Wow, this is sort-of wierd...I was meeting my BIL for a beer at the Marin Rod & Gun Club in San Rafael last Sunday and Big Jim was conducting his class in the main room of the club. I originally thought "Man, how'd I miss this event?" I thought it was a club funtion but I guess he rents out the space from the club.
Nothing against Big Jim but $175 seems a bit steep to me.
Also seems like BBQ just takes some time to learn. There are so many differnt cookers, meats, processes you just have to join the Brethren and start cooking. Use your $175 to build a UDS and go.
That being said... SHB, tell your friend I'd be happy to help im build a UDS and get him on the right track if he lives close by.
2004 Weber Performer GREEN
Orange Super-Duper Fast
'08 Weber Genesis Gasser
SJG Tamale Pot Mini Smoker (SJG was a rescue)
and a Pyro FIL