Registered earlier (thanks to both Adam and Amazingu for filling me in on what I needed to know), but didn't get around to accessing it until now. Searching for an avatar, you see. Then editing, scaling, carefully recoloring (which was tricky for someone using MS Paint instead of Photoshop or something that doesn't, well, suck)...then I get inside and find I don't actually have to use one.
That strange noise you heard around 8:30 EST was probably me. Well I spent a good hour on it all told, and in the short term at least I'm damn well going to USE it. Harumph.
Anyway. Here now and reporting for duty, so to speak. Should probably get around to learning HTML finally. It's a strange new world, to be sure.
Oh, and P.S. - expect to not ever see smilies in my posts. Hate 'em to bits. Sorry.