Once again, the Essefficist is back, a day late and at least a dollar short. We could go on all night about what a piece of junk this column is -- she may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid -- but we're a little rushed, so if you'll just get on board, we'll get started. We've got two questions to answer today, both from esteemed colleagues.

First, let's check in with fellow SFist Emily, who asks about a great sounding way to rock out:

Actually, any info on seeing live music for free/cheap would be great.

So we called up the Fillmore business office, Emily, and had a quick chat with a lady who sounded like she couldn't wait to get off the phone with us. Try as she might to be as unhelpful as possible, we managed to wrestle a few of bits of semi-helpful information out of her. Turns out that yes, there was a time when you could volunteer as an usher at the Fillmore and Warfield, but unfortunately that time has passed. They ended the program just last year and it doesn't sound like they're going to start it up again any time soon. She couldn't give us any other information on the history of the program. We asked her why they don't do it anymore and all she could say was that it was a Clear Channel decision. (Clear Channel, Inc. bought out Bill Graham Presents a few years ago.) We asked if it was possible to get an actual job as an usher and she said no; they just hired the people who were volunteering when they ended the program and they aren't looking for anyone new. But, you'll be delighted to hear, they're always taking resumes! I asked if there were any other ways to see live music for free or at a reduced cost and she said no, you gotta buy a ticket. What a muffin!

Next, we'll hear from yet another SFist, Cheshire (Who's recently gotten married. Congrats, Chesh!), who's following up on our recent recycling piece:

I would like to know, conclusively, what the net effect of recycling poachers is. As I have come to understand it, at least in San Francisco, the money the city makes from curbside recycling doesn't actually go to help pay for city services but rather is used as savings given to homeowners, and therefore less revenue from depleted curbside bins doesn't actually cost the city. Is that correct? If so, is what the poachers do wrong, ethically? And is this a sort of Threepenny Opera, or is it just a few resourceful individuals trying to eke out some kind of a subsistence living?

I've always wondered how you get to "volunteer" at the Warfield/Fillmore etc. As far as I can see the ushers there are far from being trained professionals, and I hear you can get into shows for free that way (free stuff is very important now that I'm back in school).