The members of the WordPress Hackers mailing list are really helpful and usually a very clever bunch. I posted my dilema last night and received a couple suggestions, one of which was to abandon cURL and use Snoopy because it is embedded with WordPress and therefore would always be avaialble.
Sounds like a good idea so I check it out. While I don’t care for the way the class is implemented (direct access to class variables), it if works, I don’t really care. So I set it up and sure enough, it works in my development area. Off the production server and nope, it doesn’t work either. Snoopy depends on fsockopen which GoDaddy says is supported on all PHP hosting plans but it times out so I am guess what they have stated in their help system isn’t true.