The shift registers work wonderfully. I've started writing a few functions, and its still surprising me how entertaining 8 randomly flashing LEDs can be. Its going to be fun once I have this setup with more.
Getting a buzz from your own homebrew is an interesting kind of awesome. This IPA is one of the best homebrews I've created so far. Not exactly what I was going for, but 10 gallons of awesome none the less.
So, $30 and a few hours later, I now have 6 LEDs bouncing back and forth. Sadly, in my giant box of electronic components, all I could muster that was useful at the moment were LEDs and a few potentiometers to work with the Arduino and my breadboard. Tomorrow, I remedy the situation with a buzzer, some switches/buttons, and maybe a digital readout.