Design Challenges

I think I'll stick with this look for a while, but I'd like some pointers on tuning it. I'd love to see the column of *'s set properly for any size article content. Right now I do it with a simple length/60 kind of thing to tell how many lines, but this obviously does not accomodate using any actual formatting in my posts (pre tags, paragraphs, images, etc). Anyone have any ideas? I'm expecting a neat css trick or something.

Filed Under: Blog-Code