Well, I got the kernel source downloaded and it does build. It also allowed me to build the slmodem modules slamr.o and slusb.o but after installing them in the /lib/.../modules dir they still would not load in my active kernel. 'modprobe slamr' fails with something like FATAL: ... INVALID MODULE FORMAT. The modules appear to be closely tied to the specific kernel. I'm thinking maybe I have to configure the new kernel source to match my current kernel configuration or else I will have to run my new kernel to load the new modules.
...The plot thickens.