After some new ideas and several fixes I have uploaded a new update to the Desk Mess Mirrored theme pushing the version number to 1.0.9.
Here is the changelog for version 1.0.9:
-- Version 1.0.9 - deprecated the header-home.php and home.php files by adding a tilde (~) character to the beginning of the file name. The functionality was merged into the index.php file with additonal PHP code, specifically an IF statement to test for the displayed page being the "home page", or the "front page". This will reduce maintenance and potential errors that cropped up due to the extra files. -- copies of header-home.php and home.php from version 1.0.8 are still included (prefixed with the tilde character) but will be removed in 1.1.0 - re-coded footer to programmatically write the theme name in the credit line, including recognition of child themes. - added additional internationalization code - CSS: corrected "administrator" background-image issue - CSS: adjust 'padding' in ".post-comments" elements to better align number of comments - CSS: added ".left" and ".right" alignment elements - CSS: "#akismetwrap" added to align Akismet blue graphic in widget block - CSS: ".commentlist pre" added - CSS: removed 'border: 1px inset;' from "#com p code" - IE6 CSS: additional adjustments made to the IE6 CSS to show menu >> unfinished
… and it seems there will still be more work to do.