Sunday, August 25, 2013


I took the blog I wrote yesterday and intended to post first thing this morning (Sunday) and set it aside in favor of something I just read, an article I saw that grabbed my attention.  So here I am, writing a new blog post several hours after I should have posted the original one.

Through the indoctrination of television and movies, we've come to generally associate the word sociopath with criminal.  In some instances, we've even come to equate it with psychopath as if one meant the other…and to some degree that's true.

The dictionary defines sociopath as one who is affected with a personality disorder marked by aggressive, antisocial behavior.  That same dictionary defines psychopath as a person with an antisocial personality, especially one manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior.

Some similarities, but not the same thing.  Even though not all sociopaths are dangerous criminals, they can certainly make your life difficult since the defining characteristic is antisocial behavior.

Approximately 1 in 25 Americans could be classified as a sociopath.  That means there is a good chance of you being directly associated with a sociopath—working for or with a sociopath, having 1 or more as part of your social circle and by that I mean in-person people you interact with rather than social media (you could have hundreds and even thousands of friends as part of your social media you do not know face-to-face personally, making that number quite significant), or a relative.

Or…perhaps someone you are currently dating?

The article talked about 11 red flags to look for that could indicate that the person in question is a sociopath.  That certainly does NOT mean that someone demonstrating 1 or 2 of these traits is a sociopath.  However, interesting traits for a writer to use when creating a villainous character.

1)      Oversized Ego
Sociopaths have an inflated sense of self.  They are narcissists to the extreme who have a huge sense of entitlement and tend to blame other people for their failures.

2)      Lying And Exhibiting Manipulative Behavior
Sociopaths regularly use deceit and manipulation.  They often lie merely for the sake of lying—telling lies to see if they can trick someone, then telling larger lies for larger effects.

3)      Exhibiting A Lack Of Empathy
I think this is what I most associate with a sociopath.  They don't have the capability to feel or even imagine the emotional realities of other people.  You are devastated when you see your beloved pet run over by a car, but they can't relate to the concept of your emotional response.

4)      Showing A Lack Of Remorse Or Shame
I closely associate this with number 3.  Sociopaths lack remorse, guilt, or shame.

5)      Staying Eerily Calm In Scary Or Dangerous Situations
For example, following involvement in a car accident or being shown disturbing images, sociopaths have no anxiety or fear.  The lack of emotional connection in number 3.

6)      Behaving Irresponsibly Or With Extreme Impulsivity
Sociopaths jump from goal to goal and act on the spur of the moment.  They can be very irresponsible when it comes finances and obligations to others.

7)      Having Few Friends
Sociopaths tend not to have real friends. All their friends are superficial (friends by association) or are friends because the sociopath needs them for the time being.

8)      Being Charming, But Only Superficially
Sociopaths have the ability to be very charismatic and friendly because they know it will get them what they want.  They are expert con artists and usually have a secret agenda.  They are masters at blending in by the use of an outer personality.

9)      Living By The Pleasure Principle
This can be described as: If it feels good and they are able to avoid consequences, they will do it!  They live their lives in the extreme fast lane, constantly seeking stimulation, excitement and pleasure.

10)    Showing Disregard For Societal Norms
They break laws and rules without concern because they believe these laws and rules don't apply to them.

11)    Having Intense Eyes
When I read this, I immediately visualized the pictures I've seen of Rasputin (pictured above) looking as if he was staring into someone's soul.  Sociopaths have no problem maintaining uninterrupted eye contact.  A failure to politely look away is sometimes perceived as being aggressive.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Sin!  Just the mere mention of the word conjures up all types of images ranging from a deliciously sinful calorie-laden dessert all the way to the far reaches of the spectrum with the truly unthinkable and/or unacceptable.

But states profiting from sin?  What's that all about?

I came across an article about state income derived from taxes on goods and services that are deemed to be sinful—sin taxes.  The article's definition of 'sinful' is all things related to tobacco, alcohol, and gambling.

Those are the opening three paragraphs from a blog I did over two years ago.  I just came across an updated list citing a new top ten list with revised numbers based on new data from the Census Bureau and the American Gaming Association.  So…I thought it would be a good idea to update my old blog.

Excise taxes on tobacco are the most politically volatile and varied across the country.  For instance, Rhode Island (in the top 10) charges $3.50 in taxes per pack (that's one pack of twenty individual cigarettes, not a carton) of cigarettes while Virginia and Missouri charge less than $.50 per pack.  However, the actual total dollar number in profits quite often depends more on consumption (volume of sales) than percentage of taxes with lower tax percentage states raking in more profit dollars than high tax percentage states.  New York has a whopping $4.35/pack cigarette tax yet the state did not make it into the top 10 list.

Compared to the other sin-related sources of income, taxes on alcohol are not a big source of state revenue.

It seems obvious that gambling is almost always a much more significant source of income than tobacco or alcohol.  Especially when you remember that gambling is more than just casinos, it also includes the state lotteries.

These are the states profiting most from sin.  These figures are from 2011, the most recent year for which there is consistent data available for all income.

10)  Oregon
Total percent of revenue from sin:  3.0%
Most profitable sin:  Gambling (lottery)
Revenue from sin:  $1,552,600,000
Total state revenue:  $34,797,285,000

[my previous blog: #10 was New Jersey with 4.34% from sin and most profitable sin being gambling (lottery)]

9)  South Dakota
Total percent of revenue from sin:  3.3%
Most profitable sin:  Gambling (casinos)
Revenue from sin:  $204,293,000
Total state revenue:  $6,017,179,000

[my previous blog: #9 was New Hampshire with 4.54% from sin and the most profitable sin being tobacco]

8)  Michigan
Total percent of revenue from sin:  3.6%
Most profitable sin:  Gambling (casinos)
Revenue from sin:  $2,292,118,000
Total state revenue:  $64,429,901,000

[my previous blog: #8 was Illinois with 4.55% from sin and the most profitable sin being tobacco]

7)  Pennsylvania
Total percent of revenue from sin:  3.7%
Most profitable sin:  Gambling (casinos)
Revenue from sin:  $3,849,764,000
Total state revenue:  $91,705,305,000

[my previous blog: #7 was Michigan with 4.91% from sin and the most profitable sin being tobacco]

6)  Indiana
Total percent of revenue from sin:  4.0%
Most profitable sin:  Gambling (casinos)
Revenue from sin:  $1,552,600,000
Total state revenue:  $38,894,976,000

[my previous blog: #6 was Pennsylvania with 5.04% from sin and the most profitable sin being gambling (casinos)]

5)  New Hampshire
Total percent of revenue from sin:  4.6%
Most profitable sin:  Tobacco
Revenue from sin:  $393,209,000
Total state revenue:  $8,542,308,000

[my previous blog: #5 was South Dakota with 5.63% from sin and the most profitable sin being gambling (lottery)]

4)  West Virginia
Total percent of revenue from sin:  4.7%
Most profitable sin:  Gambling (lottery)
Revenue from sin:  $729,451,000
Total state revenue:  $15,397,630,000

[my previous blog: #4 was Indiana with 6.11% from sin and the most profitable sin being gambling (casinos)]

3)  Delaware
Total percent of revenue from sin:  5.0%
Most profitable sin:  Gambling (lottery)
Revenue from sin:  $472,054,000
Total state revenue:  $9,349,728,000

[my previous blog:  #3 was Delaware with 7.56% from sin and the most profitable sin being gambling (lottery).  Delaware is one of only three unchanged rankings from my previous blog]

2)  Rhode Island
Total percent of revenue from sin:  5.4%
Most profitable sin:  Gambling (lottery)
Revenue from sin:  $505,305,000
Total state revenue:  $9,388,083,000

[my previous blog:  #2 was Rhode Island with 8.66% from sin and the most profitable sin being gambling (lottery).  Rhode Island is one of the unchanged rankings from my previous blog]

And topping the list, coming as no surprise and also an unchanged ranking from my previous blog:
1)  Nevada
Total percent of revenue from sin:  5.8%
Most profitable sin:  Gambling (casinos)
Revenue from sin:  $1,013,568,000
Total state revenue:  $17,597,124,000

Note:  There wasn't any mention about the amount of tax income from legalized prostitution in specific counties.

[my previous blog, #1 was Nevada with 12.83% from sin and the most profitable sin being gambling (casinos)]

As you can see, the percentage of income in 2011 derived from sin for the top 10 in the most recent survey is down from my previous blog which was based on figures from 2009.  The general consensus from the organizations tracking these numbers is that figures for 2012-2013 (since the 2011 survey) are showing a rise in percentage of income from sin.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sexy Men Of The Zodiac

 Why are we drawn to one man over another? Could it have anything to do with his astrological sign? What are the seductive qualities of each man of the Zodiac? I recently read an article exploring this concept. What is so appealing about the men of the various signs?

Aries (March 21 – April 19)
The Aries Ram is youthful, no matter what his age is. He is ruled by action-oriented Mars. His passion for life is legendary. He often tends to live on the edge which can be exciting, but dangerous. He's not known for his discretion or fidelity in his youth, however later in life he learns to settle down.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
The Taurus Bull has an earthy charm and a confidence that makes him sexy, even if he's not classically handsome. He's fun and flirtatious, but when it comes to commitment he moves slowly. He's likely to stay single until someone really special comes along, but when that happens he'll take his time and wait until that special woman comes around.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
The Gemini Twin has a twinkle in his eye and a wiggle of his cute ass. He's a real delight with his quick repartee and sexy comebacks. Nobody speaks the language of seduction better. His Twin aspect shows he has a strong feminine as well as masculine side which says he understands the way both sexes think, something that melts your defenses.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
The Cancer Crab is a sweetheart who'll win you over with his sexy smile and unassuming manner. He'll do just about anything for those he loves. Whether he's protecting you or relaxing in your warm embrace, he's a family man through and through who's definitely in it for the long haul.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)
The Leo Lion is a natural showman and has a sexy, devil-may-care wit. Like his ruler, the Sun, he radiates manly confidence despite his insecurities and won't back down from a fight. In essence, he's a hero and his strength is his most appealing quality. Even the quieter Leo has a thrilling sense of masculinity about him.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
The Virgo man is intelligent and thoughtful. He remembers your birthday and your favorite perfume. Being ruled by lightning-quick Mercury has his mind going a mile a minute. He tends to be overly analytical and sometimes critical. And just when he's about to drive you crazy with his fussiness, he'll give you a sexy, sheepish grin and melt your heart. His intelligence is his sexiest quality.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)
The Libra man understands and adores his lovers which is a very attractive quality. He's ruled by Venus, the planet of love, and knows how to treat a woman. Candlelight dinners and romantic walks on the beach appeal to him, but he's also the thinking person's turn-on. With his quick mind and way with words, he's always up for a discussion about relationships or culture, and is a champion of fidelity and civil rights.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
The Scorpio man has a quiet intensity that will reel you in. With smoldering eyes and a sultry voice, this guy can literally mesmerize you which is why Scorpios make good magicians and hypnotists. His sexual magnetism comes from deep inside and its power formidable. He's not a good match for the woman who wants to stay on the surface of things.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
The Sagittarius Archer's attraction is the call of the wild in his soul and that far-off look in his eye. "Don't fence me in" is his motto. Like his signature animal the horse, he responds to gentle caresses and soothing words.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
The Capricorn Goat has it together, or at least projects the image of being in control. He's ruled by the ambitious Saturn and is a master of the material world and has a seductive attractiveness that goes with that kind of worldly power. He always aims for the top. You can't keep this guy down for long.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
The Aquarius man doesn't fit the mold. He's a true free spirit who follows his own drummer. He's the type who is usually ahead of his time whose quirkiness is part of his genius. As ruled by the inventive Uranus, he'll dazzle you with utopian ideas and turn you on to worlds you never knew existed. He'll keep you guessing and take you to the edge sexually, however emotionally he tends to be reticent and doesn't like to talk about feelings.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
The sensitive and caring Pisces Fish fills you with tingly feelings as he swims straight into your heart. Pisces loves to touch and be touched and often communicates best non-verbally. Sex and spirit are one in the same to the guy which makes your lovemaking ecstatic.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


It's a familiar scene in real life—your first date with him, either someone you just met or maybe someone you've known for a while but the two of you have never been on an actual date until now.  The evening went really well, you both had a great time.

Even though you wouldn't normally end up in bed with a guy on the first date, somehow this time is different.  He seemed like a terrific guy and you definitely wanted to see him again.  It's as if the two of you were really meant for each other.  Destiny has brought you together.  Fate has decreed it to be so.

Maybe you go to his place or perhaps you go to your place.  Either way, you end up in bed.  A night of hot sex—in fact, the best sex you've ever had.  Then the cold and occasionally cruel light of dawn hits you with reality.

It's now that dreaded morning after!  Terribly awkward or truly comfortable?  Is he really the right guy for you?

I recently found a list of Do And Don't For The Morning After…10 items on the do list for that comfortable and blissful morning after and 10 items on the don't list for that awkward morning after…to let you know if he's really the one for you.

This Could Be The Guy list:

1)  He cooks breakfast, goes on a food run, or makes a pot of coffee without being asked.

2)  He walks your dog.

3)  He likes to get it on in the morning.

4)  He's into showering together.

5)  He makes jokes, but never at the wrong time.

6)  He plays DJ while you're getting dressed.

7)  He warms up his car for you on a cold winter day.

8)  He remembers where you left your earrings last night.

9)  He gives you not 1, but 2 clean towels and wash cloth for your shower.

10) He makes your bed, even if he does a crappy job of it.

This Definitely Is not The Guy list:

1)  He's in a cranky mood and doesn't want to get it on because he's not a morning person.

2)  He wants to know why you don't have a specific brand of gourmet coffee.

3)  He doesn't leave your place until late afternoon even though you've hinted that it's time for him to scram.

4)  He's in a rush to leave/get rid of you or is obviously panicked at waking up next to another human.

5)  He won't have breakfast or even a cup of coffee with you and doesn't offer you a thing to eat, not even a glass of water.

6)  He takes forever getting out the door in the morning because first he has to check his email, then he watches Sports Center or some dumb internet videos.

7)  He overdoes it when spritzing that vile smelling cologne.

8)  His shower contains a gnarly-looking loofah his ex-girlfriend left 2 years ago and some kind of questionable soap.

9)  He doesn't take out the trash until it's overflowing and then some so that his apartment smells like the dump.

10) He complains about the comfort of your mattress and pillows.

Anything you'd like to add to the do or don't list?