A Call To Arms

I saw this on Tumblr somewhere. It seemed relevant

It’s not often you get an unexpected plea to come rescue someone, unless you’re Batman I guess, or you live a life of drama. I do my best these days to avoid drama because it’s so exhausting, though I can usually appreciate it when I see it, if only so I can use it in a story.

In this instance I got a call to come help moderate the Artyfakes stream, specifically to help cheer up Tabby. It’s fair to say she wasn’t looking as bubbly on-screen today as she normally is. I hadn’t intended to be online this evening after working until seven but if there’s one challenge I’ll rarely back down from, it’s one of putting a smile on people’s faces. This could mean only one thing: more #MadeUpModFacts.

My particular favourite was the proclamation that this evening’s facts were brought to the stream by the Voice of the Mysterons. Other highlights included some truly fowl jokes about Chinese Takeaway Ducks, the high profile splattering of trolls with the banhammer, and the revelation to the stream that Lady P was our concubine in chief; which was totally ignored by viewers distracted by the thought of Tabby and Lady P’s upcoming road trip date at Cadbury World.

Lady M was seen smirking gently as she read the chat channel while our binge-watching of Castle series 6 continued in the background; and it turned into a great evening of laughter and chatter quite in contrast to the more mundane day of shenanigans at the library that had preceded it.

It cheered up Tabby, cheered up Ladies M and P, and yes, continued to cheer me up. Told you this week would carry on getting better


Keep Calm and Use the Konami Code
Keep Calm and Use the Konami Code

Well, it’s been an interesting few days – which feels like that’s meant in the context of the ancient chinese curse. I’ve generally felt too tired to update this blog for a few days, but I have been continuing to help out with moderating the Artyfakes Twitch streams. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I do to keep the chat channel moving is insert cheeky fictional facts about the hosts and the other moderators. They are usually surreal, or include in-jokes, but they seem to be popular enough and various regular watchers have begun to contribute their own during the streams.

Here’s a few of the more interesting ones I’ve thrown into the mix this week, all prefaced with #MadeUpModFacts:

  • The next Hearthstone expansion will open new chapters based on the number of cans of Monster consumed by Tabby.
  • The camera is powered by Nick on an exercise bike.
  • Ludd was recently seen taking over the controls of a quad-bike to train his pet raptors.
  • Every time the banhammer swings, a new duckling is rescued by Nick.
  • Squeakehb recently thought that an advert for a lab assistant would be filled by a puppy.
  • Mama Mod has been seen looking for a new safe for the Tabby Snacks
  • Darklord recently discovered a hidden treasure map on the back of the prints on his wall.
  • All the moderators have been signed up to give an acrobatic ice dance at the BBQ, choreographed by the Chuckle Brothers.
  • Nick has a new hobby – dressing up as the Muller Rice advert bear.
  • Everyone at the BBQ event will be given random name tags so that no one knows who anyone is. It’ll be just like the internet, but in real life.
  • All commissions are delivered by flying monkeys that were hand reared by Tabby herself.
  • Nick’s secret superhero identity is [censored by Mama Mod].
  • Tonight’s lighting is provided by the Nodding Wizard.
  • At the end of this broadcast, appraisal forms for feedback will be mailed to all viewers.

Birthday Discordance


It was Lady P’s birthday today, so we had to indulge a family tradition and phone her at a very early hour to sing Happy Birthday as badly as possible to her voicemail. She’d popped round briefly the night before to have a chin wag, so we’d taken the opportunity to give her a card and her present, a beautifully striking pair of ear cuffs sourced from our great friends at Ollie Noble. The back of one of them is shown here. They’ll apparently be worn at her party on Saturday night, so I’ll try and remember to get a shot of them in action then.

The rest of my day was fairly routine, though we were upset to hear that one of Lady M’s relatives had been laid to rest today without our being told when or where the funeral service was going to be. We’ll make our own way up to pay respects now, but the assumption that we wouldn’t be able, or intend to be there is painful. Deep breaths and a reminder that the assumption likely comes from knowing how hard Lady M works and the distances involved in attending. This is the positive interpretation.

On a more engaging note, I was also modding for this evening’s Artyfakes stream, and a lively time was had by all. The events of #tabbygate shall not be things of which we speak. Many new #MadeUpModFacts were revealed, and some of the audience joined in with #MadeUpFanFacts, so nobody felt left out.

Lady M is still recovering from her infection, but seems in reasonable spirits otherwise. Hopefully she’ll be back in action soon.

Gaming and Modding

I’ve finally got round to writing up this week’s Monday game, and that heads up a new chapter in the Wartorn game – what’s a fantasy pirate adventure without a few zombies?

The modding for Artyfakes seems to be going well too – at least, they keep inviting me back so that’s a good sign. One of the things I’ve been doing, partly to keep the chat channel moving and partly to remind people that the show is moderated has been to throw in a series of fake facts with the label #MadeUpModFacts. These have generally made people smile and seem popular as I’ve retweeted them.

Examples include:

  • #MadeUpModFacts The chat channel is kept scrolling by tiny mice who live in the wood pile
  • #MadeUpModFacts Slenderman currently has three restraining orders against Ludd, who keeps trying to put Tabby’s zombie daffy duck mask on him
  • #MadeUpModFacts The floor is tiled with off-cuts from the crew’s first attempt to build the British Space Shuttle
  • #MadeUpModFacts The overhead camera is actually operated by one of Terry Pratchett’s box imps drawing very quickly
  • #MadeUpModFacts Some say Nic’s never been seen in the same room as The Stig…

I’m sure you can see a certain surreal pattern emerging. As a writer it’s a great exercise in throwing out quick snippets and it helps me get on with my own writing by simply getting me to write without worrying about context, continuity or even sense. Those come later when I dive back into the dialogue and descriptive sections.

A gentle evening's carnage
A gentle evening’s carnage

Last night I was online for roughly half of the show, before diving off to help celebrate a friend’s birthday at a local pub.

This turned first into a game of Cards Against Humanity, and then a long rambling night of music, dance, wandering conversations fuelled by many, many drinks. I’ve seen a post by someone else who was at the party today, saying that we should get a survivor’s t-shirt made up.

Tonight’s activities, I suspect, may follow a similar pattern – I’ll be covering the first part of the stream from around 6pm before leaving them in Lady P’s delicate care to take Lady M out to a live music night of cowpunkabilly mayhem with the ex-Lady M and the Charleesi. What’s the worst that could happen?