On the heels of Bil Simser's question, "What Gets You Up In the Morning?" (and I'm paraphrasing to tie in with this post), I'm wondering, "What Winds You Down At Night?" Do you hunker down with a good book? Toss on The Celtic Show and cuddle with Andy Donnelly? Do an inventory of your knife collection?

Recently, my evening wind-down has evolved into a semi-routine: sit out on the patio with a cup of tea and the missus while the young 'un frolics somewhere in the vicinity. Some days we'll watch TV in the background (usually HGTV or the Food network). We've gotten into the habit of reading before bed too, which is something I'm glad I've gotten back into, even if my current choice of book, Che, is taking me freakin' forever to finish (damn biographies and they're lack of skippable descriptions). And on nights where I don't feel so revolutionary, there are plenty of crossword puzzle books lying at arms length in any given room of my house.

Related question: What's your depressant of choice for getting to sleep at night? 'Cause you see, ever since undertaking my recent professional development rampage, my mind has been abuzz with new concepts and techniques at the end of the day. And when my mind latches on to an interesting puzzle, it's tough to drift off.

Usually this isn't such a bad thing. I do most of my best creative thinking at night. But the offspring has been off school the past two weeks and let's just say, it's thrown off my sleep patterns.

So lately, I've taken to a variation on counting sheep. Namely, I'll lie in bed with my eyes closed and start counting while picturing the numbers in my head. And my font of choice is whatever Windows XP uses to identify monitors in a multi-monitor environment. You know the one, the big 1 or 2 (or if you're Hanselman, 3 or 4) that appears when you click Identify. That's what goes through my head at night against an undistinguishable background as I go to sleep.

 Test-driven development, indeed.