Guild Wars 2 Champion Trains

Guild Wars 2 Champion Trains are no doubt contrary to the developer’s wishes on how Guild Wars 2 should be played. But from the players’ viewpoint, they’re a quick way to level characters, get nice loot, get karma, and get Daily and Monthly Achievements out of the way.

Below is a list of Champion Trains with waypoints. If you know of any that are NOT on this list, or have a correction, please comment below.

Queensdale Champion Train (Levels 1-17)
As of June 2014 all the Champions except the Champion Rotting Ancient Oakheart were changed to Veterans or Elites to discourage Champion Trains in starting zones.

Lornar’s Pass Champion Train (Levels 25-40)
While Lornar’s Pass has a lot of champions, they do not spawn predictably at this time. If you have a pattern for them, please post in the comments below. Thank you!

1.) Frostmaw [Stonescatter Waypoint]
Head north towards [Bearstone Shrine]. He spawns in the flat area to the east.

2.) Champion Ice Wurm [Durmand Priory Waypoint]
Head immediately south, take stairs down to bottom of hill. Turn north and enter caverns. Follow caves to [Posternus Caverns] point of interest.

3.) Lord Ignius [Vanjir's Stead Waypoint]
Head directly south into Venison Pass

4.) Champion Steam Commander[Pinnacle Enclave Waypoint]
He actually originates at another location, but frequently ends up right at this waypoint .

5.) Champion Troll [Durmand Priory Waypoint]
Wanders the caves below the Durmand Priory north of [Posternus Caverns] point of interest.

6.) Champion Ettin [Vanjir's Stead Waypoint]
Head north towards the heart, then turn right. Go up in the hills, follow path generally south to Vista.

Harathi Hinterlands Champion Train (Levels 35-45)

Timberline Falls Champion Train (Levels 50-60)
- Ram

Iron Marches Champion Train (Levels 50-60)
1.) Champion Drakin Cinderspire (Fire Shaman and Minions) [Gladefall Waypoint]
Head southeast over the bridge then curve around to the Northwest. The champion is at the North end of the Scorchlands. There is a break in the wall just south of the Scorchlands Vista that can be jumped through. Kill all the Ember and Fire Elemental Minions in the area before attacking the Shaman, do this three times.

2.) Champion Branded Devourer [Gladefall Waypoint] or [Grostogg's Kraal Waypoint]
Head north into The Infestation. Located in the middle area

3.) Champion Victurus the Shattered [Viper's Run Waypoint]
Roams through Crystalwept Groves with an entourage of branded creatures.

4.) Bria [Hellion Waypoint]
Head south to Bria’s Manor

Sparkfly Fen Champion Train (Levels 55-65)

Frostgorge Sound Champion Train (Levels 70-80)

Guild Wars 2 Champion Train

1.) Wurm [Dimotiki Waypoint]
Jump off the ice flow and starting swimming down and slightly to the North East. The Wurm at the bottom of a chasm in the sea.

2.) Drake [Skyheight Steading Waypoint]
Head north out the gates and angle slightly west around the cliff. The Drake will spawn in a nest area straight ahead.

2A.) Quaggen
Will spawn near the Drake to the North East. Has a long spawn time, so it only appears about every five rotations.

3.) Troll [Earthshake Waypoint]
Head slightly Northwest, jump the fissure to stay on top. Keep heading west until you get to an open area full of trolls. Jump down, the Troll spawns on top of the rock out cropping. There is also a Chest on the north side of the rock out cropping.

4.) “Trio” [Drakkar Waypoint]
The Trio has a long spawn time and will come up about every second or third rotation through the other Champions. It consists of three Champs. If all three can be killed within the time limit (currently ten minutes,) then an extra chest is given as a reward.

Malchor’s Leap Champion Train (75-80)

Cursed Shore Champion Train (Level 80)

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Downtown Disney, Anaheim, California

Somewhere in the past couple of decades, Disney added something called Downtown Disney. The California version of this is a bit better than the Florida version in my opinion. Not because it’s larger, or it has better stores, restaurants and “gift shops.” No, because it’s better integrated into the larger Disney conglomerate. Downtown Disney is easily accessible from both the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure theme parks and from the multitude of Disney Hotels nearby.

Where as at Downtown Disney Orlando, one must either drive or take the monorail from the various parks. Granted, there are more dining options. A plethora of entertainment options in itself populate Disney Downtown Orlando, along with plenty of shopping and eating options. But, the fifteen minute ride slash drive to Downtown Disney in Orlando makes it less of a destination.

Monorails and pool at Downtown Disney
A picture of some monorails shadowing the pool area outside one of the Disney Hotels.

Lego Dragon at Downtown Disney
In Lego, one of the most iconic Disney movie moments.

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Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventures

I was lucky (or unlucky) enough in 2012 to end up at the new Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventures about a week after it opened. Lines were long, especially for the Radiator Springs Ride at 60 minutes, a mere twenty minutes after the park opened. Within an hour the wait had soared to 120 minutes and hovered there for most of the day with an occasional drop to 90 minutes.

The attention to detail and staying true to the Cars movie franchise is downright amazing. I had just as much fun taking pictures of the signs and scenery as I did actually riding the ride. We went again in April 2014. It was just as busy.

California Adventure

California Adventure

California Adventure

California Adventure

Radiator Springs Ride

Mater, voiced by Larry the Cable Guy

Lightning McQueen, Voiced by Owen Wilson

California Adventure

Radiator Springs!

Cars Land at Disney's California Adventures

California Adventure

California Adventure

California Adventure

Stanley's Oasis

California Adventure

The outstanding view!

California Adventure

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MASH books in Chronological Order

By all accounts MASH was one of the most popular TV shows ever. It’s reported that 125 million people watched the 1983 finale of the eleven season series, even though there were only 82.5 million TVs in the US at the time. But before the TV series, there was an award winning Movie, and a less popular series of books. The first book did quite well, but after that the popularity dwindled despite twelve sequels. Worse, the books were not printed in chronological story order, instead they tended to jump around which makes for a confusing story.

But we do meet a host of great characters, and find out more about the lives of our two (technically four,) favorite Doctors. There are a host of great jokes, some of which need a bit of setup. Other jokes run over several books, which can be confusing if you haven’t read all the books. There is also the occasional tear jerker scene in almost every book, most of which involve actual surgery instead of the regular hi-jinks.

Likely the books didn’t do quite as well because they tended to be slightly sexist. Even in the 1970s that was starting to become a little forbidden. Then there is the racist jokes, most of which are “OK” 1970′s racist jokes that try to be somewhat apologetic while managing to still be offensive.

Of course there is the fact that the “After MASH” sequels just didn’t do as good as the TV show anyways. By the end of the series it’s obvious that the author was trying to milk the cash cow for us much as he could. Considering most of these books are now on Amazon for under a buck, that was obviously a futile gesture. But, the books remain a bit of a guilty pleasure just like Dean Kootnz, Charlaine Harris, or Laurell K. Hamilton.

So here is the MASH Book series in chronological story order. Enjoy!

Before the movie, this is the novel that gave life to Hawkeye Pierce, Trapper John, Hot Lips Houlihan, Frank Burns, Radar O’Reilly, and the rest of the gang that made the 4077th MASH like no other place in Korea or on earth.
The doctors who worked in the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH) during the Korean War were well trained but, like most soldiers sent to fight a war, too young for the job. In the words of the author, “a few flipped their lids, but most of them just raised hell, in a variety of ways and degrees.”

“M*A*S*H Goes to Maine” is Richard Hooker’s hilarious sequel to his classic book “MASH” and, for once, the sequel is better! Living a quiet life in Maine after the Korean War, doctors “Hawkeye” Pierce, “Duke” Forrest and “Trapper John” McIntyre are at it again, trying to establish a medical hospital while fighting the snobbiest doctors in America. Funny and very relaxing, you’ll love “M*A*S*H Goes to Maine”.

The whole M*A*S*H gang-Hawkeye, Trapper John, Hot Lips and the rest-hit New Orleans to attend the American Tonsil, Adenoid and Vas Deferens Society convention. But that’s just the beginning….. It may take years for Crescent City to recover from the gang’s outrageous brand of medical madness-and their boozing, cruising and cutting up all the way from Basin Street to the Louisiana bayous.

At this point in the series William E Butterworth took over writing. And things go downhill. The racist jokes increase and include pretty much everyone the characters come across. The characters all arrive in rather contrived ways at their destination. And there is ample descriptions of drinking, golfing, and even some about surgery. At this point you’re wondering why the original author was letting these books through. It had to be “I get a check? And I don’t have to do anything? Where do I sign?”


MASH Goes to London


MASH Goes to Morocco


MASH Goes to Las Vegas


MASH Goes to Vienna


MASH Goes to San Francisco


MASH Goes to Miami


MASH Goes to Hollywood


MASH Goes to Texas


MASH Goes to Moscow


MASH Goes to Montreal


MASH Mania

Finally, Hooker takes back over as the author. This last book is sort of a “sorry for the last ten books, here are the guys back again. But this time they’re middle aged Republicans. But it’s still funny! I swear!” And it is actually.

Finestkind!

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The USS Cyclops and Oregon

The USS Cyclops was a US Navy Collier (supply ship,) that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. It became one of the more famous Bermuda Triangle disappearances for a variety of reasons. Theories range from a crew mutiny since she was carrying three convicted murders from the USS Pittsburgh along with two mutineers, along and 42 more men from the Pittsburgh headed home for reassignment. The second major theory is that she sunk under her improperly loaded cargo. And the last major theory is that she was to being given over to the Germans.

This later theory is backed up by two facts.The Captain, Lieutenant Commander George W. Worley had been born in Germany as Johann Friedrich Georg Wichmann. He had apparently jumped ship in San Francisco in 1878 and immigrated to the United States. He was known to associate with other German Captains before the war. The other possible support for this theory was that one of the ship’s passengers was US Consul General Alfred L.M. Gottschalk. He was of German ancestry, and extremely pro-German before the war. He’d boarded the Cyclops to head to the United States and enlist.

Another strange fact is that she was one of four Proteus class colliers built before WWI, and the first of THREE of the ships to disappear in the Bermuda Triangle. She disappeared during World War I, while the Proteus and Nereus both disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in 1941 during World War II.

The USS Cyclops
The USS Cyclops in New York Harbor, October 3rd, 1911

The third one built, the USS Jupiter, had been converted into the USS Langley, the US’s first aircraft carrier in 1920. It was also lost, but this time to Japanese air attacks on February 27, 1942.

The USS Cyclops
The USS Cyclops experimentally refueling the USS South Carolina in an 1914 while both ships were underway.

The Cyclops’ disappearance was originally chalked up to German Submarine activity. But after the war, no evidence was found in German Naval records. But coincidences that made it’s disappearance unusual. A more in depth history of the ship and it’s mysterious disappearance is covered in “The Devil’s Triangle” by Richard Winer, but Bermuda Triangle Central has a great overview of the history.

The interesting fact to me is the number of crew members on the ship at it’s disappearance who were Oregon residents at the time. According to History of Oregon, Volume One by Charles Henry Carey these men were:
Robert Armstrong from Baker, Oregon
Ubert Summer Barton from Portland, Oregon
Earl Leon Jones from Montavilla, Oregon
Eugene Franklin McNelly from North Portland, Oregon
Andrew Benny West from Clatskanie, Oregon
James Alexander West also from Clatskanie, Oregon

Pictures are courtesy the Department of the Navy – Naval Historical center.

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