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API Update call hanging (PHP)

I'm having this bizarre error when calling the SOAP update method.  My code calls the API and it just hangs there for up to 15 minutes.  Which is terrible for me since I process stuff in queue and it blocks everything until it's done.

I'm updating a single record's (either Contact or Accout) custom field (using its ID).  I'm nowhere near my API limit.

I'm not getting an error or exception, it just hangs open.  It only happens every hour or so and an identical doesn't hang.

I've used the same code for years and never had this happen until the Spring update.

I'm using PHP.  I'm looking at doing something like this http://www.darqbyte.com/2009/10/21/timing-out-php-soap-calls/  since PHP doesn't handle timeouts in this situation (as near as I can tell anyway).  

I'm also using an older toolkit; I'll try updating that, I just hate updating complicated code that worked for years.
Has anyone else seen this behavior?
ShashankShashank (Salesforce Developers) 
Are you still seeing this behavior? Is it still happening?
Oddly it dropped off about a week or so after I posted that.  None of the changes I tried had any effect.  I finally wrote something to watch for a hung process and restart it, but it hasn't had to do that in a few weeks.