FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Justin B Rye 01 Apr 17


What is your name? [Neo‐Compressionist Portrait]
Justin B Rye.  The B is for Byam.
What is your quest?
Usually, employment.
What is your favourite colour?
Green and/or grey.
Where do you live?
Until yesterday, a flat in Newington (see Emmental page); now another one in a nearby part of Edinburgh.
You mean the Edinburgh in England?
No, the capital city of Scotland.
Oh, so you're Scottish?
Apart from having been born and raised in a rural Norfolk vicarage.
Are you a committed Christian, then?
Er… are you confusing me with my theolatrous brother, Mark?
Are you now or have you ever been a Goth?
Not even slightly.  Though admittedly I've had some very Gothy flatmates.
So what kind of music are you into?
None… are you confusing me with my hip and groovy sister, Jessica?
How old are you?
I'll be fifty in a fortnight, on a day which is also the anniversary of several other things!
Did you really spend most of the nineties on the dole?
Yes – 9¾ years of being overqualified and underexperienced, apparently.
Overqualified?  So what is your specialised subject?
Originally, Linguistics (MA).
Oh?  How many languages do you speak?
I'm a linguist (a student of language), not a polyglot!
So what jobs does that lead to?
None I ever found.  But then I switched to tech support and administration.
Any luck?
Very bad luck, resulting in jobs as a Debian GNU/Linux systems administrator at ever‐increasing intervals.
Have you tried getting paper qualifications in IT?
Yes; so I now have a stale CCNA.
What are your main interests?
Apart from Linux?  Science, language, and science fiction (see links page).
You're a Star Trek fan, then?
There's more to SF than second‐rate TV sci‐fi (see rant), you know!
But you believe in UFOs and all that stuff?
If I thought it was true I wouldn't call it fiction.
Do you have any particular claim to fame?
Her Majesty the Queen nearly ran me over back in 1994, but that's about it.
Where do you stand politically?
The lower left somewhere – what do you mean, it's one‐dimensional?
How long have you been growing that beard?
Only since I last shaved, in, ooh, 1988.
What is the nature of your eye defect?
Dreadful short‐sightedness.
Do you have any other distinguishing marks?
One: a crippled tendon in my left little finger.
How do you save so much money?
By having no real use for it.  I now have too much to be entitled to benefits, which is one way of getting off the dole.
So what kind of computer have you got?
I've mostly relied on recycled junk PCs.
Is “Justin Byam Rye” your real name, or an anagram of something?
Yes: “ban my jesuitry”!
What does your email .sig mean?  “Ankh kak!”?
It's a perfectly genuine Ancient Egyptian blessing; “may thy soul live”.
Why do you write these polemics?
I just have this genetic urge to preach, I suppose.
Are you serious?
Ah, you'll be using one of those browsers that can't handle <irony> tags…
But really… why?
Well, many of them started as bile‐sumps, designed to archive Frequently Argued Questions so that new acquaintances could find out my opinions without me needing to go into repetitive tirades.  In real life these days I can even be polite to premature enumerators!
What's all this about your flatmate John Mather disappearing?
I suppose since a garbled version was in all the tabloids from the Daily Record to The Times… here's an explanation.