I have to do these things when Spouse is not around. It reminds him too much of his father, a good-natured man who has no problem poking, prodding, and asking questions of complete strangers. Can't have that, quelle embarrassment! If we're together, I'll warn him ahead of time, "go elsewhere for a minute, as I'm about to do something embarrassing, okay?" and he'll go.
So: there's a commercial building under construction on the commute to/from work, about 15 minutes from the house. Just looking at the amount of wood in the scrap piles while driving past made my mouth water. Finally had the time to stop by yesterday and do That Embarrassing Thing I Do. "Is it okay if I take some of this scrap lumber?" "Ask the general manager."... "Hi, I'm in the process of building a chicken coop and just can't see buying new wood for it. Would it be okay to salvage some of your scrap?" "Sure, help yourself! Another guy came buy earlier in the week, salvaging as well." Booyah! Score!
I was able to get large pieces of outdoor-quality sheet plywood, short and long pressure-treated posts, the usual 2x4's, some large trim pieces, some really nice solid wood 2x12 pieces (should make terrific guestroom & outdoor side tables), and bestest of all: two small roof trusses, just the right size for the coop. There was plenty more I could have picked up, but something inside said "eh, don't be greedy, leave some for others." I packed everything into the trusty Subaru, and made my way home.
[Still need to obtain for the new & improved coop: second hand windows & door, more hardware cloth, and an actual plan.]
This was only my second time salvaging scrap lumber, but it's clear that an in-car toolkit should be put together to help in case I run into such bounty again. I already have bungee cords, netting and rope. Thinking I'll need to add gloves, claw hammer, pry/wonder bar, staplegun (so I can staple a red flag over the longest piece of salvage sticking out the back), fix-a-flat in case I run over a nail... anything else? Being this embarrassing could become a successful side career!
[p.s. Spouse isn't mortally embarrassed by his dad or me, but the forthrightness with strangers does make him a little squeamish. On the other hand, he sure did admire the haul, and wondered why I didn't get more lumber while it was available.]