Friday, November 6, 2009

Table scoring at Airports. Or How I ate for free in San Francisco

Here are a couple items I thought worthy to share at this point for some comic relief.

Killer Combo

Is this really food?? and Is this really worth 10 bucks. I think if i found this inside a dumpster i would leave it. I want to meet the marketing genius that came up with this one. This was in the freezer case at Buy For Less. No small wonder in a state where diners frequently ask for an "Bowl of ranch" to go with whatever they order out.

Here is a man after my heart,

digging in the dumpster outside of the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco. If I thought there might be something other than broken glass and cardboard I would have joined him. Thanks to friends of Evangelicals Ben and Blake I didnt have to resort to digging in scary San Francisco dumpsters. They gave us floor to sleep on and allowed me to raid their fridge to make a delicious medley of sauteed potatoes, leeks, broccoli, onions and garlic.

Eating for free at his house allowed me to to purchase some delicious late night donuts after the show at the Hemlock Tavern.

Free Headphones Anyone?

Hell yes! even in the midst of this dark day while I travel home to my grandmothers funeral there is still something for a scavenger to celebrate. If anyone needs a free set of cheap ass ear buds hit me up. Or next time you have to book a last minute flight out of Portland travel Frontier airlines
The unexpected death of my Grandmother has found me leaving the tour for a couple days to be with family in Kansas. Today I find myself in the Portland Airport flying to Wichita Kansas. Ill be meeting up with the band in a few days in Salt Lake City after the funeral. I wish I were writing under happier circumstances. I owe so much to my grandmother, including many of my cooking skills and sense of thrift to my grandmother Im going to miss her more than I can comprehend at this moment.

I was starting to feel hungry and sorry for myself until I saw a hot dog stand called Bad Dogz. They had a fixings bar complete with sauerkraut onions and jalapinos. Free condiment bars are a welcome site. I got some fresh corn tortillas and fresh cheese from a Mexican grocery in San Francisco. This was breakfast today.

Free condiments from the hot dog bar at gas stations help to supplement the road diet. Pilot Travel stops have particularly good condiment bars including sauerkraut, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and salsa. Thanks to an empty pickle jar I found at Josh's house, and the U2 360 tour catering room, I have been enjoying free hot tea this tour. I pocketed enough free tea bags to last me the entire month. Hot water is free and available at most gas stations on a red tab next to the coffee makers.

On tour a friendly dumpster is often hard to find. This leads me to employ other methods of scoring free food. Today i found myself in the Seattle airport at lunch time. I wasn't content to eat corn tortillas so I began searching the food court for "Table Scores" or half eaten and abandoned food. after 20 minutes of looking I was still hungry. Travelers are reluctant to let their overpriced airport food go to waste. So my next recourse was to begin asking cashiers for damaged or throw away food that they couldn't serve. After being turned away at a sandwich shop I decided it was time to stop begging and broke down and bought some Wendy's. I had some buyout money from the Portland show. I hope my readers will forgive me for breaking with my free food lifestyle. Life on the road requires some creative adaptation. I did gain enough courage after eating my chili, potato, and side salad to swipe a fruit parfait and coffee from an unassuming coffee

Such a rebel am I. Desperate times cal for desperate measures. I needed that desert and wasn't about to pay 5 dollars for yogurt and a coffee. I made it to my flight just in time all the while wondering if airport security was after me.....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Norman dumpsters yield cheezy treasures

It has been a long silence. Ahh The last meal before leaving Norman for Evangelicals tour. I scored several packages of this ravioli, as well as a variety of specialty cheeses, red pepper hummus, and olive oil butter while touring Norman dumpsters on my bike. The last home cooked meal before tour is always a memorable one. Its a good time to start up the blog again. I have not posted for a long time but I feel it is time to begin a new season of Eating America with Toddy J. I have had a lot of dumpster diving adventures over the summer and look forward to sharing more in the coming months. I have been very encouraged by the feed back Ive gotten from readers of the blog. We have a rich dumpster culture in the Oklahoma City area. Ill be linking Eating America to Kyles Tour Blog so you can follow our progress as we travel across the country this month. Just click on the title.M Here is the tour schedule:

10/31/09 Norman, OK - Opolis Productions
11/02/09 Phoenix, AZ - Modified Arts w/ Holiday Shores
11/03/09 Los Angeles, CA - Echo w/ Port O Brien
11/04/09 San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern w/ Holiday Shores, Fake Your Own Death
11/05/09 Portland, OR - Holocene w/ Holiday Shores
11/06/09 Seattle, WA - The Vera Project w/ Holiday Shores
11/07/09 Missoula, MT - The Palace w/ Holiday Shores
11/08/09 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court w/ Holiday Shores
11/09/09 Denver, CO - Hi Dive w/ Holiday Shores
11/11/09 Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar w/ Holiday Shores, Eli August
11/12/09 St. Louis, MO - Firebird w/ Holiday Shores
11/16/09 Washington, DC - The Red and the Black w/ Holiday Shores
11/17/09 Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie w/ Holiday Shores
11/18/09 Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall w/ Holiday Shores
11/19/09 Allston, MA - Great Scott w/ Holiday Shores
11/20/09 Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place w/ Holiday Shores
11/21/09 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern w/ Holiday Shores
11/22/09 Chicago, IL - Schubas w/ Holiday Shores
11/23/09 Bloomington, IN - The Bishop w/ Holiday Shores

If you live in one of these cities let me know of any good spots to hit up in the area.
More to come...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Evangelicals and Starlight Mints tour days 5-10

I set the bar high for myself this tour. My goal was to eat for free, and adopt a wheat/gluten free diet at the same time. I quickly found that having a restrictive diet and touring around the country on a limited food budget are hard to reconcile. To make a long story short I found myself breaking my diet almost as soon as I decided to adopt it. I was just too hungry!

<span class=
My plan was to dumpster dive throughout the tour to supplement the free food I received from clubs. I only had one successful dumpster dive. The only other time I dumpstered I came up empty handed at Pizza Hut and Mazzios in Tulsa. Lucky for me the venues and our friends were very generous with food.
The remainder of the tour found Evangelicals in Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Campaign, and St Louis. In Madison we played at the Annex where I ate a lackluster fried fish sandwich that was more bread than anything. Lucky for me my good buddy and organ player for The Hex, El-Tin-Fun put the band up at his place and ordered us a large pizza with peppers and onions.

<span class=

MMMmmmm MMm!
The next day we were in Milwaukee at the Turner Hall We got the royal treatment. A catered Mexican dinner

<span class=

Fresh fruit and vegetables

<span class=

and all the beer, we could drink.
No photos survived from our Chicago show. At least none were on my cell phone. I had a pretty good pulled pork sandwich from the Bottom Lounge.
The Next day we drove to Champaign and met up with our dear friend Tristen from the band Headlights. He had The grill and hamburgers ready to cook.

<span class=

<span class=


Its always a treat to hang out with the folks from Headlights. Evangelicals did a 6 week tour with them in the winter of 2008 and we became close friends.

hamburgers were also consumed at the after party and for breakfast the next morning. Collectively the band consumed more than 10 burgers. The farts on our ride to St. Louis were incredibly vile.
Finally In St. Louis we ate at our favorite Pho house on the road at Pho Grand.


<span class=

I had the duck leg Pho it was the perfect bookend to our tour. The first and last meal were both at my favorite Pho houses. For the most part on our tour ate complementary food or meals bought with band cash I did break down a couple times and buy fast food. Im leaving tomorrow to begin the 2nd leg of our Starlight Mints tour. This leg is taking us south through Texas and ending up in Florida. Also don't forget to vote for your favorite blog on OK Gazette Best of OKC.

Jun 25 2009 8:00P
Granada Theater Dallas, Texas
Jun 26 2009 8:00P
House of Blues Houston, Texas
Jun 27 2009 8:00P
One Eyed Jacks New Orleans, Louisiana
Jun 28 2009 8:00P
Alabama Music Box Mobile, Alabama
Jun 29 2009 8:00P
The Bottletree Birmingham, Alabama
Jun 30 2009 8:00P
Drunken Unicorm Atlanta, Georgia
Jul 1 2009 8:00P
Common Grounds Gainesville, Florida
Jul 2 2009 8:00P
The Social Orlando, Florida
Jul 3 2009 8:00P
New World Brewery Tampa, Florida

Monday, June 8, 2009

Evangelicals Tour days 2-4

The Dumpster Gods have smiled upon Evangelicals this week. At a random lunch stop in Kansas I spotted an Aldi store and took the opportunity to stock up on some fresh fruits and vegetables.


I found bananas, apples, tomatoes, and jalapenos.


The food provided me with the energy to make it through the 8 hour ride to Omaha. An office depot dumpster yielded a nice pleather binder to help us organize our new Mailing List. Be sure to sign up if you are out at a show. After playing a show at the Slowdown in Omaha we went out to Amsterdam to eat some late night Doner Kebabs.


I had the spicy garlic with an order of Curry Fries.


This small restaurant is open late to serve the bar crowd. No trip to Omaha is complete without a visit to Amsterdam.

After a stormy night spent in the E-van we drove to Des Moines to play a show with our friends Hurray for the Riff Raff. They were happy to share an apple with me on the street corner.


We had fun playing a show to each other at the brick house in Des Moines. Sunday is Steak Day at the Brick House but unfortunately they do not feed bands. Lucky for us the Asian market next door had wasabi peas and the promise of milk in the future.


Hurray for the Riff Raff played an awesome show despite the thin Sunday crowd. Today they are doing a Daytrotter session, just a day after Starlight Mints did their daytrodder session. HFTRR just started a 6 week US tour check them out if they come to your town. Hurray For The Riff Raff tour Dates.

Right now the rest of the Evangelicals are in the Mall of America running around having fun, farting in stores and staring at strangers and i am eager to join them. The Ihop employees are starting to wonder why a blue haired FrEAK is sitting in the entry way stealing power next to the cash register. So here is another photo round up to finish out this post.

Tomorrow its off to Madison Wisconsin to see my friend El Tin Fun (download his new album "the golden silence of Tin" for free).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Evangelicals and Starlight Mints Tour Day 1

Greetings from the road friends! Evangelicals just started tour! This Thursday morning found me eating my favorite Pho waiting to be picked up by the E-Van. I decided to treat myself as I was uncertain about the quality and quantity of my next meal.


The tour has started off right with a Delicious 3 course dinner from the Record Bar in Kansas City. After searching for snacks in the alley behind the venue and finding only a used hair dryer, I decided to order a complementary band meal from the Record Bar


The mixed green salad and and french fries made this meal very filling.



Next to my mothers this was the best meatloaf I had ever eaten. If you ever go to the Record bar order the meatloaf sandwich sans bread. After dinner Josh and I walked around Kansas city and found ourselves at the Tea Drop where a Norman Transplant made us free iced tea drinks. Thanks Lindsey! We played with a cool band from Lawrence called Another Holiday.

Im writing this from Henry's coffee shop in Lawrence Kansas. Thanks Alicia for the coffee and spinach feta Scone.

When in Lawrence go to Henry's and order Alicias creation the Latt-Yay!

Im Attempting to weed out wheat and gluten from my diet. (Im breaking the diet while writing this with the scone. No one is perfect) I think I may have an allergy to one or both of these things Goodbye to beer whiskey, and my personal favorite Carrot Shooters.

Untitled If anyone has this allergy or info on how to live with it I would be grateful for any advise.

Ive been a bit lazy keeping track of the dumpster meals ive been eating. Here is a photo recap of some trashcan cooking and fine dining from recent weeks.

Were headed to Tulsa tonight stay tuned for tour updates.
Josh made a funny video for the tour check it out.

Until next time.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Dumpster Birthday (Part 1)

It has been a few weeks. There are a few reasons for my blog procrastination. I have been in Norman feverishly working on new tracks for Evangelicals.

I have also been selling some dumpster items on eBay Including Crest white strips and a couple DVDs.


Most recently I went on an epic excursion to get food for my birthday cookout. Thank you to all who came. It really means a lot to me that my friends and peers support my dumpster lifestyle. The day was perfect. Josh and Sarah brought me an awesome Oscar the Grouch theme cake, We drank beer and grilled in the back yard, I went to a bar with my brother, and the evening was topped off with a trip to Riverwind casino and a waffle house trip with the winnings. Thanks to Brian Chase and Chris from The Ghost of Monkshood for chiping in 5 bucks that turned into 15 later at the Casino. There was a delicious Dumpster stew and salad along with pickles sunflower seeds burger fixings yogurt, and buns from the dumpster. I must confess though that on the occasion of my 26th birthday decided to buy hamburger, hotlinks, and beer. All other food was Donated. Here are some highlights.




The Boys from Depth and Current enjoyed some beers and burgers. Thanks Chris for the Subway and awesome CD release show. I really liked the Chainsaw kittens song.


Thanks Sarah for the cake and 72 slices of American Cheese


The lovely hostesses overlook the party.


Dumpster fixins.


Thanks Alicia for the Grapefruit, and Nicolas for the cool watercolor picture!!


Yang takes a brief break from eating the hotlink I dropped on the ground.


Dibs on the rock!! It actually keeps the cooking surface level. I found the grill on a street corner in Edmond.


I cant believe people showed up thanks for the Herbs Sarah and for loaning me your sweater Margaret. I'm still wearing it by the way.


I wish to find cash in stead of pornography in Dumpsters!

Extra special thanks to Josh for taking all the photos and helping get the word out about the freegan cook out. You made it a very memorable 26th birthday. Also thanks to Kyle for helping me get a great deal on the 96 beers that were consumed. Thanks also to La brooka for the awesome pants and shirt combo. Thank you ladies of linn for the awesome party space and all you did. I hope I didn't forget anyone.
I'm leaving for tour in a week. Tonight I go out to gather provisions for the road. In the coming weeks my resourcefulness will be tested as I travel around the country with a $0 food budget. Here is a link to our tour schedule at
If you have a chance give some of the other bands on this site a listen. Until next time...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Beginners Guide to Dumpster Diving

A couple folks have expressed interest in going dumpstering with me after reading my blog. I welcome company but I usually go out on short notice at weird hours. This morning I left at 5:20 am. Message me and lets make a dumpster date. Since that probably wont happen I have prepared answers to some FAQ's to share with those interested in the lifestyle.

Toddy J where Do you go to get all this stuff?

The best places to go are grocery stores that have Dumpsters


Open a door or flip a lid, but try to be quick and quiet.
Avoid places that have trash compactors that look like this you will find nothing useful here.

*Places you wont find food are Wal Mart, Target, Buy for less.
*Try smaller places

*Make it a habit to look behind your local grocery stores to see what kind of trash system they use. If they have open trash bins get yourself ready to hop in!

Wont eating trash make me sick?

*I have been eating trash for over a year now and have never once been sick from it.

Do I Actually have to get inside the Dumpster!?

You may be lucky and find a dumpster bursting with food that you can reach from outside but quite often you will find better and more stuff if you climb in and start digging.

* There are a few important rules to follow.
1. Dont take any food that is sitting in dumpster juice
2. Inspect each item for visible rott, moisture, mold and bad tears in packaging.
(if stuff is dented or ripped its usually still good)
3. Always wash questionable items, like things next to meat.
4. Sometimes it pays do dig deep and rip open a few bags.


Shot of a full dumpster, too bad I was on a bike

When is the best time to go?

*I find its safest Late at night. Like a couple hours before dawn very few people are out at this time. since October Ive only been caught in the act once by some nosy store manager at Homeland. He threatened to call the cops but that's all. Before that I would go in broad daylight all the time. Just after a store closes is a good time to go also.

*Go on the day before trash pickup or anytime after a power outage other than that just feel it out with each location. I'm still trying to figure this one out.

What else should I know about dumpster diving?


*Have fun with it make it a group activity.
Two or three people is good.One person sorting inside the dumpster, one outside taking food to the vehicle and one in the drivers seat keeping look out is ideal. It also helps to have multiple people to sort and wash the food when the trip is complete.

* If you have time be adventurous and look in non food dumpsters like hobby stores pet stores etc. You never know what you will find. I know people who have paid rent with stuff they sold out of a dumpster

*Don't get discouraged you may find 3 empty dumpsters before finding an awesome one.
*take a flashlight, gloves, and old clothes.
*Don't leave the area a mess around the dumpster if you make one. Close the door when your done. We don't want places to start installing security cameras or putting better locks on their dumpsters. Keep a low profile if possible.

ToddyJ what if I'm hungry NOW!?

Relax, chances are your neighborhood has a variety of fast dumpster food options. Here is a guide to reliable fast food for freegans on the go.


I have had good luck at Little Ceasars, Mazios, and dominoes. Look for cardboard pizza boxes.

Donuts (always a sure snack)


Photo taken after grabing 2 donuts on way to OKC arts fest.
*Try Dunkin Doughnuts, Krispy Kreme, or any other doughnut shop. I have never come up empty handed at one.

Bread Shops


*Panera bread has bagels and bread sometimes

Kentucky fried chicken.
They always have chicken.
(always give meat and dairy the smell test)
And Last, always share the wealth. Some have said America throws out enough to feed the ones who starve. From my experience I believe it.

Bands I'm listening to:
Agoraphobic Nosebleed
Wye Oak
Aurthur Russel