Any programming n00bs want to learn Python with me and Julie?

I had lunch with Julie Steele from O'Reilly the other day and we were talking about how we both regretted not being able to write code.  I've thought about picking something up hundreds of times, but never really followed through on it.  That's when I realized the buddy system might be helpful and so I suggested that we figure out a framework to learn together--a book, some meetings (online or off), shared resources, etc.

We've already decided that we're going to try Python, so let's not debate languages here. What we'd really like is some suggestions on the following:

-- A good beginner book

-- A reasonable schedule to follow along

-- Tools that we should look into to share work, learnings, etc.

-- Ways that others can follow along and join our efforts

Thoughts?  Links?   Anyone who doesn't already write code want to join us?