Awesome Aerial Photography of Kentucky

Speaking of Mongiardo, he announced during the 15th Annual Kentucky Geographic Information Systems Conference that that Kentucky has acquired full-color aerial photography of the entire state. The purchase was made in part with through grants from the United States Geological Survey.

Beyond aiding the adventure tourism industry, this is a great thing for Kentucky.

Images from all 120 counties in Kentucky have been made available online HERE. The data consists of nearly 12,000 separate images that can be downloaded for personal or business purposes. Kentucky’s other mapping sites are accessible via the Kentucky Geography Network.

This is the most awesome thing to ever happen to Kentucky. Maybe. At least in the past few days. Come on, you KNEW I was a huge geek. Now you know how we’ll be spending our weekends and 100% of our free time.

We’re officially breaking up with Google Earth and are now exclusively dating The Commonwealth Map.

The image at the top of the story is just something funny we spotted while digging for aerials “back home.” Below are just a few screengrabs of important locations in our personal lives. Don’t stalk us. We pack heat.

Good Guys Win One on Arena

This isn’t the only piece of the downtown Louisville Arena puzzle that Jim Host has tried to ramrod down our (citizens) throats, but it’s maybe the first time anyone has stood up to the powerful arena czar and won.

As we reported in February, Host’s arena committee awarded a demolition contract to O’Rourke Wrecking for $2.8 million, even though the Cincinnati company’s bid exceeded that of local CRS Demolition by $1.2 million. CRS filed a protest with the state, but it appeared the state was ready to roll over and let Host get his way. Turns out Host had written the bid specs in a way that favored O’Rourke, and Host claimed the CRS bid was not written correctly.

Today’s news is that the state Finance and Administration Cabinet, based on the CRS complaint, has ordered the Arena Authority to issue new bid specs and allow five companies to compete for the business. Those companies will have less than a week to submit new proposals. O’Rourke, which has had personnel on the site preparing for the demolition, will be allowed to continue working through that date.

Let’s give some credit here. Kentucky Finance Cabinet Secretary Jonathan Miller, though not named in the Courier-Journal’s story, is standing up to Host. He found it was a bit unreasonable for the Arena Committee power brokers to award a bid that was $1.2 million more than a competitor. It must have found that the bid writing engaged in by Host’s folks was suspect.

The result: at worst, O’Rourke may come in with a lower bid and still win the business. Or another of the four companies will be fairly awarded the contract.

Visiting a Memorial on Memorial Day Weekend

Cliché, right? Maybe a little. But it’s okay in this instance.

We were out enjoying the great weather on Saturday and happened to be in the neighborhood of the Patriots Peace Memorial in Louisville. Stopped by to take a few photos and relax for a few, just as you should do the next time you’re near Thurman-Hutchins Park on River Road.

Situated right next to the Ohio River in one of the most beautiful areas in Louisville, the memorial truly is a peaceful spot. It’s also a fitting tribute to all who have fallen.

Peep the rest after the jump…

Read moreVisiting a Memorial on Memorial Day Weekend

Kentucky Derby Results

Okay. We can stop with the political jokes now. Heh.

Big Brown, the horse Barack Obama picked to Show, won the Kentucky Derby. Hillary’s pick, Eight Belles (the filly), finished second and had to be euthanized just after the race.

Then Steve Beshear got all nervous during the trophy presentation and forgot (we’re being generous) to offer condolences to the folks affiliated with Eight Belles.

Yay. The Kentucky Derby.

Spending the Day at Churchill Downs

Being the fancy high society/elitist homosexual types that we are, we spent Sunday afternoon at Churchill Downs. Yes, we drank all kinds of free devil water as we wagered millions and millions of dollars on some horsies. We ate all kinds of pro-gambling food. And we won all kinds of money (we left with an additional *cough* $12 *cough*).

Our Jockey Club Suite may not have been, you know, right on the finish line… but it was close. As were the restrooms and the funny old ladies with big hair working the betting windows. (We couldn’t figure out that fancy betting computer in the suite after a bunch of booze.) And no, Bruce didn’t call to drop any tips our way. Otherwise we wouldn’t be writing this today.

We snapped a few cellphone pics for you to check out/use for developing envy:

And take a peek at the mega bets we made (see? as high as $6! though, as a group, we bet $48 on one ticket and failed miserably.):

So. You know you wanna. If you can’t make it during the Kentucky Derby, plan on making a trip to Louisville to visit Churchill Downs sometime during the spring meet. We’d be happy to join you.

Reminder: Enter Our Contest to Win

Just a reminder to enter our fancy First Lady Coloring & Caption Contest. It’s your chance to make a few hilarious political jokes while winning tickets to two uniquely Kentuckian tourist traps in the western part of our beautiful Commonwealth.

Color & caption pictures of Barbara Pierce Bush, whom we picked because she is so mean and wrote that book about her dog Millie. And Laura Welch Bush, whom we selected because she’s way more intelligent than her husband and is often spotted in public with Visible Panty Line (VPL). You’ll be entered to win tickets to Dinosaur World or the underground boat tour at Lost River Cave & Valley.

Entries accepted until April 18th.