aleatory contract

my own personal Waterloo

Thursday, October 13, 2005

il pleut.

and the cat is snoring.


the cat has the right idea. he usually does.

i always forget that october is rain. i'm always surprised to remember. i wonder why the leaves are so late in turning this year. that's not how it's supposed to work. painful cobalt september blue skies are supposed to have bright yellow poplars in front of them. the second week in october is when things get interesting, only for the colours all to wash out in endless grey rain. by halloween the trees should all be bare and clawlike, brown crunchy leaves carpeting the streets and sidewalks. at this rate we'll still have leaves in november, and that isn't right at all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

carbona not glue

i am poorer today than i was yesterday, because yesterday i paid off some medical bills. i don't mind paying medical bills as much as other bills, mostly because paying medical bills makes me feel much better about paying my health insurance bills, astronomical though they might be. the nice thing about paying medical bills is that, printed on the bill, you see a breakdown of the visit's cost, of any procedures, and any other incidental fees, with separate columns for your own cost and for the amount your medical insurance - if you're lucky enough to have some - has covered. the US$400 extracted from me monthly by blue cross/blue shield is painless when i compare those columns:

for an MRI, with and without contrast:
my cost - $170. BCBS - $2400.

for a panel of blood tests, the thoroughness of which nearly made me anaemic:
my cost - $16. BCBS - $700.

for having a large tube stuck in my head to fix my ears:
my cost - $80. BCBS - $4000.

the other nice thing about paying my medical bills was that several were invoices from Quest Diagnostics, who use a wonderful adhesive on their payment envelopes. i remember, sometime in the early '90s, the flavour of envelope glue having changed. most envelopes, when you lick them closed, leave a lingering and unpleasant taste on the tongue: bitter. sour. a chemical unami aftertaste. the envelopes from Quest are entirely different - a pleasure, really: light, sweet, slightly minty. refreshing. the taste lingers for a moment, and is gone. at first, i thought perhaps it was my imagination, or that i hadn't had my tongue pay proper attention. then i thought perhaps, finally, industry had realised how awful envelope glue tasted, reasoned that, since people have to lick envelopes, they could satisfy the consumer quite easily by changing the compound, and acted appropriately. the next envelope was from Anne Arundel Diagnostic, though, and a taste confirmed that the glues, on average, were still discouragingly flavoured.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Aleatory Contract (n):

... a binding agreement that depends upon a contingency or uncertain event.

A contract in which the consideration or monetary value between the parties to the contract is not equal.

'Aleatory Contract:
Characterized by two design elements:

Chance element - Performance of at least one of the parties is dependent on chance. 
Uneven exchange - And, one party promises to do much more than the other party. 

Most non-insurance contracts are commutative (i.e.: the exchange is of equal values.) Many people mistakenly employ this concept when thinking about insurance. An insurance contract will only result in an equal exchange by coincidence or over a very long period of time. 

The uneven exchange is not a flaw in the contract. 

Rather, it is a fundamental feature of a contract that is both conditional and aleatory.'