I see what you're saying -- it directly addresses one of my questions, and that is: how to separate testing behavior from 'real' operation.
To some extent I'm already doing that, I have a sub called 'dbg' that prints the tell() and the passed message, but only when debug is turned on via getopt. I could easily do the same type of thing, but with testing.
Thank you (both) very much. I work alone from home, and I love it, but the one thing I really miss (and it's a big negative) is peers. I can get pretty far down the 'wrong road' sometimes w/o someone to call me on a dumb idea.