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Thats the right way to get the log, but if rsync didn't move anything there won't be anything in /tmp/log. If you `touch` the file (to update the timestamp) and then try it again you should find a bit of information in the log. If you still have problems try the verbose flag for rsync. `rsync -vaz file firstname.lastname@example.org:/var > /tmp/log` should be a bit nicer for what you're trying to do.
Another tidbit would be, if you wanted to keep a record of everytime that command was used you could use >> instead of > which would append to the log file rather than overwrite it.