So THAT’s why Pols Voice hates loud noise.

If the title of this entry comes across to you as some AI’s feeble attempt to parse language, feel free to skip the rest. However, if you understand the reference and, like me, have had this cryptic clue from the original Legend of Zelda lingering for years in the recesses of your mind as an unsolved mystery from childhood, you might be interested in this, Link*. Hint: The second player controller on the Famicom had a built-in microphone.

I quite unexpectedly stumbled upon the answer not that long ago. It’s a strange feeling, randomly coming across the answer to a question that had caused me no small amount of confusion and frustration as a kid, only to be forgotten as time went on, then suddenly, years later, experiencing surprise, delight, and even a little relief, as old feelings come rushing back and are finally resolved.

Pols voice

The bow would one-shot these guys, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. But I still wanted to know what the hell that clue meant!


*Pun unintended. But that just makes it better.



So THAT’s why Frodo is an orphan.

We recently finished our family read-through of The Hobbit. Since it was such a hit with our daughter, we decided to take the plunge and start reading The Lord of the Rings. Fun fact: The Hobbit clocks in at a trickle over 95,000 words. LOTR is a little over 455,000 words — or, almost five times as long as The Hobbit. If we’re able to keep up the pace with our read-through of LOTR, it’ll take us about a year to finish. I really don’t know how this will turn out, but we feel it’s worth giving it a try.

There probably isn’t anything about Lord of the Rings that I could possibly spoil for anyone reading this blog, and the thing I’m about to spoil is so inconsequential anyway, but, just in case:


One of the details of the story which both my wife and I had forgotten, despite having read The Lord of the Rings more than once, is a brief bit of  backstory about Frodo’s parents. In the first chapter of Fellowship, Tolkien informs us that Frodo’s parents drowned in the Brandywine River*. The exact details are sketchy, but that’s it in a nutshell. Reading this was a bit of a shock for us, especially because even after reading it, neither of us had any recollection of it, as if we were reading it for the very first time. It’ll be interesting to see what other little gems we come across this time through the book.


*Detail provided by my daughter. I couldn’t remember if it was a lake, river, or pond that they drowned in, and I was feeling too lazy to bother looking it up. But she remembered.

So THAT’S why werebears are chaotic good.

I’m half-listening to my wife reading The Hobbit to my daughter and me while  working on a different post. We’re in the chapter with Beorn and it just dawned on me why werebears in D&D are chaotic-good (at least in Second Edition, not sure about any others) when just about every other type of lycanthrope is chaotic evil. And it’s not like I’ve never read The Hobbit before, it’s just that I din’t put two and two together until now. That’s a thing that I had wondered about since first browsing all of the entries in the 2e Monstrous Manual*. Not even going to look this one up.

*For those of you who’ve never played Second Edition, yes, that book was called the Monstrous Compendium and, later, the Monstrous Manual (which was subsequently followed up by further volumes called Monstrous Compendium Appendicies. Oi.).