The very first thing I did was to obtain some rotational encoders and hook them up according to instructions off of Arduino including one of their libraries (http://playground.arduino.cc/Main/RotaryEncoders). My particular encoder was very cheap and almost worked. Once every turn or so it would increment the wrong direction. After raising the local ambient profanity levels to the maximum my instruments could endure, I decided this was a stupid waste of my time and unnecessary to the greater goals of the project. They are now waiting for their next opportunity to torment me in their little baggies from mouser. Sometimes I can hear them plotting my downfall when it is really quiet.