Oh wow, thanks Joe. I see from the updated roadmap that you're planning to support more "newslike" use of the blog, and that's great.
Thanks for the tip about the start date field. Just as a suggestion, you may want to change the instructional text next to that field, and change the name of the field from "start date" to "publish date." Since it explicitly says "set a future start date"--I didn't even think to try past dates in it, but of course it does work perfectly for our needs.
As for the date format, I have no excuse but brain fade!