Welcome to Gulliver

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Join me on an adventure to the Island of Gulliver. The name of the story is Balloonotopia. It is about a civilization where people use highly maneuverable ballooncraft to do their day-to-day tasks.

All of the balloons created are biodegradable, and only have a life of about a year. They then are retired to the compost heap while others are brought on-line. Formulated resin from non-GE HEMP is the crop of choice to make the balloon fabric. All energy production, water consumption and waste handling are accomplished at every dwelling.

People are able to make their own fabric and hemp-based plastic parts, as they need them. Many folks opt for a basic, yet efficient, crystal-shaped yurt that is 50+ feet in diameter. It houses the family airship...that leaves via the roof!

For the longest time, the island of Gulliver was all 'tied down' with electric power and telephone lines criss-crossing back and forth...owned by the Lilliput Power Co. 25 years ago, when George Herbert came along with his ideas and already working examples of self-sufficiency, it was hard for the townsfolk to resist his playful charm and lightheartedness. Many people banded together in the early days and built a biodegradable and sustainable balloon-traveling lifestyle community.

The lifestyle was infectious, and soon the entire island had adopted this inventor's way of doing things. Not only were they environmentally friendly ways to do things, they were also fun, healthy and profitable to do. Sure, for a while there it was tough for people to adjust. But the children's love and enthusiasm for it eventually won over the parent's hearts.

My story takes place on Gulliver. It's an island that's pretty far away.
Even with a really sleek sail boat, it'd take at least a month and a day -
To finally see a floatilla of whimsical craft that effortlessly float.
Busily going to-and-fro, with the many supplies they daily tote!
Heave-Ho splash! -goes the anchor as I wave to an oncoming balloon.
They were waay over there...how'd they get over to me so soon?
Good thing I radioed ahead and announced that I was on my way.
Venturing into a place where I've never before seen.
Everywhere are tropical plants with vibrant shades of green!
A 'dreamcatcher chair' is lowered down to me from that balloon, now overhead.
Quite hypnotic it is to watch it spin. The effect, they say, is 'vortex-fed'!
"What a way to spend this day!" as I jump into that ornately-woven chair
And soon, it's lifting me up-up-up to greet this 'welcome wagon' in the air!
It was quite interesting to see them move their airship here & there
That everyone on board kept pedaling, to add in their fair share!
From a little pedal start-up lots of air through this balloon entrains.
An ancient saying goes, "Flapping of butterfly wings can create hurricanes!"
From a small pedal input, lots of wind through this balloon begins to swirl.
We start floating back, & fast! On nothing more than a captured whirl!
The captain of this particular craft was none other than George Herbert himself!
About 25 years ago he discovered that cavern beneath a fallen rock shelf.
What he laid his eyes on inspired him to sell everything and buy that piece of ground.
Though, like tradin' in the family milk cow for beans! It seemed to be very unsound!"
For the longest time, George cautiously kept this all under his hat from most on the island.
Grandpa Lilliput invented a big electric generator, then put his children in command!
Every appliance was engineered to make folks feel like they were thrivin'.
All connected to a 'Lilliput' receptacle. Without that? ...aint no survivin'!
It was one or the other. No 'human-powered '-inbetween to do.
The drinking water was getting all spoiled by drippity gloppity goo
(You know what that is, don't you?)
Not only that, folks were runnin' out of places to dump all their toxic trash.
Landfills would take banished plastic only if given lots of extra cash!
But now, Wow! 25 years later, this place is lookin' like a park restored!
Oh look, kids jumping into a 'smimming whirlpool' off springy diving boards!
All due to George's secretive building success.
And that all led to his eventual outspokenness -
To all of the inhabitants on Gulliver that day he shared.
Showing how to live earth-friendly, and always be prepared.
Many people came out and saw what he'd built, desiring to do it as well.
"We want clean water and air again and off this 'energy monopoly' carosel!"
So, with that, folks everywhere across the island followed his simple, yet innovative way.
The Lilliput power lines came down, because for floating around, well, they just couldn't stay!
Gulliver no longer was all 'tied down' by ugly electric wires galore.
Now, people were free to float to and fro - even if it was just down to the local grocery store!
These 'smart balloons' could maeuver here and there...
Drop off a chariot, and then return to higher up in the air!
"What in the world is a chariot?", you say.
Well,, it's a type of land vehicle that a spinning airship now takes away!
You see, with this discovery, traveling by roads came to a screeching halt!
It was found that the workings of Nature was the best thing to exhalt!
Finally there was no more gooey drips and drops
Or salted snow melting off of the many blacktops!
The word went out, "A new energy 'Prime Directive' is in place. To comprehend and copy Nature.
Leave that 'below ground' stuff alone and use only what's up here", said Gulliver's legislature.
At first it was easier said than done, as the story goes.
But eventually, due to George's homespun phenomenon of fun-living in comparison, it ended up being what everybody chose!
Many a toxic building was replaced by a special yurt that would house the family airship.
From these roofs rainwater would be gathered for drinking, washing and even for a whirlpool dip!
Wow, spirulina algae home-grow kits! Each family had going at least one.
Methane digestors took care of all waste (with the help of the noon-day sun!
Harvesting the paste-like algae, like 'manna from heaven', talk about some amazing stuff!
Folks can get their 'daily green 'hempbread' while making fabric and poles that are tough!
Floating high above each yurt, a tether held aloft a balloon 'windspinner'.
For phone calls and getting free energy, this invention sure was a winner!
Hemp is the only thing needed to assemble these floaters, with many a truss.
Growing hemp, rapeseed & flax - Makin'airships without too much extra fuss.
N2 surrounds the H2.   How?  A balloon inside every balloonette.
No longer is hydrogen thought of as an explosive triple threat!
What did George discover in the cavern beneath that large fallen rock shelf?
So much affected, he reconstructed their village.  Pretty much all by himself!
That subterrainean cavern held many interesting secrets. 5000 BC the year.
He learned of people that everything they made eventually all disappeared!
The only thing left were many petroglyphs, all very picturesque.
Drawings revealed a way to live that led to being quite naturalesque!
This gave George much-needed inspiration to do what he always wanted to do.
Not much to work with at first, except a big thick patch of some tall bamboo!
From designs of old cavern drawings, he remakes some of their ancient village.
Gadgets housed inside each yurt - inspired drawings from under rock ledge!
Corn-based plastic starts a-brewin' with the safe use of hydrogen gas.
A combo fermenting, heat & catalyst produces resin that's 1st class!
After rolling up spools of polymer string, he plants hemp everywhere he could.
He convinces many a friend to grow it, too, all through their own neighborhood!
Not only is the taste superb, all buttered up & using hydrogen heat.
Syrup from hemp is what makes possible this floating balloon fleet!
These balloons don't last very long, maybe a year or so at the most.
But hey! That's O.K. On April 22nd the townspeople all raise a toast...
Officially retiring all worn-out blimps &  turning them into a usable compost!
New ones come 'on-line' inside a fabric-sewing yurt tent.
The six-sided roof opens wide, & into the sky a balloon is sent!
A solar-heated methane digestor takes care of all of the waste.
An on-site nut expeller press gives the freshest oils & the best taste!
Bamboo was also planted far and wide, with water running by their roots.
How to contain it from taking over a yard?  By eating the baby bamboo shoots!

 

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So, this crusty old inventor had lived most his life on this island named, 'Gulliver' (appropriately named, because it kind of does look like a man passed out on the beach!). Unfortunately, Gulliver has been all tied down with high-tension power lines criss-crossing all over the place.
At one time the people there were able to fly around in simple balloons and did everything by hand levers and pulleys, springs and flywheels!. Sure, it was some hard work, but the folks there were strong, and had a lot of good food to eat. They loved gathering together every night for a ballooncraft sunset drumming circle.
They had simple balloon platform electric generators in each neighborhood, that supplied a modest amount of energy for their all of their lighting needs at night. With just doing this much they were very sastified.
Well, one fine morning this innovative, smoothe-talking tinkerer, by the name of J.P. Lilliput, announced that he had built an electricity-generating machine that would give everyone incredible amounts of electricity, so they wouldn't have to do any more hard work!
Also, instead of floating slowly around like they did from place to place, now they'd be able to travel on the ground real fast, and get to their destination in just a fraction of the time! What a concept, eh?
When the inhabitants of Gulliver saw J.P. Lilliput demonstrate his whirring and sputtering contraption in full action - moving this and lifing that...they became mesmerized by all the possibilities that they could do! The only drawback was that they had to hold their ears, because of the great noise that it made!
Mr. Lilliput (highly prepared for this demonstration) promptly handed out ample supplies of special high-tech foam earplugs for everone! These ones were extra special because you could easily turn 'em open or closed, and actually only hear just what you wanted to hear! They sure were colorful, squishy things! "What a generous man", they all thought, "to give us these high-tech earplugs for free! "
"Wow, I could plow that field over there and plant my crops in no time flat!", one farmer said.
"Yes, and I can break up those big, heavy boulders and make my stone houses so much quicker", said another.
"Oh, and I can live here, and all my close friends live waay over there, 'cause now I'll be able to travel every day real fast to go and see them!"
"Will you look at these fine 'lectric driers and washers and microwave ovens, how did we ever live without them?" said a well-meaning housewife with eight children by her side.
"With this handy-dandy chainsaw contraption, I can cut lots of trees for these telephone poles lickity-split!", said a carpenter.
Well, the very next day, the mayor of Gulliver secretly called together a meeting with the council members (leaving out one member, though) to take a vote on J.P. Lilliputs incredible inventions. They all were in favor of the change...except for one old councilman named George Herbert.
George had, for the longest time, been sort of a thorn in their counciling side, for he would always bring up the 'ifs' 'ands' and 'buts' of what was being proposed! He also was quite a thinker and a tinkerer, as well. He owned a lot of territory way up north on the island. They knew, as far as George Herbert was concerned, today would be no exception to the rule.
They found out beforehand how he was going to vote because someone had overheard him saying (during J.P. Lilliput's amazing demonstration) that when it came time to vote, he was going to vote, "NO!", (and actually write it in CAPITOL LETTERS! with an exclamation point at the end of it, no less!)
Needless to say, they were prepared for his vote of "NO!" and had made sure he was absent that day! In the nighttime, someone had been secretly sent out to his place to sabatoge his ballooncraft. Without that, because he lived so far away, he'd never make it to the concensus voting on time!
It worked like a charm. Old George got up that morning expecting to float on in as he usually did, to the town hall, when low and behold, the lifting gas in his balloon had all escaped overnight! The balloon fabric seemed to be in tact, laying on the ground, but the gas release valve looked like it was leaky! He couldn't tell if it was tampered with or not! He didn't have enough gas to refill it either (it usually takes a whole day to fill up a balloon).
So, it was unanimous! The governors of Gulliver were all in agreement to allow Mr. Lilliput, and his interesting work force of cloned super pigmies (that worked twice as hard, and ate only half as much! - What a deal!).
J.P. Lilliput thought to himself, "Finally! My plan, that has taken my whole adult life to come up with, all of my toiling and sleepless nights of inventing are finally paying off! I've done it! I have actually 'reinvented the wheel'! I've got all the checks and balances in place so that people will at least tolerate all it's flaws, so as to get what they want... by doing it my way...and then with these new fangle-dangled ear-plugs of mine, they'll accept it completely! Mooouuuuuuuaahhaaahhaaahaaahaaaa!"
It was J.P. Lilliput's big night out on the town, er I mean the island! Everyone was like a 'kid with a new toy' with their new 'high-tech earplugs' which open and close with just a touch of a finger. And look! They now come in an assorted array of skin tone colors! With just a touch of the finger, one only hears what they want to hear! They also send and receive cellphone signals too! We only need to speak the number, and the 'high-tech earplug' dials it for us!
Amazing! Music? Oh my, lemmetellyou! It's totally stereophonic city! J.P. Lilliput has thought of everything! And he says that if we only sign a ten year contract of low monthly payments, then we also get to have a pair of stereoscopicTV-screened sunglasses! With just a touch of a finger, the lenses go from TV-watching-opaque to semi-translucient... to completely clear!
And for just a little higher monthly payment wouldja just look at what you get? It's a high-tech filter mask  ! It is so comfortable to wear, and it gets rid of wrinkles, too! And, on top of all that, the air you breathe through it becomes more oxygen-rich!
So, to say the least, everyone seemed to be preoccupied with their new high-tech toys that night. Though, unbeknownst to all the inhabitants in Gulliver, J.P. Lilliput's crew worked fast! All night long, people chatted with each other and watched many wonderful shows, and fed their bodies with oxygen-rich air...while there was intense whirring and buzzing and hammering noises going on!
Even happening right outside their wonderful yurt homes! Blinding lights and back-up safety beepers...Choking dust and smoke! What's that tar smell? eeeyuu! It's an Instant Roll-out-a-Road truck! That's what it is! And it's rolling out the most dadgum gooeyest, blackest, smothering-everthing-underneath-it-kind of mixture to make sure that the new Lilliput cars roll nicely and smoothly, too...
None of this would of happened except for the fact that J.P. Lilliput's contraptions and marketing strategy were filled with so much genius, that his inventions cast a spell of a "must-have" appeal! To make sure that it continued like that, everyone was regularly informed on the latest Lilliput invention update. And, of course, to operate, they all had to be plugged into a special "modulated pulse frequency signature" (whatever that means??).
But, if the monthly payments are automatically deducted every month (a credit plan payback in 10 years at 35% interest)...Then you get to jump into these amazing rumbling, sputtering (but very fast-moving) Lilliput cars! Boy, could they go! Though, I noticed that, before they could work and travel here and there, (like to the newly expanded Lilliput grocery store) this gooey, black tar had to be plastered down in huge, wide strips!
Oh,  and to think that we used to move around so slow in those big, bulky balloons! How did we ever get anything done? And that trickle-charge 'balloon windspinner generator' Sheesh! Like, that way to make electricity is so "last century"!  Now, there's high-tension power lines criss-crossing everywhere across Gulliver, bringing the much-needed high amperage voltage, to run all of the amazing new Lilliput devices!
Where all that powerful electric juice comes from? Well, I really don't know how J.P. Lilliput does it. I've been told that waay up North, is the high-tech electricity-generating plant.  It must pack quite an electrial wallop to feed so much power into every single residence on the island!
Well, I'm glad that we have these fast Lilliput cars to get around in now, otherwise we'd might get zapped trying to float up around those new power lines!
And will you just look at that Lilliput jet airport, just constructed as well and all overnight! Sure, I know that those big jet airliners are very noisy and disruptive, but now we have our high-tech earplugs that can (on automatic setting) cancel any loud noise immediately, whenever it may happen! So now we can get everywhere we ever wanted to go extremely quick!
Though, our own fuelless ballooncraft/switcheroo glider was almost ready for its first trial flight. You see, from all that we learned from floating around in ballooncrafts, we were now finally ready to take the next big step.
Gosh, I wonder if J.P. Lilliput knew anything about our upcoming trial run with this new design of ours? It really is such a coincidence that his introduction and implementation of a powerful & very noisy aircraft system was less than one week before our first fuelless flight runs?
When we woke up that next morning, many crucial parts had been scavenged left & right from the hangar deck, that housed the fuelless flight vehicle!
Well, turns out that it was all 'legally' done, and all of the details were found in the fine print of the contract that was signed. It said that certain hard-to-get devices could be possibly required, to build the very fast jet planes (did I say they were very noisy?). But, then again, people now were able to get where they wanted to go in only a fraction of the time!
Man, oh man! Wouldja look at those giant airliner jets go! They take off so fast and smoothe! Cough, choke...ahemm! Oh yes, did I say that they also have exhaust pipes?
Hmmmm, I wonder what it would've been like to travel in the fuelless flight ballooncraft glider? Well, the way that thing was designed, before J.P. Lilliput's pigmie clones dismanteled it that night, was to lift people and cargo, with a balloon, to a few miles up. Then it did a special 'ballooncraft switcheroo' into a silent gliding plane, that liquified air in an tank on the way down! (to -321F no less!)  When you land, maybe even more than 100 miles away, more energy had been stored than what it took to get you up there in the first place!
Well, I guess that idea will have to wait. It's the cost of having it all done for you. Just think of all the freedom we'll have now to travel very fast down these new smoothe roads every day to see all our new friends who live waay on the other side of the island!
Now, of coarse, and J.P. Lilliput explained, going this fast on the ground will have its share of accidents. So there has to be this new concept called insurance to cover everything...(y'know...just in case.) These Lilliput vehicles were very expensive to build, and because there was no longer room to have a slow lane (that's what the new road covered up) I guess we'll have to use these new vehicles. But, they do have oxygen rich air conditioning and incredible stereophonic systems, with the same noise-cancelling technology as the earplugs do!  Those contoured bucket seats are sure a lot neater-looking than our huge couches that we had used in our ballooncrafts!
From our time off from working to pay for everything, including all of the great utility services, we can just sit back and relax in our new, extra-long box trailers!
These transformer TVsunglasses give us so many stories and entertaining movies that I never see happen in real life!  I don't have to go anywhere after work because it's all here inside my TVsunglasses!
Since rinwater cisterns weren't up to the new, strict building codes, J.P. Lilliput had installed plumbing and piping to each box trailer! Now, people could have sanitized, chlorinated and flouridated drinking water on demand...all included in the one-lump monthly fee!
Practically overnight J.P. Lilliput's pigmie clones dug trenches to each house to run piping from one source of water...J.P. Lilliput's source way up North!
Also, our solar-powered methane digestors, just weren't up to snuff in this new Lilliput building code system. No longer did people have to worry themselves with all of the recycling and composting of their personal waste. Now it was all accomplished at a central 'remediation plant' where an incinerator turned it back into fuel to make electricity!
So, along with all of the the water piping, trenches were also dug for new sewer lines that then all converged at a centralized septic plant. Gosh, how did they possibly accomplish such a feat of engineering and construction overnight!
That's interesting, he put that one near where I live, but it just so happens to be at the other end of the island from where he lives! Well, I guess that is one of the fringe benefits for being the new boss. But whew, lemmetellyou, when the wind's a'blowing just right, I get a whiff of that place, and I start feelin' like I'm gonna throw up! Oh, I'll just try not to think about it too much because everybody's doing it now, so it must be okay.
Look at what else we're getting now! (as long as the monthly bill is paid, including a security deposit, first and last payment up front)
Wow! Have you ever seen a rip saw cut wood like this before? Bzzzzzzzzzzzzt! plop!
And watch me mow the lawn lickity split with this newfangled plug-in Lilliput lawnmower! Where'd he get all these great ideas for his devices, I wonder? How does he do it all so fast, too?
Well, little did the people of Gulliver know, but ole J.P. Lilliput had done his homework! He had planned it all out from beginning to end. All of his training into human psychology was about to pay off, and I mean BIG!
He gave all of the inhabintants of Gulliver a "no money down" credit for all of his gizmos...and the first 3 months is free! What a great guy he his to do this!
To make all of his contraptions work required a lot of electricity, plus he had earlier surveyed this particular island for this new black goop that I've never heard of before...oil! I see, that's what he used to make the 'Roll-out Roads'! And he uses a different form of it, more refined, to run all of our new-fangled fast cars!
The oil deposits under the island were way more than enough to make all of his plastic-fantastic inventions come true. And this hard black bouncy stuff called rubber, for his wheels, too!
Our new fast cars must have them to roll on all of the new roads, and smoothe out any bumps that may happen.
There is a billowing cloud of smoke from his power plant way up North, but since the wind predominately blows in that direction, the pollution goes out to sea, instead of landing on our crops.
What effect that plume of thick exhust has on living things is beyond us knowing, because we're upwind of it. So, we really don't have to worry about it. A little pollution isn't going to hurt, right?Wheeeee! I'm driving so fast with everyone else around me in their very fast cars, too!
Oh, I'm going to pull over to the side of the road, hike into the woods a little bit and stretch.
Oooooh, ahhhh - Huh? Wha-? Gosh, I might be mistaken, but it looks as if all of those trees that were out of view from the road, have been all cut down! Where'd they all go? Hmmm, I wonder? Could it be that they were used to build the box trailers with ducted forced air heating that we live in now?
Well, being inside one of these tall, long n narrow trailer homes is very interesting, to say the least. With lots of shelving, you can store all of your stuff up high above you, and then use these nifty sliding ladders to get up to it all! Once again, J.P. Lilliput had thought of everything!
And they were all painted vibrant colors. Though I wonder how long before that strong paint smell goes away? How to store all of the stuff that we buy from J.P. Lilliput? In plastic boxes that are supplied with each trailer home, of course!
Box storage didn't work that well in a round yurt before, but now in a box-shaped home, they do!
Oh, and since this black goo that he's collecting out of the ground is so darned cheap, we no longer have to wait around for anything to fill up or charge up, or warm up! Instantaneous is what we want now! It hurts to be on the cutting edge and to have the latest technology, there needs to be a few sacrifices made!
The one thing that J.P. Lilliput had failed to explain is that all of his contraptions and devices were getting tried and tested for the first time ever!
And the inhabitants of Gulliver were the guinea pigs!
Well, he tried not to think too hard about all of the minuses to this new and improved living system. It was the morning after and here everything was completed! The asphalted roads were laid all nice and smoothe. High tension power lines and telephone poles lined every street. Long, tall and narrow trailer homes were next to each yurt now.
They were ready for each family to move into and then dismantle their yurts. You know, all of these high-tech structures need a building code to abide by. Plus, now we can lock them up, and protect all of our Lilliput stuff from thieves (though, I cannot recall hearing of any before?).
But, you can never be too safe, right? Our TVsunglasses tell us that there is violence happening everywhere, and that we need to live in protective, strong buildings because of it!
Gosh, I had no idea so much bad stuff was happening all around on the island! What are we going to do when the bad people are caught? Well, once again, J.P. Lilliput had thought of everything and built a huge jailhouse to keep them all in!
How did we possibly live before in our cloth-covered yurts when all of these villains  were lurking around outside on the loose? Well, I am glad that I'm an informed citizen now.
And, I just can't wait for tomorrow's newspaper report on part 2 to the story of island terrorists..."(to be continued)"Photobucket