Hardware integration was pretty easy since it all just piles together. Two minor challenges, the first being that my initial LCD display was defective on reciept from Amazon UK. Easy replacement though. The second issue concerns the model of display that I bought (as in cheap) and that it uses most of the pins on the Arduino and semi-blocks the rest of them! I am pretty sure there is an I2C model that could help with the former though I am not sure about the latter.
In any case, I only needed a couple pins and was able to access them by bending some patch wires to fit under the shield. In the case of the reset line, I bent the pin from the shield away so I could connect a reset button (on the breadboard). Speaking of the breadboard...it supports the reset button, an LED that is used as a status indicator while data is being collected (so LCD refresh times don't impact the data collection), and a voltage divider with a variable resistor to simulate an input.
In the next post I will address software integration