Monday, January 17, 2011

slightly less invisible

A new issue of The Juniper is done. Would you like one? If so, I can send you one for a stamp, two quarters, a trade, or some other kind of donation. Unless I'm already planning on sending you one, then you don't need to do anything except go about your daily life like nothing happened and lo and behold a crisp, clean copy of The Juniper #14 will eventually find it's way to your mailbox, at which point you can sit in your favorite chair and read all about my guerilla gardening misadventure, my building of a rocket stove, a couple recipes I highly recommend, as well as my usual ranting and raving. Oh, there are also a few letters to the editor included along with a couple other little tidbits of the typical fare.

As per usual, you can contact me here:
Dan Murphy
PO Box 363
Edwardsville, IL 62025

money can be sent by paypal to this address (especially if you happen to have a large sum of money you'd like to donate to the cause):

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Build a Rocket Stove

A rocket stove is a simple wood-burning stove that can be easily constructed out of inexpensive or salvaged materials. Rocket stoves are often (although not always) portable stoves. They can be used in emergencies or as alternatives to conventional stoves both at home and outdoors. The design is very basic: fuel is fed into an opening at the base of the stove, a fire burns in the center of the stove, and heat is directed to the top of the stove through a chimney, atop of which food is cooked. Rocket stoves come in all shapes and sizes and can serve many purposes. Instructions for building a rocket stove are numerous, and designs can be very simplistic or quite complicated. The rocket stove that I built was a combination of several plans, including a few innovations of my own. Thus, the instructions that follow should not be considered the rule. Feel free to make your own modifications as necessary. In my opinion, rocket stoves should be built as cheaply as possible. So, I’m sure you can do much better than I did.

-tin snips
-drill and drill bit (of any suitable size)
-pencil (or some kind of marking device)
-whatever else you think you might need to get the job done

-mini-keg (aka party keg)
-4 inch stove pipe elbow
-4 inch to 3 inch stove pipe reducer
-aluminum foil or wood ash
-stove grate (or rack of some sort)

Start by removing the top of the mini-keg. This can be done by drilling a few holes in the top to give you a starting point. Then, using tin snips, cut from your starting point around the sides until the top of the mini-keg is open. This may result in jagged edges around the sides, so use pliers to press them down, otherwise you might end up cutting yourself later.
Next you will need to make a hole at the base for the air-intake and fuel feed. Since it’s a mini-keg, the ideal place to make the hole for this would be around the tap. Use the 4 inch end of the stove pipe reducer to trace a circle around the tap. Again, use the drill to make a few holes and the tin snips to cut out the circle.
Now you will need to begin insulating the inside of the stove. This can be done with aluminum foil or wood ash or some other material that doesn’t conduct heat. I used aluminum foil. First, create a good base. I did this by taking small folded up pieces of aluminum foil and pressing them down with the blunt end of an old axe handle. After you have a short base, fit the elbow through the lower hole, making sure that your chimney will be centered inside the mini-keg, then continue packing the aluminum foil around the elbow.
Eventually, the elbow should be packed in pretty tight. At this point, you will need to fit the stove pipe reducer on the end of the elbow to complete the chimney. The top of the reducer will likely be sticking out of the mini-keg, so you will need to cut it so that it’s flush. Do this by drawing a line around the stove pipe reducer (while it’s fitted on the elbow) even with the top of the mini-keg, and then use tin snips to cut off the excess pipe (you might be able to cut it off with a hacksaw as well). Once the reducer is fitted on the elbow and the chimney is flush with the top of the mini-keg, continue packing in the insulation material until you reach the top.
Now you will need to find a stove grate or a rack of some sort to place on the top of your stove so that you can steady a pot above the chimney. Luckily, I have an old gas stove in my apartment, so I just used a grate from that. Once you have a grate, you are ready to fire up your stove and cook your next meal.

The cooking process is quite simple. Feed small pieces of wood into the base of the stove and light them on fire. Place whatever you are cooking in a small pot on the rack above the chimney. Continue to fuel the fire for as long as necessary. Eventually, your meal will be ready to eat.
One thing I noticed about this design was that the inside of the stove pipe elbow didn’t really have a nice, even surface on which to place wood, so I folded up a large section of aluminum foil and used it to line the bottom of the stove pipe. It seemed to work pretty well; however, you might have an even better solution for this minor design flaw.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

famous casseroles

Hello there. I finished another Hot Virus mini-disc. It's part 2 (of 2) of a little noise adventure that I call Science. This one is better than the first one, I think. It consists of 7 short tracks of experimental noise melodies for your eardrums and heartbeats. I mostly used my guitar and a micro-synthesizer to make these freakouts and mellow-outs. A few other random soundbites are included. I believe it's a little over 20 minutes long, so it won't be a huge waste of your life if you listen to it once or twice. If you want a copy, send 2 or 3 bucks to the following address. If you want both parts, send 5 bucks or so. I also accept trades of things like mix CD's, mix tapes, Meow mix, etc. Write soon. Or don't.

Dan Murphy
PO Box 363
Edwardsville IL 62025

paypal payments go here:

Saturday, January 01, 2011

"keep it up, keep it real, and keep it punk"

If 2009 was my banner year, then 2010 was my bummer year. At times it felt as if the forces of darkness were conspiring against me, dead set on destroying me. However, I realize that the outward expression of this malfeasance was mostly non-existent (except for a few obvious exceptions which I won’t go into here). The majority of the devil’s work (whatever that means) was in my head, and it was rough for a while. Luckily, during the last few weeks of the year, things started to look a bit more promising, and I started feeling a bit more hopeful. I realize that my wallowing was mostly unwarranted. I live a good life. It’s the dim future that I worry about. At least, I've convinced myself that it’s dim. I can’t really know for sure until it gets here. I mean I’m trying to build something better, it’s just that I’m not really sure how well it’s going, and I won’t really know until I’m released from the clutches of academia and spat out into the world to fend for myself. The problem is that I constantly feel like I’m flailing towards disaster, hovering on the brink of collapse, standing at the edge of destruction, marching towards the precipice of the apocalypse, biding my time until the rapture is here and there is no more comfort left. Children of a few decades ago had nuclear annihilation to fear. Children of today instead fear poverty, joblessness, and the prospects of a polluted home planet, depleted of its resources by a blind and bullheaded populace. In other words, no future (or so it seems). But I don’t really want to wear you down with all that; after all, it’s the New Year and you’re probably looking for positivity and encouragement. So, even though all years can’t be winners, here’s hoping that 2011 is. We all really need it, I’m sure. As far as New Year’s resolutions go, I don’t usually take that sort of thing too seriously, but if I have to resolve to do something than I will just say that I resolve to listen to considerable amounts of punk rock and to smash my head with my skateboard because that’s the only thing that feels sane to me right now.

"All you need is the Ramones
No one's home but I don't feel alone
When I got the Undertones"
-The Queers