Every so often, I exclaim to myself, "Now, ain't the internet grand?" There has never been a piece of technology that has been just so damn' useful. The last time, it was getting in touch with someone who had been through a very bad patch, and with whom I had lost touch. I made a stab at finding her on Facebook (normally I avoid it like the plague), and there she was. Within a few minutes, we were chatting again.
I am on the lookout for a second-hand brake caliper for my trail bike. These bikes tend not to be scrapped (when it becomes too much of a drag/expense to keep them roadworthy, they become 'field-bikes' and go on for another 20 years haring round someone's paddock before they die of old age). And so parts for them rarely come onto the market.
I mentioned this on a forum I frequent, and within a couple of hours someone had replied that he might have a spare one lying around. I posted a photo of mine on the forum, just to confirm it was the right one. It is, and to cap it all he lives up the road in Swansea (about 60 miles away, but that is 'up the road' for round here). We have only to agree a price and a manner of delivery or collection, and I will have my new bits.
The pre-internet equivalent would have been a week of phoning round scrap dealers, speaking to monosyllabic men with the social skills of a Rottweiler, and feeling 'done', whatever the final price for the item. And then two times in three it would be either the wrong bit, or damaged, and would have to be returned.
This way, it's all very friendly and civilised, and I may even make a new mate.
Yay for the webs!