As if I needed any new hobbies, I bought a mandolin last week from Rob's buddy Willie at Music and Things. A new Washburn Oscar Schmidt acoustic-electric arrived on the porch the first of last week and I've been busy learning to play it. Playing guitar is a great help although the frets on the mandolin are quite small and the chords are completely different. The dexterity is there, the fingers are just getting used to the new shapes that go in the muscle memory. It has a great sound-I've always liked the high-lonesome, plucky sound and the ability to sustain notes by trilling on the string. Some songs sound better on mandolin-so far I've got down a killer version of Amazing Grace and Red River Valley. I found a mandolin tablature site on the net which has the notes set out and an actual recording of the song which is flatening out the learning curve. Great fun and maybe I'll be good enough next year to play it out in public.