Before beginning this question, I fully plan to update this post with more information if suggested by commentors or answerers, but other than what I've posted here, I'm not sure what else to post. I'm hoping to get help with that.
This morning when I logged into my CentOS 6.5 system, a lot of desktop applications launched in what appeared to be an endless loop. I believe they were gnome terminals. I deleted the jobs and got control of my system.
Then I noticed using top that sosreport was running and kept running, no matter how many times I killed it as root.
A little black "circular hourglass" showed as the mouse cursor, but I was able to run Firefox and gnome terminal.
Then, I took a chance, and ran yum to update everything. A bunch of stuff updated, and the system went back to normal. That is sosreport was not running, and there was not and endless launching of gnome terminals. The install completed successfully.
I am wondering what kind of thing might have happened; is there a better way to fix it in the future; and what can I check now to see the system is OK?
I have not used this system since Tuesday night, and it was not shut off. And, my system is not on UPS, so there could have been a power dip, but if the power went off, the system probably would not have rebooted.