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Do you remember 1977? I was 4 years old, and the one event that stands out in my memory is my family's nightly watching of the miniseries "Roots." It must have been on every night for a year -- at least that's what it felt like to me back then.

It's 30 years later, and it's now being released on DVD. To tell you the truth, I'm excited about it. I never really watched it when it was first aired, but I can't wait to watch it now.

In a related note, I just finished watching Carl Sagan's 13 part "Cosmos." Awesome stuff. Just awesome.


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Summer Day Trip #1: Caledonia, Minnesota

The Wired Rooster Coffee Shoppe -- Caledonia, Minnesota

I've lived in Minnesota for over ten years, sure, but that doesn't mean I've actually seen much of the state. Like most people, I know what I know, and I go where I go. And that's the extent of it. But once I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to make it to Alaska this summer, it occurred to me that I had plenty of sites to explore in the immediate region.

First stop: Caledonia, Minnesota. Where's that? It's a small town in the southeast corner of the state. Before I opened my Rand McNally Road Atlas, I had never heard of it, and before I punched the town name into Trip Advisor, I didn't know if there was anything there worth visiting.

Distance from home: About 75 miles.

Challenge #1: Leaving by 6:30 a.m.

Challenge #2: Taking my dog, Atticus.

Actually, Atticus is a good dog on a road trip, but the forecast indicated that it was going to get into the 90s. I wanted to leave early in the …