I have found myself becoming less and less of a "tabula rasa judge," at least as such a person is currently defined. I don't like to vote for bad arguments and I really don't like to vote for teams that refuse to engage in an actual debate with their opponents. Despite that caveat, you will probably find that I am a fairly "normal" judge. Two important things at the top:
1> My argument preferences are mostly unimportant. I'd much rather have debaters go for arguments they are confident in than arguments they think I will like better.
2> I put more stake in the truthfulness of arguments and the quality of evidence than some other critics you will encounter. That doesn't mean that you can't win a bad argument or a bad piece of evidence, but it does mean that such arguments and evidence are more difficult to win. You're better off making a few intelligent answers to a position than a bunch of bad ones.
Put another way, just because you say it doesn't make it true. I filter arguments through a plausibility test: can I explain this argument back to you and have it make sense? I don't think there is any argument that could not be proven "true" in front of me - you just need to articulate reasons and explain the justifications/warrants for the position.
Despite this, I try to resolve debates using the least intervention possible. If you implement your "vision" of the debate in the 2NR or 2AR and your opponents do not, I will almost certainly prefer your arguments. If both sides implement a vision or if neither side implements a vision, then the above caveats about truthfulness become more important.
Theory & Independent Voters:
I can say with a high degree of honesty that I enjoy theory debates. What I don't enjoy is the proliferation of voting issues, especially those that are warranted with "for reasons of fairness and ground." I can't imagine anyone enjoying these arguments, but apparently enough critics are voting for them that debaters find them worthwhile.
I will certainly vote on theory arguments, and even on "independent voters," but that requires the issue to be discussed in a great deal of depth. As a rule, I don't like my reason for decision to be an issue/argument that receives only cursory coverage in the last two speeches. There are always exceptions, but don't rely on undercoverage as a strategy to win cheap shots.
Strategies & Evidence:
I am a huge fan of clever strategies. I am an even bigger fan of good evidence. Unfortunately, I find that a lot of evidence people read in debate rounds is terrible. I love it when debaters read their opponents' evidence and challenge the reader of said evidence to warrant its use. I also love it when evidence is compared to other evidence, particularly when specific lines of the contested evidence is read aloud or the qualifications of the author are compared.
I don't like having to read the "Smith evidence" after the round when I have only a cursory understanding of what it says. I hate it when, after reading said evidence, I come to the conclusion that it is terrible. This puts me in an ackward position because, as I said before, I dislike voting for bad arguments (and that includes bad evidence). What I do in these situations is not necessarily consistent... and I'm willing to admit that. For the most part, I try to intervene as minimally as possible. But beware: I am not a fan of terrible evidence and I can't say definitively that I won't make the terrible-ness of your evidence part of my decision.
I love case debates, specific PICs, and specific critiques. I'm not really a "K hack," but I enjoy good critique debates better than I do good politics debates. Take that for what it's worth.
Offense/Defense & Even-If Contingencies:
I don't like the "Defense wins Super Bowls but not policy debates" overview. I generally do subscribe to the "offense/defense" paradigm but rarely do I see a debate wherein there is *no* offense. I don't like it when the above overview is used as an "answer" to several well-developed takeouts. Particularly on generic disadvantages (like politics), the absence of an internal link or a definitive piece of non-uniqueness evidence seems pretty "offensive" to me. "But there's always a risk" isn't very compelling in these situations. This doesn't happen very often in good debates, however, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. And if you must go for "there's always a risk," please warrant your decision calculus with more than a lame analogy.
One related thing to note is that I often find myself voting on "the counterplan solves all of the case and there's a risk of the disadvantage." When affirmative's grant 100% of a counterplan's solvency, and proceed to not read any disadvantages to said counterplan, I don't vote for them very often. If the net-benefit to the counterplan has "zero risk" and the plan and the counterplan have equal solvency, I sometimes find myself confused. Make sure you do the "even if" contingency work so that I know what to do. If I'm left to my own devices, you might not be happy with my decision.
If you've read this and still don't have a feel for what kind of judge I am, I apologize. In general, you should just make smart arguments and debate how you feel most comfortable. I am pretty good at adapting to the debaters I'm listening to... I have yet to encounter a team that can't have success in front of me and so chances are you will be fine.
Finally, my preferences as a critic are constantly maturing. As such, my predispositions will probably change (even if only slightly) over the course of the year. Please ask specific questions and I'll be glad to clarify... and most of all, have fun!