Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2006

Jack Speaks To You

Halloween- Things That Frighten Me

In honor of Halloween here again is a list of things that frighten me including one or two new line items. This a list of things that have frightened me in my life. Some are still relevant and some are not. But I thought that it might be interesting to just throw them all out there to see what they look like during daylight hours. P.S. I have explanations for all of these, but I may not include them on the list. Why? I just don't feel like it. :) The Dark. The Amityville Horror scared me. Oscar the Grouch Bigfoot- The one from the Bionic Man television Show. He gave Steve Austin plenty of trouble. The Creature in the Legend of Boggy Creek A couple of dogs that chased me on my paper route. The homeless guy from the park. V.L.- He and I got into a fight in high school. I pretty much kicked his ass up and down the corridor, but I do remember shaking with adrenalin afterwards. For about two weeks I was concerned that I was going to have to face him and his older brother again. Having

My Children Are Growing Up Too Quickly

Ok, call me an old sap but this morning I got a little choked up. I looked at my son and all I could see was this kid on the verge of becoming a teenager and then an adult and then a father etc.... He is not quite six, what the hell is wrong with me. I have years to go, but for a moment this morning he just seemed so mature. I am not ready to give this time up yet.

Most Lucrative Jobs For College Grads

"These salary increases combined with the results of a recent poll of Salary Survey participants indicate that 2005-06 has been the best job market in the past four years," said NACE executive director Marilyn Mackes in a statement. According to the survey, majors that have seen some of the biggest increases in average starting salaries are: Information sciences and systems: Up 7.5 percent to $47,182 Economics/finance: Up 6.2 percent to $44,588 Civil engineering: Up 5.3 percent to $46,084 Chemical engineering: Up 4.9 percent to $56,269 Accounting: Up 4.6 percent to $44,928 Business administration/management: Up 4.2 percent to $41,155 History: Up 4.2 percent to $33,071 For the full story please click here.

Project Valour-IT- A Worthy Cause

About Project Valor Every cent raised for Project Valour-IT goes directly to the purchase and shipment of voice-activated laptops for wounded servicemembers. As of October 2006, Valour-IT has distributed nearly 600 laptops to severely wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines across the country. During its initial phase, Valour-IT created "libraries" of laptops equipped with voice-controlled software for the severely wounded staying at major military medical centers. In many cases a laptop was provided to a wounded hero for permanent use. Valour-IT is continuing to accept donations of any amount to supply the "libraries" of laptops at major medical centers and gifts to individuals, but has also added the option of an individual or organization directly sponsoring a wounded soldier by completely funding the cost of a laptop and continuing to provide him or her with personal support and encouragement throughout recovery. This has proved to be an exce

Look At My Halloween Costume

A Picture of My License Plate

The Darker Side of YouTube

In the salad days of the net there were untold numbers of businesses who unsuccessfully tried to turn themselves into overnight sensations. Those were heady days in which it seemed the venture capital money was available to anyone bold enough to present a business idea to investors, no matter how silly. Tens of thousands if not millions of people hoped to cash in on one of the major hits. I can remember many conversations with friends who anxiously hoped that their options would materialize into millions, or at least enough cash to buy some large ticket item like a car or home. Just when you thought those days were long gone YouTube has brought back the memories. In less than two years it skyrocketed into our awareness evolving from a small start-up into a serious player and then a major acquisition. If you spend any time on this blog you are certainly aware that I am a fan of their service. I have taken great joy in exploring some of the videos. They have been a fine addition t

Children Should Not Receive Sex Toys

What the hell were the manufacturers thinking. " Tesco has been forced to remove a pole-dancing kit from the toys and games section of its website after it was accused of "destroying children's innocence". The Tesco Direct site advertises the kit with the words, "Unleash the sex kitten inside...simply extend the Peekaboo pole inside the tube, slip on the sexy tunes and away you go! "Soon you'll be flaunting it to the world and earning a fortune in Peekaboo Dance Dollars". The £49.97 kit comprises a chrome pole extendible to 8ft 6ins, a 'sexy dance garter' and a DVD demonstrating suggestive dance moves."

Math Geeks Beat Lotto

"MOST of us believe winning lotto is down to the luck of the draw. But a syndicate of university professors and tutors in Britain thought it could also be related to the principles of mathematical probability. And their theory was spectacularly vindicated this week when they matched all six numbers and scooped the $13 million lotto jackpot. The syndicate, made up of 17 staff members at Bradford University and College, bagged the big prize by using two boxes, 49 pieces of paper and a large amount of brainpower. But it was far from an overnight success. Syndicate leader Barry Waterhouse, 41, who works at the design and printing section of the university, explained that the syndicate had been doing the National Lottery for eight years without conspicuous success after it started in 1994 with each member picking his or her own line. "We just weren't winning with the numbers being picked that way, so we thought of a different method which would mean all 49 numbers w

Vampires a Mathematical Impossibility, Scientist Says

Someone needs to bite this guy. " A researcher has come up with some simple math that sucks the life out of the vampire myth , proving that these highly popular creatures can't exist. University of Central Florida physics professor Costas Efthimiou's work debunks pseudoscientific ideas , such as vampires and zombies, in an attempt to enhance public literacy. Not only does the public believe in such topics, but the percentages are at dangerously high level, Efthimiou told LiveScience . Legend has it that vampires feed on human blood and once bitten a person turns into a vampire and starts feasting on the blood of others. Efthimiou's debunking logic: On Jan 1, 1600, the human population was 536,870,911. If the first vampire came into existence that day and bit one person a month, there would have been two vampires by Feb. 1, 1600. A month later there would have been four, and so on. In just two-and-a-half years the original human population would all hav

Does Blogging Make You Feel Obligated?

The question of the moment is do you feel obligated to produce new content on a regular basis? Some of my blogging pals have said that although they enjoy blogging it has come to a feel like work. The reason for this is that they now feel that they have an obligation to respond to all of the comments and a responsibility to continue to produce new content for their readers. What do you think?

What I Want For My Children & Random Thoughts

My daughter is in love with Dora . Ok, that is not entirely accurate. She is in love with her big brother. She has no bigger hero than him. And of course it makes him crazy to have his little sister follow him around and try to imitate him. Don't misunderstand, he loves her too and he appreciates the attention. Yet like most big brothers he has his moments in which he wishes that she wasn't always around to bug him and his friends. A few weeks ago we were at the park. I love to sit there and watch them play. I like seeing them interact with the other children. It is important that they learn how to socialize and get along with others. They need to learn how to take of themselves and how to solve problems. That is why when I see them have disagreements with others I like to sit back and see if they can handle it. It is good for them. On this particular day I saw another little girl pushed my daughter. And then I saw the advantage of having a big brother. He came running ov

An Eruv At The Beach

The LA Times reports: " An Orthodox synagogue with the ambitious desire to enclose much of Santa Monica, Venice and Marina del Rey within a religious boundary known as an eruv has come up against a barrier some say is as immutable as the Torah itself: the California Coastal Commission. The Pacific Jewish Center in Venice wants to string fishing line between lampposts and sign poles for several miles through the coastal communities, creating a symbolic unbroken boundary.Orthodox Jews within the boundary can consider themselves to be "at home" on the Sabbath. That eases restrictions of the holy day and allows people to carry food, push strollers and bring their house keys with them when they go out. Such lines have been up for years in religious neighborhoods throughout the world. A large eruv encompasses a swath of Hollywood, Hancock Park, West Hollywood, Westwood, Beverly Hills and surrounding communities. But never has anyone in Southern California attempted to run

A Little Notoriety For The Shack

There are many aspects of blogging that I very much enjoy. I touched upon many of these in a post aptly named Why I Blog . For me part of the fun of the blogosphere is the element of surprise. You never really know what you are going to find or for that matter who might find you. In theory my quiet little corner of cyberspace could find its way into the homes and offices of tens of millions, or not. All of this is a long winded way to say that this morning I learned that the Shack is being featured along with other bloggers in a column at CBSNEWS. It is called Bloggers Eye Skimpy Halloween Garb . Anyway, I thought that I would pass the news along. A hearty welcome to all of you first time visitors. The title of the blog is accurate. This blog does contain random thoughts and comments about all sorts of things. Over on the right side of the page there are some drop down menus that contain some of my better posts. You are welcome to take a look around and hang out for a bit. T

The Joy of Being a Beneficiary- Don't Scam Me Dude

I received a letter that I would like to share with you. Attention: Bequest Beneficiary We act as solicitors and our services have been retained by Henry Cox, now late here in after referred to asour client. On behalf of late Henry Cox, I write to notify you that my late client made you a beneficiary to the bequest sum of One Million Seven Hundred Thousand British Pounds in the codicil to his will and last testament. Henry Cox, died on 8th day February 2005 after a brief illness at the age of 85. Until his death he was consultant to several oil and gas industries. He had a sojourn in the United States and so many other countries before he came to Cairn Energy PLC an oil and gas exploration and production company based in the United Kingdom. He was a knight in the Church and belonged to several non-governmental and scientific organizations. He was also great philanthropist and a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club International. This bequest is to support your activities,humanitar

Visions of Paradise

I still love this Mick Jagger song. Here is a link to the video and the lyrics. "Visions Of Paradise" "Don't tell me when Something is beautiful And don't tell me how to Talk to my friends Just tell me the names of The stars in the sky What's your favourite song Tell me the names of the Lovers you had Before I came along Don't put your arms around me And don't hold me tight 'Cause I could get used to Your vision of paradise And don't ask me where All of the pain goes 'Cause you make me feel That I don't know myself You say that you want me forever And I say that love is no crime So tell me the names of the children We'll have at the end of the line So don't put your arms around me And don't hold me tight 'Cause I could get used to Your vision of paradise And don't let me near the garden Of earthly delights 'Cause I could get used to Your vision of paradise Of paradise Of paradise Just use your heart not

Heather McCartney to sue British papers

I don't really care much about this story, but when I saw the picture accompanying the headline Heather McCartney to sue British papers I had to comment. Am I the only person wondering if the selection of this picture was intentional. Maybe. And now for some commentary on the article. "She is pursued everywhere she goes. She is stalked by press photographers, who congregate outside her home and chase after her in cars — regardless of her safety or the safety of her daughter," her lawyers said. I am not a fan of the paparazzi. We give celebrities far too much credit. But at the same time I am a realist. Look who she married. Did she really expect to be able to live a normal life. C'mon. Somewhere Paul is banging his head against a wall. I can hear him muttering to himself. " First I had to deal with Lennon bloke taking credit for my work, not to mention his crazy lady. And now this. " Ok, maybe those aren't his exact words, but right about now

I Wish That I Could Write As Well As You

Sometimes the grass really is greener. A short time ago I received an email that said the blog had jumped the shark . As the 17 readers of this blog know I didn't lose all that much sleep over it, at least not more than the ten minutes it took me to blog about it. Anyway, today I received an email that had a much different tone to it. Dear Jack, I am another reader who visits your blog from time to time. I would like to commend you for it as I am constantly impressed by how you continue to produce such high quality pieces. I have my own blog at (editor's note, not the real URL) and would love to find out your seckrets. How do you write so well and so often? Can you share any tips with me? Thank you for all that you do. You make me smile. Dear Reader, First off let me say that I am very appreciative of your kind words. I do not have any secrets to share with you. All of my advice is obvious, but here is what I recommend that you do. Write, write, wr

Are You Happy With How You Look?

It sounds like a superficial question and I suppose that in some ways it is just that. How we look really shouldn't impact our self-esteem and sense of self worth. We should be measured by our actions and not the shell that covers our souls. Now that we have gotten the standard response out of the way let's go back to the question. Are you happy with how you look? I'll start. Nope, I am not happy about it. There are a variety of reasons why. I suppose that the primary is that in my mind's eye I see a 20 year-old. Ok, I don't really see my face, but I can see the body. I see the six pack abs, arms that were made of steel, broad shoulders that led into a wide back and small waist. Physically that guy was in incredible shape. No responsibilities made it easy to spend large chunks of time working out, not to mention a metabolism that made it easy to eat with reckless abandon. Now when I look at myself I see remnants of the body that was. The back and shoulders l

Love Makes You Feel Alive

Can I share an experience with you. I want you to take my virtual hand and spend a moment or two walking down a quiet virtual highway with me. Take a couple of moments to compose yourself. Turn down the lights and get comfortable. I need you to be able to concentrate. Imagine you are lying in bed. The room is so dark that it is hard to see the silhouette of your own body. There is a loud rumble overhead that is joined by the relaxing pitter-patter of rainfall. You are not alone. There is a person lying next to you. Their touch is electric. Their presence simultaneously sends your pulse racing and your spirit soaring. Do you remember what it feels like to be kissed so hard it takes your breath away. Do you remember what it feels like to have your heart pound so loudly you are sure that it might burst from your chest. That electric tingle that makes your knees go weak. The certainty that this single moment will last for an eternity. An endless night in which your companion's so

Cover Letters from Hell

Killian & Company in Chicago has been collecting Cover Letters From Hell. Here are a couple of excerpts and a link. "Objective: To work in a challenging environment that allows me to use my imaginatiation.... Education: ______ Collage, B.A. expected, June 2003." "I also have a degree English which serves me well in editing text for poor grammer or typos." "I am seeking a new position as i have recently been laid." "I have a plethora of tenured skills which I know would benefit your clients/organization." Click here for more .

Blogging Can Help You Make/Lose Friends

I am not real sure that I like the title of this post, but I couldn't quite find the words to describe this in an appropriate fashion. So I'll work extra hard on the post itself. One of the reasons that I blog is that I enjoy the interaction with others. Without this medium I assuredly would never come into contact with so many interesting people that I feel privileged to have met, albeit in the virtual world. In a post here or on his own blog Psychotoddler referred to blogging as targeted socializing . The concept is simple enough to understand. Blogging is another medium that makes it easy to determine who we would like to get to know better. In theory it makes it relatively easy to form relationships, friendships even. And that is where things can get interesting. Think about how friendships develop. To be more specific, consider how adult friendships develop. It could be someone that you meet at the office, the gym, synagogue or perhaps through a book club or other

The average American: 1967 and today

I thought that this was interesting. "As the U.S. population crossed the 300 million mark sometime around 7:46 a.m. Tuesday (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), the typical family is doing a whole lot better than their grandparents were in 1967, the year the population first surpassed 200 million. Mr. and Mrs. Median's $46,326 in annual income is 32 percent more than their mid-'60s counterparts, even when adjusted for inflation, and 13 percent more than those at the median in the economic boom year of 1985. And thanks to ballooning real estate values, median household net worth has increased even faster. The typical American household has a net worth of $465,970, up 83 percent from 1965, 60 percent from 1985 and 35 percent from 1995. Throw in the low inflation of the past 20 years, a deregulated airline industry that's made travel much cheaper, plus technological progress that's provided the middle class with not only better cars and televisions, but every gadge

Fake Resumes & The Internet

Aleksey Vayner is a student at Yale who has been the topic of much discussion regarding a the resume he built and sent out to Wallstreet in search of employment. You see there are some questions regarding the veracity of his claims. This link gives all sorts of comments and information about this. There are many life lessons to be learned here. In the information age we live in a time in which information can live forever. The video and story surrounding this man is not going to disappear. And you can be certain that any time someone conducts online research about Mr. Vayner they will find it. Anyhoo, here is a link to the video.

He Put a Gun To My Head

A friend described me as being consistent in my inconsistencies, a dichotomy of personalities. I can switch gears very quickly. I go from play to business and back to play in just a moment. Call it moody, call it cranky or just call me a curmudgeon. It doesn't matter. The reality is that I am who I am and the quiet passivity you sometimes see masks the man who will rip off of your head and kick it into the street. Do you remember when the banking industry introduced ATMs. The automatic teller was a wondrous convenience. No longer would you have to go inside the bank and wait in line for your money. Suddenly it was a two minute procedure and the height of convenience. Unfortunately the convenience for some became a siren call for malfeasance. You no longer visited certain ATMs because there was no interest in having to pass along your hard earned cash to some low life. At least that is how some people looked at things, there were those others who considered themselves to be bull

I Should Be Sleeping

I should be sleeping. I am overtired and cranky. Normally sleep comes quite easily. I begin snoring before my head hits the pillow, but tonight it escapes me. So here I am at the keyboard, listening to the Blue Man Group. I know, it is not exactly the kind of music that relaxes you. OTOH, when I feel amped up like this I kind of need some kind of beat to listen to. It is counter intuitive, but the pound and pump has a way of bringing me back to where I want to be. Or more simply put it slowly takes the edge off. My daughter is heading towards 2.5. She is smart, beautiful and all attitude. Right now she is a little queen, a mistress of the household. It is one of the very few times in life that most of us get to act like that and get away with it. The sad thing is that we don't appreciate it. Today she demanded cookies for breakfast. When I refused to submit to her will she screamed at me and then told her mother that "daddy is a very bad boy." I had to laugh. I t

Teaching kids to fight back against classroom invaders

I am not sure yet how I feel about this. BURLESON, Texas (AP) -- Youngsters in a suburban Fort Worth, Texas, school district are being taught not to sit there like good boys and girls with their hands folded if a gunman invades the classroom, but to rush him and hit him with everything they've got -- books, pencils, legs and arms. "Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success," said Robin Browne, a major in the British Army reserve and an instructor for Response Options, the company providing the training to the Burleson schools. That kind of fight-back advice is all but unheard of among schools, and some fear it will get children killed. But school officials in Burleson said they are drawing on the lessons learned from a string of disasters such as Columbine in 1999 and the Amish schoolhouse attack in Pennsylvania last week. The school system in this working-class suburb of about 26,000 is believed to be the first in the na


Many years before the man had learned a simple truth. There is no crueler jailor than your own mind. Humankind cannot create a more horrific cage than the one you engage your heart and soul in. It may be cliche, but there is no more powerful tool than your own mind. And like every other tool its use is up to the person wielding it. Think about your greatest fear. Consider that thing or things that makes your chest tighten up and your muscles clench. Psychology teaches that sometimes the best way to overcome your fear is to confront it. But what do you do when you are unable to put a face on it. How do you deal with it when you cannot put a name to it, when you fail to identify it. Think about how much more frightening the strange bump or scream in the night is than the same sound during the day. Creak. Scrape. Squeak. If you close your eyes you can feel their hot breath on your neck. You sense the presence looming behind you. It is the same feeling you get walking through a dar

A Free Hug Cannot Be Outlawed

Just short of 4,000 posts I bring you the free hug video. BTW, somewhere around a 1000 posts ago I blogged about why people should be hugged. If I had the patience I'd find it and link to it. In the interim thanks to Rach for bringing this to my attention.

I Hate Filing

And now for the morning confession at the Shack. I hate filing papers. Ok, maybe I don't hate it, but I don't like it. I find filing papers to have all of the allure of a root canal. It is as exciting to me as watching paint peel. Feh. I can already hear some of you. I know all about the "file as you go" system. I do that. I am not unorganized. Ask me where a particular paper is and I can tell you. Need information, not a problem I can get it to you in a timely fashion. Still, I find this to be exceptionally tedious. It is just one of those things that I can find a million reasons not to do. My feelings on this are not quite as strong as my grandfather's were. He really disliked it. Grandpa was known to use the stuff the shoebox method of filing. The good old shoebox was a source of great stress to my father, the Virgo. Dad takes organization to new levels. It is an art form and a necessary evil. I have to tell you that as I sit here at the keyboard I am c

Who Would You Rather Be?

Grandpa Munster Uncle Fester

Your Blog Has Jumped The Shark

I received an email from a reader. It says: Dear Jack, I have been an avid reader of your blog for more than a year now. In all of this time I have never emailed you or left any comments because I didn't have anything to say. I really am more of a stay behind the scenes kind of person. I wanted to let you know that because I like your blog I have tried not to stop reading it. It hasn't been an easy thing becuase I think that it has jumped the shark. There are only so many long, wordy posts that I can read and they just aren't funny any more. Id like it better if you could be funny again. Take more time to write and think about what you are doing or if you cannot do that just give up. the blog is a sad character now. Happy new year, James Hi James, Thank you for the feedback. I have a few ideas on some funny things I could do. Perhaps you'd like to star in a YouTube video. We could remake some of Jackass stunts, starring you. That might be funny. Or maybe you

I Locked My Keys in the Car

A recipe for an interesting day. Step #1: Lock your keys in your car. Bonus points for those who are brave enough to do this in relatively deserted locations. Step #2: Realize that not only are your keys locked in the car but you are in dire need of a bathroom. Step #3: Run like a madman through the streets in search of sanctuary. I'll let you decide what other ingredients should be added to this mix.

Play This Game At Your Next Party

You can order it here . For those of you who are not quite sold on it, you can find a review of it here . Here is a short blurb about it: "Each of the bugs comes with best before dates and they come from carefully selected farms which is better than picking a few out of a nearby garden. A pinch of flavour has also been added to make the experience all the more savoury. Smokey Bacon Crickets and Chilli flavour worm crisps are just a mouthful away."

Deciphering Frequent Flier Programs

Blogging just before bedtime has an affect upon me. I tend to dream about whatever I was blogging about. This should explain why I write so many posts about being marooned on a desert island with 1000 bikini models. In this particular case I woke up jonesing a for a vacation, just a tremendous desire to get away. So I thought that I'd conduct a little investigation of potential getaways. As the cashflow is a little tight right now I decided that I might as well consider using some of the frequent flyer mileage I have accrued. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it. Well, don't let that simple sound fool you because the customer oriented airlines have made this into a complex exercise that is better suited as an entrance exam to some secret society. You see in order to determine if I have earned enough miles to qualify for free airfare and hotels I went to their website to review the terms. The experience rather reminded me of the contract scene in a Night At The Opera .

Sail Around The World

"I have been around the world, Lookin' for that woman/girl, Who knows love can endure. And you know it will. (only once) When you see the Southern Cross for the first time You understand now why you came this way. 'Cause the truth you might be runnin' from is so small. But it's as big as the promise - The promise of a comin' day. So I'm sailing for tomorrow - My dreams are a dyin'. And my love is an anchor tied to you - Tied with a silver chain. I have my ship and all her flags are a flyin' She is all that I have left - And music is her name." Southern Cross- Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young) I love the sea, always have. One of the great joys of growing up in Los Angeles is that the ocean has always been close. It is a source of fascination and comfort to me. I love to walk barefoot in the surf, to feel it pull on my legs. And as goofy as it sounds, I have always felt it call. My inner geek wants to make a Tolkien reference. If you have

Look Inside Jack's Library

I stumbled onto a new toy called Library Thing . Here is how the service describes itself: What is LibraryThing? LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone. Because everyone catalogs together, LibraryThing also connects people with the same books, comes up with suggestions for what to read next, and so forth. I spent a chunk of time entering som eof the books in my own library. I thought that this would be kind of fun. If you are curious to learn more about what books I own you can find the link here . As I understand it the free service only allows you to list a total of 200 books. At some point in time I need to decide if it is worth a couple of bucks to share more with you. Anyway, I need to give Fern credit for tipping me off to this.

Dating Truths? You Live On a Different Planet

Any time I see a post like this I can virtually guarantee that this person lives on a different planet than I do. Ok, that is not entirely fair. I don't mean for this to sound overly snarky, but this post makes me think of women I have known who have spent too much time over-analyzing what men say. A thousand years ago when I was in the dating world I used to get irritated with this kind of male/female BS. I can remember a thousand conversations with various female friends who would call me in a breathless tizzy to ask me to interpret what the guy they were seeing meant. "He said that he really liked me and that he had a nice time." This was followed by a pause and then there would be 1 million details that she had observed about how he said it and what she thought that said about it. Sometimes I expect Leonard Nimoy to step out and begin the lead in for an episode of " In Search Of ." You know sometimes the reason that he squinted while he said that he

Gimme Three Steps- The Old Man Slows Down

"I was scared and fearing for my life. I was shakin like a leaf on a tree. cause he was lean, mean, Big and bad, lord, Pointin that gun at me. I said, wait a minute, mister, I didnt even kiss her. Dont want no trouble with you. And I know you dont owe me But I wish youd let me Ask one favor from you. (chorus) wont you give me three steps, Gimme three steps mister, Gimme three steps towards the door? Gimme three steps Gimme three steps mister, And youll never see me no more." Gimme Three Steps- Lynrd Skynrd Editor's note: The song really doesn't apply to this post, but I have been singing it all day long so I thought that I would include it. The week is almost done. In a short while the old whistle will ring and I'll make like Fred Flintsone and slide down the dinosaur's tale and into a fabulous weekend. As I head to my car I'll notice that my legs feel like they are about to snap off at the waist and I'll wonder if I can get the kink of out my n