Father’s Day Thanks

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

This Father’s Day got me thinking about my dad.  It seemed appropriate to write a Dan short note.  In no particular order, Dad thank you for

  • Showing me that a real man isn’t afraid to have fun like a kid
  • Answering my intellectual questions about spirituality intellectually and not with some cop out answer like “God made it that way” or “have faith”.
  • Teaching me by example.  Never missing a quiet time all the while I was growing up was the strongest argument for reading the bible you could make.
  • How to look tough and make funny faces.
  • Showing humility.  It’s funny how the people that need to know you are smart or good or whatever usually already do - even without one bragging or boasting.  But I think you need to see it work for someone else before you really believe it.
  • Being my mentor.  I’m still amazed at how much you taught me over the years: from engine noise diagnostics, to Greek word studies, to balloon animals, to how to treat people, to reading business plans, to putting your family first. All those small side conversations as well as the long deep talks added up.
  • Reminding me that a sharp and witty mouth could be used to build someone up or tear someone down.
  • Teaching me how to talk to all people - from the plumber to my professors from a junk yard proprietor to a member of a board of directors.
  • Lastly thanks for not being a jerk or even worse.  It seems the majority of books for men these days are about dealing with all the bad baggage your father left you.  Thank you for being the father I needed so that such books are just basically bizarre to me rather than helpful.  :)

To be honest I really wrote this less for my own father more to all the father’s out there: Realize that you have a tremendous impact on your kids - whether it is positive or negative is up to you.

(looking tough) (more…)

Another Habitat House

Friday, May 27th, 2011

We are building another Dan Kuban habitat house starting this July and completing in September! You can sign up if you are interested in volunteering or feeding the workers.

Schedule for Construction:

  • Blitz day (Frame/Roof) July 23rd
  • Interior Walls / Roof Shingles July 30th
  • Vinyl Siding August 6th
  • Interior Painting September 10th
  • Cabinets & Trim September 17th

Slide Rule Musings

Saturday, December 25th, 2010


Recently, I have been doing some consulting for a large organization with a large engineering contingent.  Walking through one of the buildings there, I saw a huge slide rule hung on the wall like art.

For those of you that don’t know what a slide rule is or what it is used for here is an image and a short explanation.   Back when computers were the size of buildings and the calculator hadn’t been dreamed up yet, engineers needed something to help them with their constant calculations and the abacus wasn’t cutting it: the slide rule was born.  Using logametric scales, this ruler looking device somehow makes complex calculations easier much like MS Excel today.  As historical proof, the Apollo missions to the Moon were powered by slide rules (and rocket fuel) since the average smart phone is more powerful than the sum of NASA’s computers at the time.

Anyway, you can now see why an engineer might consider a slide rule a clever piece of work place art.  Seeing said artwork made me think “Oh Dad would love that!  I need to send him a picture text…” and I started to take out my iPhone before I remembered that Dad can’t get texts anymore. I’ve actually made this mistake a lot lately, so I began pondering why that was the case.

After some thought, I realized it was because I truly believe that Dad is alive (in heaven) that my brain doesn’t really see him as dead like most might conceptualize but really just “out of cel range”.  I liken it to how we were out of range when we went on one of our Manly Man Trips to Boundary Waters.  This manly fishing trip involved us taking a plane to Minneapolis, then takinboundry-waters-sm.jpgg a two hour taxi cab to the near the border.  From there we took a puddle jumper into Canada to a small Lodge, then took a speed boat as far out as it could go, at which point we grabbed our gear and canoes and took a short hike to the next small lake.  Using the canoes and taking short hikes over the land separating the many lakes that make up the Boundary Waters, we made our way into the Canadian wilderness where we would setup camp and start fishing.  Now before leaving for this trip, I had finished all the paperwork to buy my first home.  As always happens with banks, there was some small snag they wanted to go over with me while I was on this trip… the bank being told I was on vacation and unreachable by cel phone was like ‘no really we need to talk to him’… to which they were told ‘no really, he is really outside of cel phone range’.

During the time I was pondering these things, I heard a famous preacher ask “what happens to us when we die?”. “What happens?” he continued, “Everyone knows what happens - they have a service they put you in a box and they put the box in the ground. And yet mankind by and large continues to ask what happens when we die…”

An interesting question when you think about it really.  Is it that we just need to attend more funerals to see if there is any variation or is it that something in our soul whispers that there is more to come?


Dancing In Heaven

Monday, October 25th, 2010

The following is something originally in my part of the Boys On Dan that I had to cut out for time:

More recently in addition to Mighty To Save, the other song that was significant to me on this journey was Promised Land.

I’m going to see my Savior, I’m going to see my Lord,
I’m going to sing forever, ain’t gonna cry no more…
When they lay me underneath a heavy stone, and the cold grave grips my bones.
Don’t cry for me for in Glory I will be, dancing around the throne!

Now if that last part doesn’t make you smile then you’ve never seen my father dance!

The topic of dancing in heaven actually came up in one of our discussions in May or June. I had been taking lessons the last year or so but had just started videoing them to aid my memory of what I had learned when I practiced. I was showing dad a few of my latest moves from the tape, and he told me that he looked forward to dancing it heaven because he would be much better at it there than he was here.

Now, my father and I had a theological difference of opinion over whether or not his new body would have the same two left feet that his first body did. My father believed in a more extensive “instant knowledge” (I’m sure there is probably a $5 seminary word for this) in the next life than I do. We agree that in the next life, the question of the Godhood and our relation to them will not exist. The veil over that intrinsic knowledge - that in this life is necessary for Free Will to exist - will be removed. The naked truth of our failings in this life will be painfully apparent as well. The elects’ minds will definitely be clearer without sin, age, disease, and the enemy to cloud them. However I believe that our normal experiential knowledge will be largely unchanged. (I think a study of Eden along with certain passages concerning angels and visions of heaven support this position) How better to pass the infinite time in heaven than to learn and grow towards our potential inside a relationship with the King God and alongside fellow believers? Isn’t that a much more interesting heaven than the 24/7 singing-in-the-choir viewpoint of many?

That is not to say Dan had the choir view - far from it. I simply mention it here for contrast. Dad viewed his lack of dance ability as a fault of an imperfect body that would be corrected in his perfect one. (He emphasized the ability aspect of the dancing skill while I view it as more knowledge based. So really our disagreement is less theological and more about skill and ability theory.) However, I suspect he has discovered his healthy new body still needs to be trained in some new moves. ;)


Habitat House Dedication

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

For the volunteers that didn’t make it to the house dedication (with key ceremony) there is now a highlight video from that day. Enjoy.

The Four Boys On Dan

Monday, July 26th, 2010

At Dan’s celebration each of his son’s said a few short words about their father in the biblical order (Matthew 20:16).  Here is what we said:

Videos Version

Written Version


First of all I would like to thank everyone for coming this has been a truly amazing celebration

Two years ago I remember sitting and praying for a miracle, not wanting to let go. I talked with many people that were upset that God had not made my dad’s cancer walk a great story of a miracle. However, I don’t think we could ask for a greater story.


Homecoming Celebration

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

The perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, that which is written has come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Cor 15

Daniel P. Kuban, went home to his Heavenly Father today.  Dan’s life was a blessing and inspiration to all who ever met him, whether it was in the boardroom or the slums of Mexico.  He spent his days in the moment, embracing life with a contagious enthusiasm, pointing out the small things, and teaching us of the big things.  Dan was many things through his life: husband, father, son, brother, papa, friend, engineer, inventor, businessman, mentor, teacher, and even the guy at the airport making balloon animals for children.  But most of all, Dan was a servant of Christ.  He lived out Matthew 5: “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  All he was, and accomplished, must be viewed through the lens of his Savior – he sought His glory above all things, yearning for the Hope and Glory that is to come, and it is in this light that we will all remember him.  As D.L. Moody once remarked, “Someday you will read in the papers that I am dead.  Don’t you believe a word of it!  At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now.”

Pic of Dan in Paradise (St Thomas)

We don’t have the music portions, but here are the speakers and songs in order.


Video: Dan the Man … A Man of God

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

A great way to see the Life and Joy Christ brings to one’s life.  The story of my Father.  To a Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend, and Man of God. - Kevin Kuban

Habitat House Updates

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

We have posted some new videos on Habitat House progress. Interior Walls & Roof:




Kuban Engineering

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

So all this Habitat Building of late and a random facebook post reminded me of a good story for this site.  We Kuban men were raised to be pretty handy by our Mechanical Engineering father, but anyone that has built with us is probably familiar with what we call “Kuban Engineering”. Kuban Engineering is a faster way to build stuff “right”.  Dan could do all the advanced math, he had Masters in ME and had passed the PE, but for home projects that can be rather time consuming.  So instead of building stuff to exact design requirement specifications with acceptable real-world extra safety tolerances - we use a short cut.  The short cut is simple: start with standard construction rules of thumb and then double or triple it for good measure. Or as Dan put it: “If it looks strong, it probably is.” Now again we are trying to avoid excessive calculations in our “cyphering” (design phase) so we often round up if the math works out easier…

I remember Rob telling me one that it was an adjustment when he first started working with Habitat regularly in college.  He said it was weird only putting 2-3 nails (per H4H plans) when his instincts told him: that board needs 8 nails or maybe 16…  But my favorite example of Kuban Engineering has to be the couch Dad built.

Dad built a sofa strong enough “for the boys” when we were little. The sofa was wood (up to 2×8’s if memory serves) stained and coated 3x in exterior grade poly - except the “hi-wear” areas which got 4 coats. Mom made some foam cushions and voila.  The sofa survived the rigors of four boys and eventually we were all grown.  At which point some deck cushions were purchased and the sofa was re-purposed (can’t throw away a perfectly good sofa) as deck furniture.  After several years of sun and rain soaked cushions the sofa was still in mint condition - the cushions, however, were showing their age. As a last ditch effort, the sofa was tossed off the 2nd story deck only to damage… the ground.  Seeing no alternative, the chain saws were called in so that Mom could get new deck furniture to replace the “broken” one.  :)

Dan & Jan Habitat House Blitz Day

Friday, May 14th, 2010

The Blitz Day was great! When this Habitat house was first discussed it was going to be a memorial.  It was so awesome that Dad got to speak about advancing the Kingdom of God at his “memorial” house. God’s plans are always above our plans:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

God gave us perfect 70 degree weather. Thanks again to everyone that volunteered. We were able to prep the porch (normally not started until Tuesday) and still finish early. The Habitat Staff commented on how great the volunteer crew was.

Here’s a great video of blitz day:

The house progressing each week videos here.

The finished house dedication video here. (more…)

A Funny Easter Story

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

So if you have been around a Kuban on Easter, you are aware of our Easter greeting.  For those that haven’t: a “He Is Risen!” is said with authority followed by the response of “He Is Risen Indeed!” said with equal gusto.  (If someone fails in the gusto department - the greeting starts over after some encouragement)

Anyway, one year a friend of mine from college spent the holiday weekend with my family.  He was totally unfamiliar with this tradition as he was not yet a Christian.  Now dad -with his cat like reflexes- generally initiated this greeting the first go round in the morning.  Later I found out my friend confessed that he had thought this was a daily ritual in our home: where my father would go around informing us that he was awake and we would respond in the affirmative that yes, he was awake. :D

He found out later in the day what we were really talking about, but I’m glad he shared the misunderstanding with me.  Our family fondly reminisces about it every Easter.

He is risen!

Birthday Notes

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Thanks to everyone that left my Dad a note on the web site or had a hand in the Book of notes from Lee.

They were all much appreciated.  :)

A “Burning” Update

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Here’s another Dan update for everybody.  Jan 24th was 1 year since Dad had he surgery up at Duke.  I’m very happy that God has allowed him to beat all of the doctor’s projections.  We recently celebrated Mom’s -uhm- 39th birthday and all the family was in town and that was another good time.

Dad gets tired fairly quickly and it is uncomfortable for him to sit or stand for too long, but he’s still able to enjoy life.  When I was up there last he was able to out drive me on the RC Car he recently got from Uncle Dave.  But that’s OK because I can still out fly him on my RC Heli!

Amidst the football games, grilling out, and hanging out - Dad remains the consummate mentor.  I got a few tips from him on time management and life balance during a chat last week.  Dad continues to point -well- basically anyone that will listen back to the Lord.  I find that very strengthening to my own faith because if God is of value during your darker days - He certainly can brighten our sunny ones.

On a similar but unrelated note, I snagged one of my father’s notebooks a few months back.  I think we were looking for something on biblical discipleship at the time, but I found a few notes on various bible translations that were interesting to me.  So I borrowed that notebook to read more about it later.  Well later finally came and I’ve been thumbing through a few pages as part of my quiet times.  It’s funny how much you absorb from your parents (you’re always teaching your kids whether you realize it or not - scary isn’t it!)…  such as similar short hand style.  Anyway, today I came across a page the summed up what I have been trying to explain about my recent bible experiences so well that I just had to share it.

I thought about retyping it but I figured most people would enjoy this “peek” into Dan Kuban’s study time so I’ve uploaded the page as a PDF. This is it.  This is what I seek each morning as I munch my cereal and read God’s word.  As I told a friend recently: “There’s something about this book…” - may you discover the burning in your heart that can change your life.

Family Update

Monday, December 7th, 2009

A lot of people have been asking me for an update for the web site on the status of our family.  So here is my attempt to accurately convey where we are.

God has been gracious and good to our family so we continue to experience the abundant life each day (John 10:10). While my father’s body has weakened, it has given him the chance to teach us boys about a different kind of strength.  In fact, these circumstances have only strengthened our faith.  Because of the way dad led his life - there are no regrets.  No broken relationships to mend; No wisdom that wasn’t already passed on; No life that wasn’t seized.  Hindsight on life choices is always twenty-twenty - one can not at the end go back and re-do a lifetime. As my father would say “if you don’t have time to do it right the first time, how are you ever going to have time to fix it later?”  Thankfully my dad lived so that there were no “if only”s.  Here is hoping that you learn from his life’s outcome and also live without regrets.

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)

Now, my father is always worried that too much talk about him takes the focus off of Christ.  So I will proclaim that no one is good except God (Mark 10:18) and that man’s good fruit comes from God working though us:

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing… This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” - Jesus (John 15:4-5,8)

I, however, worry about the flip side of the coin.  Those that hold that good Christian living comes down to mere belief.  That God is good and he saved us - and that’s pretty much it.  He’s loving and forgiving and he understands that I’m really busy and…

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:18-22)


Biblical Insights On Living Well To Die Well

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Biblical insights on living well and dying well video (55 min). This talk was inspired by some writings of William Perkins, a Puritanical Preacher, that were originally published in 1616. Perkins points out many biblical truths about both living and dying 400 years ago that seem new even today. There is overlap between this video and Dan’s Victory of the Last Enemy talk.

A Few Reflections

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I thought it appropriate to post a few things I observed during this surgery weekend.

An extended hour: The day of surgery, there was going to be some time between Dan’s pre-op and the actual surgery though we weren’t given specifics from the doctors beforehand.  It ended up that my Dad could spend an hour back at the hotel with friends and family before returning to Duke. When I got the call from my Dad heading to the hotel after pre-op, I thought that an hour seemed too short… but I was wrong.  That hour could better be described by the likes of CS Lewis but I will give it a try.  The Lord extended that hour so that it seemed much longer.  This was not a painfully long hour (I am not talking about how “time flies when you are having fun” or drags when it isn’t).  But it did seem like there was plenty of time for everything: prayer, small talk, serious discussion, and kids playing with an imaginary juicer.  Plenty of time for everything but just enough time for what was needed - the perfect amount of time.  I saw God’s hand in the maximum life squeezed - but somehow fitting easily - into that one hour. (The pre-op hour was important because of the small but significant percentage of people that did not survive the whipple surgery.)

Surprised doctors: I have learned that God’s favorite answer to multiple choice questions is “E) none of the above”. The creativity of a God that created an entire universe to peer out at during the night, will not be content with doing the expected. The multi-staged operation had several critical points but no one thought that the surgeon would discover that the pancreatic cancer pushing on the small intestine would turn out to be intestinal cancer pushing on the pancreas.  Call it surprise or something else, I saw it on the face of several doctors over the past few days.  You see, the goal in cancer treatments is to cut out the tumor before it spreads.  If that can’t be done, the only option is maintenance chemo treatments.  So I witnessed several doctors launch into the “maintenance chemo” talk in recovery (before reviewing the file) because second operations aren’t done.  Inoperable tumors are -well- inoperable. But then surgeons don’t often discover that the cancer is actually a different form mid-surgery.  The surgery was supposed to go one way or the other, but God didn’t like either of those options and took it a third way.  Whether the new treatment can further shrink the tumor and a second operation can succeed remains to be seen.  But while some people would despair to see the experts surprised and confused, I can just smile because I know the one that is in control.  He seldom does what we expect but usually keeps thing interesting.

Surgery Day

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

While the surgery did not proceed like we expected, we have much to thank to God for: first and foremost the prayers of so many people. Thank you all! There was a peace in the waiting area surrounding the family and the surgery results were positive.

The surgery confirmed the CT scans - the Lord has kept the cancer from spreading beyond the one tumor. The surgeon also discovered that the tumor is growing out of his small intestine and not his pancreas. This is good news because, while this is the same type of cancer cell, it tends to grow more slowly than pancreatic. The tumor had shrunk back some from the artery but not enough to safely remove the tumor. However, given the new information, a new chemo/radiation treatment may further shrink the tumor so that a 2nd surgery can remove the tumor safely.

The mailing address for Dan is: (UPDATE: Dan may be checking out as early as Wed morning)

Dan Kuban
Duke University Hospital
Room # 2331
Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27710

I will try to post more later…

Lessons God Taught Me During the 1st 3 Months of Cancer

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Lessons God Taught Me During the 1st 3 Months of Cancer Video (41 min).

Thanksgiving Video

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Since Dan was not able to make the trip back to Lockport (near Chicago) this year for the usual massive Kuban gathering, the family decided to send some thanksgiving love down south.  Special thanks to David for the idea & shirts and Lori for the video. Also thanks to all the family, girlfriends, boyfriends, and dogs for the shirt pics, thoughts, and prayers.

For another surprise, while Dan & Jan watched the early version of the video - the Knoxville bunch donned their shirts and were waiting color-coordinated when Dad turned around. We then took some pics with Dan and sent those back to the family in Illinois (which Lori incorporated into the final video).

The final video is now online.  For the best picture click on the “google” box in the lower right corner and select “orginial size” as google video doesn’t seem to scale well.

Psalm 103

Monday, November 10th, 2008

In my dad’s battle against cancer, Psalm 103 has spoken profoundly to his heart and faith.  Because of this, I have composed the following song from the passage of Psalm 103:1-5.

- Rob Kuban

(if you are having trouble playing the song you can right click the link and select “save link” to play it locally on your computer)


Sunday, October 5th, 2008

“My Story” has been updated at Dan’s request.

New Site

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

We moved from the caringbridge site to here where we have a little more control over the content and appearance of the site.  Also we can ensure that all the “notes to Dan” are saved long term and can give lasting encouragement to Dan and his family. (and the domain’s easier to remember)