I appreciate the help and insight, everyone. I have a lot of information to read through to get a better idea of how BETTER to do things of this nature.
in reply to improving the efficiency of a script
I don't know why it did not dawn on me that slurping a huge file (my @blah = <DICT>) would be suicide as opposed to reading it line by line directly and pulling off only things I need.
I probably should have figured that one out, but I do appreciate all the valuable advice everyone has put here.
"Age is nothing more than an inaccurate number bestowed upon us at birth as just another means for others to judge and classify us"