As much as I dislike using Stack Exchange (for being a pool of pedants, HTTA'ers, and LMGTFU'ers), there is the occasional nugget of gold to be found there. Case in point: I'd thrown the USB IRToy (v2) in my junk box because it just absolutely refused to run consistently. I'd even considered modifying the fan's remote, to give it an I2C or PiFace interface (a $40 solution to a $2 problem).
It wasn't that the issue isn't well known (it is). My problem was that the suggested work-around (setting auto-suspend equal to -1) wasn't working. I eventually tossed the device into the junk drawer with the hope that someone, someday would fix the firmware.
The good news: while researching tweaks for the RPi "IR Remote Shield v1,0", I stumbled across Rael Gugelmin Cunha's response about how changing autosuspend (on Ubuntu) from the command line is no longer viable. Instead, he suggested to edit the grub, modifying the boot command so that the kernel recognizes the autosuspend directive. I implemented this on my Kali desktop and it appears to have worked (or at least the board is still working properly 5 hours after it was installed).
Short version: I now have the ability to control the floor fan via web and Jabber.