Shoko at Dimitrou's, and the downside of remote control

Tonight I went to a free concert at Jazz Alley featuring this year’s winner of the Kobe Jazz Fesitival’s “Jazz Queen” title, Shoko. A similar event last year featured Yoshika, and I attended with a friend who was helping me out with some promotional events last summer.

This year, I was a slacker planning to attend, as I was last year, and I didn’t find anyone else to see the concert with. I ended up going on my own. It turns out I met some people who vaguely recognized me from other environs, and I recognized one of them from a weekly Japanese meeting. It turned out to open up an interesting coffee shop customer possibility I’ll have to explore, and created an opportunity to share a bottle of Oregon Pinot amongst us, and we could collectively enjoy a nice couple of sets of music.

I nearly had a disaster shipping out today’s orders… I had a bunch of packages to ship, and I was running up against the wire. I got everything loaded in my car, and tried to start it, whereupon I heard nothing but clicking sounds.

Last year, after a car breakin, I caved in and bought an expensive alarm system, which also featured a remote starter control. This is clever, if gimmicky, and is moderately useful. Unfortunately, it opens the door to special problems.

One of the very useful built-in features of my Toyota Camry is that, when I remove the key from the ignition and open the door, the headlights automatically shut off. This is very useful for someone like me, since I drive with my headlights on most of the time, and I often forget that I left them on when I get out of the car. Even when I’m forgetful, the battery doesn’t suffer.

Unless, of course, you have a remote starter. The feature still works, but, if, for example, you unwittingly kick off the remote starter when grabbing something out of your pocket, the headlights and the engine turn on. If I don’t actually drive the car anywhere, the engine shuts down after 12 minutes, but the headlights stay on, because the car door never gets opened when I’m busy packing orders in my office.

And then the battery drains. And then I miss the pickup at my nearest FedEx Kinkos. And I’m forced to wander around hoping to find someone with jumper cables, and this works out only about 30 minutes after I started this misadventure, when I happen upon some kind man walking his dog not far from his home. Then I drive to the FedEx sort facility and barely make the last shipping cutoff.

I was then compelled to eat mediocre slices of pizza somewhere downtown instead of doing something more interesting at home.