Finally had time to repalce the distributor cap and rotor yesterday. After somework getting it off (the hood latch is directly overtop of it), got the new one hooked up, turned the key, ... , blue puff of smoke and a click. Grasping at straws I reinstalled the old distributor cap and rotor back on, still nothing. The battery blew up, it had given some signs of trouble earlier and the corrosion was bad before I cleaned it. So I Dropped it off at wallmart as the sticker on the battery indicated and traded it in for a discount on a new car battery. Total bill $110.
Tomorrow I will attempt to hook up the dizzy a second time. Should be a lot quicker now that I know the quirks. I also tuned the idle speed up a bit to help eliminate stalls on hard braking for now.
Also driving the car again really makes me want to upgrade/replace the brakes. Maybe bleed the lines? The brakes feel really weak. It's a bit scary.