Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as why do we have such expensive houses, Crypto pivots to AI, more on the Frank scam, the 30 best running tips, the best beaches in each US state, inside North Korea, the most historic bars, amazing photography, the latest airline and hotel promotions and lots more.
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This blog publishes every Friday and most Tuesdays…for now. Since November 2012, wow!
One of these weeks I am going to take Tuesday off. Or just really force myself to do much shorter Tuesday posts and leave the big ones for Fridays as always…
I feel for the youngsters looking to buy their first home. Especially in high cost of living cities. We should probably do something to address this…among other things. Anyway, have you ever wondered Why Are Houses So Expensive these days? First sentence/paragraph gets to the point right away:
The dream of owning a home has become more elusive than ever. Over the past decade, U.S. house prices have increased by nearly 4.7% per year above the rate of inflation while the median household income in the U.S. has only grown by 1.5% per year (above inflation) over the same time period. Coupled with the highest mortgage rates since 2008, we might be in one of the most unaffordable housing markets ever.
Well, it is a combination of factors (demographics, low supply, strong economy, high demand,
low interest rates, government policies, investment opportunities, population growth, etc.). I have a few clients’ adult children looking to buy their first home and, well, let’s just say it has been a very frustrating process indeed.
But really, it is not complicated…
Home prices will always be based on the same thing—supply and demand. So if we want less expensive homes, we either have to increase supply, decrease demand, or do both. Unfortunately, finding effective ways to do this (without negative consequences) is the hard part.
Ooops, I did it again. The headline I mean, because, you know, they fit lol.
I really enjoyed this article: Crypto collapse? Get in loser, we’re pivoting to AI. I swear, I am tired of seeing dudes on Twitter with .eth in their profile handles and stupid apes as their profile pictures just keep pivoting to AI lately, wow! The article is very educational and takes a fair view of what we are dealing with here. And warnings abound:
This is the same risk in AI as the big risk in cryptocurrency: human gullibility in the face of lying grifters and their enablers in the press.
The real threat of AI is the bozos promoting AI doom who want to use it as an excuse to ignore real-world problems — like the risk of climate change to humanity — and to make money by destroying labor conditions and making products worse. This is because they’re running a grift.
And then it proceeds to rip on Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT and finally rips that short statement that was signed by some of these guys warning AI may make humanity extinct. Or something like that…
I have no idea what is going to happen…but just be aware of the hype out there. And always diversify!
I will have more on Charlie Javice on Friday. She is the young woman who sold her financial aid startup Frank to JP Morgan Chase for a cool $175 Million. Until, well, she got sued for fraud. And it is not looking good for her and, of course, she is fighting by counter suing the bank. The more comes out about her…the more I shake my head. Frank founder accused of fraud was dubbed the ‘king of finding magic numbers’ by former employee. To refrersh your memory about what it is about:
The bank claimed Javice lied about the number of customers Frank had; she hired an unnamed data science professor to use synthetic data to allegedly show the startup had 4.26 million unique customer accounts, according to JPMorgan court filings. In reality, Frank had about 300,000 customers, according to JPMorgan Chase’s version of events as spelled out in legal documents. The Department of Justice has filed criminal charges against Javice, while the Securities and Exchange Commission has also sued her.
Anyway, profile on Charlie coming on Friday, it will shock you!
ODDZ & ENDZ
I live for the day North Korea is liberated. But, you know, when a state has nukes no one dares to mess with them, so sad…
What is more sad is reading the accounts of these three North Koreans: Inside North Korea: “We are stuck, waiting to die”. Very difficult read, you have been warned.
Amazing photography! Winners of the 2023 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition. For the record, I am no longer eating octopus, I just can’t.
Good reference: The Best Beach in Every State.
Well, why not? Beaches go well with bars! America’s Most Historic Bars. Which is your favorite?
A section where I go on and on about some stuff that happens in my life and anything else that just does not fit in another section above
Been a struggle adapting to running in the summer heat. I finally nailed my 12 mile long run workout this past Sunday though, been a while!
Fantastic reference for runners: The 30 Best Running Tips of All Time. I keep learning, amazing how much I have grown as a runner since 2018! But still…running a full marathon under 4 hours just appears to be so hard to have a shot at it. But, you know, never give up!
The 2024 Euro Qualifying soccer games are on. I got to watch France vs Greece and Greece did fairly well losing only 1-0 giving up a goal on a PK (that was ordered to be retaken after the Greek goalie saved the first one!) and Greece played with one man down for over half hour. Anyway, France beat Netherlands in the same stadium in the first game of the group 4-0 so that’s that. On to the next one! Meanwhile, the US Men’s team won the Concacaf Cup which is great: USMNT are undisputed kings of Concacaf after Nations League final win over Canada. Many bitch about the decision to keep Berhalter as the US coach, I do not, I like Gregg!
I hope the five people in that Titanic submarine can be saved. I always thought being inside a submarine is way too scary. And these guys paid a lot of money to do this; there is not enough money in the world that you can pay me to go under in a submarine, no way! Because the thought of exactly this nightmare: Submarine Used For Touring Titanic Wreckage Goes Missing With 5 People On Board.
This blog started with a focus on miles and points and travel. It has evolved since then. Everything below deals with the hobby of collecting frequent flyer miles and points. If you are not interested, you can stop here, thank you.
MILES & POINTS NEWS/PROMOS/MY ACTION
I guess if you have these cards you can register now to earn 5x: Q3 2023 Quarterly Bonus Categories for Chase, Citi, Discover and US Bank.
And if you fly Southwest, don’t forget to register for this promo: Southwest Offering 2x Rapid Rewards On flights through 10/31 (Registration Required).
The new Hyatt promotion is amazingly bad, wow. Earn double points starting with your second qualifying stay at participating hotels in Europe, Africa, the Middle East & Asia Pacific. This is what happens where hotels are full…
I have now taken care of all the intra Asia airline tickets for our November trip to Singapore and Thailand. Went with Air Asia for the Singapore – Phuket and Phuket – Bangkok segments. And Malaysia Airlines for wife’s trip to stop by to see her parents Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur. All booked with my Capital One Venture X card. I also have reserved a car for our Seattle trip in August. Went with Thrifty and then fed the reservation number to Autoslash and now sitting back for them to come at me with bigger discounts than what I booked. Thrifty’s website is painful. Also, what is the deal with all them electric cars in rental car lots lately?
One outstanding trip I need to take care of is Detroit – London in April 2024 for the London Marathon. Trying to use my stash of American Airlines miles and the bunch of United Airlines miles I was caught holding with my pants down. Business class awards are crazy expensive with both of them. On economy, nothing under 40k United miles while they are much cheaper with AA but crazy routings…I have time to pull the trigger on this.
Reducing the content below until Friday…
MILES & POINTS
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: 75k CAPITAL ONE Venture X, 75k CAPITAL ONE Venture Rewards, 75k CHASE Ink Business Cash, 75k CHASE Ink Business Unlimited, 100k CHASE Ink Business Preferred, 60K CITI Premier, 40k CAPITAL ONE VentureOne Rewards, $1,000 Cash Back CHASE Ink Business Premier, 140K CHASE IHG Rewards Premier, 60k CHASE Sapphire, 60k US BANK Business Altitude, 60k and 30% off on three Personal CHASE Southwest cards and many more, including many AmericanExpress cards such as Delta Airlines, Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors cards! Please check out my Affiliate links. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. If you do not see a credit card with my affiliate links, perhaps I could refer you?
This section is about my
hobby addiction of collecting frequent flyer miles and hotel points since the early 1990’s! SKIP if you are not into it!
As of today, I have burned 661,000 miles/points year to date in 2023 and have 4,277,082 miles/points in the bank. Some do drugs, I do miles lol!
Thanks to US banks, very lucrative travel rewards credit card offers come and go all the time. This section will act as a reference point on the best CURRENT offers. I will designate new material preceded by NEW.
Other worthy credit card deals going on currently:
Remember, you are NOT allowed to ever carry a credit card balance if you ever get a credit card here!
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Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.