Trag a lot of times programmers just have no new ideas - the first time this happened to me I was concerned - but when you live a bit without programming you come back with twice the zeal.
in reply to Project ideas
The best projects are the practical ones, what do you need fixed? Decide and then come up with a solution/improvement. I totally agree with the other monks about running a local webserver; it's very easy and administering Apache was one of the most pleasurable computing experiences for me...
My main advice is: go onto the net and get exposed to as many concepts and ideas as you can, when you know about a variety of computing fields you can either work on one of them or combine two to create something brand new.
To get your spirits up with Perl download a file containing a lot of English words ( a "Dictionary file" ) and write some small scripts to do statistics on the words etc. quick and fun.