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I think there is a problem with yum removing yum.pid when shutting down.
Sometimes when I use Yumex and it acts like it's hanging I click on the "X" top right and shutdown Yumex to restart, you can't get back into Yumex because /var/run/yum.pid has not been removed, you physically have to go to /var/run and delete yum.pid
Folks, Fedora and many other distributions run the PackageManager automatically every time you boot. On Fedora, the PM uses yum.
Since I prefer to do my updates "by hand," I always change the PM setting to never run and never check for updates. If you haven't done this, try using the "Package Manager" application to install the new applications and manage your updates.
(My wife's system, on the other hand, uses the defaults with automatic update and installation so she never needs to "fiddle" with anything. She prefers a system that "just works" and lets her read her e-mail and visit a few Web sites. I only need to touch it every six months or so, when a new Fedora is released.)