I feel so smart. I was able to figure out how to change some design aspects of my blog by changing the html code.
I have long admired the background color of the sidebar titles, like those at American Power and No Sheeples Here. I figured out how to add that aspect to my blog as well.
I also shortened the width of the sidebar and increased the width of the main posting page. Then I added a background color to my sidebar text columns, to better differentiate the sidebar from the main page.
Blogspot's new "Template Designer" may be worthless, but it did force me to learn some html in order to tweak my blog, and that's a good thing.