If you want to use an avatar but don't have a picture to use yet, you can select an image from the Avatar Gallery. I have a little image of a cavalier there from a gallery of dogs designed for boards. You can select it as your avatar (or go look at it) by clicking on 'profile' (in the top of page menu) then scroll down to the very bottom where it lets you select an avatar. Choose 'gallery' and when you click in you'll see the image. You can then select it as your avatar.
Added some more smilies as well.