i found the bugger. It was a similar piece of PHP in a different file
that gets called when the page LOADS!
Everything was getting cleaned up before the piece i'm examining could
ever happen.

By the way, Firebug WAS reporting the FirePHP logs. It just happens
that it was displaying them when the next page loaded. Kinda weird,
easy to miss.

Anyway, thanks to both of you for your help.
-joe t.

On Jan 8, 10:41 am, "joe t." <thooke...@gmail.com> wrote:
> i presume the page hasn't already unloaded, because the document is
> still visible, Firebug can still break at my designated markers, the
> "alert('Wait!')" line still executes AFTER the Ajax call, and only
> after i clear the alert does the page actually clear. Being that i'm
> setting {asynchronous:false}, i believe that alert won't execute until
> the Ajax is complete.
> If i place this particular block in "beforeunload", i have no way to
> tell the PHP if the user has elected to continue unloading or has
> canceled the unload. The PHP in this case cleans up files the user has
> uploaded while on this page. Since i can't utilize the "beforeunload"
> confirm's return value, the user's files would get cleaned up even if
> they cancel the unload.
> -joe t.
> On Jan 8, 9:47 am, Walter Lee Davis <wa...@wdstudio.com> wrote:
> > Perhaps the unload event has already happened and the page is "gone"?  
> > What happens if you change this event to beforeunload?
> > Walter
> > On Jan 8, 2009, at 9:41 AM, joe t. wrote:
> > >>> Event.observe(window,'unload',function(){
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