I'd like to meet him...I'd like to meet him...he was so helpful to me in making my decision and answering every question I had---and I had a lot!! Its hard to believe the guy has time for anything else, he always answers his calls!!!
Here is what I would do.....get rid of the Guru for now until you are ready to play with it. They are really for people who are sick of having to tend to the fire, but you need to learn your machine first. Also, the guru is intended to be used on a hot smoker, not while starting one up:-)
You should be able to use just wood to start a nice fire, but if you want to add some extra coals, then start some charcoal in a chimney, then put it on your grate, add 2 or 3 small sticks after that. ( If no charcoal, then put just 3 or 4 small sticks on the grate and use a propane torch or brush burner for 5 minutes under the grate to get the logs going.)
You must have all vents open, cooker door ajar, and the firebox door ajar, and chimney damper wide open(i never have to adjust this). The key here is to bring the smoker up to temp, get the whole unit warm, all that steel hot, once you have a hot grill---say 300 degrees, then you can close the firebox door, the cooker door, and adjust your vents as needed for temp.
What you really want is more coals, so you have to add a few logs more up front, then just 1 every 40 minutes or so as needed. If you have hot coals on the grate, then you can back of the vent for control. Keep in mind though, that if you overload it with wood and charcoal, it may be hard to ramp it down to a 200 or a 220.
Add food when the smoke gets nice and thin and blue---it will, I promise!