Discrete charge pump
A charge pump is a way to lift a DC voltage to close to twice its original value. This is useful for a number of applications. While you can buy charge-pump chips (I recommend the MAX3232) for a few dollars, sometimes you need to make one out of Radio Shack parts, so...
If you can't even find a 555 chip, here's how to do it with basic transistors. Using beefier transistors and capacitors will give you better voltage stability and let you draw a bit of current from the pump.