Another variation on the automation theme is to have the build process send an email to your test automation controller to kick off your automated build validation test (BVT) suites. Instead of waiting around into the wee hours of the night for a new build, let your test automation do the waiting for you.
Taking it a step futher, if the BVT passes, have the automation controller kick off the automated regression test suites.
Now you'll have more time to browse QA Forums and post to you QA blog.
Its vital you use down time on projects to enhance your intelectual property. I get used for reviewing other projects going on and also as a trouble shooter for struggling projects. These days I really am blurring the lines between Testing Management and Project Management. I also get guys that are not busy to back fill other projects (get up to speed).