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Vernicus
 1 photo in this album  [slideshow]  
 Gallery: WBER Photos  Album: WBER Staff   
      1      

On-air name: Vernicus

Time Slot: Monday 6:00-9:00 A.M.

Date of Birth: Nov. 24, 1971

E-mail: vernicus@wber.org

WBER History:
Because I have to travel often for my job, I moved to Rochester in May 2008 with my wife (a native of Canadice), our 2 young daughters and our black cat so that my wife could be close to her family while I am out of town. Not long after moving here, I was on my way to the airport for one of those frequent business trips and I discovered New Wave Wednesday. It was like someone had raided my personal music collection! I immediately programmed 90.5 into my radio and it has been preset #1 ever since. After listening to the station for a while, I heard Jen say that she would miss a NWW show one week. Loving the show and having been a college DJ throughout the ‘90’s, I naively emailed Jen and offered to sub for her. She very politely informed me that there are many people waiting to be DJ’s (I had no idea it was a volunteer gig) and that there is a training program before you can go on the air. She recommended that I contact Joey about the Be the Next ‘BER DJ Contest. I did and ended up taking second place to Curtastrophe in a split decision in the 2012 contest. It took a long time to get over the heartbreak of that loss, but I entered the 2013 contest with my eyes on the prize and after 2 years of hard work I finally won! It was the first and only thing I ever won on WBER.

Real World:
I grew up in Frederick, MD, which back then was a sleepy dormitory cowtown (people like my parents lived there and commuted to work in DC or Baltimore). I grew up listening to pop, country, doo-wop and “golden oldies” all the time. One of my favorite games from childhood was playing “Name That Tune” with my cousins, the oldest of whom had a large collection of 45’s and would “host” the show. I still challenge myself and others to recognize songs and performers from the opening notes, much to my wife’s chagrin. I eventually discovered “alternative” music thanks to 120 Minutes on MTV and the legendary WHFS 99.1. I got a BS in Math/Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1993 and worked there doing research for a few years. I also got involved with the campus radio station, WRCT (Radio Carnegie Tech!), as a DJ, producer, talk show host, sports broadcaster and Sports Director. WRCT had the largest music collection in the city and I discovered all sorts of great music just digging through the library. Following my research stint, I made computer games for about 10 years, including 4 years at the now-defunct LucasArts. (Fun Fact: my wife and I once took second place in the annual ILM Halloween Costume Contest.) After becoming a parent, the demanding reality of making games became too much (long, crazy hours, constant layoffs) and I switched to the support side of the industry. I now work from home as a Technical Account Manager for a major game console manufacturer that rhymes with a song from the ‘60’s that Billy Idol covered (yes, it always has to come back to music).

5 Favorite Alternative Albums/Bands:
The best I can do is 10, so pick any 5 of these 10 at any given moment: The Cure, They Might Be Giants, The Church, Primus, Tool, Talking Heads, Oingo Boingo, Devo, NIN, Depeche Mode

Favorite Movies:
Better Off Dead, Say Anything, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich

Favorite caffeinated beverage:
None -- I don’t do sodas, coffee or tea. I am a sucker for chocolate milkshakes, though.

First concert:
It was probably the Statler Brothers at our local fair. For my first rock concert, though, I won tickets to see Billy Joel on The Bridge Tour from Q107 (in DC) when I was in 8th grade. I got a ride to the show with one of the 10th graders I knew from my advanced math class (I have always been a math/numbers geek). He played so many great songs I had never heard before and was such a great showman that I proceeded to buy every album in his catalog I could find – a habit I continued with every band I got into until I became a parent and had to curb my spending.

Favorite Quote:
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." [Ralph Waldo Emerson]
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 Gallery: WBER Photos  Album: WBER Staff   
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