Random roundup

Armed Forces Entertainment returned to SXSW for the second year in order to scout for music to please U.S. military audiences. Today’s WSJ reports that last year’s foray was the success that spurred this year’s return (“Rock in a Hard Place,” byline John Jurgensen). Austin-related artists signed to tour Iraq and Kuwait military installations include Charlie Robison and Kevin Fowler (the “Beer, Bait & Ammo” favorite). >>> Rue’s Antiques wasn’t there on the 1500 block of South Congress forever, but it was there for a good long time. Yesterday, everything was auctioned off; a peek through the windows this morning revealed some mighty wide-open spaces. I never bought anything from Rue’s but I sold items to Rue’s, and this business offered certain repair services and could offer referrals to others. Was it rent? Retirement? Some bar or restaurant offering more money? If there was anything in the local daily about this, I missed it, and nobody I’ve asked seems to know. Other business people on the Avenue probably do know, but they weren’t open yet early this morning. If the auction hadn’t been on a weekday, it would have been an attraction. I remember the one at The Tropic Shop, just over the Congress bridge on the south side (now Your Living Room), which was especially rich in the oak chairs that used to be seen everywhere in court houses, sometimes known as Bank of England chairs. Thank you, Rue’s. >>> Now that the May 12 election season is just over the horizon, Travis County once again offers ways to make your voter registration really pay off, with an array of full- and part-time temporary jobs paying the kind of money we expect here in Austin. An application form may be downloaded. A call to 854-4996 will yield more information about these jobs paying $10 and $13 per hour. Openings include these: call center reps (varying hours; $10 per hour; during early voting, which this year is from April 30 through May 8); ballot-by-mail clerks ($10); election trainers ($13 per hour); technical troubleshooters ($13 per hour; test required); bilingual workers for long hours on Election Day only (training session before Election Day; mostly $10 per hour, but some $9); and night workers to receive ballots at one of five locations on Election Day after the polls close ($6 per hour). I’ve seen these postings only in summary form; more complete descriptions are no doubt available at the county clerk’s election division, 5501 Airport Boulevard. Applicants must be 18 or over, registered to vote in Travis County, and able to pass a criminal-background check. We may live in booming, prosperous Austin, but these jobs usually go fast, perhaps because of high politico quotient.

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