I discovered ratmenu a while back and have been using it ever since.
Here's the script i use to launch it:
ratmenu -font 6x12 -fg "#444" -align center -style dreary \
"ratpoisonrc" "ratpoison -c 'exec urxvt -e vim $HOME/.ratpoisonrc'" \
"ncmpcpp" "ratpoison -c 'exec urxvt -e ncmpcpp'" \
"mail" "ratpoison -c 'exec urxvt -e mutt'" \
"color" "ratpoison -c 'exec zenity --color-selection'" \
"top" "ratpoison -c 'echo $(top -b -n 1 | head -n 24)'" \
"battery" "ratpoison -c 'echo $(cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state)'" \
"dmesg" "ratpoison -c 'echo $(dmesg | tail)'" \
As this is a shell script it can be written on a single line or in multiple lines as above. If you decide to write it in multiple lines don't forget to separate them with backslashes so that the script is read by the shell as a single line. No backslash on the last line.
The first line is, of course, the shebang. The next line runs ratmenu with the fixed-medium-semicondensed font. I have the menu set up with gray text on a black background.
Lines 3 -9:
> Opens my ratpoison configuration file in vim for quick editing.
> Launches ncmpcpp (music player) in a terminal
> Launches mutt (mail client) in a terminal
> Uses zenity to display a colorpicker. I use this when editing my .Xdefaults and such.
> Pipes top (system information summary) to the ratpoison message area
> Pipes battery information to the ratpoison message area
> Prints the message buffer of the kernel in the ratpoison message area