Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Top Ten Bands to Listen to While Collecting Cans

i've had some experience in the world of can collecting and so far, have discovered that listening to music while collecting helps out a lot. Although i haven't begun my street collecting adventure, i have accumulated a list of my favorite music to listen to while collecting cans inside a house.


10: Horace Silver: Further Explorations (1958, Blue Note Records)
This is a great album for can collecting. It is a very up-beat and fast paced jazz album with a huge variety of sounds.

9: Muse: Black Holes and Revelations (2006, Warner Bros)
i'm not a big fan of heavy music, but the sound these guys create is just excellent. With contrasting melody lines and heavy distortion, this album motivates any can hunter to work faster.

8: Gang Starr: Moment of Truth (1998 Virgin)
My friend introduced me to this rapper while i was in England. He really reminds me of a Jurassic 5, employing a brass section in most of the tracks.

7: Radiohead: In Rainbows (2008 ATO)
i was never a big fan of Radiohead until i discovered this album. Personally, i think this record is a great backdrop for any activity, particularly driving. Here's my favorite song.

6: The Doors: L.A. Woman (re-released in 2007 Atlantic)
i could listen to this album all day...especially while i'm picking up cans becuase who doesn't like to hear Jim wailing while they're recycling?

5 Wilco: A Ghost is Born (2004 Nonesuch)
i love this album because it's a beautiful morning record. Every track on this CD, in succession, just goes really well with the morning and the rising sun. All the tunes a up beat, but in a laid-back sort of way.

4 Jurassic 5: Power In Numbers (2002 Interscope)
J5 is awesome in most situations, but when your picking up cans and striving for quantity, this album is a good motivator.

i found this mix tape through a Beck discography torrent and was totally impressed. All the songs are remixes of his popular stuff, but everything is renamed. Just put this CD on shuffle and you'll discover some bass heavy, techno Beck excellence.

When this record was released, the States did not give it much credit, although it was widely popular in Europe. Just to give you an idea of how different this Japan concert is; all the songs are re-scored and Dylan is accompanied by a swing band.

Alright, so it maybe a cliche that i chose my favorite band for the number one spot, but listening to the Dead while collecting cans is one of the most peaceful experiences i've ever had. Not only does the music make you appreciate your place in the world, it also makes you RECOGNIZE your place in the world.

So there is my top ten. These are not necessarily my favorite albums of all time (though some of them are) but they certainly are when it comes to collecting cans. Next time you feel like picking up some cans, pop on one of these Cd's!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Heating that can:: you wanna know how to deposit your cans??!!

"Whoa, this Frank character is making big bucks for such little work i wonder how can i do that?" is probably what has been mulling in your head since the beginning of this blog, so i'm going to give you some tips on how to make the most out of your cans.

step 1: Have friends. If you don't have friend's you can't do this... just kidding but seriously, friends are a big part to success. For a college student, the majority of cans are going to be left scattered and cluttered about your friends' apartments. Ask them if you can clean up and keep the cans. This is not the only way to collect, but it is the easiest, while roaming the streets, one is subjected to the cans already picked over by other connoisseurs, work the advantage!

step 2: Have a car (or borrow one). Transporting cans is a hassle, using a car is a HUGE help. Can't get a car? No worries, shopping carts are the new volkswagons.

step 3: Go to a deposit center, most of the "in-person" deposit banks are a little bit of a hike. While they are quicker and accept busted cans, it may not be worth the drive. Price Chopper is very close and open 24 hours.

step 4: Now you are in the Price Chopper parking lot...grab a cart! Pull your car right up in front of the deposit center, get a shopping cart and start unloading.

step 5: Can time. If you have a big load and there's a line, take a breather, wait until the deposit room is empty.

step 6: Try to continually feed the machines. Sometimes, if you wait too long to put a can in the slot, the machine will print your deposit stub, BAD MOVE, this leads to lots of $.05 deposit slips (which is just a hassle). The optimum amount of deposit slips should be 3, one for bottles, one for cans and one for glass.

step 7: Pick up your trash. Throw the cans that aren't refundable (namely Arizona) in the shopping cart and leave it for an employee to take care of.

step 8: Go to Customer Service and reek the benefits.

Aaannnnnndddd YOU are DONE! Pretty simple. A moderately full shopping cart of cans will yield somewhere between $12-15.

One thing to keep in mind are half full bottles and cans spill all over your hands, when the going gets bad, remember you are the man!


This is only my second week into the process, and right now i am gifted with a car. This "how to guide" is more aimed towards the college student with certain luxuries, expect a raw and dirty "how to" in a few months.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Canning that heat: heating up

The first night of fun based on my can harvest yielded fruitful (i've been playing some Farmville lately). Today is Saturday and last night was my first night on the "can" budget.

Let's recount the steps:

  1. i started with $12.10 at the beginning of my weekend, 10 pm, Friday night, after a long day of promoting the Jonas Brothers' dog premiere at Build-a-Bear (where i work). The gig wasn't bad, stand out feature of the night: An older woman picked out a dog and named her "Jezebel." Being a well-brought up catholic school child (and assuming she would get the joke), i asked if her dog was going to be an adulteress queen. i was expecting a laugh but recieved a disgruntled look, what do you expect to come to mind with the name Jezebel?! Harlots now-a-days....
  2. Around 11ish i met up with some of my friends and in an attempt to be economical, i split a 30 rack of keystone 3 ways. It ended up being $6 each and tax but i was living pretty high with my double digit earnings and threw in $7 in order to cover tax.
  3. The night of debauchery unraveled and i forgot to keep the empties, a $1.50 waste.
  4. i spent another $4.30 on a Game cigar and a beef patty special at K2. At this point, i was semi-aware that i was spending a little to much money, so i asked the chief to fill it up with the sauces (a creamy mix of hot sauce and Italian dressing) for a "more-bang for your buck" meal.
Keystone + Beef patty + Hot sauce + Italian dressing = Full Stomach, however, in numerical value, it looks more like this
$5.10 -4.30=.80
Down to $0.80 for the 26th.

It is Saturday afternoon, as if watching a movie, i find my character seated at the library and on his second job of the day ( Build-a-Bear started at 10).

He still hasn't slept from the night before and his mind is still expecting to drive to a political rally in Troy after he gets out of the library.
It's going to be a full 72 hour day...the beef patty was a good investment.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Canning that heat: pay pay numero uno

With my car load of cans (yes, i am using a car for transport, but my mom will need it back eventually, so i will be getting down with a shopping cart soon enough) i journey to Price Chopper.

i was going to make the first deposit on Tuesday, i rolled up around 5ish, but there was a long line, so i decided to leave the cans in my car and return the next day.

Round two, can time.

i unload the cans, get them all set up in a shopping cart (even tie a bag around the handle) and push the cart from my car through the parking lot.

i don't know if your familiar with novelty soda, but there is a certin kind that comes in green bottles and bumblebees/hornets/wasps/honeybees are drawn to the stuff like crack. For example, i've seen 5-6 bees trap themselves in the bottle within a 5 hour time span.

i have a few of these bee-bottles in my shopping cart.

As i said, it was about 5, a beautiful day and i'm pushing my shopping cart to the deposit station when this bee starts buzzing around. i don't really care, he's zipping around the bags and i start depositing.

About ten minutes into it, i get to the bottom of the shopping cart. i'm working pretty hard, i'm in the zone when i get to a green bottle and SWOOSH, the bumble from outside (he was actually a wasp) flies out at me, obviously pissed, and starts circling around my head. i'm a freaking coward and run outside flapping my hands.

After a couple seconds, i recompose myself, collect my deposit stubs and make a sweet $12.10 for next weekend.


-Try to deposit the cans/bottles in a row so you don't end up with $.05 stubs (if you wait too long, the machine will automatically print out the slip).

-Wash your hands after.

-Be weary of 3/4 full Coors bottles, they tend to splash all over your hands (it happend to me 3 times).

-Wash your hands after.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Preseason: testing the waters

Weekend Number 1, Sept. 18-20

With the beginning of this blog, i decided live out a normal weekend, free of budgeting, in order to discover how much i normally spend over the three day period. At the end of the weekend, i spent a total of $30.

i also had some people over my house on Saturday. With the little get-together, i collected my first batch of cans from the house the next day (along with some cans from my friends' house).

Thinking about the weekend and my empty wallet... i'm a horrible person with money, i can't save money, i can't hold on to money and i certainly can't budget it. i'm going to have to change this blog from "budgeting a weekend on cans" to "how to stay out of debt with cans".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

About My Cans

My name is Frank (Catfish) Cutie, i play a lot of music and i like mowing my lawn. Often, i notice people walking around with shopping carts full of cans, probably worth at least $20-30. Some of these can hunters don't seem homeless, but seem to be wise to a cheap buck. The purpose of this blog is to not only investigate the difficulty of living off the alcoholism of others, but to also put myself in someone else's shoes.

The Task: i will go can hunting once a week and use the deposit money as my ONLY funds for weekend fun and food. Not only will i be collecting cans, but i will also be engaging with others from a very different perspective during my hunting. My weekends will also have to be budgeted accordingly.

By the end of this project i hope to do several things. Aside from growing spiritually and hopefully gaining some new humility, i plan to have a fully documented account of street's can supply, best hunting days and cheap ways to rock out in Albany.