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11:51am Wed Jul 11, 2012

Just like for College Football, Football Win Prediction has launched on Ice Cream Helmet. It’s pretty similar to College, so I’ll cover it quickly.

Scoring (lower is better)
1pt – Each predicted win off of actual total for each team.
-2pts – Each correctly predicted team Win Total.
-5pts – Each correctly predicted Conference Champion.
-10pts – Predicting the correct Super Bowl Champion.

Make your predictions by September 5th at 8:30pm ET. That’s when the season kicks off in New York with the Cowboys visiting the Giants.

You can also create groups to invite your friends to compare your results. You only have to make one set of predictions. Those will be used for scoring in all groups.

10:01pm Tue Jul 3, 2012

New game on Ice Cream Helmet this season: College Football Win Prediction. You have from now until kickoff of the first game of the season to register your predictions. I tried to make it relatively simple, so you aren’t making predictions for all 120+ schools. Here are the quick details:

(lower is better)
1pt – Each predicted win off of actual total for each school.
-2pts – Each correctly predicted school Win Total.
-5pts – Each correctly predicted Conference Champion.
-10pts – Predicting the correct BSS Champion.

Looks like this: (I used the Big East here since they are running out of teams, so it takes up the least amount of space.)
Ice Cream Helmet  College Football  Win Prediction Big East

Make your predictions by August 30th at 7:00pm ET. That’s the current first kickoff of the season. Not every kick for the games on Thursday have been set, but it’s doubtful to be before 7pm.

Check back during the season for updates on where you stand. Scoring will be interesting during the season as different people peak as schools hit their predictions then dip when those win totals are passed.

You can create groups to easily compare with your competitors, but you don’t need to join a group to play. You only have to make picks once, they will be the same across every group you join.

4:29pm Thu Jun 28, 2012

Lots of weekend series getting underway tonight, so moving this to a Thursday post. You can still make your picks.

Stay Away Series: Astros/Cubs and Padres/Rockies. Both evenly matched not so good teams.

Interesting Series (to me): Phillies/Marlins (for last place in NL East), Nationals/Braves (top of NL East), Tigers/Rays (underperforming and stuck in the middle of their divisions).

Division Leader Matchups: White Sox/Yankees and Reds/Giants.

ESPN Sunday Night: Mets/Dodgers. Mets were on last week. There are a bunch of other more interesting matchups this weekend.

Series of the Weekend: Reds/Giants. I was going with either of the division leader series, this one edged it out with the Giants currently tied for the division lead and the Reds with only a 2-game lead over the Pirates (not counting that they already won today) and Cardinals.

Ice Cream Helmet Baseball Series Picks
Pick Distribution – Week 13
Away Team Home Team First Game of Series
Indians 0% 100% Orioles Thu Jun 28
White Sox 0% 100% Yankees Thu Jun 28
Red Sox 100% 0% Mariners Thu Jun 28
Tigers 100% 0% Rays Thu Jun 28
Athletics 0% 100% Rangers Thu Jun 28
Angels 100% 0% Blue Jays Thu Jun 28
Mets 0% 100% Dodgers Thu Jun 28
Reds 0% 100% Giants Thu Jun 28
Royals 100% 0% Twins Fri Jun 29
Nationals 0% 100% Braves Fri Jun 29
Astros Cubs Fri Jun 29
Padres Rockies Fri Jun 29
Phillies 0% 100% Marlins Fri Jun 29
Diamondbacks 50% 50% Brewers Fri Jun 29
Pirates 0% 100% Cardinals Fri Jun 29
2:47pm Fri Jun 22, 2012
by Ice Cream Helmet

I had some difficulties picking this week. Seems like a lot of even match ups. Of course ESPN is going Yankees/Mets for Sunday Night. 

The most shocking part of this week’s distribution? Three people made their 10 picks and no one disagreed. There was some variation on which series were picked, but the winners were all agreed upon.

What does that mean? Mariners/Padres and Dodgers/Angels are the stay aways. Mariners and Padres are indeseripherably awful. Which means …

Series of the Weekend: Dodgers @ Angels

Ice Cream Helmet Baseball Series Picks
Pick Distribution – Week 12
Away Team Home Team First Game of Series
Rays 100% 0% Phillies Fri Jun 22
Giants 100% 0% Athletics Fri Jun 22
Mariners Padres Fri Jun 22
Cubs 0% 100% Diamondbacks Fri Jun 22
Nationals 100% 0% Orioles Fri Jun 22
Blue Jays 0% 100% Marlins Fri Jun 22
Brewers 0% 100% White Sox Fri Jun 22
Yankees 100% 0% Mets Fri Jun 22
Dodgers Angels Fri Jun 22
Tigers 100% 0% Pirates Fri Jun 22
Rockies 0% 100% Rangers Fri Jun 22
Twins 0% 100% Reds Fri Jun 22
Braves 0% 100% Red Sox Fri Jun 22
Indians 100% 0% Astros Fri Jun 22
Cardinals 100% 0% Royals Fri Jun 22
7:23pm Mon Jun 18, 2012

This past weekend was the 11th of the baseball season. For Baseball Series Picks on Ice Cream Helmet this season I decided to focus on just weekend series (and by I decided I mean Evan suggested the idea and I decided it was worth a shot). I was curious how teams had been doing in their weekend series. Partly out of curiosity, and also to help with future picks.

Picking these series has been more difficult than expected. I had to change the scoring to give more points to correct picks because just doing a net of picks was leading to a lot of negative scoring weekends. This weekend I tied my best yet, going 7-3 for 11 points. I’d done that once before. Evan holds the single weekend high with 12 points back in Week 3. He did so well he must have retired, he hasn’t made picks since.

The following table shows each team’s record in weekend series. I mentioned 11 weekends have passed, but it is possible to have a no decision in a weekend series due to 4 games series or rainouts. The lesson: go with the Dodgers. The Phillies have been bad this year but especially terrible on the weekends. Lucky for them the Padres and Cubs haven’t shown up for many weekend games.

Team Record
Dodgers 9-2
Yankees 8-2
Reds 8-3
Orioles 8-3
Rangers 8-3
Nationals 7-3
Giants 7-3
Braves 6-3
Rays 7-4
Tigers 6-4
Pirates 6-4
Blue Jays 5-4
Royals 5-4
Diamondbacks 6-5
Red Sox 6-5
Mets 6-5
Angels 5-5
Marlins 5-5
Indians 5-6
Mariners 5-6
White Sox 5-6
Cardinals 4-7
Twins 3-6
Rockies 3-8
Brewers 3-8
Astros 3-8
Phillies 2-7
Athletics 2-8
Padres 1-9
Cubs 1-9
12:33am Mon Jun 18, 2012

Working on web sites is one of my favorite hobbies. I never thought of it as a hobby but I do it in my spare time and enjoy it. I don’t make any money off of it and it costs me money. I think that’s the definition of a hobby. I spent this weekend working a lot on Ice Cream Helmet. Here is a summary of some of the changes and new things I worked on.

Local Storage
A few months ago I started reading about Local Storage. It seemed interesting but I didn’t have many ways to utilize it. Local Storage is client side and I’d have to do some major overhaul to switch from all my server side code.

I finally decided it could be helpful with friend lists. They don’t change constantly, there aren’t any calculations to be done, and for people who have Facebook connected to the site, it would save API calls to get their friends.

I think it’s simple enough, at least to describe:
1) You go to ICH and if you don’t have your friends stored in your browser or it hasn’t been updated in a little while, it will make the calls and download.
2) Every page load after that will load your friends from your browser storage and not have to make any calls to the web, besides to get your friends pictures.
3) When you add or remove a friend, it updates right away instead of waiting until your storage expires. It will be a little slower if someone accepts your friend request. Since that action takes place on someone else’s computer, your computer doesn’t know it has happened. It’s possible to work that out, but I didn’t do it this time around.

Right now it works on your friends page and the user box that appears on a lot of pages. There are a few other places where you see your friend list that I’d like to add it to soon.

Since this is a newer concept, it doesn’t work on old browsers. Your friends should still show up, it will just have to make the requests every time. If you run into a problem, let me know what browser you are using and I can see if it is a lost cause or not.

I also fixed up requesting, accepting, and deleting friends. Less chance of things breaking there now.

Your Card still looks mostly the same but it’s a little cleaned up. My card looks like this.

Ice Cream Helmet  Mike Janke

I’ve pulled out things like friends, favorite teams, and other profile details I used to ask for. Most people never set any of those things. I’ll prefer people connected with Facebook so all their friends are loaded in. Oh, and there is something new on the Card.

I wanted to have some sort of achievement system, so I setup a badge system and will continue to work out how best to do it. I don’t want to have a badge for every group you win, that seems excessive. Winning overall games, that is worth it, and I’ll be working on creating those. They are more achievements than trophies. Most things won’t be year specific. For example, winning the Daily Pick for a year is an achievement. I’ve one it every year, but I only have one badge. I’m also considering things such as creating 5 groups and things like that that promote doing things on the site.

Here are the badges I’ve created so far: Ice Cream Helmet  All Badges

So far you get a badge for joining and things related to the Daily Pick. I’m going to change up how the standings work for the Daily Pick, moving to show Monthly/Yearly/All Time lists. I’ve already gotten all the past calculated (and given badges for past streaks and wins), I just need to redesign the actual Daily Pick page.

The badge system is easy to for me to work with. The hardest part is actually creating the badges. As you can tell what a Photoshop wizard I am with these gems. Don’t worry, it’s also very easy to replace all of these with better looking versions when I get the time to spend on them.

What’s Next
There are probably some other new cleaned up things. Next up, I mentioned the Daily Pick page will be changing and I have a little bit to finish up with for the football games before I turn them on in a few weeks.

1:59pm Fri Jun 15, 2012
by Ice Cream Helmet

What’s the most interesting series of the weekend? Yankees-Nats? Still a few hours to make your picks. Here is the pick distribution as of posting.

Ice Cream Helmet Baseball Series Picks
Pick Distribution – Week 11
Away Team Home Team First Game of Series
Yankees Nationals Fri Jun 15
Giants 100% 0% Mariners Fri Jun 15
Reds Mets Fri Jun 15
Brewers 100% 0% Twins Fri Jun 15
Red Sox 100% 0% Cubs Fri Jun 15
Rockies 0% 100% Tigers Fri Jun 15
Phillies Blue Jays Fri Jun 15
Marlins Rays Fri Jun 15
Royals 0% 100% Cardinals Fri Jun 15
Padres 0% 100% Athletics Fri Jun 15
White Sox 0% 100% Dodgers Fri Jun 15
Diamondbacks 0% 100% Angels Fri Jun 15
Orioles 0% 100% Braves Fri Jun 15
Pirates Indians Fri Jun 15
Astros 0% 100% Rangers Fri Jun 15
3:33pm Tue Jun 12, 2012
by Ice Cream Helmet

A few weeks ago I updated the Ice Cream Helmet Baseball Standings page to include playoff chances. Right now it just makes predictions based on run differential so far and the future schedule.

Ice Cream Helmet  Baseball

It should update each morning as the scoreboard is updated. At some point I’ll work on some more complex predictions. I hope to have something similar for each sport.

8:28pm Fri Mar 30, 2012
by Ice Cream Helmet


At least someone picked each of the Final Four participants, meaning one person selected Louisville. Kentucky was the favorite at the start and they look to have a path to the title. Ohio State was the only one of the four to not be picked to win the title. Likely due to the Penn State leanings of many of the participants. I made the bold pick of Missouri to win it all, so I was done real quick.

See the entire ICH Pick Distribution.

9:08pm Wed Dec 7, 2011

The Grammy nominees were announced not too long ago and I finally got around to putting up Grammy Picks on Ice Cream Helmet. With the Emmys I set it up to easily add award games to ICH. Turns out I got a little lazy in that effort. But now, it is easy. So look forward to the Oscars again plus the Golden Globes. If you think other award shows are worthy, then drop a comment and let me know.

For Grammy Picks, I picked the 35 categories I though most people might care about (there are 78 total categories). I’m still not entirely sure the different between Performance and Song. I can kind of guess, but I’m not sure which is which. I also went with some interesting categories from the bottom of the list for Spoken Word, Music Videos, Historical, Boxed Sets, Liner Notes, maybe some other I forgot about.

The Grammys are on February 12th at 8pm Eastern on CBS (hint, that’s the deadline). You can create your groups and make your picks now.

Grammy Picks on ICH
Make Picks

4:05pm Tue Aug 30, 2011

College Football and NFL Pickem are up and running for the 2011 season.

Home Page – The home page now shows all of your groups and status for the current week. With this, you can see what picks you need to make (including wager points).

Easier Invites – Inviting to a group now lets you select your ICH friends and if you have connected your account to Facebook, you can also select your Facebook friends who have also connected to ICH. The option remains to invite by email.

Group Page Commeting – Trying this out, let me know what you think. Still trying to make it look nice. Only members of the group will be able to comment, but using an external system, so user names not matching could be confusing.

Facebook Profile Pictures – If you have connected with Facebook, you can select to have your Facebook profile picture as your card picture. When you change your Facebook profile picture, it will change on ICH as well with no action on your part.

Leave comments with any additional suggestions. Trying to make things as easy to use as possible. Also looking for any additional sports or games to try out.