If you use Verizon Wireless and use GeekShed, the IRC network that hosts the #techmansworld channel, then you probably know that GeekShed and Verizon don't get along well. Connecting to GeekShed is a troublesome task, and sometimes it either works or it doesn't.
Using the round robins to connect, such as irc.geekshed.net for all of the IRC servers and us.geekshed.net for the US pool of servers, can turn up different results. It is a round robin so it picks one server out of the list.
Connecting to a server directly is another option for you to use, and this is the method I am using today. If you try connecting to Sheba.GeekShed.net specifically, then you should always go though. I have not had time to test this on other IRC servers on GeekShed, but I can confirm for several days and week or two that this does indeed work.
Connecting via SSL over port 6697 also works well. Let me know of your experiences in the comments below.