Update 8/21/2007: I've posted an update to this entry that talks about the resolution.
As I write this blog and publish the video that goes with it (the video shows the "bug" in progress) , you should know that I'm working with McAfee to get to the bottom of why its anti-virus software is spawning a new little red M (an icon for McAfee) into the tray of the copy of Windows Vista that's running on my wife's new Lenovo Thinkpad R60e. In an effort to isolate the behavior, I finally figured out that it does this every 4 minutes and 10 seconds.
So much technology goes reproducibly awry in my home office that we've decided to start a new series of video rants that we're calling Technology Shakedowns and this bit of running amok on behalf of McAfee gets to be the star of our inaugural show. But don't worry, there's plenty more where this came from (I'm working on another one for tomorrow) and we'd love to see some videos from you as well. If you've got a video that "shakes down" some technology malfunctioning, let me know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org and if it looks like the sort of information that ZDNet's audience would want to know about (before parting with their money), we'll put it up here on ZDNet.
In the meantime, I've already sent one log file to McAfee and now I have to package up several more and put them in the mail. Once we get to the bottom of this, I'll let you know the outcome.