How I automatically download YouTube videos recommended on Reddit

There are a number of subreddits in which people regularly post links to YouTube videos that I might like to later view. I’ve put together a system that downloads these videos to my computer for later viewing. I thought other people might like to learn how I’ve put this together so that they can reproduce it on their home computer. For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll use /r/Music as an example, since it frequently contains posts to music videos.

There are a number of prerequisites to make this work. I think my method should, theoretically, work on any operating system, but I use Linux (Ubuntu, specifically), and think it’s probably a lot easier to set up there than any other OS. The other programs you’ll need are:

Additionally, there is a PHP script I wrote to make it work together, but we’ll get to that later. youtube-dl and FlexGet both require Python, and several other dependencies.

I’ll start with FlexGet, because that’s the program that will actually find the new videos. FlexGet is kind of a super-charged podcatcher. What it does is look through a data source (such as an RSS feed) for new entries, and either downloads referenced files in those entries, or passes on the information to another program to handle the data. Everything it can do is beyond this tutorial, and I recommend you peruse the website.

To get the data, I’d need a data source that could be parsed to get the links. FlexGet could just grab the front page of the desired subreddit, and parse the data using some very cool string matching and stuff, but that would have involved a lot of stuff for me to figure out, and if reddit significantly changed the design of the site, it could break. So, thankfully, Reddit also provides RSS feeds for every subreddit. Just append .rss to the end of the subreddit URL. So, for /r/Music, the RSS URL would be http://www.reddit.com/r/Music.rss.

The problem with these RSS feeds is that when someone posts a link, the URL in the RSS feed is to the comment page, rather than the link. The actual link is available, but it’s in the description, rather than the link. For what I’m doing, I just want the actual link to the YouTube video, not the comment page. Now, FlexGet is super flexible. I’m pretty sure I could use FlexGet alone to extract the YouTube URL with no problem, but I had another idea for something that could potentially useful elsewhere.

So, I wrote a PHP script (https://gist.github.com/goodevilgenius/6426099) that can be used to rewrite a Reddit RSS feed so that the link for each item is the actual posted link. It can also filter out entries that don’t match a given criteria. My criteria is that they have a YouTube url.

So, to use this script, download it from github (in the above URL), and place it somewhere on your local (or remote, if you want) web server. I’ll suppose you have a path to it like http://localhost/path/to/reddit_rss_linker.php. The script takes a Reddit RSS URL as a “url” query parameter. It also accepts a “filter” and “filter_item” parameter. “filter” should be a regular expression of the form that can be passed to preg_match as the $pattern. So, to match a youtube URL, I use “@http://(www\.)?(youtube\.com|youtu\.be)@”. That works pretty well for me. I could improve it to only recognize an actual video page, but the seems unnecessary. The filter_item would be the item within the RSS feed that you want to match the filter against.

So, with the URL example I previously gave, to get the modified feed for /r/Music, I would use the following URL http://localhost/path/to/reddit_rss_relinker.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2FMusic.rss&filter=%40http%3A%2F%2F%28www%5C.%29%3F%28youtube.com%7Cyoutu.be%29%2F%40&filter_item=link.

Now, FlexGet can’t actually download YouTube videos by itself. So, that’s where youtube-dl comes in. Read up about it on its website. The one thing I need to mention is that it must be updated on a regular basis. YouTube is constantly changing stuff (especially some copy protection schemes that frequently affect VEVO videos), so the developer is constantly updating the application to make sure it continues to work with the most recent updates on YouTube. So, if you don’t keep your installation of youtube-dl up-to-date, if may fail, and you might not notice you’re not getting your videos anymore. The developer included an update feature within the app itself. If you install the app from a repository within your operating system (as I did), make sure you still update it from within the app, because the repos will not stay up-to-date. I added a daily cronjob to keep my copy up-to-date. The command is simply youtube-dl -U.

So, to combine all these together, you would have a flexget config file like this:

tasks:
  reddit-Music:
    rss: http://localhost/path/to/reddit_rss_relinker.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2FMusic.rss&filter=%40http%3A%2F%2F%28www%5C.%29%3F%28youtube.com%7Cyoutu.be%29%2F%40&filter_item=link
    accept_all: true
    exec: youtube-dl -f 18 --restrict-filenames -o "/path/to/YouTubeVideos/%(uploader)s/%(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s" "{{url}}"

This is very basic, and FlexGet can do a lot more (emails when new downloads drop are nice). So, I recommend you read up on the program.

The final step is simply to add flexget to your task scheduler (cron). I’m going to assume you can figure that part out yourself.

And there you have it: an automatic Reddit YouTube downloader.

Thoughts on Fatherhood

This post is well overdue, but between moving across the country and starting a new job, I just hadn’t gotten around to it until now. Three months ago, I became a father. My wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I’ve certainly changed a great deal because of her. I’d like to share a few thoughts and experiences I’ve had over the past few months.

Emma Smiling

The first thing I’ve learned is that my capacity to love is greater than I ever thought possible. I love and have loved many people in my life: parents, siblings, friends, girlfriends, and my wife, to name a few. The love I feel for my daughter, however, is unlike any I’ve felt before. When I held her for the first time, I had a feeling like I’d never quite felt in my life. It was like what I felt when I was married, in terms of magnitude and type, but it felt more real, more tangible than any love I’ve felt before. Whereas the love I feel for my parents, siblings, and wife is something I feel deep in my heart, the love I feel for my daughter is almost tangible. It’s as if I can feel, smell, taste, touch, and hear it.

I understand now why my parents (and countless other parents) sacrificed as much as they did for me and my siblings, and always cared for us, no matter what we did. I always knew my parents loved me, but always assumed that much of what they did for us was due to a sense of duty. Now, having held my daughter in my arms and looked into her eyes, I know that I would do anything for her to keep her safe and loved, not because my fatherhood gives me a sense of duty, but for some other reason that I simply can’t explain.

The first experience I’d like to share was about a month ago. We were sitting around watching TV, as I held her in my arms. I was slightly watching the TV, but mostly watching her. At one point, she reaches up, and grabs my finger. Her entire hand was wrapped around the tip of my forefinger. I looked down to her, and at the same time she looked up at me. As we looked into each other’s eyes, I felt closer to her than I’d ever felt to anyone. It was almost as if I could see the rest of her life.

The second experience I’d like to share happened last week. She woke up after having laid down to bed. I heard her from the other room and went in to check on her. I picked her up and began rocking her back to sleep. As I held her, and rocked her back and forth in my arms, I saw myself about 16 years in the future. I was sitting on the couch late at night with a computer in my hand. Maybe I was reading a book, or maybe I was doing some work. I’m not sure. As I was sitting there, my daughter, now a young woman, came down the stairs and went into the kitchen. She had been struggling with a very difficult challenge in her life, and I supposed she was having trouble sleeping, so she came down to a get a glass of milk to help her sleep (much like I often do). As she walked out of the kitchen, I saw a beautiful woman, looking very much like her mother. She sat down beside me on the couch. We had already talked about her problem in depth previously, and there was, unfortunately, nothing more I could say that would get her through this challenge. So, I set the computer down beside me and put my arm around her. She leaned her head on my shoulder, and I began to sing to her my favorite hymn, “A Child’s Prayer.” As she finished her glass of milk, and I finished the song, she got up, kissed me on the cheek. “Thanks, Daddy. Goodnight,” she said as she started back upstairs. “Goodnight princess. I love you,” I said back.

This was nothing more than one of the many daydreams that I have on a regular basis. But instead of daydreaming about being able to shoot blasts of energy from my hands like Havok, or Starfire, or being able to change into something/someone else like Mystique, or a Tanuki, I saw myself, as I am: a father. It was a much better daydream than any other that I’ve ever had.

My life has now permanently changed. I know that I will face many challenges as a father, but I also know that the joy that fatherhood brings me is worth any difficulties that may accompany it. I heard a few weeks ago that a recent study showed that parents live shorter lives than non-parents. That seems unlikely to me, but even if it is true, that’s fine with me. I’d rather have a shorter life with her than live forever without her.

Life happens

I’ve been doing a lot of introspection, and reflection lately. I’ve thought a lot about how the events in my life have flown, one into the other, and I’ve recently noticed connections, that I previously had failed to notice. I’d like to share some of my thoughts, and a bit of my life.

Near the beginning of 2007, I set a goal for my life. I thought long and hard about this goal, and prayed long and hard about it as well. I was certain that this goal upon which I had decided was one of which my God approved. He wanted me to pursue this goal, of this I was certain. I told my roommates about my goal, so I could have a greater accountability for it. My goal was to become engaged to be married by 15 January 2009. That day would be five years from the time that I returned from Scotland following my service as a missionary. I didn’t have any prospects of marriage at the time, but felt certain that because my Father in Heaven approved, I would be able to achieve it.

Around the summer of 2008, I was not noticeably closer to achieving this goal, but I was not disheartened, because I was certain that six months was plenty of time to meet a woman with whom I wanted to share eternity. However, something happened. I was presented with an opportunity. A friend told me about a program to which I could apply that, if accepted, would allow me to become an English teacher in Japan. This seemed like an opportunity which was especially made for me. However, if I focused my time on getting to Japan, it seemed highly unlikely that I would be able to achieve my marriage goal and I had pledged to God that I would work to achieve that goal. So I prayed about another course in my life. I told my Father in Heaven about the opportunity, and explained to him that I would have to set aside my previous goal, if I went after this, and sought his guidance on how I should proceed.

The answer I got was clear. While He was happy with the goal I had set, and the efforts I had made to achieve it, I should set that aside for the time being, and apply to this program. I felt as if God Himself was going to bring me to Japan. My application was strong, and I had heavenly powers on my side; I was sure I would be leaving this country for the Land of the Rising Sun, but as I’m sure you know, I did not get accepted into the program.

I won’t discuss that further, except to say that I felt cheated, and it took some very sincere (albeit perhaps angrier than necessary) prayer for me to accept what happened. As it happened, the week I would have left for Japan, a new person came into my life. I had met this woman many months prior when she came over from California to visit my roommate. During the period that I was trying to go to Japan, she had decided to move to Texas. Had I gone to Japan, our paths would barely have crossed again, and she would just have become another person among my Facebook friends, whose activity I ignore. But because I was staying, we had the opportunity to become friends. Friendship led to romance, and romance led to marriage.

Engagement Picture

I said in a previous post that I have felt the Hand of God in my life quite a bit recently. But as I have thought over these events, I realize even more so how true it is. Had I not chosen to apply to the JET program, I likely would have married someone else. I’m certain that whomever I would have married would have been a good wife to me. But God had someone in particular in store for me, and so he had me put off my goal, and he did it in such a way that I learned many valuable lessons. As with all the other life decisions that I have mentioned, I have prayed often and sincerely about my decision to marry my wife. I know not only does God approve of my decision, but it’s the exact decision He wanted me to make. I am truly blessed to have a wife whom I love with all my heart and soul, and with whom God wants me to spend eternity.

My life right now, though, is anything but simple. The trials I am facing are very real, and the uncertainty in my life is definitely frightening. But I cannot doubt that God is on my side, as he is for each of you, and I’m certain that whatever he wishes me to learn through these trials will make me a better man, and hopefully, a better husband and father.

What a beautiful day

After work today, I picked up my fiancée and we went back to my apartment. Over the last weekend, we had gone down to California, among other things, to pick up the remainder of her belongings from her parents, and bring them back to Texas. We got back Tuesday, but have not finished unloading all of her stuff from the U-Haul. You see, she has a lot of stuff. Some of it will go to her current apartment. A lot of it will stay in my apartment. Anything left over will be put in a storage unit. So, the U-Haul has been mostly sitting at my apartment complex since then, and she has been going through it to figure out what can go where. Since nothing is really organized in the truck, this process can take a while. Hopefully we’ll be done by Saturday, because that’s when we have to return the truck.

So, the result of all of this is that basically we have been moving her stuff into my apartment for most of the evening, and organizing it somewhat. Or in other words, we have been turning my apartment more into our apartment. It’s actually a pretty good feeling.

In between all the packing and stuff, we also played some board games, ate dinner while watching some TV, and so forth. When it came time to go, we got on my motorcycle, Jill, and headed back to her place. Right as I pulled onto the highway, I had a wonderful experience. One might call it an epiphany, but I will call it an inspired message.

Let me describe the situation. It was a cool night, about 70 degrees, but going down the road at 70 mph with my jacket partially open, the wind chill brought it down to about the upper 40s or lower 50s. It felt great. I was sitting atop my speedy little motorcycle, Jill. I wasn’t flying down the highway, giving her a real workout, but the feel of her warmth between my legs, the rumble of the pavement beneath, the movement as we swerve around the traffic is a wonderful feeling. And to top it all off, sitting behind me, is an amazing, beautiful, fantastic woman, whom I love with everything I have, and who will soon be my wife. My fiancée, Kali, is sitting there, and I can feel her legs against my thighs, and her hands resting lightly on my waist. I’m reminded of all that we’ve shared, and all that she means to me.

As this is happening, a feeling comes over me. But it wasn’t just a feeling, it was a message from my God. He said to me, “Daniel,” (He always calls me “Daniel,” never “Dan”) “I have put you here to have joy. The people I have placed in your life, and the experiences I have given you are for that purpose. Cherish them.”

I truly have a blessed life. My family (present and future), my friends, my good times, and my bad times make me a better person, and bring me more joy. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why the Lord blesses me so, but I know that he does, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Love of my life

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, keep up with me on Facebook, or see me on a day-to-day basis, you’ve probably already heard about the amazing new woman in my life. Kali Weber came into my life a short time ago, and immediately transformed it. After becoming fast friends, our friendship quickly transformed into romance. It was almost scary how quickly we became everything to each other, but I knew in my heart I had found the woman I should be with for eternity. So, after a two-week courtship, I asked her to make me the happiest man in the world by marrying me.

I know some people are going to be worried. Two weeks is a really short amount of time to really get to know a person. If you had asked me two months ago what I thought of people who got engaged so quickly, I would have told you I thought they were idiots. There is no way they could know after such a short time if they were right for each other. It just isn’t possible, and there’s no way I’d ever be one of those people. I would also have been wrong. It’s true that there is still a lot that we don’t know each other, but what I do know about Kali is that she’s caring, passionate, a lot of fun, friendly, loyal, and that I am totally and completely in love with her and can’t imagine myself with anyone else. Anything else I need to know, I can learn as I fall in love with her over and over again more and more each day for the rest of our lives.

Even more than that, I know that we never should have ended up together had it not been for Divine Providence. I have felt the Hand of God in my life more this past month than ever in my whole life. If the God of Heaven and Earth wants the two of us to be together, then I’m certainly not going to tell Him to cool it off and slow down a little.

I thank Him every day for this wonderful woman he has put in my life. I don’t know what good thing I did to deserve this amazing blessing in my life, but a blessing she is. I can’t wait to be united with her for all eternity, to spend our lives together, to overcome challenges together, to grow old together, to see children and grandchildren come into our life together. And for all this, I am truly blessed.

Sometimes life sucks

As you, my loyal readers (do I have loyal readers, other than my mom and sisters?) are aware, I have been anxiously awaiting word from the JET Program to find out if I will be spending the next year or so in Japan. I finally got word back from them last night. They selected me as an alternate. What that means is that if someone they accepted changes their mind about going, or if someone drops out after they’re there, I might get selected to take their place. So, anytime between now and December, I might get another email from them saying they want me after all. It also means that I still have to fill out the same paperwork as if I were going, without any guarantee that I will get accepted.

Needless to say, this is incredibly frustrating. It incredibly frustrates my job situation. Right now, I’m working part-time as an assistant webmaster at UT, in the ME department. They love me down here and there has been some serious discussion about making me full-time. Unfortunately this is a very involved and difficult process, because it involves creating a new position for me, so they’d have to entertain other applicants for the position, yada, yada, yada. And with recent budget cuts, it becames even more difficult, but even still, my boss, and my boss’s boss want to try to make it happen. But if I’m leaving for Japan later this year, it’s not worth it to them. I can’t tell them I’m going to stay, and a week after I’m made full-time tell them I’m going to leave.

The hardest part of this whole thing for me is that I prayed long and hard about this program before I applied, and He told me to go for it. I knew from the get-go that I should apply to this program. Unfortunately, He never told me I would get accepted, just that I should apply. That’s been really hard for me to accept. I had a long talk with Him last night. There were many tears and some angry voices (from me, not Him, of course). Eventually I came to realize that whatever happens, somehow this will all be for my good. Whatever He has in store for me, I know He loves me, and wants the best for me. So I just have to move forward, without seeing the path ahead, and trust in Him to lead me to a good place.

ASCII Star Wars

I just found a text version of Star Wars that you can watch online. It’s AMAZING! You have to telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl, and you can be watching a text version of Star Wars on your computer.

Here’s a "screenshot."


                                     /~
             Over here!             ( oo|
          Help! Please help!        _=/_
                                   /  _                   ______________
                                  //|/.|              /
                                 ||_ _/ _||__________ /
       ______                   /|| | /| ||
              _______________/  #  _ _/ #
                                    | | |
                                    | | |
                                    []|[]
                                    | | |
      _____________________________/_]_[________________________________

For those of you unfamiliar with telnet, try clicking on the link above. It may or may not work, and if not, here’s some simple instructions on how to connect:

Windows: Open up the Command Prompt. To do that, click “Start” and go to “Accessories.” If it’s not there, click “Start” and the click on “Run…” Type in cmd and hit enter. In the Command Prompt type in telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl. Now sit back and enjoy.

Mac: Open up Terminal. Click on the desktop, and hold down Apple-Shift-A. Scroll down to Utilities, and click on it. Scroll down to Terminal, and open it. Type in telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl. Sit back and enjoy.

Linux: Figure it out yourself, you’re smart.

I haven’t finished watching it yet, but what I have watched is fantastic. I hope you all enjoy it, too.

My own land of promise

As I mentioned earlier today, I interviewed for the JET Program yesterday. One of the questions, as I said, was about how I, as a Christian, would cope with living in a Buddhist country. I gave some answer about how I get along just fine with people of every religion, and that I would be fine worshiping, if I had to, on my own.

Today in Institute class, we were reading in Moses 6, which says, in verse 17: "And Enos and the residue of the people of God came out from the land, which was called Shulon, and dwelt in a land of promise." We talked for a bit about "lands of promise." We discussed the various times in history when the children of God have been asked to leave a place, and go to a land of promise, a place of safety and refuge where they would be protected from the world: Enos and his children going to Cainan, Moses and the children of Israel venturing into Canaan, Brigham Young and the early Mormons crossing the frontier to Utah. We then talked about how today, we build our own lands of promise wherever we live. A thought came to me. In certain times of history, the Lord has required the children of God to leave a part of the world physically, and separate themselves so that, as a people, they can grow, and progress spiritually. We aren’t asked to do that in our time. We are asked to do something much harder. We’re required of the Lord to remain in the world physically, and separate ourselves spiritually so that we can grow and progress as individuals and families.

As I thought about this, my thoughts went back to my interview the day before when I was asked how I would deal with living in a Buddhist nation. I realized then that if I go to Japan, I will be physically separated more from the "lands of promise" which I have developed more than I ever have been in my life. Right now, I have my family a few hours away, and countless friends in the Church to support me when I need it. When I was in Scotland, I was in a land where there weren’t many members of the church, but I was constantly surrounded by other missionaries, and my mission president. I was in Germany for some time, away from my spiritual support, but it was only for a short time, and the ward in that town was still fairly large.

I may end up in a small village where I’m the only member of the Church, and I may be in a branch that meets several few hours away, and only has twenty members. I may not have the support structure that I have here. I may be venturing into Babylon, and if I, like one whose name I share, get thrown into the lion’s den, I need to be ready to close their mouths. I was looking at this as an opportunity to learn more about another culture and language, and to expand my skills, but this could, likely be a challenging spiritual journey for me as well. I’m going to need to shore up my spiritual reserves.

JET Interview

Yesterday, I had my interview for the JET Program. The interview was held in the Allen Center in Houston, TX. Since my brother lives in Houston, I went down the night before and stayed with him. He also wanted to help me change the oil on my motorcycle, since he knows I’m horrible about maintaining my bike, so we could kill two birds with one stone.

My interview was in the morning at 10:40. They asked that, because of space constraints, we not arrive more than 25 minutes early. I didn’t know exactly where the Allen Center was, and I’m not that familar with downtown, so I left an hour ahead of my appointment. I figured, if I got there early, I could hang around downtown until my appointment. I had already printed out directions from Google Maps. So, I got on my best suit, and headed out about 9:30.

When I’m on my motorcycle, I tend to talk to myself, or sing. As I was going to the interview, I considered practicing the answers I intended to give, but I had already practiced those to death, and figured that would just make me more nervous. So instead, I decided to sing hymns to myself. This helped calm me a lot. Especially as I sang my favorite children’s hymn A Child’s Prayer. It also helped me from getting frustrated at the poor drivers on the road. (Seriously, do they teach in Houston Driver’s Ed that the turn signal is for initiating the car’s self-destruct sequence?) Anyway, I found the building and nearby parking really easily. As I expected, I was early. So I took the time to fix my hair (stupid helmet hair), make sure I looked dang good, and when it was 10:15, I headed up.

I had to wait a little while since I was early. They had a waiting room prepared for us. There were a couple other interviewees already there. They had a JET alumnus, who worked at the consulate, there as well to answer any questions we might have about the interview or the program. He was really helpful, and it was nice to have him there to explain exactly what was going to happen.

When it was my turn, another JET alumnus showed up to call me back. I was being interviewed by three people. The JET alum who brought me back, who was an American about my age, and two older Japanese gentlemen. One of them, who had a very thick accent and was a bit difficult to understand, looked about in his mid-40s, while the other looked to be in his mid- to late-50s.

They took turns asking questions. They would each ask a few, and then let someone else ask some more. The JET alum started, and he asked some of the basic questions I was expecting, like, why do I want to be an English teacher in Japan. For those questions I felt I was very prepared, but I ended up only saying a few of the many things I had prepared to say. I think part of the reason for that was that I had to adapt my answers to the specific way they were asking the questions, but part of it was just nerves making me forget some of the stuff I had practiced. Even so, I felt I answered most of those questions pretty well.

The oldest guy there had several questions that I wasn’t expecting at all. They knew that I’m Mormon, since I talked about serving a mission for the church in the application. I expected that they might ask some questions about my mission, but I wasn’t sure what. They didn’t ask any, but the older guy did ask a couple questions regarding religion. For example, he mentioned that, as I probably already knew (I did), Japan is not a Christian country, but is primarily Buddhist. He wanted to know how I, as a Christian, would cope with living in such an environment. I’m not entirely sure if the answer I gave was very good, but I talked about how a person’s religion doesn’t affect how I interact with them. I mentioned that I’ve had a Buddhist roommate in the past, and that never was a problem. After the interview was over, I realized I should have pointed out that while I am a Christian in a Christian nation, as a Mormon, I’m not unaccustomed to being in the minority, so that wouldn’t change that much.

He also mentioned that drinking is very common in Japan, and wondered how I would feel if I were expected to go out with my co-workers to have some drinks and go to karaoke. I think my answer was pretty good. I talked about having plenty of experience (in college) of going to partys where the primary activity was drinking, and that it was never a problem for anyone (myself or others) that while they were drinking beer, I was drinking soda, or water. I should have also mentioned that I love karaoke, so I would jump at the opportunity to go to karaoke with my co-workers. He also talked a bit about me being an ambassador of the United States, and how I felt about that.

All in all, I feel that I gave good answers, and that they were fairly satisfied with my responses. Of course, the decision isn’t up to those three. They send their impressions of me on to the foks in Tokyo, who make the final decision. Now I have to wait until April to find out if I got accepted. Keep watch here for updates when they come, and keep me in your prayers.

Edit, P.S.: I forgot to mention the most surprising part of the interview. On my application, I stated that I don’t know any Japanese. Even so, the older guy asked me to introduce myself in Japanese. Luckily, I was able to muster up a very short introduction (Hello. My name is Dan Jones. Nice to meet you). I definitely wasn’t ready for that!

25 things about me

Ok, so this has been making the rounds on Facebook, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Here are 25 random facts about me.

  1. The idea of living in one place one’s entire life (even just childhood life) is so very foreign to me, that when someone tells me that’s exactly what they’ve done, I shudder a little inside, and pity them a bit.
  2. On the flip side of that, I don’t really understand the concept of home, and once in a very rare (and I mean very rare) while I envy those who do.
  3. I first recognized this lack of understanding when I was in junior high Latin class and asked my teacher to explain the difference between domus and casa. I didn’t fully understand his explanation. It wasn’t until years later that I realized I wasn’t going to understand the concept in Latin if I couldn’t understand it in English.
  4. Even though I don’t understand home, I understand family very well, and am so blessed to have a great family who’s always (and will always) be there for me, even when thousands of miles away.
  5. I daydream a lot about having superpowers, or being a super genius.
  6. The superpower I usually daydream about having is shape-shifting. I think that, as an actor, being a shape-shifter would be incredibly useful to me, as I would be able to look like any character at all.
  7. I love linguistics. I’m fascinated by different languages, because I think that the way a culture communicates says more about that culture than anything else.
  8. I’d love to be one of those people who can speak about a dozen or so languages. I hope to become one of those people someday.
  9. I’m a little bit accident-prone.
  10. When I was about 11, we had this huge pine tree in our back yard. It was about three stories tall, I think. One day I climbed up to the top of it (where it’s very thin, and swayed a lot), and waited for my mom to come out. I just wanted to hear "Daniel Ray Jones, get down from there right now." When she finally came out, she did not disappoint me.
  11. I probably shouldn’t tease my mom like that.
  12. She’s going to read this and be mad that that was intentional.
  13. I used to love school, but somehow, my last few semesters of college sucked that right out of me.
  14. Even still, I’d like to get a second degree, because I still love to learn, and recognize the benefit of a structured learning environment. I have no desire to get a master’s though.
  15. Someday, I will learn bladesmithing.
  16. I cry at movies, books, etc. more than I probably should. I generally try to make sure it’s not noticeable, unless I’m on a date, and know that the girl is in to sensitive guys.
  17. I really like J-Pop.
  18. I also like nu metal, screamo, rock, pop, alternative, and a bunch of other musical styles.
  19. I really want to stop biting my nails, but have never really put any effort into doing so.
  20. If I had to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be pizza. Yes, I realize that if I did that, I’d probably die in five years at 500 lbs. and unable to move, but at least I would die happy. (except, of course, for the horribly painful heart attack)
  21. I’d like to die a very, very old man, in a huge, horrible accident. No boring "peacefully in his sleep" crap for me. When people hear of my death, they should cringe and say, "Oh, that’s awful!"
  22. I have a lot of scars, the origin of most of which I do know.
  23. My original plan was to make a list of 24 fake facts about me, and have the last one say that others weren’t true. I decided that sounded lame.
  24. This post has 679 words, 46 sentences, a Gunning fog index of 9.3, a Flesch-Kincaid level of 6.2, and a Flesch Reading Ease score of 77.
  25. Sometimes I think there might be something wrong with me.