Before you read this poem, be prepared to be confused. I wrote it in the train on the way to work on 18 April 2012.
From start to finish it took no more than 15 minutes and I still don't understand how I manged to rip this out with hardly a thought.
All that aside though; it has meaning, intent, and more importantly, it does carry a message. So, have fun figuring it out. While I work on getting a nice explanation and analysis ready.
Turn, turn, turn twirling in the sky.
Free, as flapping butterfly.
Laughter with tears, but never do we cry.
In the last 3 months I've had more trouble with cars than I'd care to have for a life time.
Let's start with the first one.
On 13 August I purchased a rather good looking 1977 Ford Escort 1.6 GL. I made the purchase knowing that the rings were shot and that the engine would need work. But that suited me as the car was priced right and I needed it to help a friend out of a bad situation.
So... in order to save time, I took it to a mechanic, so that the engine could be sorted. I was quoted a nasty price, but I need to get it done, so I let it be.
With the experimentation now done, there was only one thing left to do.
Prepare an actual meal with a wood gas stove.
So, this last Saturday, I got a 12 liter pot and invited some friends over, for a good old braai (BBQ for those not living in South Africa.)
Here I got all the usual stuff ready. I put 3.25 liters of water in the pot, as per the cooking instructions for the pap I had.
This is getting bigger and better. I'm convinced that this time I have a stove that can actually be used in the rural communities of South Africa.
For this experiment, I was given a big NAN tin (Thanks Mike) and I scavenged a Ricoffy tin from my kitchen. The results from this one, were beyond my wildest dreams... but I'm getting ahead of myself here. Let's tell the story in pictures.
As before, here's the stove. Packing in at 436 grams, it's quite a bit bigger than the previous one.
Yup, this is me with the wood gas stove again. But this time with a bigger stove.
For this experiment, I used a milo tin as the insert and a Ricoffee tin as the skirt.
Adding fuel to this stove is much easier. I didn't have to take the kettle off once.
I also got a little more high tech for this experiment, and bought a kitchen scale
in order to collect more accurate data.
Here is the assembled stove on the scale. As you can see, it weighs in at 277 grams.
For the most part, the Internet is full of... well, there's no other way to say it... Crap!
Yet, every now and then, you happen across a real gem of a concept. Something that really blows your mind. It's even better when you come across something that has real world application.
In this case, that something was the knowledge on how to make and use a wood gas stove. This simple device has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about making and using fire. The strange thing is that these things have apparently been in use for the better part of a century.
Many years ago I made the decision, not to father any children. It came damn close to being a decision of celibacy, but I'm a man not a rock.
I made this decision, many years before I got married.
To be honest, I can recall exactly when and where I made that decision. I can still see the play-ground around me, the "top" I used to play with, the music class-room I happened to be staring at, the noise of the "kids" around me, the horrid school uniform of Afrikaans Hoërskool Durban Noord.
It was a few months before my 13th birthday.
Once I start working, I have a tendency to push until I'm done. That's why you don't often see photos of my work while I'm halfway through any one thing. So when I stop myself in the middle of something, to take a photo, you know I was either amazed, ticked off, completely baffled or high on spray painting fumes.
In this particular case though, I was completely amazed!
Before I make any other comments, a word on the fiber-glass dash I'm improvising.
My grandfather was a Gedore man, my father is a Gedore man, I was a Gedore man.
Today, I swear by Raco. Not the normal ones, it has to be the Super-Drive ones.
After a little demonstration at my favorite parts store, I simply had to have this set of tools.