So technically this morning I didn't fail!... because I never actually tested the car
The guy at the shop put the machine into diagnostic mode so I could see what the sniffer was reading at idle. I played with my fuel and timing and was only able to get the HC down to 700ish (which is half of what it was before ~1400) while still keeping the CO below 1.0.
I'm pretty much attributing the high HC readings to the lack of ability of my cheap aftermarket cat to oxidize hydrocarbons.
Time for a conditional pass I guess