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) Read the rest of this entry »

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

sliderule.jpg

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?

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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. ;)

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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.

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

KEVIN

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.

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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.

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

Siding:

Painting:

Cabinets:

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.  :)

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. Read the rest of this entry »