@AJ_Hartmann Hi and welcome! I'm kind of new here too - I joined in 2018 and didn't quite grok it. I came back a couple of weeks ago and found I had been missing out on a fantastic community.
mastodon.cloud too - the local timeline is great, but the federated timeline is a fast scrolling mess that I soon gave up on. However it is easy to configure
micro.blog to cross-post to Mastodon and get the best of both worlds.