And then then they use that to transfer the heat to water turn that into steam to power a turbine and voila, electricity, by all always was fascinated by the whole solar power idea. And so spark itself is an acronym. It stands for Solar prime augmented reality Park. And, and as one of my readers pointed out, will pat that should be spark than not Spark as well. Yeah, but but spark doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. So I took a little license there. And the spark is a theme park for gamers. And it is an augmented reality theme park that makes use of both haptic technology as well as auditory cue News and visual cues in a thing I call augmented reality glasses that present the the player with a blended version of the real and the virtual. It’s close enough in time to us that most people recognize a lot of the technology. But it posits some pretty impressive changes in artificial intelligence and solar power. And of course, it’s it’s got action adventure, there are good guys bad guys. The hero of the story a young man named wil Kwan shows up at the park, as you know, after his parents passed away, is his father dies in the second Korean War, which when I wrote it, wrote the book seemed much farther away than it does today. And, and that his his mom suffered mightily from the loss for her husband. And she ends up dying just few years later, and will is left as an orphan and things don’t go well for him in foster care. And he ends up running away his goal is to run out to spark where his parents took him when he was younger. And he figures he’s gonna get a job and just live there forever. Except that spark won’t hire miners. And so he’s got to figure out another way around it. And as he does, he realizes that there are far more layers to the game, and to spark itself than are normally perceived by others. And so he starts, he starts hunting a little bit, trying to learn more, he, he meets a young woman that or he has a disastrous first encounter with like, by the end of the novel, even though they still butt heads, they’re now holding hands. And so you get a little little action, a little adventure, little romance, little mystery, and it ends up I think, just being kind of a fun novel.
Michael Hingson 42:12
So I would gather from augmented reality and everything else that, that there must be a lot of adventures and quests, and so on in the book. So if somebody were to buy the rights for the book, what quest would you like to see them convert into real life?
Pat Daily 42:29
That’s a good question. That’s a good question. I think my favorite and I D, detail a couple of the quests pretty deeply in the book, and one is called war on Mars. And I think it would be the most fun because it is the most expansive it, it takes place in mostly in Mariner Valley on Mars, which is so much larger than the Grand Canyon, in the United States. It is seven kilometers deep, that’s four and a half miles deep. And it’s it’s nearly as wide as the United States is or long as the United States is east to west. And so I thought there were some cool things you could do with that out elevation change and, and of course, then there’s got to be aliens involved in there, too.
Michael Hingson 43:28
I was just going to ask.
Pat Daily 43:32
Yeah, so So there are some aliens who don’t take kindly to us being on Mars, and there’s combat but but will is the kind of guy that he would rather think his way through things and fight his way through things. So he’s, he’s hung up on trying to find a more peaceful solution to our conflict with the aliens and I think that ends up being a lot of fun and wouldn’t be a lot of fun to play out in real life.
Michael Hingson 44:03
Hopefully he figures out a way to get some peace and make some new friends.
Pat Daily 44:08
He does. Oh, good.
Michael Hingson 44:09
What character given that you’re you’re doing this a little bit future mystic kind of where what character was the hardest to develop
Pat Daily 44:18
the the young woman whose name is Shay Cree Patel, but her avatar name is feral daughter, and, and that name came out of something. My own daughter said that I misunderstood. We were on a on a vacation and they were in in shopping and I’d had enough of shopping in that particular store. So I just wanted to go stand outside for a little bit. Enjoy the fresh air. And she came out and she said something that I misunderstood as feral daughter. And I jumped all over that I said, that would be a great name for kind of a counter culture. clothing line, or, or you know, a boutique for women’s clothes at a university or something like that. And she goes, Dad, what are you talking about? I said, Well, feral daughter isn’t that we such no I and I don’t even to this day, I don’t remember what she actually said that it was not Farrell daughter. And it turns out that while I think I am a good husband, and good father, I am not very good at writing female characters. And again, my writing groups came in and were tremendously helpful. You know, some painful feedback, but also very good feedback to help me develop the female characters make them more authentic, so that, that neither of my daughters or my wife were embarrassed by the by them at the end
Michael Hingson 45:51
of the day, you mean, your daughter didn’t help you? Right? She gave me
Pat Daily 45:55
one daughter, God bless her read all the way through one of the early drafts and gave me a lot of good feedback. The second one, the second daughter was far more interested after the book came out. And she was better at answering specific questions about well, you know, would this would this girl do this? Or? Or what do you think about this? Or how should he or she approached this? So they both been helpful in very different ways? Like, yeah, I, I was embarrassed enough by my writing that I put them through too many revisions of the of the novel
Michael Hingson 46:36
well, but if they, if they looked at it, and really helped unless you just were way too graphic with the sex scenes?
Pat Daily 46:44
No, no. And, and honestly, them that factored into it, I wanted to write a book that I wouldn’t be embarrassed for my goats to read any of eventually, their children to read a call. They’re calling you now. They’re calling me now Dad, what are you saying? So, you know, interestingly, when I got the idea for the book, I was pitching it to my wife when we were out to dinner one night, and she’s a fourth grade school teacher. And she started asking me all these questions, what about this, and this and this and this, and it would not be an understatement to say that I reacted poorly to the feedback. And at the end of the night, we ended up still married and still loving each other. But she told me that she was not going to read it until it was published. And so I lost my opportunity to have my first best writer critiquer
Michael Hingson 47:45
How about now with future books and the book you’re working on now?
Pat Daily 47:49
Now, I think she is much more open to it.
Michael Hingson 47:52
And are you more open to Yes,
Pat Daily 47:55
yes. And I I’m better at taking feedback. And that helps tremendously. Because now I can I can discuss it a little more dispassionately and talk about what works what doesn’t work in a scene and, and how characters might actually react. How old are your daughter’s daughter number one is 36. Donner number two will be 33. The end of this year?
Michael Hingson 48:27
Do you have any sons? Nope.
Pat Daily 48:29
Michael Hingson 48:30
So you’ve got two daughters, and they still and your wife still has some time to read and comment on your writings. Indeed,
Pat Daily 48:40
although my I’m probably not her favorite genre. Now she she loves historical fiction. So she’ll, she’ll jump on one of those books more eagerly than a science fiction book.
Michael Hingson 48:56
Well, okay, science fiction book. I guess we have to get to some other questions about that. So if we’re dealing with science fiction today, Star Wars or Star Trek?
Pat Daily 49:07
Oh, gotta say I love them both. But I was born and raised on trek. And so I’ll always be a Trekkie, even though I am a little disgruntled with some of the decisions they’ve made and some of the recent movies.
Michael Hingson 49:21
Yeah, yeah, my I hear you. But I like them both. I, especially the earlier Star Wars movies. I think, again, they’ve they’ve lost something in some of the translated translations later on. But they’re fun. There are a lot of really nice Star Wars and Star Trek books, however, that are fun to read.
Pat Daily 49:44
Yeah. Yeah. And I actually, I actually tried to write a Star Trek book years ago, and I thought it was it was going to be good but it never I never finished it and The series move beyond one of my central characters I made Lieutenant Saavik a central character and, and things just move beyond her.
Michael Hingson 50:11
Mm hmm. Things happen. Yep. Well, and I was, you know, I like all of the Star Wars movies and I guess they they dealt with it but like the the last well of the original Nine with Luke Skywalker I guess in a little in a sense I was a little disappointed of course, I was disappointed that that Han Solo son killed him and what was that number? That would have been what number seven? But nevertheless, they’re they’re, they’re fun. They’re great adventure scores. So was Indiana Jones.
Pat Daily 50:46
Yes, yes. Indiana Jones that Raiders of the Lost Ark was actually the first movie I took my wife to go see
Michael Hingson 50:56
her you go down and how she liked it. She loved it.
Pat Daily 51:01
She loved it. I knew nothing about it other night heard other people say great things about it. And so I was delighted that it turned out to be such a good movie. I think it made a positive impact.
Michael Hingson 51:13
And were you afraid of snakes? I had to ask.
Pat Daily 51:16
I hate snakes.
Michael Hingson 51:21
Then as far as more I guess you could say science fiction, probably more fantasy, but something that I think has had a major impact on the lives of a lot of people, especially kids and helping them read is Harry Potter.
Pat Daily 51:33
Yes. That completely hooked. My daughter’s my my first daughter got hooked on the red wall series. Brian jocks but then as soon as the Harry Potter’s came out, she started devouring those and that is what really turned my second daughter into a reader was all the Harry Potter books. So II and that’s the point, right? Yep. Yep,
Michael Hingson 52:01
I think we discovered Harry Potter with the third one in the series, prisoner basket band, we heard about it, and saw some new things about it. And at that time, there was still this company books on tape and we went in and we got copies, we got a copy and started reading the first one. And we got hooked. It was a little while getting into it. But it was a little boring at first, but we got hooked on it. And so we read the Sorcerer’s Stone. And then we were hooked and couldn’t wait for each of them the rest of the books to come out. So we read the first three pretty quickly because we were already on the Prisoner of Azkaban when we learned about it, but then we grabbed books as soon as we can. We got the audio books because my wife liked to listen to them as well, although we also got a print copy of all of the books, but we enjoyed listening to them. Jim Dale was such a great reader. And one of my favorite stories about all of that is that he was scheduled to read part of the fourth book in the series. I think that was the one published in 2001. When September 11 happened and he was supposed to be in Manhattan and was in Manhattan. He was supposed to do a reading outside of scholastic publishing, publishing. And so when the Goblet of Fire was published, he was going to be there doing a reading at Scholastic because they’re the publisher of it. And of course, it was on September 11 And September 11 happened so he didn’t get to read it. And we didn’t get to go up and listen. But I remember that that was supposed to all happen on September 11.
Pat Daily 53:41
Oh my goodness, I never knew that. So she was going to be an evening thing. We’re going to have to take off work, go play a little hooky to listen to the reading Oh,
Michael Hingson 53:50
we we could have gone up there without any difficulty during the day because we were working with scholastic publishing and sold them tape backup products. So it’s not even a hard problem to go off and deal with going up there. Ah, okay. And when only going from the World Trade Center up to Scholastic, which is Midtown Manhattan, so was likely we’d be up in that area. Anyway. My favorite though thing about scholastic was we went in once I and a couple of wire other people. And one of the elevators was out of order, and they had a sign on the one that worked that said, this is for muggle use. And then the one that was out of order for wizard use only, which was really cute. I like that. Yeah, it was kind of fun. But you know, I really admire authors and books that promote reading and encourage people to read and I’m glad that that Harry Potter has done that and, you know, I’m looking forward to reading spar have gotta figure out a way to get access to it. I assume it may not be in audio format yet or is it?
Pat Daily 54:53
It is not. But I just started conversations with someone who could be the the narrator and I I’ve just learned that there’s a huge difference between narrators and voice actors. And so I may need someone with voice acting skills, rather than just narration. Because I’ve got a lot of characters and some drama, and I want somebody that that can do more than simply read the words off the page. But I don’t know how long it takes from day one to final release of an audio book. But I will let you know when it happens.
Michael Hingson 55:30
It you do have to get somebody who can read it. Well, I enjoy books where the reader is a as an actor and puts different voices into it. I’ve been reading talking books from the library of congress, of course, my whole life and early on, especially, they sought actors to do the reading. One of my favorite series has always been the wreck stop series near wolf, the private detective. Yeah, in the in the reader who did the best job was a radio actor named Carl Webber, who I never heard much of in radio, although I clicked radio shows, he did do a show called Dr. Six Gun. And I’ve discovered that and listened to him. And it does sound like our a Weber. But he read the neuro wolf books, and they were absolutely incredibly well done. So it does make a difference to have someone who’s a good actor reading it, as opposed to just somebody who reads the lines, because they will help draw you in. Yeah, yeah. And I actually
Pat Daily 56:35
just downloaded thunder dog. I still do a fair amount of driving and I like to listen to books while I’m driving. So I’m I’m looking forward to hearing that. Well, Christopher
Michael Hingson 56:48
prince did a did a good job with it. I, I don’t know how he would be at well, actually, I take that back. I have heard another book of that he read where he did. It was a fiction book. And I’m trying to remember the name of it, I’d have to go back and find it. But he did a pretty good job. He did this for Oasis audio. But there are some good actors out there. And so I hope that you have some success. Let me know. And if you need somebody ever to listen, I’d be glad to help.
Pat Daily 57:17
Oh, excellent. Thank you. I’ll take care on that.
Michael Hingson 57:20
I have one last question I’ve been thinking about not book related. But talking about aircraft. Again, the 747 I keep hearing is probably the most stable passenger airliner that has ever been really produced. What do you think about that? Why is it so stable? Oh, I’ve
Pat Daily 57:38
got to agree with that a real champion of design. And it’s got a couple things in his favor. One is one is the wings are Anhedral, which means that they can’t up a little bit and especially when, when they get a little lift on him, they they get pulled up as all their aircraft wings do. And then the enormous vertical stabilizer lends a lot of a lot of stability to the aircraft. And then finally, I think Boeing just did an absolutely spectacular job of, of harmonizing the flight controls and putting everything together to make it a very docile airplane, certainly for something of its size. I mean, it carries so much fuel that he uses fuel for structural integrity when it’s more full. And so we have that 747 is a spectacular airplane. And, and unfortunately, it’s it’s kind of aging
Michael Hingson 58:38
out. But how come they haven’t done other things with that same level of design and stability? At least? I haven’t heard that they have. But yeah, I
Pat Daily 58:48
think I think the triple seven is close to it. There have been very very few mishaps with the with the triple seven. And it’s it’s another marvelous airplane. I don’t think they got exactly what they’re hoping for with the 787. They did have some design issues, some manufacturability issues, but it’s it’s certainly a highly efficient and remarkably quiet appointment. So
Michael Hingson 59:20
what prompted the question was when you were talking about the Mitsubishi aircraft and so on, and putting the luggage at the backs of taller people could stand up. It reminded me of the 747 with the upper level for first class, the lounge where the pilots and so on were so it almost was to a degree at least a double decker aircraft.
Pat Daily 59:38
Yeah. Yeah. And of course Airbus has made the a 380 which is a true double decker full length. But that’s that’s another aircraft that hasn’t exactly lived up to its hype. Well,
Michael Hingson 59:51
still holding on for flying saucers. There you go. Well, Pat, I want to thank you for being on unstoppable mindset. How do people reach out and maybe learn more about you? Where can they get the book? You know, love all your contact information and so on.
Pat Daily 1:00:08
Okay, probably the easiest way is the website, which is thepatdaily.com. And it’s t h e. P a t d a i l y.com. And that has links to to my blog to the bio to all my other socials. I’m on, of course on on Facebook at Pat Daily, author and on Instagram at Pat daily pics and then Twitter at at Pat Daily, or I think it’s at Pat Daily author, but easiest way, just the website, everything is there. Down. Cool.
Michael Hingson 1:00:48
Well, I know I’m looking forward to finding a way to read spark and your other books as they come out. That will be fun being a science fiction fan, of course. And I think we talked about it before we were doing this particular episode. But we’ve talked about science fiction and some of my favorite authors, I would still like to see somebody take Robert Heinlein to the Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and make it into a radio series. Talking about actors. I just think that do. I think you’re right. I loved that book.
Pat Daily 1:01:19
I loved so much of what Heinlein wrote, you know, one of the one a great masters of the genre.
Michael Hingson 1:01:25
Yeah, yeah. And I think that’s his best book. A lot of people say Stranger in a Strange Land was and it was very unique, and so on. But the Moon is a Harsh Mistress is so clever. And there’s so much to it. And of course, then there are books that follow on from it, where some of the world’s the same characters are involved. Heinlein created a whole universe, which was fun, did it just sort of like as I did with the foundation series? Well, thanks, again, for being here. We need to do this again. Especially when you get more books out, when you get your next book out, we got to come back and talk about it. I’d love to.
Pat Daily 1:02:02
And and thank you so much for having me on your show, Mike, I really appreciate it.
Michael Hingson 1:02:05
Well, I really appreciate you taking the time to be here. This has been fun. So people go find the Pat daily.com and contact Pat reach out and enjoy the book. And let me know what you think of it. I’m going to get to it as well, I’m just going to find a way to be able to read it. So we’ll get there. But for all of you who listened in today, thanks very much for being here. If you’d like to reach out to me, please do so. My email address is Michaelhi@accessibility.com. That’s M I C H A E L H I at A C C E S S I B E.com. Where you can go to www dot Michael hingson.com/podcast where you can reach out to us as well. I hope you’ll give us a five star rating. And Pat, we didn’t talk about it. Well, we should probably at some point, talk about how accessible your website is and get you in touch with people in accessibe.
Pat Daily 1:03:01
Absolutely. I did check out accessibe and it looks like something that once I get the website fully developed, we’ll be in contact.
Michael Hingson 1:03:09
Well, we’d love to help you with that. But again, everyone thanks for being here. Please give us a five star rating and we hope that you’ll be back again next week for unstoppable mindset. And again, Pat, thank you for being here as well.
Pat Daily 1:03:20
Thank you, Mike.Take care,
Michael Hingson 1:03:22
Michael Hingson 1:03:26
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.