I agree - blog template is not such a bad thing if used correctly. I agree with your content margins needing to be adjusted to be a bit friendlier on the eyes and keep to a more clean approach. I still think a logo would be nice but I suppose depending on what their main focus with the site is (hobby or professional) would determine the need for such work done.
Also - not a big thing but the orange grad. fade you have in the header is not fluid enough - might want to to adjust your gif to jpg - drop it down to maybe a 2px by ?? and put in as a background to avoid a longer load time.
The menu box on the right - you might want to make the text spacing the same as your content. It appears that a space was skipped between each letter. Keep the same look and feel through-out as much as possible.
Just my additional thoughts.
PlaneWalker knows his stuff though. Listen mainly to him. I am rambling.
The google ads drop out in opera, not really a problem as long as there is more stuff on the page. I realise you probably need it for SEO, but I'd consider moving the random jokes to the top of the page too.