in reply to OOP
As stupid as it may seem now... i have taken all of your suggestions into a lot of consideration, read links you posted, and well... you are right, i shouldn't reinvent the wheel. I don't remember which post i read this from, but "if it's distributed with perl, it's just as good to use as the functions built into the core of perl". My obvious followup question would be "why isn't it programmed into core perl then?" which i don't think anyone wants to get into. So i'll admit defeat, and thank anyone who even remotely posted about the stupidity which i showed.
So anyone looking for an apprentice to teach about perl ;) (don't take as a joke if you are)